« Projecting the Tournament: New methodology, new ways to rip the MRI | Main | Northwestern Examiner: Men look to exorcise demons against Indiana »

MRI 2008 - Rankings Week 8

January 27, 2009  |  By Benjamin Miraski

Nolan Smith, Duke basketball,
Nolan Smith and Duke are flying
high with a No. 1 MRI ranking
(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

I have been a fan of Jim Boeheim and the Syracuse Orange(men) for a while. He wins the right way. He slaves away in Syracuse, N.Y., which has to affect how he can recruit.

Because honestly, if you were a high school basketball player, wouldn't you rather be playing in the ACC, where most of the time, the weather stays above freezing during your season?

Which is why it makes it that much more difficult to say what I am going to say.

Perhaps it is time that Boeheim retires.

I know, it seems a little premature. After all, Syracuse is 16-4 this season against Division I opponents. Many teams would love to have a record that great at this point in the year. They are 5-3 in the Big East and in the thick of a very close race. And they are likely headed to another NCAA tournament berth.

But the new larger Big East seems to be taking its toll on the Orange coach.

Since the league expanded, his teams have struggled to stay in the upper echelons of the standings. The league has gotten tougher, becoming the powerhouse that it was supposed to be with expansion.

But that has come with a cost: The decline of two of its most storied programs, Syracuse and Georgetown.

I still think Boeheim can do the job. He still recruits well. He still coaches with all the energy he always has.

But unlike some of his good friends (read: Coach K), he seems to have lost the magic to get that tag team of recruits to win consistently, which leads me to wonder if the Big East has passed Boeheim by.

It would be a shame to see him go. He is after all one of the greatest.

But I look at his team this season and I wonder. I never felt they were one of the top ten teams in the nation. Yet, there they were, ranked No. 8 prior to losing two straight games.

Now they are falling back to more of a norm for the team.

The MRI believes that Syracuse is good, but a borderline top 25 team at best. Jeff Sagarin's ratings agree.

So why do the eyes of the writers seem to be deceiving them?

Perhaps it is the man at the end of the bench, that none of us can seem to turn our backs on. Perhaps he is personally buoying the team to the top.

I hope for his sake that he can turn things around. He is too good of a coach to start looking like a choke artist every Big East season.

But for now, I can watch and wonder if maybe it would be better if he left before things turn ugly.

The MRI correctly predicted 66.46 percent of the games this week. For the season, the computer has predicted 71.40 percent of the games correctly, and all-time it has been correct 71.67 percent of the time.

Check out all the rankings in week eight of the MRI (games through 1/25/09):

MRI Top 25 Rankings

RankTeamRecordMRILW
1Duke18-1182.422
2North Carolina16-2175.861
3Pittsburgh17-1166.493
4Memphis16-3139.285
5Connecticut18-1138.114
6West Virginia14-5135.786
7Missouri16-3132.837
8Oklahoma19-1132.5111
9Marquette17-2129.528
10Louisville15-3128.2513
11Kansas15-4123.5918
12Washington15-4122.2615
13Michigan State16-3120.7614
14Clemson17-2119.149
15Wake Forest16-1118.6910
16Xavier17-2117.0721
17Florida17-3116.4117
18Arizona State16-3116.4016
19UCLA15-4114.3712
20LSU15-4112.2225
21Illinois17-3110.38NR(29)
22Texas14-4110.1523
23Gonzaga13-4108.8719
24Kentucky16-4108.03NR(31)
25Purdue15-4106.85NR(27)

Teams Dropped From The Top 25: Villanova (LW #20, TW #27), BYU (LW #22, TW #26), Syracuse (LW #24, TW #34)

Other Teams People Might Care About

RankTeamRecordMRILW
34Syracuse16-496.8824
37Dayton18-294.8740
42Miami13-590.4939
49Maryland13-683.7144
50Boston College15-683.4858
56Wisconsin11-779.9148
61Florida State16-476.1862
62Auburn11-776.0576
65Michigan13-673.2571
73Vanderbilt12-768.1763
79Notre Dame11-667.0273
80Northwestern10-766.3572
83Northern Iowa13-663.2889
88Arizona12-861.7181
107Iowa12-852.46106
112Drexel10-849.31125
115Georgia Tech9-1048.33103
128Illinois-Chicago9-941.76109
131Ohio10-841.01136
145Texas Tech10-836.97146
180Wofford6-923.28145
193Ball State8-821.33206
235Indiana4-136.30236
249Pennsylvania4-101.96238
291Valparaiso4-15-17.47307
Last Place this week: North Carolina Central (1-20) at -107.98.
Biggest Gain this week: Duke gained 20.13 points. (Beat North Carolina State (73-56) and Maryland (85-44))
Biggest Loss this week: North Carolina Central lost 20.68 points (Lost to Md.-Eastern Shore (58-73) and Chicago State (63-103))
Conference rankings this week: ACC, Big 12, Big East, SEC, PAC-10, Big Ten, Mountain West, C-USA, MVC, Atlantic 10, WAC


The MRI Rankings are copyright 2009 by MRISports.com. Ben Miraski is a reporter for the Medill News Service, edits and writes for MRISports.com and is a featured blogger on FanIQ. Readers can contact Ben at bmiraski@mrisports.com

   

Posted January 27, 2009 1:12 PM