Rewards agreed with 'everyone' that undefeated Kentucky was the #1 team in the country (before March Madness began). Rewards thought Duke should be #2, given their wins over Wisconsin and Virginia, but the pollsters placed them as #4/#5, though the Blue Devil's march to the title raised them to #1 status in the final coaches' poll. (Rewards still had them a little behind the one loss Wildcats.) The Final Four had three #1 seeds, and Michigan State was the only one who wasn't. The Spartans, who were 23-11, #23/#22 before the NCAA tourney, garnered a #7 seed, but their performance in their region moved them up to #7 in the final poll. (Rewards promoted them from #37 to #25, which is quite high - given 12 losses!) The Rewards ranking system agreed with the pre-tourney polls quite well on average, with only the Spartans being a large outlier; the next largest difference between the polls and Rewards, for a top 25 team, was Oklahoma - who Rewards had 6 spots lower than the polls did (on average). NIT champ Stanford moved up 13 spots (from #76) in the final Rewards ranking (though they didn't garner any votes in the penultimate - or final - poll), but Murray State did make the final poll, even though they 'only' won 2 NIT games. However, their final record (29-6) was much better, overall, than Stanford's (24-13), and Murray State did receive a few votes in both the penultimate - and final - polls.
(This page last modified April 24, 2015.)