On Friday night I got into a debate with quite a few people on Twitter about who does and who doesn't deserve an at-large bid in the NCAA tournament. Not surprisingly, Patrick Vint of BHGP is of the opinion that Iowa does, even more so than Illinois. Travis at Hammer And Rails is of the same opinion, even if his reasoning seems ridiculous to me.
Personally I'm of the opinion that Illinois deserves to be in and Minnesota too. Is Iowa playing better than both of those teams right now? Probably. But the season didn't start on January 1, 2013. No, the whole thing should count.
Still, it's possible my bias could be clouding my judgment here, so I figured I'd run a little test here. A blind taste test.
In a chart below I have listed four anonymous teams. Three of the teams are in the Big Ten, and for a sort of "control" I used a fourth team from another conference. I've also listed some data next to them. That data is as follows.
- Versus the top five teams in your conference. This is self-explanatory, but just in case it isn't, in the Big Ten these teams are Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Michigan.
- Record versus Top 25. Now this is record against teams that were ranked at the time the game was played.
- Record versus the current Top 25. They may not have been ranked when you played them, but they're ranked now, damn it.
- Your overall strength of schedule rank.
- The rank of your conference strength of schedule.
Blind taste test results (101 votes): Minnesota 89 votes, Illinois 7 votes, Iowa 5 votes and Maryland 1 vote bit.ly/ZI4mIS— TheChampaignRoom.com (@Champaign_Room) March 16, 2013