Before the 2007-2008 college basketball season, I came up with a mathematical formula to create my very own preseason Top 25. As it turned out, the top three teams in my rankings (Memphis, Kansas and UCLA) made the Final Four. My number four team, Louisville, did not, but my number five team, North Carolina, did.
I thought the chances of lightning striking twice were slim, but I decided to apply the formula again for the 2008-2009 season. The result was a financially successful March as I won my bracket pool because I had UNC beating Michigan State (my preseason top two) in the championship game.
So here are my projections for the 2009-2010 campaign.
The formula has three parts:
A. Previous season finish
The previous season's national champion (UNC) starts off with 65 points.
The runner-up (Michigan State) gets 64.
Losing in the Final Four (Villanova, UConn) gets you 63 points.
Teams losing in the Elite Eight get 61.
Teams losing in the Sweet 16 get 57.
Teams losing in the second round get 49.
Teams losing in the first round get 33.
And teams which missed the tournament, but are expected to improve this year, get 18.
B. Returning Impact Players
That starting number is then multiplied by the number of returning players that I believe will have a major impact on the team this season.
C. Impact Freshmen
Finally, I take that subtotal and add 10 points for every impact freshman joining the team this year. Impact transfers fall into this category as well.
I have ranked the following 40 teams in order of the total points they receive according to this formula. If you feel like I have left someone out or your favorite team should be higher up the list, let me know.
1. Texas (49*6+40=324)
Returners: Damion James, Dexter Pittman, Justin Mason, Gary Johnson, Varez Ward, Dogus Balbay
Freshmen/Transfer: Avery Bradley, Jordan Hamilton, J'Covan Brown, Jai Lucas
2. Michigan State (64*5=320)
Returners: Kalin Lucas, Raymar Morgan, Delvon Roe, Durrell Summers, Chris Allen
3. Kansas (57*5+30+315)
Returners: Sherron Collins, Tyshawn Taylor, Markieff Morris, Marcus Morris, Cole Aldrich
Freshmen: Xavier Henry, Elijah Johnson, Thomas Robinson
4. North Carolina (65*4+30=290)
Returners: Ed Davis, Marcus Ginyard, Larry Drew, Deon Thompson
5. Purdue (57*5=285)
Returners: Robbie Hummel, E'Twaun Moore, JaJuan Johnson, Keaton Grant, Chris Kramer
6. Villanova (63*4+30=282)
Returners: Scottie Reynolds, Corey Fisher, Corey Stokes, Reggie Redding
7. Connecticut (63*4+10=262)
Returners: Stanley Robinson, Kemba Walker, Alex Oriakhi, Jerome Dyson
Freshmen: Alex Oriakhi
8. Louisville (61*4+10=254)
Returners: Samardo Samuels, Jerry Smith, Edgar Sosa, Terrence Jennings
Freshmen: Peyton Siva
9. Michigan (49*5=245)
10. Duke (57*3+30=201)
Returners: Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith, Jon Scheyer
t-11. Butler (33*6=198)
Returners: Matt Howard, Gordon Hayward, Shelvin Mack, Willie Veasley, Ronald Nored, Chase Stigall
t-11. Northern Iowa (33*6=198)
Returners: Jordan Eglseder, Adam Koch, Lucas O'Rear, Kwadzo Ahelegbe, Ali Farokhmanesh, Johnny Moran
t-13. Siena (49*4=196)
Returners: Edwin Ubiles, Ronald Moore, Alex Franklin, Ryan Rossiter
t-13. Dayton (49*4=196)
Returners: Chris Wright, Marcus Johnson, London Warren, Chris Johnson
t-15. West Virginia (33*5=165)
Returners: Darryl Bryant, Joe Mazzulla, Wellington Smith, Da'Sean Butler, Devin Ebanks
t-15. Mississippi State (33*5=165)
Returners: Jarvis Varnado, Barry Stewart, Ravern Johnson, Dee Bost, Phil Turner
t-15. Tennessee (33*5=165)
Returners: Tyler Smith, Wayne Chism, J.P. Prince, Scotty Hopson, Bobby Maze
18. California (33*4=132)
Returners: Jerome Randle, Patrick Christopher, Theo Robertson, Jamal Boykin
19. Xavier (57*2+20=134)
Returners: Jason Love, Dante' Jackson
Freshmen/Transfers: Mark Lyons, Jordan Crawford
20. Syracuse (57*2+10=124)
Returners: Arinze Onuaku, Andy Rautins
Transfers: Wesley Johnson
t-21. Maryland (49*2=98)
Returners: Greivis Vasquez, Sean Mosley
t-21. Texas A&M (49*2=98)
Returners: Donald Sloan, Bryan Davis
t-21. Oklahoma State (49*2=98)
Returners: James Anderson, Obi Muonelo
24. Clemson (33*2+20=86)
Returners: Trevor Booker, Demontez Stitt
Freshmen: Milton Jennings, Noel Johnson
25. Kentucky (18*3+30=84)
Returners: Patrick Patterson, Perry Stevenson, Ramon Harris
26. Oklahoma (61*1+20=81)
Returners: Willie Warren
Freshmen: Keith Gallon, Tommy Mason-Griffin
t-27. Georgetown (18*4=72)
Returners: Greg Monroe, Chris Wright, Austin Freeman, Jason Clark
t-27. South Carolina (18*4=72)
29. Memphis (57*1+10=67)
Returners: Doneal Mack
Transfer: Elliot Williams
t-30. VCU (33*2=66)
Returners: Larry Sanders, Joey Rodriguez
t-30. Ohio State (33*2=66)
Returners: Evan Turner, Dallas Lauderdale
t-32. Utah State (33*2=66)
Returners: Jared Quayle, Tai Wesley
t-32. Illinois (33*2=66)
Returners: Demetri McCamey, Mike Davis
34. Missouri (61*1=61)
Returners: Kim English
35. Washington (49*1+10=59)
Returners: Isaiah Thomas
Freshmen: Abdul Gaddy
t-36. Gonzaga (57*1=57)
Returners: Matt Bouldin
t-36. Arizona (57*1=57)
Returners: Nic Wise
38. Georgia Tech (18*2+20=56)
Returners: Iman Shumper, Gani Lawal
Freshmen: Mfon Udofia, Derrick Favors
39. Kansas State (18*2+20=56)
Returners: Denis Clemente, Jacob Pullen
Freshmen/Transfers: Wally Judge, Curtis Kelly
40. Creighton (18*3=54)
Returners: P'Allen Stinnett, Kenny Lawson, Chad Millard
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Jordan Schwartz is Bleacher Report's New York Yankees Community Leader. His book "Memoirs of the Unaccomplished Man" is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and authorhouse.com.
Jordan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org