Commentary: 10 of the top 15 teams in the polls, and 14 of the top 25, were ranked into roughly the same positions by Rewards after the conference tournaments finished. (The 14 is three more than any other season. The averages for the top 20 and 25 listed above are also the lowest tallied so far, and the top 15 average is tied for the best with the results from 2003-04.) Kansas moved up two places from the previous Rewards ranking (#9) with its win over Texas, but its weaker out of conference schedule left it out of the top five, where the voters thought they should be ranked. Davidson at #35, was also somewhat undervalued (#23 in both polls) by Rewards as was #21 Washington State (#27 by Rewards) since neither of them had any wins over extremely strong opponents.
Kansas, by virtue of their quality wins over UNC and Memphis in the Final Four (and their other four opponents in the NCAA tournament), moved up into the #2 position (behind Memphis, who would have won that Championship game if Kansas had not hit a last second three pointer, sending the game into overtime), but the three losses by the Jayhawks, especially the "bad loss" to Oklahoma State (17-16) kept them slightly behind the Tigers, who lost only twice all year: to Tennessee (#5 in the final Rewards ranking and #7 in the final Coaches' poll) and to Kansas. Davidson moved up to #13 (#9 in the Coaches' poll) by virtue of their making the Elite Eight after defeating Gonzaga (#26 in post season Rewards ranking, #31 in the final Coaches' poll), Georgetown (#9 in Rewards, #12 in that final poll) and Wisconsin (#6 in Rewards, #10 in the post tournament poll), and, Western Kentucky's two NCAA tournament wins (one over Drake - #11 in Rewards, #23 in the final Coaches' poll) moved them up from #37 to #29 in the final Rewards standings; they were 22nd in the final Coaches' poll. NIT champion Ohio State moved up from #62 to #50 in Rewards, just ahead of NIT runner-up UMass (#51); Ohio State finished tied for 35th in the final Coaches' poll.
(This page last modified April 21, 2011 .)