The final media poll of the year is out -- the coaches poll does not release a year-end run -- and Denver, the 2015 national champion, is unsurprisingly at the top of the poll. The Blue Devils earned 500 points and all 25 first-place votes while Notre Dame (467 points), Maryland (447), Syracuse (415), and Johns Hopkins (399) rounded out the top five. No teams entered or exited the poll in the final week.
More interesting than the final rankings is a look at how the preseason media poll compared to the final poll. There are always hits and misses, but just how well did the preseason media poll predict the future?
|TEAM||FINAL MEDIA POLL RANK||PRESEASON MEDIA POLL RANK||+/- MEDIA POLL|
High Point, Marquette, Navy, Bryant, and Richmond -- in that order -- also received votes in the final media poll.
Some brief notes on this:
- There is something important to keep in mind here: The preseason poll is generally comprised of ballots that attempt to rank the relative strength of teams; the postseason poll is more of a reflection of how the tournament played out, somewhat deaf to the pursuit of the preseason poll. Tradition in voting necessarily creates some complications in how a postseason poll plays out.
- Loyola (seventh), Harvard (12th), Pennsylvania (13th), Bryant (14th), Lehigh (16th), Penn State (17th), Drexel (18th), and Hofstra (19th) started in the preseason poll but did not finish in the top 20 positions in the postseason run. That's 40 percent of the preseason poll that was washed away, a high volume of teams that did not align with February projections. It is interesting, though, that four teams that received votes in the preseason poll -- Ohio State, Colgate, Towson, and Princeton -- found their way into the final tally while four other teams -- Brown, Georgetown, Stony Brook, and Marist -- closed their season with a ranking despite hanging off of the radar at the sunrise of the year. The miss rate for this season was in the same neighborhood as last season, but things from 10 to 20 continue to be a sore spot between the initial and final polls.
- The top six -- with the exception of Maryland's ascension -- was basically the top six. This is not surprising.