Commentary: Rewards and both polls agreed pretty much in the top 10, and even in the top 20, except for #14 Missouri, who Rewards had as #27, primarily because of their high number of losses: 9. Given that the #4 seeded Tigers lost their first round game to Xavier, perhaps Rewards had a better handle on Missouri's team strength. Providence, a #6 seed, and not ranked in the top 20 of either poll, was #19 at the end of the season, according to the Rewards system, and they made the Final Four, which bumped them up to a final ranking of #16. #13 seeded Southwest Missouri State, also unranked in the polls, but #23 in Reward's rankings, knocked off #4 seeded Clemson (#13/#15 in the polls) which promoted them to #20 when all was said and done. #10 seeded LSU moved up from #63 to #47 by playing their way into the Elite Eight and #12 seeded Wyoming was #45 as far as Rewards was concerned, but the coaches in the UPI poll knew better, having them as the #17 team in the country, and they did make the sweet sixteen before losing to then #1 UNLV, finishing as the #40 in the final Rewards ranking. Indiana moved up from #5 to #2 in the final Rewards ranking, after winning the NCAA championship, but their four losses kept them slightly behind UNLV, who they beat in the Final Four; the Running Rebels only had two losses over the entire year. NIT Champion Southern Mississippi State also moved up (from #79 to #63) after picking up its five wins at Madison Square Garden.
(This page last modified September 28, 2011 .)