Week 7 of the Bilas Index factors in yet another roller-coaster ride around the edges, but the top teams have solidified their positions above the crowd. As per usual, the numbers can only take you so far in differentiating among many of these college basketball teams, and it takes the super-powered and incredibly experienced brain of The Bilastrator to bring things into focus for the unwashed masses and those who cannot adequately process the extreme nuances of the game, like the non-basketball members of the selection committee.
The Bilastrator is not offended that those committee members hide the Bilas Index within the pages of the dreaded RPI at meetings, like a teenager hiding a comic book within the pages of a textbook during class. It is clear that they are using it, and it is a benefit to all that they do. However one chooses to get on the Bilas Index bandwagon, even if one is to stow away, that is fine. All are welcome.
To review, the Bilas Index is perhaps the most impressive and reliable measure of the accomplishment and merit of college basketball teams ever devised. Using data and metrics from such unfailing resources like the Sagarin Ratings and Kenpom.com, what separates the Bilas Index from other metrics is the staggering intellect of its creator, me, and my ability to instantly assess every strength and weakness of every team, player and coach in order to determine the best and most accomplished teams in the land.
As you read this, scientists all over the world are studying this massive brain and its exceptional power and efficiency. Once those scientists have published the inevitable findings that the Bilas Index is flawless, infallible, foolproof and fail-safe, the selection committee can be disbanded and all former members can return to their day jobs of further commercializing the game according to free market principles -- while at the same time denying the players the right to similarly gain from the same enterprise.
A team that struggled on the road a year ago, and lost its biggest road test this season by virtue of an improbable shot by Christian Watford, Kentucky is solidly in the top spot for yet another week. The Wildcats and Michigan State are currently the only teams in the country with both a top-10 ranked offense and defense. On the road, Kentucky plays at a slower pace, and hasn't fared as well in transition as it does at Rupp. Kentucky is shooting around 30 percent in transition on the road, and scoring half the amount of points in the open court. But last season's road woes paid off with a Final Four berth. This team is growing.