Not surprisingly, the biggest mover in the upper reaches of ESPN’s Basketball Power Index in the last week was Virginia, which rose from No. 13 last week to No. 7 after posting two emphatic victories and clinching the ACC regular-season championship.
After handling Miami (FL) on Wednesday, the Cavaliers defeated Syracuse 75-56 in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday. Virginia averaged 1.32 points per possession, the greatest offensive efficiency achieved against Syracuse in the last three seasons. By BPI Game Score (a 0-to-100 scale), the Cavaliers earned a 99.7, their best this season and the third-best among all teams.
Best BPI Game Scores, 2013-14
Not all losses are created equal
It wasn’t just that Saint Louis lost, but where the Billikens lost, and to whom.
On Thursday, Saint Louis fell 71-64 at home to Duquesne, the 142nd-ranked team in BPI. That earned Saint Louis a Game Score of 25.7 – the Billikens’ worst of the season by a margin of more than 25 – and cost the team 2.0 in BPI’s 0-to-100 scale.
On Saturday, Saint Louis lost 67-56 at BPI No. 21 Virginia Commonwealth. That resulted in a drop in BPI of 0.9.
Once the week was over, Saint Louis had fallen from No. 19 in the BPI rankings to No. 30, the biggest drop in BPI ranking this week among Top 75 teams.
Falling in place
Best BPI in Losses
The Jayhawks’ BPI dropped 0.7 after they lost to the BPI No. 20 Cowboys. Kansas earned a Game Score of 73.2, its third-worst this season, with the performance in Stillwater, Okla.
Kansas maintained its spot at No. 3 in the rankings, however. The Jayhawks had enough of a cushion over the remainder of the teams that the decrease in BPI didn’t drop them in the rankings. (They did fall from fifth in eight in the AP poll and from No. 1 to No. 2 in RPI.)
Last week, the teams that BPI ranked fourth through eighth were separated by 0.1 in the BPI. There is less congestion this week, although No. 6 Louisville, No. 7 Virginia and No. 8 Villanova are separated by 0.2.