The OOC schedule, in combination with the conference slate, is fine. There’s likely enough rigor (and enough potential/expected wins) to get us to our goal of 24 wins by Selection Sunday (generally the threshold by which we have pretty much “locked up” a bid). The “24 win” formula, almost regardless of how it is achieved, practically guarantees us, because of our scheduling philosophy/approach, the necessary metrics/profile (NET, KenPom, conf reg season finish and or tourney finish, etc) to generate an at-large resume (in the #5-11 seed range). When the dust settles, the most likely outcomes, as in previous years, will be:
On Selection Sunday (for VCU):
27 wins = 5-6 seed
25-26 wins = 7-9 seed
24 wins = 10 seed
22-23 wins = 11 seed
21 wins = fringe (12 seed or out)
20 wins = NIT
VCU, over the past decade or so, has mastered the art of OOC scheduling for a non-P6. Considering we have garnered, by far, the most at-large bids of any non-P6 school over that timeframe, the Ram hoop administration clearly understands the appropriate level of overall schedule difficulty, metrically and otherwise.
Putting an at-large resume/profile together over 30+ games is not easy.
Ideally, our season would go something like this.
Breaking the schedule into segments:
7-0 Home OOC (Buy games)
3-3 Atlantis plus Vandy, Penn St, ODU
13-5 A-10 Reg Season
1-1 A-10 Tourney
24-9 Selection Sunday (NCAA 10 seed)
If this materializes, we probably have a Top 50 NET, Top 50 RPI, Top 50 KenPom, and a Top 3 A-10 Reg Season Finish.
A lot of things have to go right to accomplish the above.
When you only return one double-figure scorer, you have a lot of challenges in front of you. St Bonny, UR, URI, Dayton, St Louis, Davidson, etc will all be formidable to varying degrees and (many) looking for revenge.