With the college basketball season now in the books, let’s take a look at the final ESPN Stats & Information conference power rankings.
One quick note on the final ratings. We are not using the RPI or the Associated Press poll in the final ratings as we did earlier in the season, as neither publishes their results post-tournament. Thus, the human bonus is completely based on the coaches' poll, and the computer ratings (Pomeroy, Sagarin and Massey) are each given one-third weight.
On to the ratings …
After a basketball championship that saw only two of its 11 teams outperform expectations, the Big East falls to No. 2 in the final rankings. Although UConn did win the championship, it defeated only one school that was seeded better (San Diego State). The only other Big East school to reach the Sweet 16 was Marquette; however, it had to knock off one of the Big East favorites in Syracuse to get there.
If we look at how each school from the Big East performed in the tournament relative to what it was expected to do based on seed, we can see that the Big East had a horrendous tournament.
Two schools made it further in the tournament than they were expected to based on seed (UConn, Marquette).
Three schools made it exactly as far as they were expected to based on seed (Villanova, West Virginia, Cincinnati).
Six schools did not make it as far as they were expected to based on seed (Syracuse, St. John's, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Louisville, Georgetown).
Compare this to the new No. 1, the Big Ten, and you can see why the Big East fell. We will throw Northwestern into the mix as well, as it was the only school from either conference that competed in the NIT.
Two schools made it further in the tournament than they were expected to based on seed (Illinois, Northwestern).
Four schools made it exactly as far as they were expected to based on seed (Michigan, Penn State, Michigan State, Wisconsin).
Two schools did not make it as far as they were expected to based on seed (Ohio State, Purdue).
As you can see, the Big East underperformed in the postseason, while the Big Ten just performed. This is the reason for the switch.
The Pac-10 and SEC moved up one spot thanks in large part to Arizona and Kentucky each defeating two schools they were not supposed to. The SEC was also the only conference with two teams in the Elite Eight.