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Making The Case For Michigan As #1

  • For almost every week this season, there has been a major debate surrounding the #1 ranking in the polls. In order to help settle the argument this week, I have went through the "resume" of the two teams arguing for the top spot in the polls: Kansas and Michigan. Most probably have an opinion on who should be atop the polls already, but let's break it down a little. What I have done is take what are typically considered the most important measures for team success: record, traditional rankings, KenPom rankings, RPI, and strength of schedule. Along with this, I have attempted to try to measure wins with each of these measures to show what each team has done against top competition so far this year. These measures change constantly, but using them together helps give at least a somewhat deeper understanding. So let's take a look at where both teams stack up:

    KANSAS JAYHAWKS

    -Record
    -18-1 record
    -6-0 conference record

    -Rankings
    -#3 in the AP & #2 Coaches' Poll
    -2 - wins over current Top 25 teams
    -1 - wins over teams currently receiving votes (not ranked)

    -KenPom
    -#6 on KenPom
    -1 - wins over current Top 25 KenPom teams
    -0 - wins over current teams in Top 40 (not in Top 25)

    -RPI
    -#2 in RPI
    -2 - wins over current Top 25 RPI teams
    -2 - wins over current Top 40 RPI teams (not in Top 25)

    -Strength of Schedule
    -#5 in SOS
    -#2 in KenPom SOS

    ------------------

    -MICHIGAN WOLVERINES

    -Record
    -19-1 record
    -6-1 conference record

    -Rankings
    -#2 in the AP & #3 Coaches' Poll
    -3 - wins over current Top 25 teams
    -2 - wins over teams currently receiving votes (not ranked)

    -KenPom
    -#2 on KenPom
    -2 - wins over current Top 25 KenPom teams
    -2 - wins over current teams in Top 40 (not in Top 25)

    -RPI
    -#7 in RPI
    -2 - wins over current Top 25 RPI teams
    -2 - wins over current Top 40 RPI teams (not in Top 25)

    -Strength of Schedule
    -#25 in SOS
    -#42 in KenPom SOS

    Overall, it's a very tight race. Both teams are essentially tied in records and traditional rankings. This leaves us with about three measures to give us an idea of who should be ranked #1. Michigan is higher in KenPom, but Kansas is higher in RPI and strength of schedule. KenPom is probably a more accurate measure than RPI and strength of schedule is included in both of these measures. Along with these rankings, Michigan has more significant ranked wins, significant KenPom wins, and as many significant RPI wins as Kansas. To me, that makes a pretty strong case for Michigan. Kansas has played the "tougher" schedule so far, but Michigan is higher on what is probably the better "ranking system" and has more significant wins this season. Both teams have a good case for #1, but it largely depends on what is more important to your vote. Personally, I think Michigan deserves it this week largely because of these type of rankings.

    What does everyone else think?

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Thomas Beindit 15 months ago

    Basketball Analyst For BTPowerhouse & Wolverine 247 - Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tbeindit

  • They are pretty equal stats...but based on the above, if Michigan had Kansas' stats, we would all say that Michigan should be #1.

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  • For every post, tweet, thread, or call to a radio show praising our Top ranking in January, you should expect a call, tweet, post, or thread when we lose. And let's be real, this team is going to lose a game before the tourney.

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    HAIL