A national ranking?

That’s probably been the hope of USI women’s basketball fans for a while now. This week could be the week for an Eagles team that has started the season 10-0. As of Saturday, only nine other teams in the country were undefeated.

But there’s a problem. Only Cedarville University, a Midwest Region team out of Ohio, has a winning record among the teams the Eagles have beaten (Cedarville is 8-4). You’re supposed to beat teams that can’t win more games than they lose, so there’s nothing special if you don’t lose to any of them.

My guess is USI will get some polling votes but no national ranking this week. But teams that win more games than they lose — in fact, win many more games than they lose — are coming up on USI’s schedule. Many of those teams are in the same division with the Eagles, the Great Lakes Valley Conference’s East Division. In addition to USI, it has five teams with records above .500: Bellarmine (11-2), UIndy (9-1), Lewis (8-2), Wisconsin-Parkside (7-3) and Kentucky Wesleyan (6-3). The first of these games is Jan. 19, when USI hosts Indianapolis. If the Eagles are still unbeaten at that point, that game’s going to be a war. Heck, it’ll be a war if USI loses every game until then (but don’t expect that to happen).

Just keep in mind that national rankings mean zilch in Division II. The rankings to worry about are the regional rankings, and they don’t start coming out until later this month. A team’s regional ranking determines goes a long way in helping to determine if that team gets a berth in the NCAA Tournament, and that’s all that matters, really.

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