First off, I'd like to apologize that yesterday's Dribble went in the wrong section of the site. It was linked from the front page, but those who go directly to the Daily Dribble homepage would not have found it.
Anyways, yesterday's schedule was rather thin so I'm not going to recap the action. Basically this is what you need to know about Monday night's results: UCONN showed that they're still mediocre, Vermont and Albany are the class of the America East, Wright State has suddenly won 8 of 9 games, Northern Iowa's odds of making the Tournament are very slim, Texas A&M is real good, Jaycee Carroll lit up NMSU for 44 points, Derek Raivio has reverted to last year's form.
ESPN is promoting this week as Rivalry Week.. though outside of Texas/Texas A&M tonight, and Duke/UNC, there's nothing that really gets me that excited. What I'd like to see is an in-state Rivalry week that included teams for all 50 states (well 50 minus Alaska, but substituting the District of Columbia).
Not every state (like Vermont or Maine) can really accommodate an in-state rivalry.. so in select situations I've resorted to out-of-state rivalries. In these situations, I've always matched up a team in a neighboring state (I counted Hawaii and California as neighboring). Also in states where there are 3 major schools, I've had to resort to out-of-state games, or where there is 1 school in a specific state that is simply out of the others' league.
Wow.. simply wow. College basketball is fun. You can take your Super Bowls and endless weeks of repetitive buildup.. I'll take college basketball any day of the week. Just so happens Saturday is the best day of the week though.. and yesterday was about as wild as it gets. Lets begin our journey..
Florida is crazy good. The Gators have been blowing away the SEC, East or West, home or away, with ease. The Gators are 8-0 in league play, 2 full games ahead of 2nd place Kentucky. These two teams meet next week in Lexington.. but I just don't see the Wildcats winning.
The Gators are one of four teams around the country that are still perfect in conference play. Holy Cross is 9-0 in the Patriot, Winthrop is 9-0 in the Big South, and Memphis is 9-0 in the CUSA.
I've always the Sagarin rating was the most useful of the various computer rankings. The fact that the RPI doesn't account for the venue basically renders it meaningless.
As of now, the Sagarin Top 25 is oddly similar to the human polls.. particularly the coaches poll. 23 of the Sagarin's Top 25 are in the Coaches Top 25. The two exceptions are Georgetown and Missouri State. Georgetown is 21st in the Sagarin, but 29th in the Coaches. A sizable difference, but still in the same conversation. The other team though is Missouri State. Missouri State is 25th in the Sagarin.. but didn't even garner a single vote in the Coaches Poll. Mo State also didn't even get one vote in the AP poll, which includes more team because of the much larger pool of voters.
Thanks to those who emailed comments about Wednesday's historical Conference RPI Daily Dribble. Particularly to a guy by the name of Tom Stephenson, who sent over some expanded stats going back to 1994 that I hope to put in an upcoming Dribble.
But for now, back to the regularly scheduled show.. which apparently is about a) how surprising Washington State is, and b) how the Pac-10's greatness is overrated:
Coming off a surprising loss at Stanford, and having lost to Oregon earlier in the year, you knew UCLA was going to come out and own the Ducks last night. They did, getting up 22 to 9 start and never looking back.
I was definitely surprised at the amount of hits to the site yesterday in regards to the BracketBusters announcement. Sure, some of these are nice games, but I don't necessarily get the hubbub over one game in mid-February as opposed to any other game in February. I guess its the ESPN hype-machine at work?
One of the odd things about this year's event is that almost all the good teams were slated for home games. Assuming home teams have the advantage anyways, this ends up making a lot of these games probable one-sided affairs.
Lets knock off games that mean nothing first: Albany at Boise State, Fullerton at Wright State, ODU at Toledo, Autin Peay at Akron, Kent State at George Mason. I'll also include Ohio at New Mexico State, since the Aggies are about a 100% lock to win so its useless. These 6 games might as well not exist. You'll notice the MAC is involved in 4 of those games. Unfortunately for ESPN's selection process, the MAC is a rather boring 1-bid league this year.
So many thoughts.. such little space to put them all in. Where do I begin?..
UCONN is done. Period. Well.. if they win 5 straight lets talk, until then, they're done. Michigan will be joining them in the NIT.. where a Tommy Amaker team apparently belongs.
Big win for VCU at Drexel.. but the Dragons were without their best player. Frank Elegar was suspended by the CAA for that one game. The Dragons were up at half.. and who knows what would have happened if he played. I'm not sold on VCU yet.. and I wouldn't give up on Drexel either.
Xavier will be a tough out in the NCAA Tournament (and they will make it). Who is Johnny Wolf by the way? I think he's the best 10 mpg on a mid-major player in the country.. He doesnt get much play in crunchtime.. but on the season, Xavier's backup point guard has 48 assists to just 8 turnovers. That's a money 6 to 1 ratio.. he also shoots 50% from the floor and 48% from three.. let the kid play!
In yesterday's Dribble.. I ranked all 73 BCS teams.. from UCLA to Colorado. I got a nice response about that list.. so I decided to do a ranking of the top "mid-major" leagues, ie, the 2nd tier leagues. The 2nd tier compromises the 62 teams of the A10, CAA, CUSA, MVC, MWC, and WAC. This leaves out the Horizon and the WCC which are the next in line. The Horizon actually has a higher overall RPI than the CAA right now, but this is based almost solely on Butler's hot start. No other HL team is in the top 110, but the CAA has 4 teams in the top 90.
1. Air Force 6-1 19-2
2. Memphis 6-0 16-3
I decided to try something new today.. a ranking of all 73 BCS Teams. Putting together this ranking was more time consuming than I expected.. so I won't include commentary. If you disagree or agree with the ranking, there's always the comment section below.
BCS Power Ranking, 1 to 73
1. UCLA 6-1 17-1
2. Florida 5-0 18-2
3. North Carolina 5-1 18-2
4. Wisconsin 6-0 20-1
5. Pittsburgh 6-1 18-3
6. Ohio State 5-1 17-3
7. Texas A&M 4-1 16-3
8. Oregon 6-1 18-1
9. Kansas 4-1 17-3
10. Virginia Tech 5-1 15-5
11. Duke 3-2 16-3
12. Marquette 5-2 18-4