Friday, March 1, 2013

It isn't parity when other teams are better

It's easy to look at what's going on in college basketball this year -- two more unranked teams upset top-five squads this week -- and attribute it to parity.

But that's not it. It's just that some of the names have changed. Let's look at the numbers.

This season, the combined winning percentage of teams in the top five is 88.2 percent, compared with 90.2 percent last year. That's not much different.

At this point during the 2011-12 season, Kentucky was 28-1 and Syracuse was 29-1. The closest team to that kind of mark this year is Gonzaga, which is 28-2.

But the Bulldogs are a mid-major that plays on the West Coast. Even though Gonzaga is 5-0 against the Big 12 this year, it will never get the same respect a BCS school would with that kind of record. Gonzaga is set to become No. 1 next week, but it took all the other top contenders losing several times each for it to happen.

The top five in the Associated Press poll at this point last season were Kentucky, Syracuse, Kansas, Duke and Michigan State. That's more blue bloods than a tailgate party at Ole Miss.

In this week's poll, middling Kentucky did not receive a vote, while Miami (Fla.) and Gonzaga are in the top five. The Hurricanes hammered Duke, 90-63, on Jan. 23. That result is the opposite of what usually happens when those two meet.

But that doesn't mean it's because of parity. It just means some different teams are better this season.

-- Howard Primer


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home