There will be no computer controversy this season; Kentucky is your MRI Tournament champion.
Prior to the tip of the NCAA Tournament, North Carolina had snuck into the lead of a race between the Tar Heels, Kentucky and Ohio State.
But an injury to Kendall Marshall derailed the boys is Carolina blue, leaving Ohio State and Kentucky to battle it out.
Ohio State faltered down...
If the MRI were the sole arbiter of the NCAA Tournament, there would be six teams with wholly different reactions to their status today.
But the MRI is not, and I would think probably shouldn't be. You can't just use one formula to rule them all.. although the committee does seem to do that with the RPI.
There is a ting of bitterness this morning, but not much. Drexel...
Over at Hustle Belt, I published some data on player valuation.
It is an overly complicated formula, designed to try and come up with a measure similar to Wins Above Replacement for baseball.
I promised a breakdown of the formula so here goes.
The basic formula is: (Points Saved + Points Earned) * Average Pace/Team Pace - Replacement level / 30.
We will take each piece...
This week's rankings always look a little strange.
Over the past seven days, many of the mid-major and low-major conferences have stacked the deck with their conference tournaments. Teams have played -- and in some cases won -- several more games than the high-major teams.
The result is a surge by those teams in the rankings.
The side effect is that many of them will...
The MRI has had its ups and downs in terms of predicting which teams will make the NCAA basketball tournament. There is a reason for this: it was never designed to do such a thing.
That said, it was designed to determine what teams are the best at playing basketball. That doesn't always mean they get selected to play in the big dance.
There has been some criticism that...
Rankings through the games of February 19.
MRI Top 25 Rankings
Rankings through Feb. 12.
MRI Top 25 Rankings
Rankings through the games of Feb. 5.
MRI Top 25 Rankings
No rants on Murray State this week, although it is likely the streak will end when the Racers meet St. Mary's in Bracket Busters.
One quick note on the made-for-television event. If ESPN could pressure one of the big leagues into participating (and this is not the Mountain West, or Atlantic 10, this is one of the big boys), it would fulfill a much greater purpose.
This is a great year for the smaller conferences, the ones that don't get all the facetime on ESPN.
Only the media and the coaches have it wrong all because of a zero in the loss column.
You see, Murray State isn't the best non-major team in the country. They aren't even in the top five as far as the MRI is concerned. They may have a great record (20-0 is nothing...
It is late, so no soapbox standing today.
But let's just say this:
Big Ten (Yes!)
Pac-12 (Do they actually still play basketball?)
Cue the rankings
MRI Top 25 Rankings
With its win Monday night, Alabama moved back into the top spot in the MRI to be this season's champion.
It is a far cry from last season when the Auburn Tigers couldn't even crack the top five despite being undefeated and the poll champions.
The win also made Alabama one of the top 10 teams of the last nine years as rated by the MRI. With so much talent returning...
The MRI usually gets a little flack for not dropping teams that lose, especially when they lose to much lower ranked teams.
But context is everything. Unlike some systems which do not care about the margin of victory, the MRI does.
That is why Wisconsin was able to hold in the top 10 despite being edged by Indiana and Michigan State. But this weekend's loss to Michigan...
No blabbering this week. Just the rankings.
All rankings are based on Division I game results through January 1, 2012.
Happy New Year. Happy rankings.
Unless you went to Grambling.
MRI Top 25 Rankings
For some schools, it just takes time.
Everyone knew that North Carolina was good. The Tar Heels showed that in flashes during the early season.
But it took until Christmas before they truly found themselves.
North Carolina destroyed Nicholls State (which is to be expected) and then dismantled Texas to the tune of 20 points.
That is why the Tar Heels have vaulted to No...
It is no secret that the Pac-12 is down this season. Utah certainly isn't fooling anyone, neither are USC, Arizona State or Washington.
That Washington lost to South Dakota State on Sunday probably cemented how poor the conference is this year. After all, the Huskies were some experts' picks to win the league.
More surprising is how quickly the ACC drops off after...
Every few years the world of college sports finds itself here, reeling in the aftermath of a brawl on the field or court.
The biggest one that sticks in memory came between Miami and Florida International on the football field. In that circumstance, the administrators at the school failed to do what would have made history.
They failed to impose proper punishment for denigrating...
More than a decade into the BCS era and I am still amazed at the outrage over who is selected to play in the BCS bowls outside of the Championship Game.
There is a lot of money on the line for sure, but the fact remains that the other bowls are most often a side show to the big one. Unless there is a year without a clear No. 1, the other games don't matter, no matter what...
Ohio State made a few statements this week, dismantling Duke and then releasing any more pent-up scoring on Texas Pan-American.
It was the destruction of a very good Duke team though that catapulted the Buckeyes into the top spot in the rankings this week.
Syracuse and Kentucky are right there with Ohio State at the top of the list.
But it was the movement lower down that...
I understand the money grab that is the conference championship game.
But I often wonder if conferences are better off not having them.
The Big Ten expanded so they could hold one. The first one was fantastic, especially with Gus Johnson on the call. The Big XII is no longer big enough to have one. The conference might be better off for it.
Here is the thing that bothers...
So, where were we?
The last time there were college basketball rankings, North Carolina had just won the NCAA tournament. That was way back in April of 2009.
A lot has happened since then.
Winston Salem, New Orleans and Centenary all stopped playing Division I hoops.
SIU-Edwardsville, Seattle, North Dakota and South Dakota all claim to play.
And Nebraska Omaha wants...
Oh Akron. All season long the folks at Hustle Belt (including me) have been laughing at how bad you are.
The school found a way to make things worse. It fired coach Rob Ianello on the way to his mother's funeral.
Insult to injury.
Well, add another insult to the list. Akron could end as the worst team ever in the MRI. That is the worst team of the last nine years.
All the upsets have people talking.
But all they complain and complain about are the lack of playoffs.
Well, maybe we should look at how this computer sees the world first.
The facts here say that you can lose a game and still be considered the best. Now, you shouldn't go losing to a really bad team, say an FCS team. But you can lose. Heck, you can lose twice and still...
The rankings love teams. The rankings hate teams.
The truth is that the rankings don't actually care.
The rankings care about the results on the field, and by results, we mean everything that goes into the win, or loss, including yardage and turnovers.
You don't get to squeak by in the MRI and think it is OK (unlike in some of the other computer rankings).
Only one note on the rankings this week.
I do all of these rankings by hand, and I have a lot of other things that I contribute to, including the job that pays me all the money that I earn (MRISports is not the money maker you would expect).
One of the aspects of the rankings that used to be a big part of my original newsletter was the "Teams people might care about"...