Competing Against the Poll, Week 5

Competing Against the Poll, Week 5

Quick recap of the rules: Your heroes at don’t have faith in the AP Pollsters and think we can outsmart them. As such, we are buying/shorting teams based on their current “price” (points in the AP Poll) and will profit/lose as they move up/down the rankings.


And the gap widens! Matthew’s Gonzaga buy hurt him again, as the Zags’ disappointing backcourt (and Karnowski’s absence) led to another disappointing home loss to a Pac-12 school. Point guard Josh Perkins managed 1 assist in 36 minutes, while Silas Melson upped the ante by posting a ZERO O-rating in 16 minutes. That’s not good folks! There wasn’t a ton of movement aside from that – none of us nailed an upset in our short-term buys or shorts (I guess Ky got a loss out of Oregon @ Boise), while incremental increases in portfolio squads didn’t mean much. These finals week slates are miserable; we need holiday tournaments ASAP to give us more options with these picks.

Long-Term Update and Week-to-week Picks

Matt took advantage of our rule clarification last week, as he again is shorting Virginia with a big battle against Villanova looming. Nova started to see some positive regression on their bafflingly low 3-point percentage in the Wildcats’ most recent game, and with Virginia sitting in the pack line, that could be a profitable choice for Matthew. He’s buying the Dookies despite the Utah matchup this week and Amile Jefferson’s injury – but hey, the last time Matt picked one of his favorite teams, it went great! (It didn’t go great at all).

I’m hoping Butler can come up with a massive win over currently-undefeated in-state rival Purdue, though I’m not terribly optimistic in the face of that Boilermaker size and depth. And I am shorting the shit out of UCLA – I still have no faith in the Alford combo, despite the admittedly massive wins against Kentucky and Gonzaga. Louisiana-Lafayette is a sneaky-difficult matchup for them, as Long can handle Parker one-on-one, and I also think this team is gonna get ripped in half by an angry North Carolina squad.

Ky is riding the 8-0 Gamecocks, though similar to his Florida buy 2 weeks ago, I’m not sure wins over Drexel and Clemson will do much to pick up votes from the 40 they have now.  He doesn’t have the same faith in UNC that I do, as he’s banking on them dropping that UCLA game. Might have to gauge his interest in a friendly side wager!

No change in our long-term portfolios – Louisville continues to look like a great long-term choice, and they pass the eye test with flying colors every time I watch. Lewis and Lee have been everything I thought they would be as both scorers and perimeter defenders, and the Mathiang/Onuaku/Spalding triumvirate inside has been almost Purdue-level tough with dominant interior defense and rebounding. The schedule has been a joke, though, and the Cardinals won’t have a chance to truly prove themselves until December 26th – a showdown in Rupp Arena (and the ONLY college basketball game that day).  

As for Matt and Gonzaga – it appears he’ll hope they can recoup their lost votes in a soft West Coast slate this year, which is probably the smart move. I wish I had held onto Wichita State for the same reason.


Best Buy of the Week sponsored by Best Buy (pending): None, really. But I guess, thanks to our glamorous sponsorship deal, I have to name someone: George Washington, gained 196 points – followed closely by UCLA (gained 194) and Providence (gained 176)
Sharp Short of the Week sponsored by Sharpie (pending): North Carolina, lost 402 points – followed closely by Villanova (lost 365 points), Vanderbilt (lost 359), and Gonzaga (lost 355 – two straight weeks on this list!)

Pretty gross here – just not a lot going on with very few big games being played – and likely something similar this week to look forward to. Matt actually did a nice job by grabbing Providence, making the best of a weak week (HA!). Four teams who I actually like showed up in the Short of the Week – I will not be surprised when any of them show up in the Buy of the Week in the future.

Looking Ahead

Not much to see here folks!! Saturday has some decent games, most notably Virginia/Villanova and the Indiana battles (IU/Notre Dame and Butler/Purdue), but the weeknight schedule is just bleak.