Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
Blog Entry

The Poll Attacks

Posted on: March 2, 2009 5:05 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2009 6:56 pm
 

Taylor Rochestie's game-winning shot was great this weekend, I admit.

But great enough to put Washington State on somebody's ballot?

Not. Even. Close. Bud.

It's time to Poll Attack !

AP poll: Myron Medcalf of the Minneapolis Star Tribune ranked Pittsburgh eighth, and that's not even the craziest thing about his ballot. No, the craziest thing about his ballot is that he has Washington State ranked 22nd, which would make sense if the season started Feb. 21, because Washington State has been pretty good since Feb. 21, and the Cougars deserve some credit for that.

But a national ranking?

Please.

Washington State is currently sixth in the Pac-10 standings, 8-9 in the league and 16-13 overall. That alone suggests the Cougars shouldn't be anywhere near an AP ballot, and if you look closer it gets worse. They are 0-3 against the top 25 (in the RPI), 4-8 against the top 50, 5-11 against the top 100 and 10-13 against the top 200, meaning Tony Bennett's team actually has a losing record in games where their opponent doesn't have an RPI worse than 200.

Ranking somebody with that body of work is inexplicable. And what makes it worse is the fact that Myron has Xavier ranked a spot below Washington State, which means he thinks a team that is 10-13 against the top 200 is better than a team that is 19-5 against the top 200. Come on, man. Really?

Coaches poll: The main problem with the Coaches poll is that Connecticut isn't the unanimous No. 1. As I pointed out in the Top 25 (and one) , the Huskies have more wins (27) and fewer losses (2) than anybody, and they're doing this in what I believe is the toughest league in the country. The four No. 1 votes that didn't go to UConn went to Memphis, and though I'm not here to bash Memphis because I think the Tigers are absolutely good enough to make another Final Four (remember, Tiger fans, I have you ranked in the top five!), I can't help but wonder how somebody can justify having Memphis No. 1 on a ballot given that the Tigers have losses to two of the best three teams they've played, and that they have as many Big East losses as Connecticut despite not playing in the Big East.

Seriously, Memphis is 2-2 against Big East teams.

Connecticut is 15-2 against Big East teams.

I'm not sure what that means, exactly.

But I'm pretty sure it means UConn should be ahead of Memphis on every ballot.

 

Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: Feb 17, 2007
Posted on: March 7, 2009 5:04 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

I am fan of the game and every team has an achilies heel.  Memphis' achilies heel is that they are not good outside shooters.  If we don't have a 40% + fg average for the game we are in serious trouble.  I have watched Duke and UNC play on several occasions and these teams win by outscoring their opponents not D. Who agrees with me that Duke and UNC do not play agressively on the defensive end?




Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2009 11:12 am
 

The Poll Attacks


I can't believe I'm adding my two cents to this slugfest...but here I go.  First off, I'll will admit that I am a Memphis fan...so I'll address a bit of that crap and give a few general comments.

a) UConn should be #1...period.  Memphis simply shouldn't have any #1 votes, nor should anyone else not named UConn. 

b) If Parrish wants to criticize some voters for putting Memphis #1, I would suggest he take a close look at the ballot of Ron Morris (AP Voter) and question what's going on between those ears.  His ballot is way beyond questionable...and Kansas fans should be the most pissed off as he ranks them 22nd while their next-lowest vote is 12th.

c) If anyone wants to criticize Memphis for losing at Georgetown, I would point out that 16 days later the Hoyas won at UConn.  They later fell apart

d) The conference arguement just gets old...if anyone wonders why Memphis fans get so defensive, it's because we've heard the same crap over and over again.  I would be more than willing to bet my paycheck that Memphis would be top-5 in the Big East and ACC...but we'll never know, will we?

e) This isn't the same Memphis team that lost to Xavier, Georgetown, or Syracuse.  After the Syracuse loss, the team was reshuffled and has been significantly better...the shooting is up, the turnovers are down, and the defense has improved. 

f) There are NO great teams this year...anyone in the top 10-15 has a legitimate shot of taking it all.  I think this is going to be one of the best tournaments in a long time.

g) Here are the RPI's of the teams that each of the top 5 (in no order) have lost to...no comments, just the numbers.

Memphis --> Lost to #11, #13, and #40

UConn --> Lost to #1 and #40

Pitt --> lost to #10, #13, and #68

UNC --> lost to #17, #48,  and #52

Oklahoma --> lost to #7, #36, and #124




Since: Mar 3, 2009
Posted on: March 4, 2009 10:02 am
 

The Poll Attacks

Just thought y'all should check out Ken Pomeroy's rating system (www.kenpom.com). Very scientific and extremely accurate Smile .
Here are the current ratings:


1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

 

 




Since: Mar 3, 2009
Posted on: March 4, 2009 9:27 am
 

The Poll Attacks

TZToronto:

Just according to the way things work, UConn deserves to be #1. Of course, the rankings begin the season with the somewhat informed opinions of coaches or sportswriters. After a few weeks of playing cupcakes, the pretenders to the Top 25 have dropped off the radar, and the teams that have managed to remain uneaten by their dessert work their way up the list--until they meet some other good teams. Then it's a matter of who wins and who loses during a particular week. Some teams, like Memphis, can't be ignored even though their "better" competition still isn't all that good.

Good post.  A few comments though.

First off, I like UConn.  Calhoun is a great coach.  I lived in Danbury CT for 5 years before I moved to Memphis and still have a fond spot for them in my heart.  They have a great team.  BUT, right now I think they are showing some cracks.  With the loss of Dyson and the sketchy wins over ND and South Florida, I got a feeling they are in for a schocker.  It might be a big loss to Pitt Saturday, or it might be a surprise loss to someone in their BEAST tourney, but I smell a proiblem cooking down in Storrs. Still a top 5 team though.

OKlahoma would have lost the Texas game even if Griffin was healthy for the whole thing. If you watched the game, the punishment was already well in progress.  No team can win the big dance with just one top-flight player anymore.  I think they lose in the Elite 8. 

UNC has a deep bench and that's their biggest strength, although they may not know it yet.Definitely top 5

Pitt is impressive, but inconsistent.  They can get out of control and I'm not sure if they can win six in a row. Still, a top 5 team.

Louisville was in the conversation untill they lost by 33 to Notre Dame.  You just can't explain that kind of a mental letdown away.  Again, six in a row is what it takes.  I don't think they make it past the Elite 8.

Memphis is an unknown to the rest of the country, as usual.  Our schedule has been weak over the last two months, but we've still won every game.  If we had been playing REALLY good teams we may have lost one or two of those games, who knows.  What I do know is that Memphis runs and runs and runs.  Every game has the same pattern.  Against good teams they game is close untill the last ten minutes.  At that point the other team is sucking wind and grabbing their shorts.  Memphis takes over and destroys them.  Their bench is extremely deep.  They can, and do, play 9 guys.  They play in your face full court man to man ALL GAME long.  It wears you down.  Best defensive team in the country. 

Now, I am not saying they are the best team in the country.  I do think they are in the top 5.  I just can't wait to see what happens come tourney time.  Its going to be another great dance.  Good luck to all.




Since: Mar 2, 2009
Posted on: March 4, 2009 4:12 am
 

The Poll Attacks


RBurgh Your analysis is right on.....best post out of all ....AT THIS POINT IN TIME I would probably put Duke higher at #5 and Michigan State at #8....but anyway you look at it I think you are spot on correct with who should be a one seed and who should be a 2 seed... Memphis should be a strong 3 or possibly a 2 if MSU or Kansas or Louisville lose this week or in an early round of their Conference championship (for the conferences that have one) Memphis is NOT the team of yesteryears....but still a fun team to watch...Good luck to them.....

 

Duke at 5? You lost all credibility with that statement.  Duke is spastic, first game someone locks down the perimiter, they get beat. UConn should be #1, agreed.  NC #2, and Pitt 3.  4 and 5, Oklahoma, Memphis, flip a coin. I cant swallow a team that gets beat by 33 as a top 5, just doesn't feel right.  Especially by one that had lost 8 in a row. So Louisville, I think your in for a rough time.

 




Since: Feb 23, 2009
Posted on: March 4, 2009 12:42 am
 

The Poll Attacks

RBurgh Your analysis is right on.....best post out of all ....AT THIS POINT IN TIME I would probably put Duke higher at #5 and Michigan State at #8....but anyway you look at it I think you are spot on correct with who should be a one seed and who should be a 2 seed... Memphis should be a strong 3 or possibly a 2 if MSU or Kansas or Louisville lose this week or in an early round of their Conference championship (for the conferences that have one) Memphis is NOT the team of yesteryears....but still a fun team to watch...Good luck to them.....

 




Since: Feb 2, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2009 9:54 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

I don't suppose that anyone's really interested, but here's what I think about #1.

Just according to the way things work, UConn deserves to be #1. Of course, the rankings begin the season with the somewhat informed opinions of coaches or sportswriters. After a few weeks of playing cupcakes, the pretenders to the Top 25 have dropped off the radar, and the teams that have managed to remain uneaten by their dessert work their way up the list--until they meet some other good teams. Then it's a matter of who wins and who loses during a particular week. Some teams, like Memphis, can't be ignored even though their "better" competition still isn't all that good.

So here's UConn, which won two games last week against two good teams and has the best record in the country in the toughest conference in the country, ranked ahead of two other very good teams, UNC and Pitt, with the latter having defeated UConn at home. Of the four teams mentioned, UConn is the one that deserves to be at the top of the list, but the question remains about which is the best team.

And what about Oklahoma? How good is Oklahoma? Well, they're very good. They lost a game they should have won at Arkansas and gave up 96 points in doing so. Their two other losses, one at home and one away, were suffered while Griffin was sitting on the bench with a concussion.

We know how good Pitt is because they beat the Huskies in Hartford. My guess is that Blair won't go wild at Pitt the way he did in the UConn loss. Calhoun will do something to neutralize him. Young will do well, and Fields won't play as poorly as he did in the first meeting. But how good are they? Well, they've lost to teams that UConn has beaten, and I don't think they have the depth of UConn--at least in the sense that UConn has at least five players who can go nuts in any given game. So Pitt is very good, but they're not the best team in the country.

UNC? We know they're really good, but they lost to two teams they should have beaten--BC and Maryland. BC clearly played over their heads at Chapel Hill, but UNC should have beaten Maryland in OT. UNC has a lot of weapons, and I wonder how prone refs in general are to giving Hansbrough the benefit of the doubt if his shot gets blocked by someone like Thabeet. Harangody didn't get any favors from the refs at Gampel, and a neutral-site game between UConn and UNC might go Thabeet's way--in blocked shots, at least.

Of all the teams fighting for #1, UNC, I think, poses the biggest problems for the Huskies. They have several players who are capable of really big games, and UConn's defense would have to be very sharp to beat the Tarheels. Like a lot of other teams, though, if UNC doesn't go inside against Thabeet, they'd probably have to hit the 3s in a big way to win, and that's not something any team really wants to rely on. If you're cold from 3, you lose. (I'd expect UNC to go inside just to see if they can score against Thabeet and perhaps pick up a couple of quick fouls against him.) However, UNC scores 92 ppg, and that's tough for any opponent to match. Of course, no other team has Thabeet down low on defense, and UNC hasn't seen just how big he really is.

My preference would be for UConn, if it goes to the Final Four, not to have to meet UNC at all. UNC has been beaten and could be beaten again before they get to Detroit. But if both teams get to the Final Four, it's going to be a very good game.

 




Since: Feb 2, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2009 9:37 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

Well, 11 points isn't exactly "crushing" an opponent.  This season's UConn team has many of the same players, but the team itself is very diffferent.  At least one good but potentially disruptive player is gone.




Since: Feb 2, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2009 9:32 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

I said it before.  The original posting said that UConn had THREE losses.  This may have simply been a typing error (3 is right next to 2, after all).  I posted a message (the fourth or fifth comment) and said that UConn had only 2 losses, not three.  Gary's original post was edited shortly thereafter to change the 3 losses to 2 losses.  Since it's pretty easy to find UConn's won-loss record, and since Gary was saying that UConn has more wins and fewer losses than any other team, it makes sense that Gary knew what UConn's record is but hit the wrong key.

I should have left well enough alone since a number of people have questioned the 3 losses thing.  "It doesn't say 3 losses.  It says 2 losses."  Enough already.

 

 




Since: Mar 18, 2007
Posted on: March 3, 2009 7:56 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

The Louisville team that lost to Western Kentucky and UNLV (both of which will possible make the tournament, by the way) is a totally different team than the Louisville team that is playing now. Those losses all occurred before January, and since then Louisville has won all of their games but 2 (Notre Dame, and #1 Connecticut). Not to mention that we are currently 2nd in the Big East, and only 2 wins behind UConn. And if Pitt beats UConn again, then Louisville will most likely walk out of the regular season atop the Big East. I think that is a much more impressive resume than Memphis has. And while Memphis may be a Elite-8 caliber team, their current resume is not enough to prove that, while UofL's most definitely is.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ALL THE TIGERS FANS ARE SCREAMING?! The team that lost to Xavier, GTown, and Syracuse(only three loses the Tigers have all season and all happened before Dec 21st) is a completely different team than the one that Memphis suits up now. Ever since the move of Tyreke to the point, Memphis is undefeated. Hell, in the first nine games the Tigers played, they had taken a total of two charges... TWO IN NINE GAMES! Their defense and rebounding was suspect and their offense seemed enemic at times. Now they are playing like the #1 defense in America and actually look fluid on offense. So don't bash the Tigers because of their early season woes and try to use the same argument for Loserville.



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com