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tecumseh
01-25-2008, 11:30 AM
A number of posters have said they are not sure Duke the third best team in the land. I beg to differ. This is a year with there are just no monster good teams out there as seems to be the case more often than not. Georgetown lost at home to a depleted Pitt squad with Hibbert looking pretty stiff, Tenn lost to a not so great Kentucky team and they looked pretty lost at times doing it, and Kansas was taken to the wire by a really not so great Missouri team. We all know what happened to UNC at home against Maryland. So look around I see Duke as good as anyone else not necessarily better but as good as. This is a team that looks to have a realistic shot at the Final Four unlike last years.

hurleyfor3
01-25-2008, 12:27 PM
I think there are three teams you can definitively put above us: Memphis, Kansas and curalonna. Everyone else is "maybe they're better than us, but who can be sure right now."

The1Bluedevil
01-25-2008, 12:42 PM
G-town lost at Pitt where they are very good at home.

KU
Memphis
UCLA are a cut above

tecumseh
01-25-2008, 02:14 PM
Yes they lost at the Peterson center I stand corrected. But Pitt lost one starter for the season in the Duke game and Pitt also was without their starting point guard. So this is a pretty depleted squad that Georgetown was playing.

Also I have not seen Kansas play but I have seen Missouri play and if Missouri can take them to the wire (I know it was at Missouri) Missouri's RPI is 95 worse than any team in the ACC. Against this mediocre lot Kansas scored no buckets in the last 7 and half minutes. Georgia Tech played Kansas down to the wire (at Tech). I am not saying Duke is better but I don't see that much difference.

tecumseh
01-25-2008, 02:38 PM
Next week Kansas plays at Kansas State who has Michael Beasley on ESPN plus (for those who have it).

shadowfax336
01-25-2008, 04:14 PM
Pitt is quite good even without fields/cook, but what people forget is how important Jeff Green was for the hoyas last year...
Georgetown sorely misses him...

UCLA is very solid, they're at least as good as us
Tennessee is slightly worse than us as is, but could become better at anytime if Lofton remembers how to shoot the basketball like he has in the past
Wazzu is looking slightly ove, Indiana is good but is also a 2 man show, and one of those 2 is a freshman, albeit an insanely good freshman, so its seriously looking like we're among the cream of the crop...
along with Kansas, Memphis, UNC, and UCLA

OldSchool
01-25-2008, 04:53 PM
This is a team that looks to have a realistic shot at the Final Four unlike last years.

In my opinion, to be a solid final four contender we need Zoubek to be giving us 15 minutes per game of solid play at the end of the season. We are deep enough everywhere except the 5 position to get through those high-emotion, energy-draining big games without running out of gas at the end like last year.

dukegirlinsc
01-25-2008, 09:54 PM
From what I've seen of Memphis, they're pretty nasty. Kansas is, well, Kansas. I except them to fold any minute now.

I love Duke being ranked third. I think they're right up there with Memphis, and I personally think they're better than Kansas.

Damn that Pitt loss.
DAMN IT.
:(

captmojo
01-25-2008, 10:10 PM
The only tough opponent Memphis has left on their list is Tennessee. This will hurt them come tournament time. I love that K sets up quality matches just before the tourney to toughen up the team and keep them at the top of their game. Of course, it's not Memphis' fault that the rest of their conference is below, shall we say, competent.

ugadevil
01-25-2008, 10:36 PM
Maybe I'm missing the mark completely on UCLA, but I haven't been all that impressed by them. They've shown signs of being a great team, but they have also had their struggles. There are good wins against Michigan State and Washington State. Yet, they lost to USC and they weren't exactly overwhelming against Oregon. I'm not saying they won't be very good at the end of the year, but they don't seem to have separated themselves so far this season.

The1Bluedevil
01-25-2008, 11:39 PM
Indiana has not beaten a team in the RPI top 50. Xavier has been their toughest game to date and were beat soundly.

The comment about UCLA not looking impressive at Oregon is simply off. For one Oregon is one of the most difficult places to play regardless of the Ducks record. UCLA also won the game w/out 2 post players.

I would argue that Pitt is still a top 10 team right now.

The only way I see this team getting to the final four is by winning the league. Duke can't be a 2 seed in KU, Memphis or UCLA's region.

tecumseh
01-26-2008, 01:14 AM
Pitt has never played well in the tourney and I know much of that is with different players, different coach, even different home arena but as a Pitt fan it is hard to get too excited about Pitt doing anything in the tourney.

The1Bluedevil
01-26-2008, 02:37 AM
2 Sweet 16's in 4 years is pretty good. Lots of teams would take that.

tecumseh
01-26-2008, 08:27 AM
Yeah but not when you have been ranked so high. As a Pitt fan one Final Four would be very nice.

dukestheheat
01-26-2008, 02:21 PM
tecumseh (i love your screen name by the way),

hey, i don't disagree that Duke may be heading to the FF this year, but I have seen Kansas play a couple times on the telly and man, they are totally impressive.

this might be their year.

dth.

mus074
01-26-2008, 04:43 PM
hey, i don't disagree that Duke may be heading to the FF this year, but I have seen Kansas play a couple times on the telly and man, they are totally impressive.

this might be their year.

dth.

Kansas and Memphis ARE that good this year. At least one will make the FF.

Memphis may not get enough true tests to be ready for March Madness. Their defense is stellar, but their offense comes and goes. They could get run past by a UNC, Texas or Kansas. Maybe Duke. But Memphis is for real.

Kansas is even stronger. They have had real tests, the Big 12 ranks one or two as a conference, and they have gutted out close games against decent teams. Sure, the program has a history of choking and fading down the stretch. I'm just hoping that was more a product of one particular personality. I agree this may be their year.

I would not be surprised if Roy's boys lost a "shocker" in the regionals to a team that plays their best offensive game of the year (e.g., Maryland last week). UNC just doesn't play strong enough D to whether a so-so offensive night combined with an inspired O output from the opposition. Six tough games in a row is likely too much for these Heels. Their offense is top notch, but you can't expect to run past the opposition every single night. Sometimes you have to get some stops.

UCLA is also very good. But I would put them on the second tier, with Duke, Georgetown, Tennessee, Wazzou and maybe another one or two. These teams are each very very good, but have an exposeable weakness.

Kansas, Memphis and UNC are first tier. UNC is the most likely not to make the FF. Kansas is the most complete team and most likely to play in the title game, IMHO.

Duke has a great shot of making the FF this year. But it will depend on matchups. If Duke gets the fourth one seed or best two, they'll have a wicked draw. Lunardi has Duke as a two with WV as a 7. Are you kidding me? WV ranks 7th best overall at kenpom, with a balanced offense and defense, rating 18th and 10th respectively. Duke does not want that type of matchup in the second or even third round.

Especially with Duke's less balanced attack, trading boards for turnovers, matchups will matter even more this year. If Duke can create transition baskets from turnovers, they can beat anyone. Anyone. If they can't get into the break from their defense, they are much more mortal.

dukie8
01-26-2008, 04:51 PM
The only tough opponent Memphis has left on their list is Tennessee. This will hurt them come tournament time. I love that K sets up quality matches just before the tourney to toughen up the team and keep them at the top of their game. Of course, it's not Memphis' fault that the rest of their conference is below, shall we say, competent.

it didn't seem to hurt unlv in 1990. their clemsonesque ft shooting should be a much bigger concern than the fact that cusa stinks. right now their rpi schedule strength is 53 and duke's is 36. they should separate more over the next month as the acc and cusa schedules play out. however, they have 6 top 50 wins (including gonzaga today), which is tied for tops in the country. they hardly have played a light schedule.

what quality matches has k set up recently just before the tournament? st john's? temple? i think that you are confusing the 80s and early 90s, when arizona, ucla and lsu dotted the schedule in february, with the 2000s.

dukie8
01-26-2008, 04:59 PM
Kansas and Memphis ARE that good this year. At least one will make the FF.

Memphis may not get enough true tests to be ready for March Madness. Their defense is stellar, but their offense comes and goes. They could get run past by a UNC, Texas or Kansas. Maybe Duke. But Memphis is for real.

Kansas is even stronger. They have had real tests, the Big 12 ranks one or two as a conference, and they have gutted out close games against decent teams. Sure, the program has a history of choking and fading down the stretch. I'm just hoping that was more a product of one particular personality. I agree this may be their year.

I would not be surprised if Roy's boys lost a "shocker" in the regionals to a team that plays their best offensive game of the year (e.g., Maryland last week). UNC just doesn't play strong enough D to whether a so-so offensive night combined with an inspired O output from the opposition. Six tough games in a row is likely too much for these Heels. Their offense is top notch, but you can't expect to run past the opposition every single night. Sometimes you have to get some stops.

UCLA is also very good. But I would put them on the second tier, with Duke, Georgetown, Tennessee, Wazzou and maybe another one or two. These teams are each very very good, but have an exposeable weakness.

Kansas, Memphis and UNC are first tier. UNC is the most likely not to make the FF. Kansas is the most complete team and most likely to play in the title game, IMHO.

Duke has a great shot of making the FF this year. But it will depend on matchups. If Duke gets the fourth one seed or best two, they'll have a wicked draw. Lunardi has Duke as a two with WV as a 7. Are you kidding me? WV ranks 7th best overall at kenpom, with a balanced offense and defense, rating 18th and 10th respectively. Duke does not want that type of matchup in the second or even third round.

Especially with Duke's less balanced attack, trading boards for turnovers, matchups will matter even more this year. If Duke can create transition baskets from turnovers, they can beat anyone. Anyone. If they can't get into the break from their defense, they are much more mortal.

it will be interesting to see how the seedings go if duke and unc split, both wind up 13-3 in the acc (our schedule is decidely loaded on the backend like last year) and both make the acct title game. the committee has basically said that the acc and big 12 title games on sunday afternoon are irrelevant. would the committee give both 1 seeds (i'm assuming kansas and memphis will be the first 2 1s)? obviously a lot depends on what ucla and gtown do (and to a lesser extent tennessee).

in the end i really don't think it matters much if you get a 1 or a 2. you are protected either way with the pods and there are no home courts. theoretically the teams are tougher for a 2 but, let's face it, the difference between a 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 seed is very minimal. i just don't see why it matters if you are playing ucla and you are the 2 or they are the 2. it's more for bragging rights, which, as we have seen all too often, doesn't mean too much in the ncaat. match-ups (bad ones) are what matter a lot more.

mus074
01-26-2008, 05:17 PM
in the end i really don't think it matters much if you get a 1 or a 2. you are protected either way with the pods and there are no home courts.

Georgetown is the host of the DC first round site. If they get a one seed, and Duke gets a two, the Hoyas could be playing in Raleigh while Duke ships off somewhere else. Of course, this assumes the Heels get the other pod placement.

tecumseh
01-26-2008, 05:43 PM
K

Kansas is even stronger. They have had real tests, the Big 12 ranks one or two as a conference, and they have gutted out close games against decent teams. .

Like I said I have not seen Kansas play but read about the Missouri game and that may me wonder. I have seen Missouri play and they are not so impressive. So how did a very mediocre Missouri hang around the whole game if Kansas is so strong? Anyone see that game?

dukie8
01-26-2008, 05:51 PM
Georgetown is the host of the DC first round site. If they get a one seed, and Duke gets a two, the Hoyas could be playing in Raleigh while Duke ships off somewhere else. Of course, this assumes the Heels get the other pod placement.

if you are a 1 or 2 seed and you are worried about having a backdoor homecourt advantage against a 15/16 and an 7/8/9/10 seed, then you have other more important problems.

dukestheheat
01-26-2008, 05:51 PM
tecumseh,

from what i could figure out, brandon rush shot something like 2/14, so that may be kansas' ACL this year (pun intended). they only won that game by six points and had to do it at the free throw line going down the stretch; and, they shot about 10 free throws in the last two minutes of the game as missouri was fouling to get them up there. they had 2 to 1 shots over missouri on the free throw; the final tally was kansas 45 free throws in that one game! so, maybe if rush goes cold or someone can shut him down/slow him, kansas can lose but this year, that's going to be tough. They look great in terms of passing, spacing, perimeter defense, interior defense and shot blocking, and especially team speed!

dth.

mus074
01-26-2008, 06:02 PM
Like I said I have not seen Kansas play but read about the Missouri game and that may me wonder. I have seen Missouri play and they are not so impressive. So how did a very mediocre Missouri hang around the whole game if Kansas is so strong? Anyone see that game?

Two answers:

1. Missouri is a big time rival. Rivalries are always playing field levelers.

B. Missouri actually is decent. They rank 28th in Pomeroy, which would be 4th in the ACC, between Clemson and Maryland. So Missouri is better than our friends up in College Park, who took out UNC in Chapel Hill.

iii. One game is a poor window to judge a team. Duke did not look impressive against Cornell or Temple. On the other hand, Kansas crushed Oklahoma by 30 points - and Oklahoma ranks 27th in Pomeroy, ahead of Missouri.

Based on the season so far, Kansas is the most complete team. Just check out these stats and find a better compilation:

http://kenpom.com/sr.php?team=Kansas&y=2008

mus074
01-26-2008, 06:06 PM
if you are a 1 or 2 seed and you are worried about having a backdoor homecourt advantage against a 15/16 and an 7/8/9/10 seed, then you have other more important problems.

I agree to a point. But WV as a 7 seed, for example, is a tough game. Add in traveling to the site for a three-/four-day stretch, and your team is looking less fresh for the third and fourth round, where the stakes are decidedly higher. Even a deep team like Duke will get mentally winded from a tough ACC tourney. A softer week at home would be a much welcomed respite before hopefully moving on to playing for the FF.

dukie8
01-26-2008, 06:12 PM
I agree to a point. But WV as a 7 seed, for example, is a tough game. Add in traveling to the site for a three-/four-day stretch, and your team is looking less fresh for the third and fourth round, where the stakes are decidedly higher. Even a deep team like Duke will get mentally winded from a tough ACC tourney. A softer week at home would be a much welcomed respite before hopefully moving on to playing for the FF.

yes, but wvu just as easily could be an 8 seed (if they get a 7 seed) and then the 1 would get them. it's not like 1 line up or down in the seedings is material. i don't buy the "freshness" argument. how do you explain the flameouts in 2005 and 2006 in the regionals when duke played close to home for the first 2 rounds? if you want to play in the final 4, plan on playing 4 very good teams and the venue shouldn't matter.

mus074
01-26-2008, 06:25 PM
yes, but wvu just as easily could be an 8 seed (if they get a 7 seed) and then the 1 would get them. it's not like 1 line up or down in the seedings is material. i don't buy the "freshness" argument. how do you explain the flameouts in 2005 and 2006 in the regionals when duke played close to home for the first 2 rounds? if you want to play in the final 4, plan on playing 4 very good teams and the venue shouldn't matter.

If WV got the 8 seed, the one seed would have room to complain. They deserve no worse than a 4.

I do think those teams were quite exhausted, and playing close to home wasn't even enough to help them rest up. This 08 team could actually take advantage of the difference in venue, as they will be much emotionally fresher than those two teams at the end of the year.

dukie8
01-26-2008, 07:43 PM
If WV got the 8 seed, the one seed would have room to complain. They deserve no worse than a 4.

I do think those teams were quite exhausted, and playing close to home wasn't even enough to help them rest up. This 08 team could actually take advantage of the difference in venue, as they will be much emotionally fresher than those two teams at the end of the year.

why were those teams any more exhausted than any other team in the 2nd week of march? in hindsight, you could say that about any team that gets upset in the ncaat. it's not like there were a lot of quotes from players and/or coaches about how exhausted they were after resting up for 4 or 5 days after the acct. moreover, if they were that exhausted from playing the regular season that they couldn't get up for ncaat games, then what makes you think that playing close to home versus somewhere else is going to make any difference? according to your theory, the team was doomed due to exhaustion and, in any event, would have been annihilated had it advanced beyond the 3rd round and had to play the real elite teams.

again, if you want to go to the final 4 or win a nc, plan on playing very good teams every round and anywhere. if you really are serious about doing that well, then worrying about some team barely in the top 25 getting mis-seeded as a 7 or 8 or worrying about having to travel by plane to a venue is a surefire way to make sure that you don't have to worry about playing in the final 4. just ask the giants about worrying about playing at home against weak teams.

Classof06
01-26-2008, 08:04 PM
A number of posters have said they are not sure Duke the third best team in the land. I beg to differ. This is a year with there are just no monster good teams out there as seems to be the case more often than not. Georgetown lost at home to a depleted Pitt squad with Hibbert looking pretty stiff, Tenn lost to a not so great Kentucky team and they looked pretty lost at times doing it, and Kansas was taken to the wire by a really not so great Missouri team. We all know what happened to UNC at home against Maryland. So look around I see Duke as good as anyone else not necessarily better but as good as. This is a team that looks to have a realistic shot at the Final Four unlike last years.

I agree. Like Dana O'Neill for ESPN said on the Power 16, everyone says we can't beat big teams but I think we've done a pretty good job. I was reserving judgment until I saw what happened against Clemson. While getting outrebounded 42-26 is a bit concerning, it's something that probably won't change all that much this year.

Do I think Duke is the third best team in America right now? Yes, I believe they are playing like it and that's what the polls are: a week-to-week snapshot. I don't think you can say Carolina is better than Duke until we play because Duke looks more impressive than UNC most every time each respective team takes the floor.

I think Duke can make the Final Four but I also agree with whoever said that for me to be confident in our abilities to make it to a Final Four, we need 15 good minutes a game from Zoubek. Or, we need to shoot the lights out for 4 straight games. That's what Duke is up against this year (and next).

Bryan
01-26-2008, 08:13 PM
Sure, Kansas, Memphis and UNC could beat Duke in the NCAA's. But if they do it will be deep in the tournament. Duke has a MUCH better team than they've had in a while. Are they perfect? No, obviously they could use a more dependable low-post scorer than they have now. But if this team avoids injuries and keeps getting a little better each week...then the season will go on until late March or early April. This is likely to be the most fun season to be a fan for at least the last five years.

houstondukie
01-26-2008, 11:12 PM
We have a very good shot of a final four this year, but we really would need a #1 seed. As others have mentioned, there seems to be only 3-4 teams that have less weaknesses than Duke:

Memphis
Kansas
UCLA
UNC

If we can beat out UNC for a #1 seed, we won't have to face any of those four teams until the final four (assuming the other 3 earn #1 seeds; UNC probably won't be in our bracket as a #2)

I like our shot of beating Tenn, Indiana, Mich. St, G'town and other possible #2-#3 seeds to get to the final four.

dukie8
01-26-2008, 11:43 PM
We have a very good shot of a final four this year, but we really would need a #1 seed. As others have mentioned, there seems to be only 3-4 teams that have less weaknesses than Duke:

Memphis
Kansas
UCLA
UNC

If we can beat out UNC for a #1 seed, we won't have to face any of those four teams until the final four (assuming the other 3 earn #1 seeds; UNC probably won't be in our bracket as a #2)

I like our shot of beating Tenn, Indiana, Mich. St, G'town and other possible #2-#3 seeds to get to the final four.

what do we need a 1 seed? do you see any difference between a region that has duke 1 and ucla 2 and a region that has ucla 1 and duke 2?

houstondukie
01-27-2008, 11:41 AM
what do we need a 1 seed? do you see any difference between a region that has duke 1 and ucla 2 and a region that has ucla 1 and duke 2?

If we get #1 seed, in the scenario I posted, we won't be in the same bracket as UCLA because I'm assuming they will get a #1 seed.

Let's say UCLA, Memphis, and Kansas earn #1 seeds, then the last #1 seed will go to either Duke or UNC. Like I said in my previous post, I think it makes a big difference to our final four chances if we get a #1 seed because we avoid UCLA, Memphis, and Kansas in our bracket. I know I'm making a lot of assumptions, but I think most would agree that the teams I've mentioned are the prime canidates for #1 seeds.

dukie8
01-27-2008, 11:50 AM
If we get #1 seed, in the scenario I posted, we won't be in the same bracket as UCLA because I'm assuming they will get a #1 seed.

Let's say UCLA, Memphis, and Kansas earn #1 seeds, then the last #1 seed will go to either Duke or UNC. Like I said in my previous post, I think it makes a big difference to our final four chances if we get a #1 seed because we avoid UCLA, Memphis, and Kansas in our bracket. I know I'm making a lot of assumptions, but I think most would agree that the teams I've mentioned are the prime canidates for #1 seeds.

i don't agree with your assumptions because i think that there is a very good chance that both duke and unc get 1s and ucla is a 2. gtown still is in the mix as well. so duke as a 1 with ucla as a 2 is no different from ucla as a 1 and duke as a 2.

i don't get this obsession with trying to duck good teams and trying to avoid randomly underseeded middle seeds. when arizona won the nc, it beat THREE 1 seeds. if you want to go to the final 4, plan on playing 4 really good teams en route.

npdevil27
01-27-2008, 11:55 AM
Georgetown is the host of the DC first round site. If they get a one seed, and Duke gets a two, the Hoyas could be playing in Raleigh while Duke ships off somewhere else. Of course, this assumes the Heels get the other pod placement.
With Carolina most likely also ending up in Raleigh, do we really even want the Devils to end up there? It will be like a road environment. Travel will be minimal, and the opponents wouldn't be very good (if we're a 2, then the best team we could face in that pod would be a 7), but do those factors negate having to deal with the Carolina crowd? I'm not sure either way.

tecumseh
01-27-2008, 12:10 PM
Missouri is actually one of the home teams where I live and there are a lot of Mizzou fans here. They lament Mizzou is really bad and really good some nights. They hung there against Mich St and then they lose to Cal and Illinois. I think #28 is a bit high when you look at some of those losses and their RPI barely cracks the top 100.

I guess the Achilles heel of Kansas is Rush is the go to guy and if he is off they can struggle. One of the keys to the win over Missouri was Kansas free throw defense not something you can count on. They have another rivalry game this week at Kansas State and I have not seen Beardsley play so that should be a good game.

tecumseh
01-27-2008, 12:14 PM
We have a very good shot of a final four this year, but we really would need a #1 seed. As others have mentioned, there seems to be only 3-4 teams that have less weaknesses than Duke:

Memphis
Kansas
UCLA
UNC

If we can beat out UNC for a #1 seed, we won't have to face any of those four teams until the final four (assuming the other 3 earn #1 seeds; UNC probably won't be in our bracket as a #2)

I like our shot of beating Tenn, Indiana, Mich. St, G'town and other possible #2-#3 seeds to get to the final four.

I disagree first off it is unlikely all of those 4 teams end up in the elite eight. I will bet dollars to donuts they ALL don't and the team you play in the regional final will be a good team that is playing well. I don't think there is too much difference between a 1 and 2 seed. The 1 seed you can get the first night off whereas the two seed you have to play.

bill brill
01-27-2008, 01:58 PM
I agree with some of what a lot of u say, but not everything anybody says. this is a great year to be a no. 1 because of the venues. duke and unc will be in raleigh. while it may be a carolina crowd, I can't see it being that big a problem. if u look at the bottom end of the weekly top 25s, nobody scares you. and the 8s would start at no. 29. but the key is getting to charlotte, in my mind. either duke or carolina will be there. the site is where they hold the acc tournament and where duke beat davidson. the other regional sites are detroit, houston and phoenix. maryland game tonite is critical. win that, and other than two games with unc, devils will be favored in all of them. road games at unc, wake, miami, state and virginia. other than chapel hill, anybody else scare u? duke has the edge now because of unc's home loss to maryland. split the carolina games and it would require the heels to win the acc tourney. some years the venues haven't mattered. this year I really think being a no. 1would be extra beneficial.

devildeac
01-27-2008, 02:48 PM
I agree with some of what a lot of u say, but not everything anybody says. this is a great year to be a no. 1 because of the venues. duke and unc will be in raleigh. while it may be a carolina crowd, I can't see it being that big a problem. if u look at the bottom end of the weekly top 25s, nobody scares you. and the 8s would start at no. 29. but the key is getting to charlotte, in my mind. either duke or carolina will be there. the site is where they hold the acc tournament and where duke beat davidson. the other regional sites are detroit, houston and phoenix. maryland game tonite is critical. win that, and other than two games with unc, devils will be favored in all of them. road games at unc, wake, miami, state and virginia. other than chapel hill, anybody else scare u? duke has the edge now because of unc's home loss to maryland. split the carolina games and it would require the heels to win the acc tourney. some years the venues haven't mattered. this year I really think being a no. 1would be extra beneficial.

Excellent insight as usual, Mr. Brill. Good info also in the most recent BDW. Come visit us here often and keep us informed with the facts so we can keep the rumor-mongering and teeth-gnashing to a minimum:D.

MrBisonDevil
01-28-2008, 09:34 AM
Just gimme a #1 or #2 seed in the ACC Tourney and a #1 or #2 seed in the East Region (Raleigh + Charlotte). Everything else (season rankings) is BAH!