I made sure I’d look like a fool when I revealed my own NCAA Division II Midwest Region men’s basketball rankings the other day. I had Wisconsin-Parkside No. 1, followed by Drury, USI, Bellarmine, Findlay, Wayne State, Kentucky Wesleyan, Indianapolis, Walsh and Lewis. Then the actual rankings came out. Here they are:
6. Wayne State
7. Michigan Tech
9. Kentucky Wesleyan
At least I can plead that my picks were totally unscientific. The actual rankings are scientific. Or should I say “scientific”? They are the result of a number of factors — things like strength of schedule, head-to-head competition, common opponents, etc., etc., with a good dose of computer numbers crunching thrown in. Yes, it sounds an awful like how the Bowl Championship Series rankings in major college football are compiled. When I suggested that to the people I talked to who know how the rankings come about, every one of them said that’s a pretty good analogy. And since the BCS has about as much respect as Congress, go ahead and apply that to the region rankings.
Also, much like the BCS, the rankings figure quite a bit into the thinking of the selection committee that decides which eight teams get into the Midwest Regional and which of those teams will receive the top seed and thus become the regional host. Or not. I talked to one person who suggested that if Parkside is the top seed, it may not be allowed to host because its arena is not very large and the hotel-motel facilities around Kenosha/Somers, Wis., are not ideal. But if Drury stays on top, that point is moot because it has what the NCAA is looking for in Springfield, Mo.
As for the actual rankings, I was mystified why Bellarmine was No. 2 (before it beat USI at Louisville, Ky., on Thursday night, that is). The Knights have lost to Missouri-St. Louis and Maryville on the road, at home to Indianapolis and have split home-and-home games with Parkside (the same with USI). They have wins over GLIAC teams Wayne State and Grand Valley State, but both came at home. Whatever. With only two more region rankings to go before the regional selections are announced, it seems a pretty safe bet that either Drury or Bellarmine will be the No. 1 seed and will host regardless of who wins the GLVC Tournament championship at the Ford Center.