Grizzlies needed to win at Michigan
Remember that close game at then-No. 16 Illinois almost two weeks ago, the one where they played with a women's ball for seven minutes? After the U-M debacle for Oakland, the Illini went out and lose Saturday evening. Can a solid Oakland performance hold up already?! Does that mean Purdue, whom Oakland played tight, even leading at the half, is this next big-time opponent to fall?
Oakland needed to win that game at Crisler Arena to validate the win over Tennessee and this definitely was their best chance in recent memory to break a four-game losing streak to Michigan. More so, the lasting effects of becoming statistically the second-best team in the state, having lost by just one to Michigan State and then beating the Wolverines a week later, would help them gain notoriety with recruits. Coach Greg Kampe mentions the recruiting wars constantly and there's no doubt that was running through his mind at some point Saturday.
It appears the talk of the Grizzlies as the state's second-best team was premature. There's not much they can in conference to prove otherwise. They needed to win Saturday's head-to-head meeting and they shot exceptionally poor.
Oakland's RPI went all the way down to 50 from nearly 100 after beating the Vols, who had the nation's best RPI by virtue of a win over then-No. 3 Pittsburgh. With a bad-looking loss to the Wolverines, coupled with losses by Tennessee and Illinois, Oakland's RPI will dive, too.
Well, there's always Thursday's game against No. 2 Ohio State down in Columbus, Ohio. Another shocker in the Buckeye state could help breathe life back into the notion Oakland is this state's second-best team.