Commentary: The Rewards system agreed with who the voters thought were the top three teams, and had UNC #4, like the AP, where the coaches had them as the #5 team at the end of the regular season. With seven losses, Rewards had Michigan State as the #9 team, while the voters had them as #5/#4. Quite a few more highly regarded teams in the polls, all of which incurred seasons with high loss totals, were ranked lower by Rewards, e.g., Florida State by about 10 positions, Indiana, Louisville and Wisconsin all by about 7, and Florida and Vanderbilt were respectively 8 and 5 spots lower than where they appeared in the polls. However, there were also some teams in the mid major conferences who had a smaller number of losses and they all appeared about 5 places higher in the Rewards ranking than in the polls: Murray State, Creighton and Wichita State were in this category.
Kentucky stayed atop the polls - and the Rewards ranking - by earning the title of NCAA champion, while runner-up Kansas moved up from #7 to #5 in the final Rewards ranking. Louisville moved up from #24 to #17 with its Final Four appearance, and NIT Champion Stanford was elevated from #73 to #58. Two #15 seeds defeated #2 seeds in the NCAA tournament this year: Lehigh's win over Duke bumped them up from #64 to #45 while Norfork State's win over Missouri promoted them from #104 to #81 in Rewards' final ranking.
(This page last modified April 11, 2012 .)