Blog Entry

Updated Top 25 (and one)

Posted on: January 31, 2010 9:14 pm

The Top 25 (and one) will be updated on the college basketball page shortly.

Here's how it will look ...
  1. Kansas
  2. Villanova
  3. Syracuse
  4. Kentucky
  5. Michigan State
  6. Purdue
  7. West Virginia
  8. Georgetown
  9. Texas
  10. Duke
  11. Kansas State
  12. Ohio State
  13. Baylor
  14. Temple
  15. New Mexico
  16. Vanderbilt
  17. Tennessee
  18. Wisconsin
  19. BYU
  20. Gonzaga
  21. Pittsburgh
  22. Ole Miss
  23. Florida State
  24. Georgia Tech
  25. Butler
  26. Wake Forest
Category: NCAAB

Since: Dec 28, 2009
Posted on: February 2, 2010 6:14 pm

Updated Top 25 (and one)

The RPI tries to account for the difference in schedules. It's better than record alone, but it has some major flaws. One is that the relative strength of the bad teams you play has such a huge impact. If you're a top 25 team, the difference between playing #200 and #300 is the difference between a 98% chance of winning and a 99+% chance of winning, while the difference between playing #50 and #150 is the difference between a 60% chance of winning and a 95% chance. Yet the RPI treats these two differences as more or less equivalent. Thus it tends to overvalue teams who've played a lot of mid-level teams and very few awful ones or good ones. I find the Pomeroy rankings are usually much more sensible (although they do have a tendency to undervalue teams who win a lot of close games or overvalue those who lose a lot of close ones), and he has UNI at #41. That's probably too low, but not by much.

I'm well aware of the difficulty good mids face in scheduling (if you want to play up, your only realistic shot at a home-and-home or even a 2-for-1 is either to hope your coach was a former assistant at a big school, hope you've got an in-state powerhouse who's interested in a regular series, or to find an open date for MSU). Then again, if UNI hadn't choked against an awful DePaul team they'd have had chances in the Paradise Jam.

I don't doubt that UNI's a solid team, and I certainly wouldn't have them far out of the top 25. I don't think anyone's crazy for ranking them. But you give me a choice between a team that has a bunch of good wins and a bunch of reasonable losses and one with hardly any decent wins and one really awful loss, I'm going to trust the one that's been tested.

Since: Jan 5, 2009
Posted on: February 2, 2010 8:13 am

Updated Top 25 (and one)

PiGuy- The RPI accounts for the difference in schedules and competition.

UNI simply didn't have the opportunity to get many quality wins against top 25 competition... This is the case for many of the Mid-Major teams that have exceptional talent. Big 6 conference schools are pretty careful about who they schedule and even if they do give a game to a UNI, Siena, Davidson (in previous years..) it's in a down year for the Mid-Major and its on the Bix 6 teams home court.

I'm not sure what BCS school you are a fan of, but the Coaches poll, AP and numerous writers disagree that UNI doesn't belong in the top 25. I'm sure you're a big basketball fan and have a great deal of knowledge, but the bottom line is that the experts that do this for a living disagree with you!

BTW- UNI pasted my team, Siena, by 17 and we've been pretty successful against Big schools in the tourney..... We returned 4 starters from a team that beat Ohio st. in the 1st round and was leading the overall 1 seed, Louisville with 2 minutes to go in the second round. UNI had a dominant game and was far more impressive than Temple... another ranked team that Siena played w/ several injuries and only lost by 4....

Since: Jan 28, 2010
Posted on: February 2, 2010 12:10 am

Updated Top 25 (and one)

well i guess you dont look at RPI or nothing huh? New Mexico is 4-0 against top 25 teams and byu is 0-1(loss to new mexico) so thats why he has BYU the below UNM. Plus UNM beat BYU on saturday come correct with your postings and by the way UNI resume has nothing compared to New Mexico. Theres the facts...

Since: Dec 28, 2009
Posted on: February 2, 2010 12:00 am

Updated Top 25 (and one)

Balltown, answer this: If you took any of the current top 25 and had them play UNI's schedule to date, how many of them do you think would look at least as impressive as UNI has thus far? I'm convinced the answer is at least 24 of them, and probably at least a couple more that aren't ranked.

As in the NFL, you are what your record says you are and in UNI's case, its 19-2. In the NFL, everyone plays a reasonably representative schedule - not a full round-robin, obviously, but everyone's going to have played between four and six games against division champions (unless they are one) and between four and six against last-place teams (again, unless they are one) and will face almost half of the teams in the league over the course of the season (13 different opponents, three played twice). NCAA basketball schedules are not so representative: an ACC team who plays a good non-conference schedule will probably have over 20 games against top 100 teams and may well have a dozen against top 50 teams, while a Summit League team might not even hit five top-100 games over the course of the season and will probably play at least 15 against teams outside the top 200. An NCAA basketball team won't even play 10% of the rest of D-1 (except maybe for Big East teams who hardly play anyone twice because their conference is so absurdly large), which makes strength of schedule a much bigger influence. The difference between 19-2 against an MVC + mediocre non-conference schedule and 19-2 against an ACC/Big East/Big Ten/Big XII + good non-conference schedule is enormous, far more so than the difference between 13-3 in the toughest NFL division and 13-3 in the weakest one. An NFL schedule with an opponents' winning percentage above .550 or below .450 is quite unusual; .550 this year would barely get you in the top 70 in D-1.

No one is saying that UNI is a bad team. (At least, I'm not, and I don't think anyone else is.) But when teams play such a tiny percentage of the possible opposition, records need context, and the context says that comparing UNI's record directly to those of, say, Butler or BYU (to say nothing of Georgia Tech, Baylor, Vandy, or Wisconsin) is going to be misleading. Consistency against mediocre teams is good, and will be rewarded if it continues, but given the choice between that or a team that's been tested against good or great teams and has passed several of those challenges, I'll take the latter every single time.

Since: Apr 6, 2009
Posted on: February 1, 2010 11:53 pm

College Basketball Rewind: 2-1-10

Here is an updated college basketball rewind, with conference-by-conference projections for the tournament and a very early bubble watch...

Since: Jan 17, 2010
Posted on: February 1, 2010 7:34 pm

Updated Top 25 (and one)

By the way, I will not comment on St Mary's because I have not seen them play, so I don't know their strengths and weaknesses but per your paper evaluation I know the RPI of their opponents, whatever that means.

Since: Jan 17, 2010
Posted on: February 1, 2010 7:31 pm

Updated Top 25 (and one)

martymar, I'm okay with GP not ranking them, I'd rather have the AP rank them 24 and the Coaches Poll rank them 22 and the RPI have them at 16 then have GP rank them.  I do have a problem with people that have never seen them play make comments about them.  Interesting the others have them ranked but GP doesn't.  Also the current Bracketology on ESPN has them a 6 seed, I'll take that as well.  It is just interesting to me how people that haven't even seen them play can be so sure from a piece of paper that they are not worthy of a Top 25 ranking.  By the way, based on your paper evaluation even if UNI wins out they still should not make the Top 25 because the teams they play are not going to change.  Since UNI plays who they do this year they are under more pressure than anyone because according to you they can't even lose 1 game against this schedule and still be ranked.I'll just ask it this way, like I did in the beginning, who are your Top 4 Mid Majors that could make a run at the Sweet 16?

Since: Mar 9, 2008
Posted on: February 1, 2010 6:27 pm

Updated Top 25 (and one)


Your beating a dead horse trying to convince others that UNI is a Top 25 team or should be.  Your points argumentative to the stats at hand.

You truly believe UNI is a Top 25 team on eye-sight alone? Your judgement is possibly flawed based on what you see when UNI plays against those inferior opponents.

Let's compare UNI to St. Mary's. Almost similar records.  Both teams have 6 RPI Top 100 wins, and 1 RPI Top 50 win. Yet St. Mary's doesn't have a loss outside the RPI Top 100, whereas, UNI does, to DePaul, on a neutral court.

After considering those facts, St. Mary's is not a Top 25 team in any poll and UNI shouldn't be in either, yet.

A weak non-conference schedule hasn't helped convince voters yet and the previous points of emphasis are justifiable, whereas your points mrerely argumentative.

If UNI goes without another loss for the rest of the regular season, then UNI definitely deserves a Top 25 ranking.

A Top 25 ranking is forgettable.  A higher tournament seed is more respectable.

Since: Jan 17, 2010
Posted on: February 1, 2010 2:54 pm

Updated Top 25 (and one)

Wow, soonha, you just don't get it do you?  What UNI brings to the floor to an actual game is a 7-footer, Sr leadership, etc, etc, that is real, that's what they can control, that's who they are.  All you keep talking about is what their opponents are not.  This is basically the same team they had last year that made it to the NCAA tournament, they lost only one Sr and that team gave Purdue a great run in the first round.  They are now more experienced and their 7-footer is much improved.  Faulting a team because they haven't beaten anybody would be like saying Larry Bird's Indiana State team in 1979 wasn't any good because they didn't play anybody.Again, talk about the team we are talking about and quit focusing on the teams on their schedule.  And by they way, they are playing very well in conference play and any conference is tough when you are taking the other teams best shot night in and night out.  Just ask Gonzaga about USF, its not easy brother, so stop acting like they are playing high school teams.  As in the NFL, you are what your record says you are and in UNI's case, its 19-2. 

Since: Nov 4, 2008
Posted on: February 1, 2010 1:26 pm

Updated Top 25 (and one)

that is the dumbest thing ive ever heard.  it doesnt matter what a team looks like.  the only thing that matters is the end result on the basketball court.  the fact is that UNI simply hasn't beaten anyone that warrants them being ranked.  you contradict yourself when you talk about "paper" arguments and then talk about having a 7-footer, 3 point shooters, etc.  you are doing the exact same thing.  the only way to truly see who is better is on the court and UNI just hasn't played true competition.  if they keep winning they may a shot in the tourney, but they better win the conference tourney.  it's tough, but it is what it is.

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