Commentary: Rewards agreed with the polls fairly well as far as who the top five teams should be, and almost as well with who the next five teams should be. However, just like the polls, where four teams appeared solely in only one (or the other) of the AP and UPI final regular season ranking, Rewards thought some teams were omitted from recognition, or thought others like Duke, whose ten losses forced Rewards to rank them as the #38 team, shouldn't be there. Even though Duke did finish strong, by winning the ACC conference tournament, which moved them up to #18 in the AP, and #16 in the UPI polls, many other teams had significantly fewer losses, which is an integral component of the Rewards rating system. (The Blue Devils did win two games in the NCAA tournament.) Three of the top four teams played their way into the NCAA Final Four, (and NYU - the other team - was #12 in both polls, and #8 according to Rewards) and the other top four team (Bradley) won the NIT tournament, so it was a year where significant post season upsets were at a minimum. The range between #1 Cincinnati and #4 Ohio State was about 10 points in the Rewards ranking that was calculated prior to the post season tournaments, and the order of the top four teams remained the same after the NIT and NCAA tourneys were finished, but the range shrank down to less than 2. Since Cal beat Cincinnati, most voters would have elevated them above Cincy if a post season poll was in place, but Rewards only narrowed the gap from roughly 4.5 down to less than 1. Ohio State would probably have been voted as #1 as well since they only had one more loss than those two teams, and they did defeat Cal, who beat Cincy...
(This page last modified January 06, 2011 .)