Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cracking the top 25?

First a miniature rant. I'm not really sure what the point of the top 25 is in NCAA D1 basketball. I haven't paid attention to it for years. I mean, what is it, the aggregate opinion of a group of writers ... what's the point? When it comes down to tournament time, you're going to have to go past the top 25 anyway, so it doesn't really serve much of a purpose there. And why stop at 25? What's the difference between #25 and #26. I just don't see the point. I'm sure it's largely made to create excitement, but it just seems pointless to put too much stock into it.

Anyway, I read a post over at Bill Koch's blog on Cincy receiving a couple of votes for the top 25. Now, I don't care about "being ranked," but the natural question does come up: where should UC be ranked out of all 341 division 1 teams? Well, even if we wanted to use the writer's or coach's poll, we can't, as it doesn't cover every team. So, instead, we'll go to Pomeroy's ratings, RPI, and Jeff Sagarin's ratings.

Pomeroy: 105
RPI: 96
Sagarin: 109

Quickly average those and you get 103. So, by the numbers, UC is somewhere around the 100th best team in basketball. Or, at least, that's where they should be ranked based on their performance so far against their schedule. Anybody voting them up near 25 is either overestimating their early performance or great at identifying good basketball teams before they're good. That being said, Cincinnati has played extremely well of late and their recent play should probably be weighted more heavily. With a couple more big wins, they could definitely start to merit some consideration for that prestigious top 25. But I think that Bill (or anyone else) is pretty justified in his belief that they're not a "top 25 team" (not that anyone cares what i think).

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