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Tuesday, March 4, 2014
BPI Talk: Virginia should be No. 1 seed

By Ryan Feldman

The Virginia Cavaliers are perhaps the hottest team in college basketball right now and are worthy of a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

With their win over Syracuse on Saturday, the Cavaliers entered the top five in the Associated Press poll. They’re No. 8 in BPI, No. 10 in RPI and No. 2 in KenPom.com.

They clinched their first ACC regular-season title in 33 years, winning the league over Syracuse, Duke and North Carolina.

The Cavaliers are allowing the fewest points per game of any team, and according to KenPom.com, they have the third-best adjusted defensive efficiency (points allowed per 100 possessions adjusted for opponent strength).

Virginia has the No. 1 BPI of any team in conference play and the No. 1 BPI since Jan. 1.

The Cavaliers are among eight teams with no losses outside the BPI Top 100 and at least seven wins against the BPI Top 50. The other teams are Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, Florida, Iowa State, Texas and Duke.

What seed should Louisville be?
The Louisville Cardinals are No. 6 in BPI but No. 29 in RPI. That’s the difference between being projected as a No. 2 seed and a No. 8 seed.

The Cardinals have five losses, all against teams ranked in the BPI Top 40 and all by single digits.

Where the difference really comes into play is the scoring margin for Louisville in its victories.

Louisville has 16 wins by at least 20 points, the most of any team in the country. No other team has more than 13 such wins.

That includes a 31-point win over No. 64 Southern Miss, a 39-point win over No. 120 Louisiana-Lafayette, a 30-point win over No. 134 Missouri State, a 39-point win over No. 127 Houston, a 39-point win over No. 178 South Florida, and a 48-point win over No. 175 Rutgers.

Those blowout wins are all against mediocre teams, but the Cardinals earned BPI game scores greater than 95 in each of those victories due to their margin of victory, something RPI doesn’t account for.

Joe Lunardi currently has Louisville as a No. 5 seed in his latest Bracketology.

Oregon deserves more respect
The Oregon Ducks are in Lunardi’s Last Four In, but they’re No. 20 in BPI (No. 33 in RPI).

Oregon has no losses outside the BPI Top 100 (worst loss is to No. 88 Oregon State) and is 9-8 against the Top 100.

The Ducks have won five straight, including their best win of the season in terms of BPI rank at the No. 14 UCLA Bruins (Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams were serving a suspension for UCLA).

Oregon has been in the BPI Top 30 all season, jumping up to as high as No. 2 on Dec. 28 and dropping as low as No. 29 on Jan. 24-25 after its loss at Washington.

Each of Oregon’s last three losses and four of its last six losses have been by two points.

Despite Oregon’s 8-8 conference record, it will be difficult to keep the Ducks out of the NCAA tournament with the No. 20 BPI, no bad losses and wins over UCLA, BYU and Georgetown.