Commentary: The top four teams in the pre-tournament polls appear in a slightly different order in the Rewards ranking, but after that, there was much disagreement between the voters and this other objective, evaluative measure of the overall team's performance for this year. Duke, the #1 team in both polls, but the #4 as determined by Rewards, did not make the Elite Eight, whereas the top three teams in the Rewards order all made the Final Four.
In the post-tournament rankings, Indiana, the other Final Four participant, moved up from #42 to #34, as their 12 losses prevented them from moving up much further than that, given how those are used in the Rewards calculation. Elite Eight teams also migrated closer to the top: Kent State went from #27 to #11 in Rewards (and from #29 to #12 in the polls), and Missouri from #44 to #35 (going from being unranked to #15). Southern Illinois moved up from #39 to #30 with its two NCAA wins (tying for the 40th place in the AP poll, and #32 in the Coaches' - moving up to #22 in the final Coaches' poll), and NIT champion Memphis elevated from #48 to #39 according to the Rewards ranking/rating system (and from unranked to #40 in the final poll).
(This page last modified October 22, 2009 .)