College basketball needs to rethink rankings.
If you’ve been following CBS Sports’ now-defunct weekly “Poll Attacks” column by Gary Parrish for years, journalists voting in the top 25 men’s AP polls have come up with some pretty baffling rankings. I know you are making decisions. One such “attack” pointed out voters who moved Michigan State up from the previous week in the polls when the Spartans were on a three-game losing streak. another point Voters placed Texas Tech seven places ahead of the Northwest team, which beat them by 36 points that week. Parrish’s reason for retiring from the column was in his wordshe felt like [he] I was writing about the same careless people/mistakes week after week. “
Clearly, these “careless” votes are not the AP poll’s biggest problem. With too much reliance on last week’s rankings and preseason predictions, the Top 25 feels disconnected from on-court reality every week. It’s just an iconic number next to the names of 25 teams on TV’s score bug, and hardly worth a true assessment of who’s the “best” in college basketball.
The change in rankings every Monday feels formulaic. Every team that loses drops a few spots with little regard to the strength of their opponents or the circumstances surrounding the loss. Teams move up with little regard for how well they did.
for example, Wisconsin Entered the poll for the first time this season on December 12th, placing 22nd. Iowa Start 2–0 in the Big Ten. KenPom-like analytics-based metrics weren’t as high as Badger (Wisconsin ranked him 35th in his KenPom rankings on Dec. 12). Marquette, Maryland And after the Hawkeyes of the last 10 days, few questioned the Badgers’ participation in the vote. I played against a team. The Badgers trailed at halftime against Lehigh, and he led WMU by just two at the break before winning by ten. Meanwhile, his two of Wisconsin’s best wins have gone awry as Maryland and Iowa struggle early in the Big Ten’s play.
However, since that Dec. 12 poll, Badgers has climbed from 22nd to its current 14th AP ranking, while falling from 35th to 42nd on KenPom in that period. auburnKenPom’s 17th place fell from 19th to 22nd in the AP poll since Dec. 12. USCeven if you hit florida When WashingtonWhat did voters see during that stretch to justify the change?
in the meantime, TCU He ranked 21st in the Dec. 12 poll, one place ahead of Badger, and has been undefeated since then in Salt Lake City. Utah and win big texas tech Start playing Big 12. He currently ranks 17th in the AP poll, three places behind him in the Badgers. If these rankings are to be used as a fair measure of who is good and who is not, then in those three weeks he learned about TCU and Wisconsin and decided that Wisconsin was better. now Better than a horned frog if it wasn’t before?
Then there are the top votes.voter ballot north carolina Preseason #1 meant something (I was also #1 at UNC). But his stubborn reluctance to keep UNC out of the top line until he lost the game was another perfect example of the limits of polling. Voters said on Nov. 21 when the Heels received the same number of first-place votes for him as in the preseason polls, Gardner said he had Webb and his UNC team struggling to overtake Wilmington. did they actually believe they were still the best team in the country?
next week, First place After that, it will almost certainly change owners Purdue lost to Rutgers at home on Monday. Win both games this week and you’ll be a double-digit favorite and currently number two. houston It is very likely to replace boiler manufacturers.cougar nods U Conn The No. 4 Huskies’ only loss of the season came recently, despite UConn beating the team that gave Houston its only loss of the season (Alabama) on a neutral court by 15. Houston has his No. 1 case for real, but the difference between Cougar being his No. 1 and why he’s not UConn is that Houston’s loss occurred on his December 10th and UConn’s The loss is that he occurred on December 31st. This is another flaw in polls. As if he has to prove that a team that has played great in 10 games can still be great after losing the 11th game, what has happened lately is inherently more weighted.
KenPom rankings don’t have to rule everything. It’s an incredibly useful tool, and ranking teams purely on quality is better than what a human eye can do, but wins and losses matter. The Wisconsin streak earns a top 25 spot, even if outside of Ken Pom’s top 40 the Badgers way. There is room for rankings created by people who watch a lot of games, look at data and analytics, and create results-based polls that balance resumes and quality. It’s not perfect, but it would be a big improvement over the current system. The current system requires journalists, who often overwork themselves for nights focusing on each beat, to digest the work of 363 college basketball teams and rank the best. As seriously as many writers take their votes, it’s hard to believe most people are booting up his Synergy Sports to rewatch the major games they missed that week. .
Asking people whose full-time job is not to watch college basketball games to produce rankings that drive sports discourse by March is asking for rankings like this. increase. , and Team Y did not. But even if we continue to leave the task of ranking the nation’s top 25 teams to mostly local reporters for now, polls still desperately need a fresh perspective on why programs fluctuate in particular weeks. you have to throw everything away. -Common fixing. Otherwise, you’ll be an ever-unreliable source of information about who’s actually better.
Five more observations from around college basketball:
- If there’s a hole in this UConn team, it’s the lack of a self-created scoring guard in the late game. That void was evident last week when we watched the Huskies take on Villanova in Hartford, and felt heavy when UConn suffered their first loss of the season to Xavier on Saturday. Relying on Andre Jackson Jr. taking and making 3s on key late-game possessions doesn’t seem like the best option offensively.
- i went to OhioWith a commanding win over Northwestern University on Sunday, the Buckeyes are increasingly believed to be the second best team in the Big Ten. The league has had a rough few weeks falling off a cliff with injuries to Xavier Johnson in Indiana and Illinois.The Buckeyes look like an exception. They share the ball well, have great size and physicality across the board, and Bryce is one of Sensabo’s most dynamic freshmen in the sport. Plus, the big man’s Zed Key is nationally underrated.
- MissouriThe country’s top five offense is even more impressive considering the Tigers ranked outside the top 150 in offensive efficiency a season ago, according to KenPom. Dennis Gates’ transfer-adding collection, paired incredibly well with returning star Kobe Brown, was key to Missouri’s recent big win, giving the Tigers a chance to further bolster their resume against Wednesday against Arkansas. Obtained.
- Speaking of excellent first-year head coaches, Jerome Tan Kansas In the early stages. The Wildcats navigated a fairly manageable non-conference slate well, but proved the real deal on Saturday with a win over ranked West Virginia.Markquis Nowell, Keyontae Johnson, Nae’Qwan Tomlin The trio gives K-State a real chance to go dancing.
- Florida Atlantic Coach Dusty Mae joins the conversation for National Coach of the Year. 500 in only five seasons in the program’s history. Recorded and are now arguably the best mid-major team in the country this year. FAU said he was 35th in KenPom, won Florida in November, and longtime C-USA contender North He beat Texas in a weekend trip. Circle this team as a potential Cinderella.