The new polls are out -- Coaches // Media -- and Massachusetts remains engaged in super happy time. The Minutemen are still tight in both tallies, holding a seven vote lead in the gym teacher run and an eight point lead with the polo-shirt-and-jeans crowd. None of this actually matters as it's NCAA Tournament time and the RPI was, sadly, the ultimate informant on which teams get an extra week of wind sprints.
Here's this week's poll aggregation featuring teams situated in any set of rankings' top ten. Some brief thoughts follow after the jump.
LAXPOWER: These are the LaxPower ratings. These ratings are based on solid math, similar to Jeff Sagarin's rankings. Importantly, they consider margin of victory.
RPI: This is stupid person math. I include these rankings only because the NCAA is full of stupid people and they still use this stupid person math as a major piece of their stupid tournament selection criteria. I've included these rankings this week because I am, apparently, as stupid as everyone and everything else.
EFFICIENCY: This is just a ranking of a team's efficiency margin, as adjusted for strength of schedule. These are similar to Ken Pomeroy's rankings, but slightly different. (Pomeroy uses win expectation as the basis of his ratings. We each, however, use the same foundation (efficiency).)
AVG.: Average of the "math" rankings.
COACHES/MEDIA: These are the human polls, as voted on by humans. These humans have different jobs, though: One set judges humans while clad in university-issued apparel; the other set of humans judges others simply to sell ink and paper. These polls are from May 7, 2012.
AVG.: This is the average the Earth-human polls.
DIFF.: The difference between the "math" polls and the human polls. A negative value means that "math" is rating a team higher than the things that are carbon-based; the inverse means that the things made out of 75% water are rating a team higher than the things not made out of any water.
AVG.: Average of the math and human polls. This is how the table is ordered.
More after the jump.
- Obligatory Princeton Pump-Up: Yale's decimation of Princeton on Sunday probably makes you want to douse me in gasoline and light me aflame for continuing to push the Tigers are one of the country's better teams. If so, I respond as such: You're not accounting for the crazy brain worms that are turning college lacrosse into the greatest free-range asylum this nation has ever seen. Princeton is still very good -- much stronger than their unified 12-spot human poll ranking -- and have produced this season on a level consistent with Virginia. Tigers-Cavaliers this weekend should be a monster, and it's because these two teams are about as even as you can get.
- There Are No Favorites: Check out all the bunching around the seventh position. There are, in the aggregation, six schools -- Notre Dame, Virginia, Johns Hopkins, Colgate, Maryland, and Princeton -- that are all within one poll position. This is exactly why the 2012 NCAA Tournament is going to be such an animal: There are so many teams that are comparably even that each game is a "Pick 'em." If you're looking for upset value in the first round, you may want to think about Denver, Princeton, and Colgate. (Although, the Raiders are the longest shot of the the bunch based on relative poll placement to their opponent.)
- Carolina Watch: Code Pioneer: The efficiency marker hasn't liked the Tar Heels all that much this season, mostly because their defense is a bit dastardly. Carolina's placement in that run, however, has steadily climbed over recent weeks, starting to come into stronger focus with the rest of the math-ish polls. (If you pull out that efficiency ranking, North Carolina actually finishes with an overall poll aggregation value of 7.2; it's math-ish average moves to 12.5.) The Tar Heels, though, are still finding tension in their human poll rankings and their math-ish poll positions, which kind of makes sense for a team that has been equally terrible and terrific at various points in the season. I'm not sure what to think about Carolina for this weekend, but they're drawing a heavily undervalued Denver squad that has all the tools necessary to expel the Heels from the bracket.