Just how down is college basketball in Louisiana? Numbers say it all

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Auburn at LSU men's basketball

In men;s basketball, LSU has suffered through one of the worst seasons in program history (File Photo: Terrill Weil).

Happy Mardi Gras, and if you’re a college basketball fan, happy March Madness Eve!

If you’re looking for a Louisiana team to make a run at a championship this March, look to the NAIA – where three of the top 12 teams in Division I are from Louisiana, including No. 1-ranked LSU-Alexandria – or hope for a conference tournament championship come next week.

In Division I, there’s the great story unfolding on the Lakefront, where the University of New Orleans going for its first conference regular-season title in 20 years. With two games left in the regular season this week, the Privateers of Mark Slessinger have a magic number of one to share a title, two to win it outright.

But in Division I, that’s about it. The latest RPI numbers back up just how down a year it’s been in the state this season.

Let’s look at some of the key numbers, shall we?

0: The number of Louisiana schools in the top 100 of the RPI. Louisiana Tech is the state’s highest ranked team at No. 116.

0-28: Record by Louisiana schools against the RPI top 50 – or generally, the line of demarcation for teams that would be in contention for NCAA at-large berths.

2-58: Record by Louisiana schools against the RPI top 100, with both wins by LSU in non-conference play (over Houston and College of Charleston, when the Tigers still had Craig Victor on their roster).

3: Of the 12 Division I teams in Louisiana, the number of teams with an overall winning record: Tech, Louisiana and UNO.

246: The average RPI (out of 351 teams) of Louisiana schools.

But remember, the beauty of March Madness is it just takes one hot week in a school’s conference tournament to land that automatic NCAA berth.

Here’s the full breakdown of how Louisiana’s dozen Division I schools have performed this season.

Rank Team Record vs 1-50 vs 51-100 vs 101-200 vs 201+ vs Non-D1
116 LA Tech 21-9 0-2 0-3 3-3 16-1 2-0
135 UL-Lafayette 17-11 0-2 0-3 4-4 11-2 2-0
168 New Orleans 17-10 0-3 0-0 4-5 10-2 3-0
174 LSU 9-19 0-9 2-9 3-1 3-0 0-0
242 Nicholls 14-15 0-1 0-3 2-6 8-5 4-0
261 Southeastern 15-15 0-0 0-2 1-7 12-6 2-0
286 Tulane 5-23 0-5 0-4 0-9 5-5 0-0
303 ULM 8-20 0-2 0-2 2-9 4-7 2-0
309 McNeese 7-20 0-2 0-0 1-11 4-6 2-1
316 Southern 14-15 0-1 0-2 0-4 12-7 2-1
318 NW Statern 11-16 0-0 0-1 1-7 6-8 4-0
326 Grambling 13-15 0-1 0-1 0-4 10-9 3-0
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Lenny Vangilder

Lenny Vangilder


Lenny has been involved in college athletics since the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane; since then, he has remained involved in college sports. He works in television production of many college sporting events and served briefly as managing editor of New Orleans Metro Sports Magazine. Lenny also served for 11 years on the management…

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