by Joe Perry
This week’s tough decision was between Kansas and Purdue. Going into Thursday’s meeting, we had Kansas at the #5 spot, which is the first second seed, and Purdue at #4, the last first seed. As always we looked at their resumes:
NC SOS 9
8-2 tier 1
5-2 tier 2
1 bad loss
best win vs. Kentucky at neutral site
NC SOS 87
5-2 tier 1
6-1 tier 2
0 bad losses
best win vs. Arizona at neutral site
When we rank the teams, we look at many factors. SOS, bad losses, record, etc. However, the single most important factor we look at is wins. Who you beat, where you beat them, and how many good wins you have are all part of our conversation. So, when we looked at Purdue and Kansas, the first thing we saw Kansas’s 8 tier 1 wins. EIGHT! That is second only to Villanova, who is one of our number one seeds. Of those 8 tier 1 wins, three are quality wins, aka top 25 RPI teams. They also have 5 tier 2 wins.
Purdue, on the other hand, has 5 tier 1 wins, with one of those being a quality win. Purdue has 6 tier 2 wins, which is one more than Kansas. So, in terms of wins, Kansas is the better team, especially considering that the SOS of Kansas is far superior to Purdue’s SOS. However, Purdue’s argument comes in when looking at their losses, or lack thereof. As of Thursday, Purdue had 3 total losses, with all but one being in tier 1. Kansas, though, has 5 total losses, including 2 tier 2 losses and a bad loss that came at home against a weak Oklahoma State squad.
Like mentioned before, the wins category is arguably the most important category that we look at. After all, 10 tier 1 wins last year put a 23-8 Butler team, with 3 bad losses, including one in tier 4, into the first fourth seed. So, because of Kansas’s wins, the majority of our group voted to move Kansas to #4 and Purdue down to #5. However, Purdue faces Michigan State on Saturday. A win there could be enough to put them back into the first seed line.