Commentary: Rewards placed the top five teams from the polls into its own top five, albeit in a slightly different order. It also did a very nice job matching the teams from #16 to #20 in the polls very closely as well - all five teams being only roughly one position away from where the voters ranked them (as indicated by the rightmost column in the table above). However, the teams ranked #6 to #15 in the polls were a little more diverse, with regards to where Rewards ranked them, and two teams stood out in that regard: #9/#7 Indiana, and #12/#13 Louisville. The Hoosiers had nine losses, many of those were to some weaker teams at the beginning of the season, so the Rewards system was forced to place to them as the #21 team before the post season began. Rewards also had Louisville as #28, and slightly below #22 Arkansas, who they played in the NCAA tournament. The Razorbacks were a #5 seed, and Louisville a #4 seed and the Cardinals were ranked above Arkansas in the polls (#20 in the AP only) as well, but Arkansas defeated Louisville (on a last second buzzer beating shot); therefore, perhaps Rewards had a better measure of those two team's relative strengths.
Indiana did go on to win the NCAA tournament, and so Rewards promoted them up to #14 in its final ranking, and Virginia (#5 in the AP, and #3 in the UPI poll at the end of the regular season) was #2 according to Rewards at that time, but the Cavaliers, by earning a trip to the Final Four, were elevated to #1 in the final Rewards rankings, just ahead of Oregon State (Reward's #1 teams before the tournaments began) who lost their opening NCAA game to Kansas State. NIT Champion Tulsa moved up from #27 to #23 after all of their tournament victories. 11th seeded Northeastern (23-5) defeated #6 seeded Fresno (25-3, and #25 according to Rewards pre-tourney ranking), and moved up from #62 to #51 in the final Reward ranking.
(This page last modified April 19, 2011 .)