Blog Entry

The Blind Resume

Posted on: February 6, 2011 3:13 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2011 9:19 pm
by Jerry Palm

One of the things we're going to start seeing with increasing frequency on college hoops telecasts is the "Blind Resume."  That's where a graphic appears on the screen with a few, mostly useless and often out-of-context pieces of information for three or four teams, and we're supposed to judge those teams' tournament worthiness without knowing which teams they are. Then, after a bit, they reveal the teams, and we're all supposed to have some sort of reaction. My reaction is always to cringe because the facts we're given are always skewed to support some agenda and are at best woefully incomplete.

So, here's my idea of a blind resume. You'll never see it on a TV screen -- too much data and it's only one team. Also, in this case, I'm projecting, so it's not current data. The question I have for you is this: Is this an at-large quality team?

Record entering the conference tournament: 20-10, 12-4 in conference. Tied for league title.
RPI: 95
Non-conference strength of schedule ranking: 275 out of 345.
Non-conference record: 8-6
Average RPI ranking of conference opponents: 120
Record vs RPI top 50: 3-4 (one win on the road; all 3 wins vs. probable tourney teams)
Record vs. top 100: 4-6
Record vs. top 200: 9-10
Record vs. 201+: 11-0

So, what stands out? To me, the very poor non-conference SOS alone kills this team. The committee hates that. And then to be barely above .500 against those teams? Yikes. Also, it isn't even above .500 against the top 200 teams in the RPI -- which, as I wrote before, is one of the key negative indicator stats. It's obviously in an OK conference, but not a great one (avg. ranking of teams in C-USA right now is 114, for example). This looks like a team that had a few moments of glory in an otherwise mediocre season. This team isn't on the committee's board more than about five minutes, right?

So, when I tell you the team in question is Wright State, you're not even a little surprised.

That's a lie, though. It's not Wright State. It's Alabama.

Alabama fans have been going along feeling certain a 12-4 record in the SEC West is good enough to get them an at-large berth. This is a pretty good idea of what the Tide's profile will look like entering the conference tournament if they finish 12-4. That good feeling should be long gone now.

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Since: Mar 4, 2008
Posted on: February 7, 2011 6:33 pm

The Blind Resume

The NCAA removed the "last 12 games" as a tool to see if a team should get selected or not a few years ago so when someone says they won 10 out of the last 11 that should carry no extra weight (Going strictly by the guidelines set forth to us).

I will agree that you have to take into account any players who missed time early in the season though.

The fact of the matter is if they don't get their RPI into the 70's they have almost no chance of getting in.

A precident has been set you don't get an at large bid with an RPI in the 80's+.

They would be an interesting case study should they somehow end up with an RPI in the 80's and finish 13-3 in the SEC.

Since: Feb 26, 2007
Posted on: February 7, 2011 11:47 am

The Blind Resume

Palm is right.

Why is everybody here talking about Bama's recent run?  It's irrelevant.  The RPI is off the planet. For years the NCAA Selectors have had a firm policy that it's the WHOLE season that counts.  A victory in February is NOT worth more than a victory in November. The only late action that matters is the automatic invitations that go to winners of season-ending tournaments. Period. 

Since: Feb 7, 2011
Posted on: February 7, 2011 11:45 am

The Blind Resume

Jerry, this is the problem when you try and let computer gurus(or geeks) determine who should be in the field. The computer rankings, RPI, and SOS should be a tool, yes, but not the be all end all. Alabama had 1 really bad weekend on an island. It's not like they could get back to the practice floor and get things fixed. They were on an island and played 3 games in 4 days. If they can get to 12-4 would that not show them as an improving team who should be looked at a little differently. Also, as someone mentioned Andrew Steele was hurt and he is a part of the 8 man rotation. Are you not supposed to take some consideration for an injured player. Andrew Steele played his 1st game against Toledo. Bama is 8-1 since he started playing.

I just love how a computer guy can look at a resume(which is on paper) and go against what people who actually analyzes and watch basketball are saying about a team. Your RPI is antiquated and needs to be retired or adjusted. At least start acknowleding that Bama is playing well and are working to get back in the discussion. Don't just dismiss them because they had 1 bad weekend.

Since: Dec 9, 2006
Posted on: February 7, 2011 11:11 am

The Blind Resume

One thing not on your blind resume that should change things is the fact that of Alabama's current 15-7 record, they are winners of 10 out of the last 11, with the only loss coming on the road in a game in which they led all but the final 90 seconds. You can't ignore the dramatic turnaround, which is exactly what you're doing. Florida just got hoisted on the media's shoulders for a home win against Kentucky, when Alabama did the same thing 2 weeks ago and didn't get a peep of press.

Since: Apr 16, 2007
Posted on: February 7, 2011 1:28 am

The Blind Resume

i know it is hard to look at all of the teams and decide which are worthy, its also hard to be unbiased and choose fairly. The field this year is pretty awful, so i don't see any 7-16 seed making a run to the elite 8, or further. 
I would look at that resume, look at when they played the team and how they are doing lately. If a team is improving every week, they deserve to be in. if a team is hot going into the conference tourny, they deserve to be in. Unlike Michigan St, which is the opposite. 

Since: Feb 6, 2011
Posted on: February 6, 2011 11:11 pm

The Blind Resume

So, do we just disregard the fact that most of those early losses came when JaMychal Green was suspended and Andrew Steele was injured?  If this was North Carolina, Kentucky or Duke you would be bringing out all of their good points and trying to find a way for them to be in the tournament.  You have been downing Alabama since they started playing well and I doubt you will stop even if they beat Vandy Thursday.  You clearly have an agenda here.

Since: Mar 4, 2008
Posted on: February 6, 2011 8:33 pm

The Blind Resume

RPI 96 as well right now, the lowest ever to make it as an at large I believe is 74.  They have a chance to put up a great SEC record though because they only play each east team once and they lucked out getting UK at home.

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