Continuing this week's position analysis.. I present to you: the Power Forwards.
Ten-year old girls dream of the bouquet arrangements they will have at their weddings. They fantasize about the place-settings and the way their bridal party will playfully pose for pictures.
But when that wedding day finally arrives, the bride is almost always a wreck. She reeks of whiskey sours and, as the service makes way for the reception, her over-the-top make-up fades into a stream of mascara tears.
The future is never quite as nice as we dream it to be.
And, just like those naïve little girls, college basketball fans can’t wait to meet their true love.
- NIT semifinals last night.. a pair of close 1-point games. Clemson will face West Virginia in the finals and hope to get one back for the ACC after Georgetown upset UNC. KC Rivers had 19 points for the Tigers..coming off a season-best 29 in the quarterfinals win over Syracuse. Rivers should emerge as a national star next season.
Game of the Week: #14 Duke at #8 North Carolina (Sunday, March 4th, CBS, 4:00 PM)
Does parity exist? More so than a couple years back? Is the gap between the best and worst really shrinking? These were the questions I had in the back of mind as I did some RPI research this afternoon.
I took a look at the records of the top teams over the last handful of seasons or so, since 1999. Particularly, I focused on how many Top 50, and Top 100 RPI wins the best teams had each season. For example, going back to 1999, Michigan State had the most Top 50 RPI wins with 12. The most Top 100 wins that season was Duke with a whopping 26!
From 1999 to now, I tried to see if there was a pattern of the top teams having less good wins and the bottom teams having more good wins. This, it seems to me, would be a sign of parity. All the talk about mid-majors and whatnot, I wanted to see if it really made a difference.
I tend to usually think that the media and the public overrate Duke.. but suddenly the Blue Devils are underrated. Perhaps the most underrated team in the country.
First off, they will make the NCAA Tournament. Lets all just calm down. The #10 Pomeroy, #14 Sagarin, #18 RPI, and #26 AP team will make the NCAA Tournament. If the Tournament started today, not only would they make it, but they'd still probably deserve a 5 or 6 seed.
The ACC is solid. Look at Maryland.. just 4-6 (8th) in conference play, but they'd probably be the 3rd best team in the Big Ten. Look how they beat Illinois in Champaign and Michigan State on a neutral court. There's only a few easy games in the league.. and the problem for Duke is that they don't have the lower tier teams left on the schedule. Only BC, GT, Clemson, Maryland, and UNC left.. and only 2 of those 5 are at home. So going 3-2 or better in those games will be very hard, especially since you figure the game at UNC is basically a guaranteed loss. But I think they'll win the road game at BC, then the home games against Maryland and GT which would put them at 8-8 in the league. That should still be good for a very favorable seed.