30 second time outs

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The "Transitive Property" in Basketball is NOT in effect

NCAA parity: "
I can't remember a season when the old "on any given night..." cliche was so evident. It is so difficult to truly "rank" teams that it seems fruitless to try. Or at least to put ANY stock in their importance. Here are a few examples

Kansas just lost to Villanova
does that make 'Nova better?
North Carolina lost to SANTA CLARA
should Santa Clara be ranked higher

Georgia Tech lost to Gonzaga and Virginia Tech
well USF and St Mary's beat the 'Zags,
but USF lost to LMU who lost to UCR and they lost to non-scholarship UC-Davis who's in the first year of DI
while Virginia Tech lost to Western Michigan who lost to USC who lost Rick Majerus after 5 days on the job.

Get where I'm going? There are examples of this all around the country across every division of basketball.

There simply is no
'transitive property' (If a > b and b > c, then a > c) in basketball. You just cannot use comparitive schedules and scores.
Just because Team A beat Team B and Team B beat Team C does not mean that Team A will beat Team C.

There was a season, when I coached at Pomona-Pitzer, that we had it figured (tongue in cheek) that we were as good as the #1 team in the nation, North Carolina.
We beat Cocordia(Irvine) and they beat Biola who beat Azusa Pacific who beat Cal Poly(Pomona) who beat UC Riverside who upset Iowa in the Maui Classic. Iowa beat Indiana who beat Michigan who beat North Carolina. Or something like that. Hence - we would beat the Tar Heels.

But this year is absolutely CRAZY.
Follow this one:
Duke narrowly beat Princeton by 8
UTEP beat Princeton and OXY by the same amount
Trinity(Cn) beat Oxy by 14
Pomona-Pitzer beat Trinity(Cn) by 13
La Sierra beat Pomona-Pitzer by 7
Life Pacific beat La Sierra by 15
CAL TECH beat Life Pacific by 2

so CAL-freakin-TECH is SEVENTEEN pts better than Duke! Right?

In the game of basketball today the gap has narrowed so much and it is such a fine line between levels. High DI, Mid-major, Low-DI, DII, NAIA, or even a quality DIII. Shoot, recently Occidental beat an injury riddled Cal State Fullerton squad and the University of Redlands gave suspension depleted Villanova a scare. Yes, the same Villanova that just beat Kansas. Bu the guys that played were STILL DI scholarship players. If a team decides to "phone it in" and not bring their "A game", almost anyone can beat anyone on a given day. But it does not necessarily mean that they should be ranked higher. It just means that they were better on that day.

So, worry less about rankings and standings, and more about getting better every day and every play. The great thing about basketball is that it is all decided during March Madness."

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