Tuesday, December 24, 2013
BPI Talk: Villanova ranked among elite
By Ryan Feldman
Who had the Villanova Wildcats pegged in the preseason as one of the elite teams in college basketball? The 11-0 Wildcats are ranked No. 2 in BPI.
Villanova and North Carolina are the only teams with two wins against teams ranked in the BPI top 15. Villanova has defeated Kansas (No. 6 BPI) and Iowa (No. 13).
The Wildcats' seven wins against teams ranked outside the BPI top 100 are each by at least 15 points. Their average margin in those games is 23 points.
The Wildcats have been the third-most consistent team in the country, in relation to variance in BPI game score.
Their best BPI game score was a 30-point win against No. 84 Saint Joseph's. Their worst performance of the season was a four-point win against Delaware, a team also ranked in the top 100.
UConn tends to play close games
Connecticut is ranked No. 15 in the AP Poll but No. 38 in BPI.
UConn has faced four top-100 teams and is 3-1 against those teams, including a two-point loss to No. 44 Stanford last week. Each of the Huskies' three wins against top-100 teams have been by one point.
The Huskies have seven wins against teams outside the BPI top 150, and three of those wins are performances that hurt their BPI (their three worst BPI game scores):
-A win by 10 points against No. 294 Loyola (MD)
-A two-point win against No. 190 Boston College
-A 27-point win against No. 348 Maine
There's nothing wrong with beating any team by 27 points, but doing so against the team with the fourth-lowest BPI doesn't help UConn's BPI.
Unlike RPI, BPI takes margin into account, and it recognizes that UConn has not performed its best against its toughest opponents. Sure, the Huskies are 3-1 against the top 100, but with each of those three wins by one point, they're lacking a "convincing" win against a quality opponent.
UMass stays consistent
Massachusetts lost to Florida State on Saturday, but the Minutemen -- ranked No. 2 in BPI entering Saturday's game -- are still No. 5 in BPI.
The Minutemen have played the second-toughest schedule according to BPI, and they've been quite successful against that schedule. They're 7-1 against the BPI top 100, including 4-1 against the top 50. Only Wisconsin has more top-50 wins this season, with five.
UMass has faced three teams outside the BPI top 100, each of which ranks between 150 and 200, and has defeated each of those teams by at least 13 points.
UMass ranks as the fourth-most consistent team in the country in terms of variance, in relation to variance in BPI game score.
Is Baylor overrated?
Baylor is No. 11 in the AP Poll, but the Bears are No. 53 in BPI.
Why so low?
The Bears have two games against non-D-I opponents -- Chaminade and Hardin-Simmons -- that don't help their BPI. Additionally, they have three close wins against lower-ranked opponents -- a two-point win against No. 131 South Carolina, a five-point victory against No. 192 Charleston Southern, and a seven-point overtime win against No. 203 Northwestern State.
Toledo is one of nine remaining unbeaten teams, but the Rockets are the only unbeaten not ranked in the AP Top 25. The Rockets have the fifth-most votes of teams outside the AP Top 25, but do they deserve that much consideration?
Toledo hasn't faced a team in the BPI top 100, and nine of its 11 games have been against teams outside the top 150.
The Rockets have faced seven top-200 teams, and five of those wins have been by four points or fewer. Against their two top-150 opponents -- No. 105 Cleveland State and No. 139 Stony Brook -- they won each game by four points.