March 08, 2005

Stupid Polls

I expected that North Carolina would get some undeserved votes for 1st in this week's polls after Illinois' loss, but I'll admit being slightly perturbed that they got a few more than I expected. But what really pulls my crank is that the difference (7) between Illinois and North Carolina in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll is less than the difference in their first place votes (11). That means that some voters didn't even think Illinois deserved to be number 2 after their first loss of the year -- a 1 point loss on the road to a middle of the road Big 10 team team that Jeff Sagarin has above Maryland and North Carolina in his rating system.

I'm curious though, how many ACC or Big 12 teams were up by 30 over Wake Forest, Gonzaga, or Cincinnati at any time this year? Sure the Big 10 is down, but the Big East, Big 12 and PAC 10 aren't turning out to be as strong as we all thought they were a month ago. While the ACC may end up deserving as many as three #1 seeds in another week, that doesn't mean the rest of the conference is all that good, even if Maryland did manage to beat Duke twice and NC State managed to beat, well, um, nobody when you get right down to it.

P.S. For you Hoosiers, the possessive of Illinois is the only way in which it is proper and appropriate to end with an enunciated "s".

Posted by Charles Austin at March 8, 2005 09:46 PM

The local paper published the RPI rankings. I'm guessing that you were not pleased to see Wake Forest (the same Wake that the Illini easily handled) ranked ahead of Illinois.

Posted by: Jon at 10:02 AM

I'm not surprised. But this whole "the Big 10 sucks" is a little overblown. Isn't it convenient how Illinois' defeat, nay, blowout, of Wake Forest (not to mention Gonzaga, Cincinnati, Georgetown, Oregon, et al.) seems to have never happened.

I sincerely doubt Illinois would go undefeated in the ACC. Similarly, I doubt UNC, Duke, or Wake Forest would have gone undefeated in the Big 10 either. The bias of ESPN is more transparent than Dan Rather's.

Oh, and I fully expect GT to be in the tournament, as they should be along with Maryland, but not NC State.

Posted by: charles austin at 01:56 PM

I have a hunch that the committee will be looking at the conference tournaments a little closer than usual. There seems to be a magic number for each conference to have "x" teams making it into the dance. With the ACC, after the big 3 you have several other teams bunched together, and I keep hearing a magic number of 6 for the ACC.

If NC State makes it to play Saturday (beating Wake Forest), don't be surprised to see them get a #7 seed in a region. If they lose Friday (or Thursday), then it will be NIT.

Posted by: MarcV at 02:15 PM