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 3, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2009 12:04 pm

The Poll Attacks

Milkman - - nice post.  I don't think the Tigers are BETTER than last year, I just think they are at the same point they were at this time last year.  A long win streak against a lot of CUSA teams and not many wins against quality OOC teams.  Last year everyone was saying they were overrated and didn't deserve a #1.  They promptly went out and shut down Texas, Michigan State, UConn and but for a meltdown, would have been National Champs.

By the way, the Tigers are shooting 10% better form the stripe this year than last, and are at almost 80% (+19%) over the last month.  I like where they are right now.  I watch a lot of basketball and I haven't seen any matchup other than Duke, Pitt and UNC that worry me.  UConn isn't the same team with the injury, and untill OK puts some solid wins on the table here on out, they don't worry me either.

I know that CUSA is weak, but they are blowing those teams out of the water (SMU at SMU by 43, Tulsa at Tulsa by 26, holding them to only 37 points).  Every one of the last three games has come down to both teams standing around and watching the last 25 secs tic off the clock. I just feel sorry for UAB and Tulsa.  They are a lot better than the rest of the country gives them credit for.

Thankfully, it all gets worked out soon!Laughing



Since: Feb 23, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2009 11:47 am

The Poll Attacks

The notorious "one&done" thugs of Memphis of yesturyear were Not that good -- ie-Last year the "real" championship game (due to brackets ) was held a few nights earlier--When UNC beat UL  in last 2 minutes ...After that everything was anti-climatic...
There are so many things wrong with the above.  Memphis had only on "one and done" player last year.  As a fan, I can also say there were no thugs on the team.  I can understand why someone from outside might think so, but I would hope they'd do some investigation before hurling epithets.  It would be easy for me to say Louisville had problems with unsavory characters based on Derrick Caracter and his suspensions, but I'll make a deal.  Explain that situation and I'll explain any situation concerning the Tigers.

I hope you were joking about the Final Four and championship being anti-climatic.  I'll let Kansas fans handle that one. Smile


Since: Feb 24, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2009 11:46 am

The Poll Attacks

He actually ranked Pitt 8th? Must have something againest Pittsburgh. Memphis has crept up to the top 5 , but if anyone should get #1 votes after U Conn it would be UNC. Memphis is where they should be. Should be a good game Sat. Its great to see it come down to the last game, Thats if Pitt can beat Marquette.

Since: Dec 29, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2009 11:45 am

The Poll Attacks

Tiger Jeff-Noted and agree on all of your points. I too am a semi-rational die hard cards fan and here are some of my points:

* Louisville is a good team but by no means should they be considered a 1 seed unless they win the Big East Tournament, which is not likely.

*If Louisville makes the final four I will be very happy because I dont think they are a Final Four team with their guard play.

* I do not know why Louisville will not agree to a home and home against Memphis. I wish they would.

* If you Memphis fans really think your team is better than last year you are crazy. You have an outside chance at making the final four and if you make the Elite 8 you should consider this season a success.

*I hope we play Memphis in the tourney because I think both teams are very evenly matched.

*I cannot wait for the tournament!!!

Since: Feb 23, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2009 11:29 am

The Poll Attacks

Man, there are a lot of comments.  As a semi-rational Memphis fan, I thought I'd address a few of them. 

  • Based on our body of work, I don't think we should be getting any number one votes.  Going into this season, I thought we'd be a sweet 16 team.  Now I think we have an outside shot at the Final Four, depending on match-ups.  Two months ago, I think most Tiger fans would've happily accepted that scenario.
  • We still do not have the tradition of Louisville.  Yes, our history is better than most give us credit for, but as much as it hurts me to say, we still have a ways to go before we catch the Cards.
  • For whatever reason, Louisville has refused to play us.  No, it's not because they wanted to cut their ties from crappy C-USA.  They played UAB this year and Marshall last year.
  • I can't repeat this enough: Conference affiliation is not up to the school.  Memphis has tried and is still trying to get in a better conference.  Believe it or not, Coach Cal would gladly trade 3 or 4 more losses a year for the millions a Big 6 affiliation would bring to the entire athletic department.

Since: Mar 3, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2009 11:29 am

The Poll Attacks

OK Louisville fans.  If we suck so badly, why do you hate us so much?  We get no respect from anyone, so what pisses you off so much?  And if we're so overrated, why don't you play us anymore?  Why did you give up $2MM out of pocket and a guaranteed home and home sellout against a top ten OOC opponent with a ton of history?  I'll tell you.  CHICKEN.

Memphis hasn't lost since December.  Georgetown beat us in overtime at home when they were #10.  They then beat UConn at UConn by 11.  So blow me with all that talk about they wouldn't do well in the BEAST.  Syracuse was also in the top 20 when we lost to them.  All of this was before we got our lineup set.  The Tigers are EXACTLY where we were last year.  Derrick Rose was all over the map untill mid February and didn't really get going untill the CUSA tournament.  It was in March when he took it to another level. Tyreke Evans is in EXACTly the same place, arguably ahead of where Rose was, cause he's playing a position he NEVER played in his life.

That being said, the real reason the Tigers deserve to be in the top 3 is defense.  They are without question the best defensive team in the country.  Antonio Anderson is without question, the best lock-down guard in the country.  NOBODY can score on this guy.  Not last year, not this year.  He held Robert Vaden to 0-for 17.  he's averaging 24ppg and he scored 22 against Louisville.  So don't tell me he cant score against a good team.  In March, defense wins championships.  That's what got the Tigers to the Championship game last year, not its scoring.  This years team is BETTER defensively than last years.

And by the way, a Poll is a snapshot in time of where things are RIGHT now, not based on what they did in November or December. The Tigers deserve to be considered in the top 3 - - I am not saying they should or shouldn't be No.1, just that they deserve to be in the consideration.  Louisville lost by 33 to ND - - TWO WEEKS ago.  They barely beat Marquette at home when Marquette is without one of their stars.  They don't deserve to be in the top 10.  Theyr're quitters.



Since: Mar 3, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2009 11:29 am

The Poll Attacks

It just goes to show the true meaning of the polls. Don't get me wrong, I kind of like them simply for the purpose of seeing more "upsets". However the subjective mindsets of the pollsters who normally know nothing more than the history of the team they are voting for. Even in the situation of Washington St. receiving a vote, I am not sure where his credentials come from, but they should be revoked.

Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2009 11:08 am

The Poll Attacks

I completely agree that he was way off, but the article did say Mr. Bennett's Cougars were 22nd.

Good point on Davidson too.  While they should win their conference tournament, it is debatable if they could even get an at large bid this year.

Since: Feb 23, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2009 10:38 am

The Poll Attacks

You know what really matters? .... How you finish in the NCAA tourney.  Polls are fun to watch and make great fodder for chats like these.  We know they are biased by coaches and press members with their own agendas.  However, unlike college football, it all gets settled in 3 wonderful weekends.  Let the madness begin. 



Since: Nov 29, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2009 10:33 am

The Poll Attacks

I agree that a ranking of 22 might be high, but the Cougs have beaten some pretty quality basketball teams, #20 UCLA at home, U of A &  #14 ASU.  

I think Wazzu still has a shot at the NCAA's by beating the Dawgs this weekend and doing well in the Pac-10 tourney or they will make it, if they win the tourney outright.

They have been to fun to watch lately (with 9 freshmen on the team) and have the best defense in the nation.









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