Commentary: The top five teams generated by Rewards were very close to the top five, as voted by the coaches (in the UPI poll, where the writers polled by the AP had Bradley, and not Kansas State, as the #5 team). And everyone should have been happy once again as the top two teams (Ohio State and Cincinnati) avoided upsets along the way, and met once more for the NCAA National Championship, with the same final result. By virtue of their win over the Buckeyes, Cincinnati moved to number one in the final Rewards ranking. Dayton, the champion of the NIT which did not appear in either of polls taken at the end of the regular season, also moved up - from #21 to #11 - in the final Rewards ranking.
The other two Final Four teams (UCLA and Wake Forest), weren't ranked so highly by Rewards when the season ended, specially given that the Bruins had nine losses, and the Demon Deacons had eight. But Clemson defeated regular season champ Duke, in the ACC postseason tourney, and then Wake beat them to get the automatic NCAA bid. (Duke finished 10th and tied for 13th in the two polls, with Wake at #13 and #7.) UCLA ended up #19 and #17 in the AP and UPI, but only #38 according the Rewards. Wake moved up to #32 after winning the NCAA consolation game over UCLA, and both teams are indications that the voters knew more about these teams than what their records and strength of schedules told the Rewards system.
(This page last modified April 14, 2010 .)