Should the committee look at our play before Jan. 1?

When Jan. 1 happened, we were all bemoaning how the selection committee would forget the beginning of our season and focus on what happened later. However, at this point, I wonder if we might not welcome that. Let's take a look:


Overall resume:

*23-7 (11-5)
*Average opp. RPI: 107
*Record vs. RPI top 50: 3-4
*Record vs. RPI top 100: 12-6
*Road/neutral record: 8-6 (4-6 4-5 vs. top 100)
*Top 25 wins: Kansas (1), Kentucky (3)
*Losses outside the top 100: USC (108)

Resume without Tyler Smith:
*13-5 (11-5)
*Average opp. RPI: 73
*Record vs. RPI top 50: 2-3
*Record vs. RPI top 100: 10-5
*Road/neutral record: 4-4 (3-4 vs. top 100)
*Top 25 wins: Kansas (1), Kentucky (3)
*Losses outside the top 100: none

Resume without Tyler Smith, but with Tatum, Williams*:
*5-1 (5-1)
*Average opp. RPI: 75
*Record vs. RPI top 50: 1-0
*Record vs. RPI top 100: 4-1
*Road/neutral record: 2-1 (2-1 vs. top 100)
*Top 25 wins: Kentucky (3)
*Losses outside the top 100: none

The way I see it, when we take out the Tyler Smith section of the season, our resume gets better. The winning percentage against the top 100 (.667) is identical, with wins over Memphis (46) and CofC (91) taken away along with a loss to Purdue (11). However, we come out way ahead in the top end/bottom end figures. Only one road/neutral top 100 win (Memphis, 46) disappears, our top 100 road/neutral winning percentage increases slightly (from .400 to .428), zero top 25 wins disappear, and our only bad loss (USC, 108) disappears.

When you place special emphasis on the games in which our full team is together, you get even better numbers: 2-1 in road/neutral top 100 games, 1-0 against the top 25, 4-1 against the top 100.

Who knows how this will end up affecting us. What I will say is that I hope the committee ignores what we did with Tyler Smith and focuses on the second half of the season, with special emphasis on recent performance. The way I see it, ruling out a blowout loss outside the top 100 (@USCw) more than makes up for ruling out a single top 100 road win (@Memphis) and a close loss (vs. Purdue). I don't know how much mileage we were expecting to get out of a loss anyways.

The general consensus is that our overall resume is worth the last 4 seed, with some still seeing us as a 5. If we lose to Ole Miss, I would not be surprised to see us drop to a 5, although we may still be the 4 in Kansas' region. The way I see it, our second half resume with special attention given to recent play with the full team should be enough for a high 4 or possibly even low 3. A loss to Ole Miss (who will be a tourney team if they beat us) would keep us at 4. Either way, I think a finals appearance with a win over Kentucky gets us strong consideration for a 3 seed.

Of course, a loss to LSU (RPI 222) would blow this all to hell, so let's not do that. Also, be rooting for Alabama (against USC) and Georgia (against Arkansas) in the SEC Tournament. Right now, they're ranked 98 and 99 in the RPI, account for one of our top 100 road wins, and don't contribute towards any bad losses. If they drop past 100, Georgia is suddenly a bad loss and Alabama is no longer a quality road win.

*Tatum's injury roughly coincided with the time that Williams was still out, so I didn't think it worth it to consider the team with only Goins (who is only a backup anyways) having returned. Tatum and Williams were re-integrated against Georgia, so that's where I started the "current team" resume.

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