Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Examining 5 teams ranked in AP Top 25 with varied metrics

Not all nationally-ranked teams are liked by the computers, and not all nationally-ranked teams are liked by the polls despite strong metrics.

Hunter Dickinson, Kevin McCullar Jr.
Hunter Dickinson, Kevin McCullar Jr. / Gunnar Word/GettyImages
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The AP Top 25 is always interesting, to say the least. The seemingly never-ending debates on Twitter articulating which team should be ranked higher or lower when in reality, the AP Top 25 holds zero weight on a team’s resume, potential seed in the NCAA Tournament, or anything related to the selection process on if a team is qualified to make the NCAA Tournament or not.

For example, the 2017-2018 Saint Mary’s Gaels were ranked 20th in the country with a 28-4 record heading into the WCC Semifinals, but lost to BYU 85-72 and did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

Another example would be the 2014-2015 Murray State Racers who were ranked 25th in the country riding a 25-game win streak, but would end up losing to Belmont by one point in the Ohio Valley Championship and would end up getting a three seed in the NIT.

Unfair? Unjustifiable? Biased against the mid-major? Maybe so, maybe not. 

In hindsight, it all simmers down to the NCAA Selection Committee.

Because the AP Top 25 does not hold any weight whatsoever, the NCAA Selection Committee evaluates a team’s NCAA Tournament-worthiness based on their metrics, or in other words, their “resume.”

Certain tools used to evaluate a team’s resume include their NET ranking (alongside record versus different quadrants), the strength of record, the strength of schedule, KPI, BPI, Sagarin ranking and KenPom ranking -- all of which are shown on a team’s team sheet which is used to give the committee a comprehensive overview of the team’s “resume.”

Although there is a long, long way to go until Sunday, March 17 rolls around (Selection Sunday, that is), I will discuss five teams who are currently ranked in the AP Top 25 that have a wide discrepancy in their metrics/resume -- specifically their NET ranking and KenPom ranking -- compared to their AP ranking.