Updated: March 14, 2013, 2:28 pm ET
Comparing two flawed résumés
by Eric Prisbell, USA TODAY Sports
When the NCAA tournament selection committee makes decisions on at-large berths and seeds, it at times covers the names of the schools on team reports to focus solely on the bodies of work.
It helps committee members make decisions based on who teams played, where they played and how they did, and guarantees that no one is influenced by a school’s name.
Let’s compare two teams with flawed résumés. There is one at-large spot remaining in the tournament field. These two schools reside in the same state, but that won’t matter in this comparison. The better tournament résumé gets the final spot and is sent to Dayton for the First Four. Which profile is stronger?
Road/Neutral court record: 13-4
Strength of schedule: 128
Vs. top 50 teams: 0-2
Vs. top 100: 1-3
Vs. sub-300: 3-0
Best RPI wins: 56, 101
Worst RPI losses: 117, 161
Breakdown: The record and RPI are gaudy, but it’s misleading. The strength of schedule speaks for itself, and not in a good way. When this team had opportunities against top-50 competition, it failed to take advantage. In fact, it has just one win and a losing record against top-100 teams. On top of that, two sub-100 RPI losses also suggests that this team is not among the top 37 at-large teams in the nation.
Road/Neutral court record: 6-8
Strength of schedule: 42
Vs. top 50 teams: 4-4
Vs. top 100: 9-9
Vs. sub-300: 2-0
Best RPI wins: 7, 34
Worst RPI losses: 124, 124
Analysis: There is nothing absurdly dreadful about this resume. This team can hang with elite competition. And it holds its own against good competition. Its two worst losses came against the same team. The overall number of losses is a red flag, but one must also consider that this team played 18 games against top-100 competition.
Which team has a stronger resume? Both resumes are flawed, which is why these two teams, in this exercise, are competing for the final at-large berth in the tournament field. If you place a ton of value in overall record and RPI without delving deeper, well, then Team A is your team. But if you look … [For more on The Blind Eye Test: Comparing two flawed résumés, click here.]
Your comments are important to us, so please share your thoughts. We will be rolling out prizes and giveaways for our active Commenters. Please keep the comments above board and respectful to everyone and you could win some great stuff from us at HOOPSWORLD.