I keep hearing and reading about what it’ll take for Michigan State to “knock off” No. 1 Indiana, as if it’d be some sort of upset.
First, you have to be an underdog to pull an upset and the Spartans opened as slight home favorites. So, there’s that.
But secondly, this notion that one of these teams is better than the other because the Associate Press pollsters say so is ridiculous.
This is the group that lacks enough perspective to allow for a top-ranked or highly ranked team to take a road loss and not drop them (same with the coaches).
If Indiana loses a close game to MSU on the road, and if you believed beforehand that the Hoosiers are the top team in the country, that shouldn’t change. But it will. Because rankings are done mostly by people who don’t see the games (no one’s fault; who has time?) and don’t really know the teams, and then vote entirely on the most recent result.
No. 2 Miami is a great example of the flaws in polls. The Hurricanes look like a legit top 5 team. They did in late November when they beat MSU, too. But nobody saw it then. Because most of us who analyze and vote have no clue how to decipher a good team from a good performance.
What makes college basketball great is that, other than publicity, rankings are completely useless — 68 teams make the NCAA tournament field and it’s played out there, so you actually get a champion not influenced by polls.
Most people who voted the Hoosiers No. 1 don’t even know the difference between Yogi Ferrell and Yogi Bear.