Posts Tagged ‘doris burke is the best analyst in the country’

It’s College Basketball Season II!

Sure, right now you’re thinking football season is pretty good. You’re all like, “It’s anybody’s game in the NFL!” and “Man, that Oregon offense is awesome except for last game!” and “There’s like a 2 percent chance the BCS doesn’t screw this up!” But let’s be real here: The NFL has settled into that middle-of-the-season complacency where we make up arguments over who the best team is in the NFC and pretend like the Jaguars still have legitimate playoff hopes. College football’s best story is shrouded in scandal, and there’s a 98 percent chance the BCS does screw this up, so why get your hopes up anyway?

And that’s where college basketball comes in. I’m not going to sit here and pretend college basketball is pure—not one season after John Calipari and Bob Huggins coached with a berth to the Final Four on the line and not when two storied programs have to deal with significant eligibility issues regarding their freshmen.

No, college basketball isn’t perfect. But it’s as close as we’ve got in the modern sports world. It has a regular season that still matters, if only for a few more years until they bump the Tournament to 96. It has games like every night, and good ones at that. And it has the Tournament, which as you should be able to tell by now, I like just a little bit.

So as the 2010-2011 college basketball season gets underway, here are the eight things I’m looking forward to the most:

Continue reading

The Double Bonus: An Eye for an Eye

Tim in black; John in red.

As we approach Selection Sunday, we’re inundated with various criteria to whittle down to the most deserving 65 teams.* There’s the record, RPI, records against the RPI top 50, strength of schedule, and of course, the “Eye Test.”

*It is NOT the best 65; it is the most deserving 65.

I hate the Eye Test.

The Eye Test works neither theoretically nor practically. In what other aspects of life is the Eye Test appropriate?

You may not have made the right diagnosis, but you looked like you  knew what you were doing. Congratulations, Doc, you’ve passed my Eye Test.

The Eye Test is college basketball’s equivalent of Josh’s beloved Handwriting Effect. It’s a way to impose overly subjective measures into a process that should limit subjectivity as much as possible. And while the Selection Committee is subjective, it’s subjective within objective boundaries. By this I mean the Committee applies a subjective weight to objective measures. They may prioritize overall and conference records differently, but those records are set. It’s not like someone’s saying, “Well, Seton Hall looks more like a 22-9 team instead of 19-12 in my book.” Continue reading