The idea that a fifth different school will be No. 1 in the AP Top 25 poll on Monday — it should 100% be Ohio State, by the way, provided the Buckeyes win at Minnesota this weekend — suggests that this season’s top teams are more vulnerable than last season’s top teams.
Turns out, there’s data to support the suggestion.
Virginia, Gonzaga, Michigan State, Duke, Texas Tech, Michigan, North Carolina, Kentucky and Purdue — had higher adjusted efficiency margins than +26.43 last season, it highlights how the top of the sport is down, relatively speaking, and helps explain why top-10 teams keep losing., Ohio State enters the weekend with college basketball’s highest adjusted efficiency margin. It’s +29.31. No other team has an adjusted efficiency margin better than +26.43. And when you combine that fact with the fact that nine different teams —
Again, they’re just not that great.
And they’re also not significantly better than unranked teams. To demonstrate this, I returned to KenPom and looked at the schools currently ranked 10th and 30th. What I found is that No. 10 is Virginia with an adjusted efficiency margin of +21.88, and that No. 30 is West Virginia with an adjusted efficiency margin of +16.94 — which means No. 10 is only 4.94 points better than No. 30. When I did the same thing with last season’s KenPom rankings, what I found is that No. 10 was Tennessee with an adjusted efficiency margin of +26.24, and that No. 30 was Villanova with an adjusted efficiency margin of +17.33 — which means No. 10 was 8.91 points better than No. 30. So, what those numbers show, is that this season’s No. 10 isn’t as good as last season’s No. 10, and that the gap between this season’s No. 10 and this season’s No. 30 is much smaller than the gap between last season’s No. 10 and last season’s No. 30.
Keep that in mind going forward.
It could explain a lot.
Saturday’s schedule features three games between teams ranked in Saturday’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings — specifically No. 12 Oregon at No. 6 Michigan, No. 13 Memphis at No. 18 Tennessee, and No. 3 Gonzaga at No. 16 Arizona. The home teams are favored in each contest.