Discussion

Ranking nation's top 68 teams

In the season's first edition of The Bilas Index, Jay ranks America's best

Updated: November 28, 2012, 2:22 PM ET
By Jay Bilas | ESPN Insider

Just three weeks ago, the 2013 version of The Bilas Index was introduced to much fanfare and to the great consternation of the NCAA tournament selection committee. You see, the committee is now feeling the same way that candlemakers and gas lamp manufacturers felt when Thomas Edison brought forth the incandescent light bulb. While the committee continues to toil in the dark, The Bilas Index has brought intense light upon that which had previously been unseen, the relative strength and exact order of things in the game.

The Bilas Index measures basketball merit and proficiency, and is calculated constantly and trended over time for accuracy that makes a laser look like a dull machete wielded by a shaky-handed hack. The Bilas Index is a synthesis of the best measures and practices in the game, all brought together by the most powerful force in the game's history: the high-functioning brain, basketball experience and perspective of The Bilastrator. The Bilas Index is dedicated to providing all of the answers in the game, and is not just some after-the-fact measure of changed variables. The Bilas Index is concerned not with "snapshots" that are simply lagging indicators that shuffle things around for the sake of today's discussion, but rather reliable measures that are predictive of future outcomes and, in some ways, help determine future outcomes. The Bilas Index is the ultimate leading indicator.

Polls, pundits and the selection committee need to look backward, retrace their steps and ask themselves where they are and how they got there, with no regard to their ultimate destination. The Bilas Index is already at the ultimate destination, and tells you exactly who will arrive there and in what order. The first edition of The Bilas Index was predictive in nature, as it was not based upon any data gathered from play. This week's version of The Bilas Index includes data from the first four or five games, and allows the massive brain of The Bilastrator to process and interpret that data.

The Bilas Index is such a stunningly accurate metric of college basketball proficiency that there is no metric to accurately measure just how great it is. The Bilas Index makes use of the efficiency ratings of KenPom.com, Basketball Prospectus, Sagarin and BPI, then interprets and analyzes that complex information with the most stunningly powerful mind in the game: the super brain and impeccable basketball judgment of The Bilastrator himself. So, again, you're welcome.

Coming in: Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Oregon State Beavers, Northern Iowa Panthers, Seton Hall Pirates, Akron Zips, Illinois State Redbirds, Belmont Bruins

Moving out: Georgia Bulldogs, Washington Huskies, Drexel Dragons, Long Beach State 49ers, Virginia Cavaliers, South Florida Bulls, Montana Grizzlies

Largest move up: Illinois Fighting Illini (No. 54 to No. 21)

Largest fall down: UCLA Bruins (No. 12 to No. 36); West Virginia Mountaineers (No. 33 to No. 57)


1. Indiana Hoosiers (Previous ranking: No. 2)

As The Bilastrator predicted, Indiana is the best and most efficient offensive team in the country, and is also greatly improved on the defensive end. The Hoosiers are rated No. 1 in offensive efficiency by KenPom and in the top dozen on the defensive end. Best of all, Indiana is getting to the free throw line at a high rate. However, IU has not yet played the meat of its schedule, and has not played the quality of opponents that Louisville has played. Tom Crean has done a remarkable job, and a cupboard that was once bare is now stocked with talent and toughness. The presence of Cody Zeller, the most efficient big man in the nation, guarantees Indiana will score. Last season, Indiana had a top-five offense as rated by KenPom. This season, the question is whether the Hoosiers will be able to guard as well as they can score. Last season, Indiana's defense was rated outside of the top 60 in the KenPom ratings. I think Indiana will be very good on the defensive end, and I like IU to reach the Final Four.

2. Louisville Cardinals (Previous ranking: No. 1)

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