The AP Ballot was as soon as one of the best device we needed to measure one of the best groups. These days are lengthy gone.
With out talking for any sport aside from males’s faculty basketball, I can confidently say I’m in favor of eliminating the AP Ballot and changing it with one thing else.
That first half is vital: I concede the AP Ballot should be crucial for girls’s faculty basketball, the place superior stats are nonetheless lagging (shoutout herhoopstats for making important headway there). Perhaps in different sports activities too, the place I’m much less educated.
However if you wish to know if Group A is healthier than Group B in males’s faculty basketball, the place are you going? KenPom? Torvik? The NET? BPI? Massey? Take your decide — they’re all laptop fashions that do a greater job of representing the game than the AP Ballot.
So do particular person rankings, like Eamonn Brennan’s energy rankings or Gary Parrish’s Prime 25 and 1. Neither Brennan nor Parrish is an AP voter, however each fairly could possibly be — the AP has plenty of nationwide voters, together with Seth Davis, who works with Brennan at The Athletic.
The issue is that the AP Ballot is just too closely reliant on different writers who don’t put within the work to have an affordable concept of the broader basketball panorama and are too married to nonetheless their ballot appeared within the earlier week to have the ability to step again and re-evaluate groups earlier than they vote.
It results in polls like this week’s, which appears to seize the overall hierarchy simply effective however on additional examination, is not sensible in any respect.
Sure, the highest six are powerful to argue, the groups within the teenagers are all high quality, and 20-25 deserve recognition.
However let’s take a more in-depth look.
Charleston, at 21-1, is available in at No. 18, regardless of zero Quadrant 1 wins. The Cougars are 73rd in KenPom and 43rd within the NET.
Now drop down a few spots and have a look at 18-Four Saint Mary’s. The Gaels don’t have as sturdy a win-loss file, however they’ve a win over San Diego State (KenPom No. 27) and are ranked within the high 10 nationally in each KenPom and the NET. Windfall, at 15-5, has two wins over KenPom top-10 groups and three Quadrant 1 wins. The Friars, nonetheless, misplaced one sport every of the final two weeks. By the unwritten, nonsensical guidelines of AP voters, meaning they need to transfer beneath much less deserving groups.
We are able to parse each week’s ballot precisely like this, then have a look at particular person ballots to see who just isn’t paying consideration. Or we may simply discover a higher gold normal to measure faculty basketball groups.
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Why the AP Ballot Issues … For Now
Individuals like to say the AP Ballot doesn’t matter. In some methods, they’re proper. You don’t get any additional benefits by incomes a better rating. The Choice Committee doesn’t use the AP Ballot to place groups within the NCAA Match or to seed them. You don’t get a trophy for being ranked No. 1.
It nonetheless issues.
Go to NCAA.com and have a look at their males’s faculty basketball scoreboard. Which groups populate up high?
Activate ESPN and wait for faculty basketball to come back up on the underside line. Which scores do they offer first?
This may not matter to applications which are all the time within the nationwide highlight — Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, and so forth. — however for Saint Mary’s, who simply entered the Prime 25 final week regardless of being high 25 in KenPom since early December? To have their title up there, displaying they’re proper on par with Gonzaga, that helps. It additionally helps Florida Atlantic from an consciousness (and ultimately fan curiosity, recruiting, and college enrollment) perspective because it seems to be to construct a basketball id.
The factor is, the AP Ballot doesn’t need to be what web sites and networks use to prioritize one of the best groups. It could possibly be the NET, KenPom, or some metric that hasn’t been invented but.
I’ve scoured your complete US Structure and there’s not a single modification declaring the AP Ballot legislation.
One thing to Argue About
The opposite argument for the AP Ballot is that it gives a subject…
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