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 12, 2007
Posted on: March 3, 2009 1:00 am

The Poll Attacks


Look, Memphis fans.  Beat someone, then come back and talk about how you should be considered an elite team.  You've only played mediocre teams this year, so you have to beat all of the decent ones to have any sort of argument about a #1 seed.  You didn't, so stop whining.  No wins vs. the current Top 25.  Good luck next year for that 1 seed.

If you can get Calipari to stop hiding in Conference USA, I'm sure a major conference would be listening to a Memphis team that was interested in joining.  Otherwise, you'll just have to schedule better and take care of business when you have the opportunities.  You don't get a pass against those teams just because your coach couldn't figure out his best lineup all year.

As for UNC, I'm glad everyone has started to doubt them for two reasons: (1) it's more realistic, because they do have poor games just like any team, and (2) teams may disrespect them or sleep on them a little more in the tourney, which is always good because you're not going to beat them unless you play a full game.

That said, UNC has to be the most scrutinized team on defense of all the teams out there.  I suppose this is because their offense can be unstoppable at times, so people always figure their defense is poor if they're actually capable of losing.  It's true that they play poor defense at times, but this can be said of all teams - especially this year.  And there are a lot of guards in the ACC that can make a lot of teams look really bad when they're hyped up to play them.

UNC isn't the best defensive team, and they certainly miss their best defender in Ginyard, but they don't play terrible defense any more often than most other teams out there.  UConn allows tons of penetration, but they have a backup plan in Thabeet.  Otherwise, their defense is porous.  Pitt plays hardnosed defense most of the time, but even they go to sleep for several possessions at a time.  I honestly haven't had the chance to watch Oklahoma much.  In fact, the best defense I've seen from any team this year was the way Duke was playing early in the season, and Carolina dropped 101 on them for their only home loss this year (granted, Duke seems to be getting tired this late in the season).

With all that said, I still like Carolina's chances of winning it all.  It will take some luck along the way because it's 100% true that defense wins championships and they're bound to have a poor defensive game or two along the way, but one thing they've done all year is get up for big games and totally dismantle the other team.  The only exception was the Wake Forest game when they couldn't get shots to fall (still scored 89 points, though).  Other than that, their best wins are better than any other team's best wins, and they've done it convincingly: Duke by 14 in Cameron, Mich St by 35 in Detroit, and Clemson by 24 in Chapel Hill.

Since: Mar 3, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2009 12:51 am

The Poll Attacks


are you serious memphis tards? in no way shape or form is memphis a better basketball program than louisville. you guys can keep riding your high horse playing all those candy teams. truth be told if memphis was in the big east they wouldnt even be top 5 or 6 in the conference. also louisville owns memphis overall in the series so go ahead and be butthurt that we left you guys for better opposition and a better conference. personally i hope every memphis fan has children born with birth defects.

Since: Jan 11, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2009 12:44 am

The Poll Attacks


I would be the 1st to agree with you that NC isn't overrated.  I'm a Heels fan and it bothered me to hear the preseason talk that they would go undefeated, let alone win it all.  Sure, it's exciting and as a fan of the team, I'd love for it to be true.  But that puts an incredible amount of pressure upon kids, and I'm sure they watch SportsCenter and all the rest of the shows and know that they were/are the favorites.  I never said that they were the "most dominant team in college basketball" but those writers whose opinions apparently are more respected than mine did think so at the beginning of the season.  Any team is able to be defeated on any given day.  Choosing a favorite at the beginning of the season is one thing, but to say that a team that was chosen as an elite team at the beginning and has lost a few games is incapable of winning it all is quite another.  No one should have thought that only one team had a chance this year.  That is never the case.

Since: Jan 11, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2009 12:30 am

The Poll Attacks


The fact is that some coaches did in fact give several votes for Memphis as the #1 team.  Sure, they deserve to be mentioned.  Like I said, winning 56 straight in conference is nothing to take lightly.  I think Memphis is as capable as anyone else in the top 10 to make a run at the Final Four.  I'm just saying that their conference work, although impressive, isn't much to rely on, and the fact that they have lost 3 games this season, 2 of which were to Big East teams, means they shouldn't be the #1 team in the country.  The fact remains that UConn has only lost 2 games.  Therefore they should claim the top spot.

Since: Feb 8, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2009 12:29 am

The Poll Attacks

Lets see how this works.  louis ville paid what?    $2million  to CUSA to avoid playing Memphis.  I'd say that you have less than any team in the country to complain about.  If you had any testacles (such as Cincinnati) you would have continued our series and saved $2million.  I never pass through louis ville without urinating on Freedom GYM.

Since: Feb 8, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2009 12:18 am

The Poll Attacks

I believe the last time UCONN and Memphis faced each other the great BIG EAST team destroyed Memphis........  Wait a minuet,  maybe it was Memphis that totally destroyed UCONN.  Yea,  Memphis totally destroyed UCONN and in the NCAAs we will see how the BIG EAST fares.  I'll take Memphis without the points.

Since: Mar 8, 2008
Posted on: March 2, 2009 11:56 pm

The Poll Attacks

I am actually a Memphis hater from way back - but in a good way. As a Louisville fan I remember the days when our true rival was Memphis State and waht a rivalry it was. I loved to hate Memphis and Dana, and Keith Lee, and Finch, and Elliott Perry and and and... But those were great games nearly every time. I wish we played them now.

But I must argue your point that Memphis is a better program than Louisville. I respect Memphis a great deal - though I hate them :-)  - but if I recall correctly you have been to 3 final fours and have yet to win a championship. Louisville has 8 final fours and two titles. Digging deeper - Memphis has 6 elite 8's, Louisville has 10. Memphis has 10 sweet 16 appearances - Louisville has 22. Memphis has been to the tourney 20 times - Louisville 34.

One thingmemphis does have on Louisville is that they have been ranked number 1 and have achieved a #1 NCAA seed - Louisville has never been ranked #1 in the AP poll (highest is 2) and never had a number one seed (2 is highest).

Since: Mar 2, 2009
Posted on: March 2, 2009 11:25 pm

The Poll Attacks

I'm a huge Louisville fan and I think they are getting respect. With the early losses to the likes of WKU and UNLV along with a 33 point loss to ND I don't see how you could fairly rank them any higher than any of the teams ahead of them except Memphis who plays nobody that's REALLY good.

Since: Jan 28, 2009
Posted on: March 2, 2009 11:23 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Dec 7, 2008
Posted on: March 2, 2009 11:21 pm

The Poll Attacks

What baffles me is the non respect for Louisville.  Are the pundits looking at 33 point loss to ND ?


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