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?


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

Since: Mar 18, 2007
Posted on: March 3, 2009 7:49 pm

The Poll Attacks


OH...sorry subChapter. Memphis actually has THREE Final Four appearances. When they have 5 more and a couple of titles then talk to me about comparing them to The Ville or Cincinnati...or even Marquette.

Would you like to talk about the past 80 years or where the programs are today? IN THE PRESENT, the Tigers have a better program than Loserville, Cincy, Marquette, DePaul, and USF... Plus the Tigers will have their NCAA Championship come 2010, right after John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins join Xavier Henry by signing their LOI.




Since: Feb 2, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2009 5:40 pm

The Poll Attacks

Yes, UConn is not the same team without Dyson.  Fortunately for the Huskies, they have a guy who has played consistently throughout his four-year career at Storrs--Craig Austrie.  Nobody outside of UConn has heard of him, I suppose, but as a freshman he stepped in at point guard when Marcus Williams was suspended for his part in the laptop thing, and UConn won 11 games in a row (granted, against cupcakes, but he learned the position and has played it consistently well since then.  He's a decent defender and hasn't said one negative word about the program since he arrived--and that's saying something for a guy who's spent more time on the bench than in games.

What I'm saying is that UConn is not a team of great players, it's a team.  Period.  The Huskies have loads of experience to go with athleticism, and they don't really care who gets the points as long as they win.  As Calhoun himself has said, the 2005-06 team, loaded with talent, was thinking about the big bucks in the NBA and lost to George Mason.  This team isn't bound for the NBA in droves--probably only Thabeet and Price, maybe Adrien--and they want to win everything that's on the table--the Big East regular season championship, the Big East tournament, and the NCAA championship. 

Filling the hole left by Dyson is a work in progress.  It's just a matter of finding the right combination of good players, and UConn has 'em.




Since: Feb 2, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2009 5:21 pm

The Poll Attacks

Yes, Memphis did beat the Huskies last season.  It was on November 16, and Memphis had two really fine players--neither of whom isno  playing at Memphis now--Rose and Douglas-Roberts.  (Without those two, Memphis would have lost terribly.  Fortunately for the Tigers, Jeff Adrien played a disappearing act in that game).  UConn, a tremendous underdog in that game, won the first half but got buried by the Tigers in the second half.  The entire UConn team is a year older and wiser (the Tigers are somewhat younger), and Thabeet especially is a very different player from the one he was 15 months ago.  Yes, the defense is still there, but the offense is much better. 

With all that said, Memphis is still a very good team and deserves some recognition for its conference streak.  Does that make it a #1 team?  Only if they beat the best.



Since: Dec 30, 2007
Posted on: March 3, 2009 5:19 pm

The Poll Attacks


The Memphis team that lost to GTown, Xavier and Syracuse is a totally different team than the Memphis that is playing right now.(What's good for your defense of Louisville is fair game for the my defense of Memphis) Those losses occured before January also, and since then Memphis has won ALL of their games. They didn't lose by 33 to a team with an RPI of 73, in February no less so there goes your earlier defense on the losses,  they beat every team they played, even those with RPI's much better than 73. Yes, Louisville has some better wins, but they also have some much worse losses than Memphis has.

Since: Mar 18, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2009 4:43 pm

The Poll Attacks

Good reply, Pistonswish!  It does not take a rocket scientist to know the caliber team that Memphis is.  If anyone knows how to analyze a basketball game, they can see the speed, hustle and the defense that the Tigers bring to the court every game.  People can talk all the trash they want about the Tigers schedule, but it wasn't much tougher last year and look how far we went.  The Tigers are peaking at just the right time, and they will make a deep run in the tournament. Oh yeah, for the 4th year in a row.  Go Tiger High!

Since: Feb 8, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2009 4:16 pm
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Since: Jan 24, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2009 4:15 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. 


Since: Jul 24, 2007
Posted on: March 3, 2009 4:09 pm

The Poll Attacks

I agree that Washington State doesn't deserve to be ranked, but they are better than Xavier right now. They are peaking at the right time, it's just too bad they started off so poorly.

Since: Sep 18, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2009 3:59 pm

The Poll Attacks


I am onboard with your take on UNC or Memphis being #1 and the reasons for it, especially since I'm a UNC fan.  I took UCONN over UNC and Memphis mainly because they have a better record and were ranked higher at the time when Pitt lost to Providence.  I don't necessarily put a lot of weight into the shaky wins vs. SFlorida & ND.  Granted, they didn't play their best, but they won those conference games.  UNC looked shaky blowing the lead at MD and have had a few close calls on some wins, but I don't hold that against them.  To me, UNC is not yet playing consistently at the high level they are capable.  Hopefully, they will come tourney time.  I also think it is tough for Memphis to jump Uconn right now even though they are probably the hottest team in the NCAA.  I don't buy into punishing Memphis for playing in CUSA, but I also believe you can't ignore what Uconn has done in the Big East.

Since: Oct 26, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2009 3:41 pm

The Poll Attacks

I've seen alot of hoops this year and i could justify WSU getting some votes.  They're 16-13 overall with 2 wins over ASU(who's ranked), 1 win over UCLA( on the road) 1 win over AZ (who's schizo but legit). They lost 3 games in the Pac 10 by a combined 6 points. UCLA (again) USC, and OSU. Let's say they win one of those games say against OSU(like they should've) and they're 9-8 in the league and 17-12. If they beat UW on the road this sat they deserve a hard look at the tourney. This would give them 3 wins against ranked opponents on the road. Trust me on this, WSU is the hardest team to play against. They have a deliberate style, they play D, and they actual have some NBA talent in Rochestie and Thompson. Even Baynes might merrit some looks with his size (6'11). WSU is no ordinary 6th place team. To me, this proves that once again the Pac 10 is way better than people think. I would stack WSU against any other 6th place team from anyother conference and take my chances. Look at Stanford for example, they are in 9th place and they are pretty darn good. Anyway that's a topic for another day. Im a it kills me to talk about the COUGS in a nice way..however fair is fair and I played college hoops and I know a decent team. WSU is decent and they have been getting better as the year progresses. Tony Bennett has done a marvelous job under the radar with a team that lost WEAVER, LOWE, COWGILL all starters.  SO I know the DAWGS are in for a fight come saturday. Beating the COUGS again will be no easy task.

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