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Tuesday Random Thoughts

- As I mentioned earlier, it makes no sense to me that Bo Ryan didn't win coach of the year from either the media or the coaches. The guy has gotten way more out of his roster than any coach in the conference, Matt Painter and Thad Matta both did a good job, but neither came close to the job done by Ryan. I feel like Ryan has become a victim of his own success; it's so standard for him to dramatically exceed expectations that no one bats an eye when he takes a roster expected to be a bubble team at best and has them in the top 20 all season.

- In trying to keep up with the NCAA bubble, I realize just how thankless a task the committee has and how much work various bracketologists have to put in to accurately predict the field of 65, especially when it comes to evaluating the mediocre resumes of bubble teams.  For example, Illinois is currently generating a lot of discussion, and opinions are split on the Illini, as Glockner and Lunardi both have them in, but Jerry Palm doesn't even have them in his first four out. It's easy to argue both ways for Illinois. Supporters could point to their four quality wins (home vs. Michigan St. and Vanderbilt, at Wisconsin and Clemson) and their 10-8 Big Ten record, while dissenters could cite their mediocre 18-13 record, weak RPI (75), and numerous bad losses (Utah, Bradley, Georgia, Northwestern). But in order to actually determine whether or not they are in, you can't just look at Illinois individually; you have to come up with 65 other teams to put in ahead of them. So is Illinois better or worse than other bubble teams like Georgia Tech, San Diego State, Ole Miss, Washington, Arizona State, Notre Dame, etc.? It's almost impossible to tell, as you can clearly see by the differing opinions of professional bracketologists. I'm very glad I don't have the committee's job.

- KJ at the fantastic Michigan State blog The Only Colors uses some advanced stats that rank John Shurna as the best offensive player in the Big Ten.

- BHGP breaks down struggling Iowa basketball coaches as only they can, while Clone Chronicles is slightly displeased with another year of Greg McDermott. When I saw Iowa State against NU early this season, I thought they had NCAA talent, yet they are on their way to a losing season. Not sure how McDermott still has a job.

- Speaking of controversial coaches, the New York Times had an excellent piece on crazy Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez.