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chirguy
03-04-2011, 09:30 AM
I don't know if any of you saw this. I have been frustrated by BEAST team being ranked in top 25 while being 500 in league, say UConn.

http://insider.espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/blog?name=ncbexperts&id=6167447


Road illuminates top teams
February, 28, 2011

By Joe Lunardi


Kentucky has looked great at times but has struggled mightily on the road.
Suppose I told you the following teams were all solid bets for the upcoming NCAA tournament:

TEAM A: This team is 6-8 overall, 1-6 in the SEC and a meager 3-7 in true road games. See what happens when you take 14 home games (14-0) out of the equation? (Kentucky Wildcats)

TEAM B: This team is 5-7 overall, 1-6 in the Big 12 and an unhealthy 2-6 in true road games. That'll happen when a staggering 16 home games (16-0) are disregarded. (Missouri Tigers)


TEAM C: This team is 5-9 overall, 2-6 in the Big Ten and an unsurprising 3-6 in true road games. Its home record (13-2) is the only thing keeping it afloat. (Illinois Fighting Illini)

TEAM D: This team is 4-9 overall, 2-6 in the Big Ten and an unsightly 3-7 in true road games. It has even been a bit inconsistent (11-3) in 14 home games. (Michigan State Spartans)

TEAM E: This team is 4-8 overall, 3-5 in the Big East and 4-6 in true road games. It wants to be a record 10th or 11th team selected from its conference, thanks to a whopping 17 (14-3) home games. (Marquette Golden Eagles)

The following teams actually think they should move off the "bubble" and firmly into the projected NCAA field:

TEAM F: This team is 5-9 overall, 0-7 in the Big 12 and a fairly typical 2-8 in true road games. It will play in the NIT thanks to a 12-2 home record and, ironically, play more home games. (Oklahoma State Cowboys)

TEAM G: This 2-8 team continues to think it should be in the NCAAs, despite a 2-6 Big Ten record and invisible 2-8 record in true road games. (Penn State Nittany Lions)

TEAM H: This 3-8 team was a top-5 pick in November but has limped along at 2-5 in the Big 12 (its only true road games). For good measure, it is just 1-3 in neutral-site games. Then again, a 14-2 home record can cure most any ill. (Baylor Bears)

TEAM I: My personal favorite, this team is 4-9 on the year with a 2-5 Big 12 record and 3-8 mark on the road. It hangs its hat on a two-point victory over Texas on its home floor. (Colorado Buffaloes)

TEAM J: This 2-8 team had everything going its way for about 45 minutes, before a 1-6 Big 12 record (its only true road games) became magnified by a loss at the last-place team in the conference. Thankfully, this team really spanked Texas (by three whole points!) at home. (Nebraska Cornhuskers)

Pardon the overkill here, but I think you get the idea. The home/road disparity in college basketball has always been enormous. The economics of the game make it so, especially among power conference members.

The NCAA tried to address this in 2005 by weighting the RPI to reflect the fact that home teams in Division I win more than 70 percent of the time. But no amount of weighting can reflect the staggering impact on the records of teams like those above. So it's incumbent on us to take every factor into consideration when it comes time to select and seed NCAA tournament teams.

In the meantime, don't tell me BYU doesn't belong on the top line of the current bracket. The Cougars have played 17 games (15-2) away from home and against good competition (SOS No. 12). Compare that to the fellow No. 1 seed contenders Duke (10-3 road/neutral, SOS No. 46) and Texas (8-4 road/neutral, SOS No. 23), and it should be clear why BYU moved up and both the Blue Devils and Longhorns dropped.

Someday we'll have enough time to provide similar scrutiny to every line of the projected field. In the meantime, you'll just have to take my word for it. If you're looking for teams to back next month, take the "Road Warriors" and avoid the "Road Dogs."

As C.M. Newton liked to say, "Y'all don't play any home games in the NCAA tournament."

webspinnre
03-04-2011, 10:15 AM
This is another reason something like requiring teams to go at least .500 in conference to make the tourney would make sense. I'm sorry, but if you lose more games in conference than you win, I have zero interest in watching you in the NCAAs.

DixieZag
03-04-2011, 10:52 AM
That rule would make far too much sense for the NCAA. Unfortunately, it would violate the only rule that is set in gold - bow to the gold. Lots of big big schools, with lots of alumni ready to travel and buy tickets and merchandise (see Kentucky, Baylor, Illinois, Virgina Tech), and they are the types that get the nod from the NCAA. Compare the financial impact of letting in a bubble Illinois against a bubble George Mason, its not even close.

I know that I am not being very insightful here, its not like you don't all know this - but, well, anyway.

NotoriousZ
03-04-2011, 12:07 PM
That rule would make far too much sense for the NCAA. Unfortunately, it would violate the only rule that is set in gold - bow to the gold. Lots of big big schools, with lots of alumni ready to travel and buy tickets and merchandise (see Kentucky, Baylor, Illinois, Virgina Tech), and they are the types that get the nod from the NCAA. Compare the financial impact of letting in a bubble Illinois against a bubble George Mason, its not even close.

I know that I am not being very insightful here, its not like you don't all know this - but, well, anyway.

Then it's a good thing we travel well. Maybe not all alumni, but a large fan base none the less.