Updated: March 6, 2013, 2:19 pm ET
Comparing two mediocre 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 the résumés of two teams with mediocre credentials. Neither is a guaranteed an at-large berth. And there is a chance both teams may miss the field. But if you had one at-large spot open, which of these teams would you give it to?
Road/Neutral court record: 5-7
Strength of schedule: 59
Vs. top 50 teams: 1-4
Vs. top 100: 6-9
Vs. sub-300: 0-0
Best RPI wins: 33, 56
Worst RPI losses: 80, 84
Breakdown Nothing about this résumé is awful. The best way to describe it is bland. Unlike many teams, this one does not have a loss to a team outside the RPI’s top 100. On the other hand, it has beaten just one top-50 team in five opportunities against that level of competition. The strength of schedule rating is not horrible. The best thing to love about this team is that RPI-wise it has not done anything truly abominable thus far.
Road/Neutral court record: 4-7
Strength of schedule: 113
Vs. top 50 teams: 2-3
Vs. top 100: 3-7
Vs. sub-300: 3-0
Best RPI wins: 1, 24
Worst RPI losses: 131, 138
Breakdown: The best thing this team has done is beat two of the best teams in the nation, albeit at home. But there are several issues with this profile. Two losses to sub-130 RPI teams is a warning sign. But other teams have done worse this season. Winning just three of 10 games against top 100 competition is probably a bigger issue. This team also played three games against sub-300 RPI teams and did not play a top-50 RPI team until Jan. 13.
Which team has a stronger resume? Look, neither résumé is great. But these are two of the teams at least in consideration for the final at-large berths. When you compare these … [For more on The Blind Eye Test: Comparing two mediocre 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.