by Jerry Palm
One of the things we're going to start seeing with increasing frequency on college hoops telecasts is the "Blind Resume." That's where a graphic appears on the screen with a few, mostly useless and often out-of-context pieces of information for three or four teams, and we're supposed to judge those teams' tournament worthiness without knowing which teams they are. Then, after a bit, they reveal the teams, and we're all supposed to have some sort of reaction. My reaction is always to cringe because the facts we're given are always skewed to support some agenda and are at best woefully incomplete.
So, here's my idea of a blind resume. You'll never see it on a TV screen -- too much data and it's only one team. Also, in this case, I'm projecting, so it's not current data. The question I have for you is this: Is this an at-large quality team?
Record entering the conference tournament: 20-10, 12-4 in conference. Tied for league title.
Non-conference strength of schedule ranking: 275 out of 345.
Non-conference record: 8-6
Average RPI ranking of conference opponents: 120
Record vs RPI top 50: 3-4 (one win on the road; all 3 wins vs. probable tourney teams)
Record vs. top 100: 4-6
Record vs. top 200: 9-10
Record vs. 201+: 11-0
So, what stands out? To me, the very poor non-conference SOS alone kills this team. The committee hates that. And then to be barely above .500 against those teams? Yikes. Also, it isn't even above .500 against the top 200 teams in the RPI -- which, as I wrote before, is one of the key negative indicator stats. It's obviously in an OK conference, but not a great one (avg. ranking of teams in C-USA right now is 114, for example). This looks like a team that had a few moments of glory in an otherwise mediocre season. This team isn't on the committee's board more than about five minutes, right?
So, when I tell you the team in question is Wright State, you're not even a little surprised.
That's a lie, though. It's not Wright State. It's Alabama.
Alabama fans have been going along feeling certain a 12-4 record in the SEC West is good enough to get them an at-large berth. This is a pretty good idea of what the Tide's profile will look like entering the conference tournament if they finish 12-4. That good feeling should be long gone now.
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