Here are several NCAA Tournament resumes so far this season. All numbers are through Sunday:
Team A is USF, which is unranked and receiving nine votes in the AP poll.
Team B is #25 Western Kentucky (40 votes).
Team C is #24 Rutgers (94 votes).
Team D is #21 Syracuse (124 votes).
Team E is #20 Georgia (204 votes).
Team F is #16 Oklahoma State (289 votes).
I did not make this up. The leading experts in women's college basketball everyone!
To have Oklahoma State and their joke of a schedule with ZERO quality wins ranked as the highest team in that graph while totally leaving out USF is pathetic. RPI #19 with better wins, a tougher schedule, and zero bad losses sits well behind #79 with a cupcake schedule in the 90th percentile of ease and no quality wins. But hey, all teams are treated fairly and there's no bias in the polls, right?
If you're going to vote in a poll, shouldn't you at least have to scan a "nitty-gritty" chart (yes, this is what the NCAA Selection Committee calls them) once a week? There can be no other explanation other than laziness, bias, or a lack of research and diligence from women's poll voters. They are woefully incompetent. And if they did their jobs, this is what they'd see:
A USF team led by one of the most dynamic scorers in the country. Courtney Williams is Allen Iverson with longer braids and a much more willing passing gene in her junior year. She's a waterbug defensively, but two or three times a game she straight up undresses some poor victim assigned to guard her. She's a blur that'll make you jump out of your chair with a midrange game that is ridiculous, and she can get her shot off against any woman alive. Her 18.7 points per game and 8.1 rebounds are nice, but it's her leading the team in assists with 47 this season that's been the difference in the 2014-15 Bulls. Every Bull has been making the extra pass this season, but it's a culture that starts with their superstar.
A rebounder/defender/glue girl that shouldn't be this good. You look at Alisia Jenkins, and you can't fathom how this could be one of the best post players in America. She's built like an Apple headphones wire, and generously listed at 6'1. So how is she the eighth-best rebounder in America at 11.8 boards per game? Because she never, ever stops moving.
And it's not just her feet that are in constant motion, but her hands and hips and every other part of her humanity that gets her closer to any forthcoming carom. She'll also defend the opponents best guard or post, and attack them with that same insane fervor she bring to the glass. She takes on every challenge with enthusiasm and passion. I asked her about her role after their win over ECU last week. "I'll just do whatever they tell me... whatever it takes to win." If you don't love watching her play, you hate basketball and everything it stands for.
A team comes at you in waves. They'll go 10 or 11 deep every night before garbage time, and the pressure is constant. They take thinner benches and beat them to pulps. That's how you end up with the 12th best field goal percentage defense in the nation, allowing opponents to make only 33.5% of their shots. Teams that face USF fail because they are tired, and quite simply don't have as many good players. The drop off from the first unit to the second isn't huge for the Bulls, as it's more reinforcements than substitutes.
They aren't afraid to bomb it from deep either. Seven players have made at least five three-pointers this season, and the team is at 35% on 249 shots from downtown. It's a roster full of athletes that can defend all over the court, and can shoot from anywhere. Tamara Taylor, Laura Ferreira, Maria Jespersen, Shavontae Naylor, Shalethia Stringfield... to an opponent they must all look the same after 40 minutes in your shirt.
And with the exception of Tamara Taylor (18.3 min a game), they're ALL coming back next year as she's the only senior in the rotation. This team is really good now, but they could be the best USF team ever in any sport by the time they're done.
But hey, keep not watching them AP pollsters. This team broke the nation's longest home winning streak of 43 straight when they beat UT-Chattanooga in their second game of the season. UT-C then went to Palo Alto beat Stanford... the same Stanford that beat UConn. They beat Oklahoma & Kentucky in the Virgin Islands, and had #10 Kentucky dead to rights before a brutal second half cold streak gave that game away. A few calls going the right way likely turns that from a four-point loss into a four-point win.
It's true they weren't ever beating #12 Maryland, who was just better that night, and they gave one away against a good St. John's at home. But they dismantled a Top 50 team in Tulane on the road on Sunday in a 53-40 win that would have been 63-40 if needed. Good teams go on the road in conference and never let off the gas. This is a good team.
But keep not watching them and not ranking them, thus making a farce of your own process. But make sure you reread this in March when many of those teams you have above USF are at home, and the Bulls are still playing.