(Since #15 Arizona wasn't officially classified as Division 1-A (until the 1950-51 season began), only the top 14 were "evaluated" here.)
Commentary: The AP poll began in January of 1949, and so 1949-50 was its second active season. The last poll was taken on March 7th, 1950, but more games were played after that (not including the NIT and NCAA tournaments that followed). However, the 'before' Rewards standing includes all regular season games, and that may have caused the seemingly larger than normal disparity between how those pollsters voted (back then), and the deterministic evaluation by Rewards. Some specific examples include: Washington State, which was 19-11, and voted as #18 in the AP poll, but they then lost twice to UCLA; and Kansas, who was 14-9 then, and had just defeated highly regarded Kansas State, so they were voted #19, but they then lost to Oklahoma. (Rewards had Kansas as #45 and Washington State at #84 at the end of the regular season.) The top three teams so designated by Rewards were also in the top four in that final poll (all with only 2 or 3 losses), but reigning National Champion (Kentucky, and four losses) was #3 in those polls, but only #7 in the Rewards standing. Kentucky had two bad losses to mediocre teams (Georgia and Tennessee, both of which had records around 0.500) and that lowered their Rewards ranking. Likewise for #5 North Carolina State (#16 according to the Rewards algorithm), who had similar losses (to mediocre teams - Michigan and Duke), and five losses. Illinois, with 8 losses, was also ranked quite highly by Rewards, mainly due to their win over Ohio State, which gave them a high average per win value. (The Illini were rated as the #12 team by Rewards, but ended up unranked in the AP poll.)
The team from the City College of New York (CCN) won both the NIT and the NCAA tournament, the only time that has ever happened. They were ranked #7 on January 17th in the AP poll, but fell to #20 by February 20th after suffering a couple of losses, and then another lost dropped them out of the final poll on March 7th. (CCN did receive 15 votes in that final poll, enough for 27th position, where Rewards had them as #14 before the postseason began.) After CCN recorded their unblemished 6-0 record in the postseason (with all six games being played "at their home" in Madison Garden - located in New York City), including two wins against then #1 (in the polls) Bradley, and one over then #2 Ohio State, this moved the team from New York City up to the #2 spot in the post tournament Rewards rankings. Ohio State only lost by 1 point to CCN in the NCAAs, and remained as the #1 team in the final Rewards ranking; their impressive record provides a very strong case for having completed the "best body of work" of all Division 1-A teams for the 1949-50 season. Bradley, which was the runner-up to CCN in both postseason tournaments, ended up ranked as the #3 team according to Rewards.
(This page last modified April 11, 2012 .)