The myth of parity

Underdogs might grab headlines, but big dogs still control college game

Updated: October 24, 2011, 12:39 PM ET
By John Gasaway | Special to ESPN Insider
John Calipari, Shaka SmartGeoff Burke/US PresswireAre VCU and other mid-majors on the same footing as major conference teams such as Kentucky?

It's the word that comes up every time there's an upset in college basketball: parity. Any coach whose favored team has just been beaten by a plucky underdog will chalk up the defeat to that word. "Hey, there's just so much parity in the college game today. Anyone can beat anyone."

Even outside the game, fans will be quick to point out the recent success of teams such as Butler and Virginia Commonwealth.

But although the surprising victories of those schools should not be shrugged off, any notion that college basketball is moving toward parity should be. Whether you define the term through NCAA tournament upsets or more properly across the season as a whole, parity simply does not exist.