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And the divide grows
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ken d Offline
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Post: #1
And the divide grows
As the rich get richer, the poor fall further and further behind. As of today, 22 of the 32 D-I basketball conferences do not have a single team ranked in the Sagarin Top 50. The Massey rankings are very similar. The MAC has one (Buffalo), the Mountain West has one (Nevada) and the WCC has two (Gonzaga and St Mary's). Seven conferences account for 46 of the Top 50.

Some of the rich aren't doing as well as the others. Based on the Sagarin rankings and the current autobid rules, the PAC would only place two teams in the 68 team NCAAT field. Given their weak football performance of late, they have really fallen on hard times.

I wish I could say these ratings are an anomaly, that we will see more parity in the future. But frankly, I just don't feel that in my bones.

I really don't want to see an elite breakaway. 24-32 teams in a super league turn me off, frankly. But if the P5 conferences, along with the AAC, MWC and Big East were in a division by themselves, I believe we would have enough inclusiveness to keep top level college sports as interesting as I would want it to be. Add Gonzaga, BYU and New Mexico State to the MWC, and you would have a great 32 team tournament field - the top one third of that division - without excluding anyone with a realistic chance of competing for the championship.

That's where I see us heading.
01-29-2019 10:33 AM
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CliftonAve Online
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RE: And the divide grows
There definitely needs to be a separation of the wheat from the chaff. While my ideal cut is not a draconian as yours (I think reducing DI by 50% would suffice) there is no reason why UMass-Lowell is playing at the same level as Kentucky and Kansas.
01-29-2019 10:36 AM
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RE: And the divide grows
(01-29-2019 10:36 AM)CliftonAve Wrote:  There definitely needs to be a separation of the wheat from the chaff. While my ideal cut is not a draconian as yours (I think reducing DI by 50% would suffice) there is no reason why UMass-Lowell is playing at the same level as Kentucky and Kansas.

A few D1 conferences would probably be better served being relegated to a new division.

Would make for a more exciting NCAA tournament too.
01-29-2019 10:40 AM
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IWokeUpLikeThis Offline
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RE: And the divide grows
We're not a year removed from a 31-2 #1 overall team getting cooked by 20 to an America East runner-up or NC State paying a quarter-million to not play a team who ended up in the Final Four.
01-29-2019 10:52 AM
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RE: And the divide grows
(01-29-2019 10:33 AM)ken d Wrote:  As the rich get richer, the poor fall further and further behind. As of today, 22 of the 32 D-I basketball conferences do not have a single team ranked in the Sagarin Top 50. The Massey rankings are very similar. The MAC has one (Buffalo), the Mountain West has one (Nevada) and the WCC has two (Gonzaga and St Mary's). Seven conferences account for 46 of the Top 50.

Some of the rich aren't doing as well as the others. Based on the Sagarin rankings and the current autobid rules, the PAC would only place two teams in the 68 team NCAAT field. Given their weak football performance of late, they have really fallen on hard times.

I wish I could say these ratings are an anomaly, that we will see more parity in the future. But frankly, I just don't feel that in my bones.

I really don't want to see an elite breakaway. 24-32 teams in a super league turn me off, frankly. But if the P5 conferences, along with the AAC, MWC and Big East were in a division by themselves, I believe we would have enough inclusiveness to keep top level college sports as interesting as I would want it to be. Add Gonzaga, BYU and New Mexico State to the MWC, and you would have a great 32 team tournament field - the top one third of that division - without excluding anyone with a realistic chance of competing for the championship.

That's where I see us heading.

This is evidence of a divide.

But it's not evidence of a "growing divide."

There has always been a divide. But if anything, the divide is smaller than it used to be.
01-29-2019 10:59 AM
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stever20 Offline
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RE: And the divide grows
(01-29-2019 10:40 AM)Gamecock Wrote:  
(01-29-2019 10:36 AM)CliftonAve Wrote:  There definitely needs to be a separation of the wheat from the chaff. While my ideal cut is not a draconian as yours (I think reducing DI by 50% would suffice) there is no reason why UMass-Lowell is playing at the same level as Kentucky and Kansas.

A few D1 conferences would probably be better served being relegated to a new division.

Would make for a more exciting NCAA tournament too.

bull****. There is nothing better than the first 2 days of the NCAA tournament.
01-29-2019 11:04 AM
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RE: And the divide grows
I don't really see where the "need" to separate comes from, other than to further consolidate money to the top. Big upsets happen every year, we have a cinderella make a nice run every couple of years. You're not going to make the tourney more entertaining by cutting out the lower conferences so why, as a fan, would you want to? I know why the power brokers might. I mean, if you're scared just say you're scared. CUSA doesn't have a top 50 team this year in any ratings but I guarantee teams don't want to get matched up against our champ in the first round. The last 4 years of first round victories against #4, #5, #2 & #3 seeds shows that.
01-29-2019 11:06 AM
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RE: And the divide grows
(01-29-2019 11:04 AM)stever20 Wrote:  
(01-29-2019 10:40 AM)Gamecock Wrote:  
(01-29-2019 10:36 AM)CliftonAve Wrote:  There definitely needs to be a separation of the wheat from the chaff. While my ideal cut is not a draconian as yours (I think reducing DI by 50% would suffice) there is no reason why UMass-Lowell is playing at the same level as Kentucky and Kansas.

A few D1 conferences would probably be better served being relegated to a new division.

Would make for a more exciting NCAA tournament too.

bull****. There is nothing better than the first 2 days of the NCAA tournament.

This.
01-29-2019 11:07 AM
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Captain Bearcat Offline
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RE: And the divide grows
For the entire decade of the 1980s, there was not a single mid-major who made the Final Four.

In the 1990s, 4 or 5 mid-majors made the Final Four (UNLV, UNLV, Cincinnati, UMass, Utah). Cincinnati was arguably not a mid-major because they had been in a "major" conference for the past 15 years and had 2 national titles.

In the 2000s, 3 or 4 mid-majors made the final 4 (Marquette, Louisville, George Mason, Memphis). Louisville was arguably not a mid-major because it had previously been in a "major" conference and had 2 national titles.

From 2010-2018, 6 or 7 mid-majors have made the final four (Butler, Butler, VCU, UConn, Wichita, Gonzaga, Loyola). UConn was arguably not a mid-major because it had previously been in a "major" conference and had 2 national titles.
01-29-2019 11:22 AM
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GoldenWarrior11 Offline
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RE: And the divide grows
The biggest problem for that type of breakaway in college basketball is due to the contract that the NCAA has with CBS and Turner for the tournament until 2032. March Madness is, arguably, one of the greatest sporting events in the world. Every single game is entertaining and must-see. The fan interest from those smaller schools is also one of the biggest drivers for the fan interest. Unlike football, basketball can see significant parity game-to-game. It's why I have never understood making the CFP like March Madness; the two sports are just radically different.
01-29-2019 11:24 AM
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ken d Offline
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RE: And the divide grows
(01-29-2019 11:04 AM)stever20 Wrote:  
(01-29-2019 10:40 AM)Gamecock Wrote:  
(01-29-2019 10:36 AM)CliftonAve Wrote:  There definitely needs to be a separation of the wheat from the chaff. While my ideal cut is not a draconian as yours (I think reducing DI by 50% would suffice) there is no reason why UMass-Lowell is playing at the same level as Kentucky and Kansas.

A few D1 conferences would probably be better served being relegated to a new division.

Would make for a more exciting NCAA tournament too.

bull****. There is nothing better than the first 2 days of the NCAA tournament.

Sure there is. The second two days of the tournament. That's when it really starts.
01-29-2019 12:00 PM
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stever20 Offline
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RE: And the divide grows
(01-29-2019 12:00 PM)ken d Wrote:  
(01-29-2019 11:04 AM)stever20 Wrote:  
(01-29-2019 10:40 AM)Gamecock Wrote:  
(01-29-2019 10:36 AM)CliftonAve Wrote:  There definitely needs to be a separation of the wheat from the chaff. While my ideal cut is not a draconian as yours (I think reducing DI by 50% would suffice) there is no reason why UMass-Lowell is playing at the same level as Kentucky and Kansas.

A few D1 conferences would probably be better served being relegated to a new division.

Would make for a more exciting NCAA tournament too.

bull****. There is nothing better than the first 2 days of the NCAA tournament.

Sure there is. The second two days of the tournament. That's when it really starts.

Tell that to UMBC last year.
01-29-2019 12:06 PM
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ken d Offline
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RE: And the divide grows
(01-29-2019 12:06 PM)stever20 Wrote:  
(01-29-2019 12:00 PM)ken d Wrote:  
(01-29-2019 11:04 AM)stever20 Wrote:  
(01-29-2019 10:40 AM)Gamecock Wrote:  
(01-29-2019 10:36 AM)CliftonAve Wrote:  There definitely needs to be a separation of the wheat from the chaff. While my ideal cut is not a draconian as yours (I think reducing DI by 50% would suffice) there is no reason why UMass-Lowell is playing at the same level as Kentucky and Kansas.

A few D1 conferences would probably be better served being relegated to a new division.

Would make for a more exciting NCAA tournament too.

bull****. There is nothing better than the first 2 days of the NCAA tournament.

Sure there is. The second two days of the tournament. That's when it really starts.

Tell that to UMBC last year.

It's all a matter of personal preference. One freaky upset in 32 games doesn't interest me as much as 16 games where every team has a reasonable chance of winning. I get the allure for the kids who get to say they got their butt whupped by the stars they've watched on TV all year. And they'll be telling those stories (probably embellished a little) to their grandchildren 30-40 years from now.

I'm just not interested in watching. There are enough of those games in the regular season, and I don't watch them then either.
01-29-2019 12:36 PM
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esayem Offline
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RE: And the divide grows
(01-29-2019 11:22 AM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  For the entire decade of the 1980s, there was not a single mid-major who made the Final Four.

In the 1990s, 4 or 5 mid-majors made the Final Four (UNLV, UNLV, Cincinnati, UMass, Utah). Cincinnati was arguably not a mid-major because they had been in a "major" conference for the past 15 years and had 2 national titles.

In the 2000s, 3 or 4 mid-majors made the final 4 (Marquette, Louisville, George Mason, Memphis). Louisville was arguably not a mid-major because it had previously been in a "major" conference and had 2 national titles.

From 2010-2018, 6 or 7 mid-majors have made the final four (Butler, Butler, VCU, UConn, Wichita, Gonzaga, Loyola). UConn was arguably not a mid-major because it had previously been in a "major" conference and had 2 national titles.

UNLV, UMass, and Utah were not mid-majors. UMass was in a conference with Penn State, West Virginia, and Temple up until PSU left and WVU went to the Big East. Utah in the WAC was a major program, and UNLV was a juggernaut.

Marquette, Louisville, and Memphis were not mid-majors. Neither was UConn.

Those are all major programs. If you want to make a distinction between power and major and mid-major conferences that’s one thing, but when looking at individual programs during certain eras it becomes a bit ridiculous.
(This post was last modified: 01-29-2019 12:41 PM by esayem.)
01-29-2019 12:40 PM
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ken d Offline
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RE: And the divide grows
(01-29-2019 11:22 AM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  For the entire decade of the 1980s, there was not a single mid-major who made the Final Four.

In the 1990s, 4 or 5 mid-majors made the Final Four (UNLV, UNLV, Cincinnati, UMass, Utah). Cincinnati was arguably not a mid-major because they had been in a "major" conference for the past 15 years and had 2 national titles.

In the 2000s, 3 or 4 mid-majors made the final 4 (Marquette, Louisville, George Mason, Memphis). Louisville was arguably not a mid-major because it had previously been in a "major" conference and had 2 national titles.

From 2010-2018, 6 or 7 mid-majors have made the final four (Butler, Butler, VCU, UConn, Wichita, Gonzaga, Loyola). UConn was arguably not a mid-major because it had previously been in a "major" conference and had 2 national titles.

Kind of makes my point. In some 40 years, only four schools (UMass, George Mason, VCU and Loyola) that are outside the conferences I proposed for a top tier made it as far as the Final Four (with none winning). I can live with their being in a second tier.
01-29-2019 12:50 PM
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RE: And the divide grows
(01-29-2019 12:36 PM)ken d Wrote:  
(01-29-2019 12:06 PM)stever20 Wrote:  
(01-29-2019 12:00 PM)ken d Wrote:  
(01-29-2019 11:04 AM)stever20 Wrote:  
(01-29-2019 10:40 AM)Gamecock Wrote:  A few D1 conferences would probably be better served being relegated to a new division.

Would make for a more exciting NCAA tournament too.

bull****. There is nothing better than the first 2 days of the NCAA tournament.

Sure there is. The second two days of the tournament. That's when it really starts.

Tell that to UMBC last year.

It's all a matter of personal preference. One freaky upset in 32 games doesn't interest me as much as 16 games where every team has a reasonable chance of winning. I get the allure for the kids who get to say they got their butt whupped by the stars they've watched on TV all year. And they'll be telling those stories (probably embellished a little) to their grandchildren 30-40 years from now.

I'm just not interested in watching. There are enough of those games in the regular season, and I don't watch them then either.

You're talking about 4 to 8 games out of 32. The rest are competitive with every team having a reasonable chance of winning. The freaky upsets of the #1 and 2 seeds are just icing on the cake.
01-29-2019 12:53 PM
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mturn017 Online
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RE: And the divide grows
(01-29-2019 12:50 PM)ken d Wrote:  
(01-29-2019 11:22 AM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  For the entire decade of the 1980s, there was not a single mid-major who made the Final Four.

In the 1990s, 4 or 5 mid-majors made the Final Four (UNLV, UNLV, Cincinnati, UMass, Utah). Cincinnati was arguably not a mid-major because they had been in a "major" conference for the past 15 years and had 2 national titles.

In the 2000s, 3 or 4 mid-majors made the final 4 (Marquette, Louisville, George Mason, Memphis). Louisville was arguably not a mid-major because it had previously been in a "major" conference and had 2 national titles.

From 2010-2018, 6 or 7 mid-majors have made the final four (Butler, Butler, VCU, UConn, Wichita, Gonzaga, Loyola). UConn was arguably not a mid-major because it had previously been in a "major" conference and had 2 national titles.

Kind of makes my point. In some 40 years, only four schools (UMass, George Mason, VCU and Loyola) that are outside the conferences I proposed for a top tier made it as far as the Final Four (with none winning). I can live with their being in a second tier.


They're in those leagues NOW. They weren't when they made these achievements.

Butler was in the Horizon the two years they made the title game.


edit: And one of those was just last year!
(This post was last modified: 01-29-2019 01:07 PM by mturn017.)
01-29-2019 12:57 PM
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ken d Offline
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RE: And the divide grows
(01-29-2019 12:57 PM)mturn017 Wrote:  
(01-29-2019 12:50 PM)ken d Wrote:  
(01-29-2019 11:22 AM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  For the entire decade of the 1980s, there was not a single mid-major who made the Final Four.

In the 1990s, 4 or 5 mid-majors made the Final Four (UNLV, UNLV, Cincinnati, UMass, Utah). Cincinnati was arguably not a mid-major because they had been in a "major" conference for the past 15 years and had 2 national titles.

In the 2000s, 3 or 4 mid-majors made the final 4 (Marquette, Louisville, George Mason, Memphis). Louisville was arguably not a mid-major because it had previously been in a "major" conference and had 2 national titles.

From 2010-2018, 6 or 7 mid-majors have made the final four (Butler, Butler, VCU, UConn, Wichita, Gonzaga, Loyola). UConn was arguably not a mid-major because it had previously been in a "major" conference and had 2 national titles.

Kind of makes my point. In some 40 years, only four schools (UMass, George Mason, VCU and Loyola) that are outside the conferences I proposed for a top tier made it as far as the Final Four (with none winning). I can live with their being in a second tier.


They're in those leagues NOW. They weren't when they made these achievements.

Butler was in the Horizon the two years they made the title game.

Yes, they are. I'm not proposing that we re-create conferences as they existed in the past. And I'm not suggesting that every school in the 8 top conferences is equally capable of winning. But they are conferences consisting of self-selected peer institutions who want to compete against each other, that collectively are clearly superior to most D-I conferences in most sports. That's as close as we are likely to get to a reasonable division of the 350 or so D-I schools.

Maybe the 101 schools I grouped together isn't the perfect number. But it's way better than the 350+ we have now.
01-29-2019 01:15 PM
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orangefan Offline
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RE: And the divide grows
I guess I'd rather see the America East or equivalent conference tournament champ lining up against a top 10 opponent in the first round than a 17-14 tenth place team from a major conference. Unlike football, in basketball schools can catch lightning in a bottle, sign an unheralded diamond in the rough who becomes a surprise star or simply play a game where everybody shoots out of their mind. Upsets happen, not just occasionally, but every year.
01-29-2019 01:18 PM
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RE: And the divide grows
(01-29-2019 10:40 AM)Gamecock Wrote:  
(01-29-2019 10:36 AM)CliftonAve Wrote:  There definitely needs to be a separation of the wheat from the chaff. While my ideal cut is not a draconian as yours (I think reducing DI by 50% would suffice) there is no reason why UMass-Lowell is playing at the same level as Kentucky and Kansas.

A few D1 conferences would probably be better served being relegated to a new division.

Would make for a more exciting NCAA tournament too.

About 10 of them.
01-29-2019 01:19 PM
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