Top   5 10 15 20
Avg. 2.4 4.8 5.67 6.75
"=" 1 1 1 1
OBO 1 2 2 2




Table Legend

Rewards standings before the tournament games and after them.

Commentary: UNLV winning the NCAA tournament helped them move up from #5 in the penultimate Rewards ranking to #1 after garnering 6 more wins in the postseason (though the Running Rebels were #2 in both polls before the tournament began). Comparing the rankings against the polls before the NCAA and NIT tournaments began, only one team matched exactly (#1 Oklahoma), and only two teams were "off by one", which led to some relatively larger than typical average differences in the table above. The pollsters thought that Illinois should be #18, and Purdue #10, yet they both lost 7 games, and Rewards had the Illini two spots above Purdue (#10 versus #12), and only about 1.3 rating points higher. Perhaps this is because Purdue beat #13/#15 Michigan near the end of the season, and only lost by two points at #4 MSU. (The voters tend to emphasize end of season performance more than most objective systems.) Duke only moved up from #18 to #15, according to Rewards, even though they won five NCAA tournament games before losing to UNLV in the NCAA Championship game. (The Blue Devils did pcik up nine losses over the entire season.) The eleventh seeded team from Loyola Marymount moved up from #20 to #11 with their three tourney wins, but #10 seed Texas moved up more (from #54 to #27) with the same number of wins; both teams surprised (just about) everyone, by reaching the Elite Eight. Ball State, a #12 seed, won two games, and moved up from #37 to #25, while #14 seed Northern Iowa's upset win over #3 seeded Missouri (#11 in both pre-tourney polls) bumped them up from #48 to #40. (NIT champion Vanderbilt advanced from #92 to #81.)

(This page last modified December 17, 2009 .)