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CBS Sports Bloggers’ Blogpoll, Week 5

March 9, 2009 Comments off

Does anyone finish well in the Pac 10? Except for Washington and UCLA. There is a lot of mediocrity this year… then again, maybe there’s just a good deal of talent, and less than there was last year. So it goes. This is short this week; I was working on the Big East Bloggers Roundtable, which you should check out…

Rank Team Delta
1 Pittsburgh 3
2 North Carolina 1
3 Connecticut 1
4 Louisville 1
5 Oklahoma 2
6 Michigan St. 2
7 Kansas
8 Duke 2
9 Wake Forest
10 Memphis
11 Villanova
12 Washington 1
13 UCLA 1
14 Missouri 2
15 Clemson
16 Gonzaga 6
17 Illinois 2
18 Xavier
19 Purdue 2
20 Marquette 3
21 Louisiana St. 1
22 Brigham Young 3
23 Syracuse
24 Florida St.
25 New Mexico
Last week’s ballot

Dropped Out: Butler (#12), Arizona St. (#23).

CBS Sports Bloggers’ Blogpoll, Week 3

February 22, 2009 1 comment

Notes:

#1: Pitt.

2-5: The great quandary: Oklahoma. They played decently without Blake Balloon poppedGriffin against Texas, one of the few rivals that Oklahoma has. But I think this Texas team is just not good. Do I drop Oklahoma for losing an away game after an injury to their lynchpin? But I think Texas is better than that inconsistent, Morgan State-losing Maryland Squad. And UNC lost to the Terps. So that closes that case. U Conn’s still a great team, just not as great as the Panthers; is their #1 seed close to popping? I like what Louisville is up to, but I know better than to blow up wins over Providence and Cincy too much.

2-10: I think Duke had an okay week, but I expected them to be much better against St. John’s. I am wildly unconvinced about this team. The win over Wake kept them in this lofty perch.

North Carolina needed to just blow out those Hurricanes and defang NC State. They did not. And then a loss to Maryland? This was supposed to be a “done deal” national championship team? Something smells like cowpies, and that is why we all love this sport. Not the cowpies. The volatility.

Marquette has a serious chance to prove what’s really good about the Eagles – this is the U Conn/ Louisville/ Pitt stretch that could get Marquette a 2-seed if they come out with one loss. I reread that and thought “I drank too much this weekend,” so let me amend that to say that this is the stretch that gives us an answer about how good the Golden Eagles are.

And Nova’s win at Syracuse was a solid road win.


10-20: That Michigan State loss at Purdue was… statistically terrible. I will give them a little benefit of the doubt playing on the road against a team that’s better than it appears in Purdue but… ugh.

Despite the ugliest loss I’ve heard about in a while, Illinois has beaten Purdue twice and has more quality wins, so they get the nod.

I realized I have Arizona State ranked too low. And UCLA too high; but I haven’t seen those games so I can’t say that I would drop them out of my top 20. I do have an “East Coast Boas” after all (and have been traveling to see some fam).

20+: Butler, Cal, Dayton – you all disappoint me. Leave my poll. Do the walk of shame. Butler, especially – losing to Illinois-Chicago? I watched Butler eviscerate that same team at Loyola and I have no idea how they could lose to such an inept squad. Beating Davidson brings some props but it doesn’t counter two very bad losses. I wanted to drop Xavier like a naughty habit, but that would have caught me putting in the likes of Siena or Texas, and I am not convinced.

Welcome to Louisiana State and an Arizona team that is coming on strong. But they started so weak that I feel dirty putting them in a top 25.

Rank Team Delta
1 Pittsburgh 3
2 Oklahoma
3 Connecticut 2
4 North Carolina 1
5 Louisville 2
6 Duke 1
7 Villanova 2
8 Wake Forest 2
9 Marquette 2
10 Clemson 2
11 Michigan St. 1
12 Memphis
13 Missouri 3
14 Washington 1
15 Illinois 2
16 Purdue 5
17 Arizona St. 5
18 Kansas 2
19 UCLA 5
20 Gonzaga 2
21 Louisiana St.
22 Xavier 9
23 West Virginia
24 Utah
25 Arizona
Last week’s ballot

Dropped Out: Butler (#19), California (#23), Dayton (#25).

Comments? Gripes with my top 25? Holler at me below. I’m going to sleep.

CBS Sports Bloggers’ Blogpoll, Week 2

February 16, 2009 Comments off

Notes about this week’s poll:

+ This week featured a number of top ten teams losing… mostly away from home. Duke. Clemson. Wake Forest. And Louisville. Despite the losses, I can’t drop all of those teams and move in some other squad, because who could I say would beat those teams on a neutral site? Michigan State? Or Villanova, who lost to West Virginia? Of those teams, I could drop Wake Forest – losing to North Carolina State and Georgia Tech gives me reason to wonder.

+ I saw Butler smoke Loyola-Illinois in Chicago a month ago… and losing to a terrible squad at home is a big ol’ RED FLAG.

+ The Pac-10 is rounding into (muddy) shape.

+ I wanted to put Dayton in my top 25 last week, and now that they came out with a wire-to-wire win over Xavier, I have a little justification. They could really stand to score more efficiently, but I love their style.

Rank Team Delta
1 Connecticut
2 Oklahoma
3 North Carolina
4 Pittsburgh
5 Duke
6 Wake Forest
7 Louisville
8 Clemson
9 Villanova 2
10 Michigan St. 2
11 Marquette 2
12 Memphis 1
13 Xavier 1
14 UCLA 1
15 Washington 1
16 Missouri 1
17 Illinois 2
18 Gonzaga
19 Butler 9
20 Kansas
21 Purdue
22 Arizona St.
23 California 1
24 Utah 1
25 Dayton
Last week’s ballot

Dropped Out: Ohio St. (#23).

edit: here’s a link to this week’s blogpoll as a whole. I won the “Mr. Stubborn” award for not moving the ACC teams down! Heh. I see the point in moving Wake Forest down a slot or two, but I will be damned if I move a Memphis team up who hasn’t beaten anyone of not on the court (I won’t be rude and say anything about off the court), or Clemson, or Louisville (who I should move down – they are playing very poorly right now). But Wake is flawed, for sure.

CBS Sports Bloggers’ Blogpoll, Week 1

February 9, 2009 2 comments

This week is the inaugural CBSSports College Basketball inaugural blogpoll. And this blog was invited to participate. Each of us (participating blogs listed here) is also asked to talk about our voting philosophies.

Now, I’m big on stats but Pomeroy’s numbers, which I refer to daily, do not properly account for a team that suddenly plays like something that needs to be flushed. In Pomeroy’s ranking, West Virginia is ranked 7th?! I don’t see it from West Virginia, and I love their team – but they couldn’t hang with Syracuse, weren’t all that close to Pitt at home. Their numbers and ranking look strong because they eviscerate opponents below them, but I’d like to see a top ten team beat… another top ten team.

They do not pass the eye test.

But I do take a look at Pomeroy’s stats to get a sense of how a team is winning, who they’ve beaten, and the like. I started this list from last week’s AP poll, actually, to get a sense of conventional wisdom. I compared that to the Coaches’ poll as well; and then started making the “do I really think team x can beat team x-1 (ranked just below them)?” And I made concessions for teams that could get merked by one or two teams below them, but generally would handle most squads they are ranked higher than.

I put more emphasis on home losses than road losses, and for teams like Marquette, sometimes the bad game happens. Their body of work in the Big East has been very good, though I think they’re about to get a correction from Villanova (I think they’re playing fantastic ball), U Conn, Pitt, and Louisville. But I do not at all care that they lost to South Florida – they were on the road against an opponent that has been staying close to some top teams, and the Bulls, for some reason, are Marquette kryptonite.

All of that said, I will think on who I ranked and have no qualms dropping, say, #13 Memphis straight out of the poll.  I don’t think they’re that good, but I haven’t found a rationale for dumping them.  My rankings:

Rank Team
1 Connecticut
2 Oklahoma
3 North Carolina
4 Pittsburgh
5 Duke
6 Wake Forest
7 Louisville
8 Clemson
9 Marquette
10 Butler
11 Villanova
12 Michigan St.
13 Memphis
14 Xavier
15 UCLA
16 Washington
17 Missouri
18 Gonzaga
19 Illinois
20 Kansas
21 Purdue
22 Arizona St.
23 Ohio St.
24 California
25 Utah

The composite rankings and some conversation about different methods (some of which I might borrow for my own use next week):

Rank Team PPB StdDev Delta 1 Connecticut (42) 24.9 0.3 25 2 Oklahoma (3) 23.1 1.4 24 3 North Carolina (1) 22.9 1.0 23 4 Pittsburgh 22.0 1.1 22 5 Duke (1) 20.5 2.5 21 6 Louisville 19.4 2.4 20 7 Wake Forest 17.2 2.8 19 8 Memphis 16.3 2.7 18 9 Clemson 15.8 4.0 17 10 Marquette 15.2 3.9 16 11 Michigan St. 15.0 3.9 15 12 UCLA 14.4 3.6 14 13 Xavier 12.7 3.5 13 14 Villanova 12.7 3.4 12 15 Butler 11.4 4.5 11 16 Kansas 9.3 3.3 10 17 Missouri 6.6 4.8 9 18 Gonzaga 6.1 3.9 8 19 Illinois 5.9 3.6 7 20 Purdue 5.6 4.1 6 21 Arizona St. 5.3 3.1 5 22 Utah St. 3.7 4.4 4 23 Washington 3.2 3.3 3 24 Syracuse 2.5 3.2 2 25 Ohio St. 2.1 3.2 1

Notes:

3 On the Come Up

I really like Utah. I think they are crisp and coming on strong. One home loss to California, who I am also more and more impressed with. The Golden Bears lost both of their games downstate in Los Angeles, but bounced back with a solid win over Washington. That got them in for me. And Missouri, winning at Texas is kinda hot.

3 Getting the Bozack

Texas… losing to K-State at home, then Mizzou at home, then Nebraska? Losing to Nebraska? What top 25 does that?? Ok, Missouri does. Purdue has problems. And Syracuse has lost 5 of 7, including to Providence, who aren’t that bad, but they’re not that good either.

Comments? Leave a note below.

What happened to the blog Cards Hoops?

October 21, 2008 2 comments

(warning – this is not an informative post. It barely has structure. And no numbers. Skip at your pleasure.)

That is my question. It was nice to not have to sift through football posts to get to basketball information from a fan and good writer. On a larger scale, I personally find it difficult to get info on, say, SEC basketball teams (like Georgia) because the fan base, and the 20 bloggers are really into the football season.

No such trouble at St. John’s. There isn’t even a football team.

Categories: Sports, sports blogs

Upgrade!

June 19, 2008 Comments off

For your viewing and information enjoyment, some changes in the blog. You’ll notice on the top navigation and under pages that a few pages have been added:

  • 2007-2008 schedule. Yes, the year is over, but when you want to look back and see how that Red Storm 11-19 record came about, how Lawrence was from game to game, and how Mason and Burrell were against various opponents, here is your resource, with links to boxscores. If you pause your mouse over each result, you’ll see a short comment from me.

2008-2009 Information

  • The main 2008-2009 section includes each anticipated St. John’s player for the coming year, including walk-ons and recruits, with their currently listed heights, weights, and home towns (though Jasiulionis is originally from Lithuania, and Coker is originally from Nigeria). If you want to read the East Coast Bias’ evaluation of each of the 2007-08 players, check each players links on the 07-08 main page.
  • The 2008-2009 St. John’s Red Storm schedule is not officially out, but we know the team has some out-of-conference obligations (Niagara, Miami (FL), Duke) and a slate of 18 conference games, with 6 being home-and-away games, and the other 12 scheduled based on this year’s game location. As we know more about the schedule, the page will be updated.

While you’re at it, check out Johnny Jungle’s updated Big East Links page, with official, unofficial, blog, and message board sites for each of the 16 Big East teams.

FITP Postseason Basketball Roundtable

June 16, 2008 Comments off

Recently, I participated in a basketball roundtable through the Feet in the Paint blog, with some fine bloggers, including Setshot, With Malice…, Hoops State of Mind, Fouled Out!, Khandor’s Sports Blog, and Slam Dunk Central on:

  • the Phoenix Suns’ and the “7 Seconds” concept’s possible demise,
  • Kobe’s MVP,
  • the NBA’s big stars in small markets,
  • Boston + LA’s rise to the Finals,
  • the NBA age limit,
  • Euroleague vs. the Developmental League,
  • collegiate basketball vs the NBA,
  • OJ Mayo,
  • the reluctance of top-flight NBA players to perform on the international circuit,
  • and the importance of a great point guard vs the importance of a great center…

Check it out at Feet in the Paint’s Postseason Roundtable Discussion. Thanks to FITP for including me on this, it was good fun.