Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Chewing The Fat - I

By Mel Greenberg

Thoughts to ponder after finishing my computer profile going into the last two days before Selection Monday.

We're going to do this over several posts.

But upon entering conference winners, etc., into my working grid, it seemed that a change in the landscape has occurred.

So using CollegeRPI.com, because it's the easiest for me to work from in an organizational setting, I detected some interesting changes on what types of teams are being sent to the tournament from the mid-major to major-minor groups.

I pulled the final RPI sheets from 2004 and 2005 as they were at this same weekend and here's a look at the RPI number of the team champion, although the school itself won't be mentioned except for interesting points.

Some conferences aren't done yet, so projector identifications were made for the either/or teams playing in championship games. If the team upset the regular season winner and was the only team advancing to the Big Dance, the word upset is in parentheses.

Here's a look:

Conference 2004 2005 2006

America East 56 77 36/25

Atlantic Sun 115 162 (upset) 149/210

Big Sky 36 52 105/180

Big South 65 67 48--All Liberty

Big West 55 72 135/183

Colonial 18 31 16/45

Conference USA (we know why) 7 23 46 (Tulsa - new)

Horizon 82 37 77

Ivy League 118 98 91/100

Metro Atlantic 93 111 (Upset) 71

Mid-American 66 59 41

MEAC 134 115 116

Mo. Valley 41 145 (Upset) 37

Mountain West 72 (Upset) 28 20/21

Northeast 79 102 101/109

Ohio Valley 75 64 88

Patriot 149 135 117

SWAC 161 (Upset) 130 174/252

Southern 35 148 (Upset) 33

Southland 100 76 (Upset) 70/110

Sun Belt 60 51 (Upset) 81 (Upset over 17)

Western Athletic 24 33 35/204

West Coast 48 92 (Upset) 156 (Upset)

Tulsa, interestingly enough, was around the same RPI performance a year ago but the team went from a middle also-ran in the WAC to winning the re-vamped Conference USA.

A bunch of teams that might not ordinarily benefit appear to be heading to some gain closer to the middle of the bracket because of all the poor numbers. But we'll see. There seems that there will be much discussion to place seeds No. 11 through No. 15.

And now on to a new post.

-- Mel


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