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February 18, 2011, 11:32 AM ET
Wins have to happen. Points don’t.

by John Gasaway

Where there’s a game there’ll be one win and one loss recorded. But there’s more to learn about the teams that played in that game.

Maybe both teams played superbly. Maybe both played horribly. Maybe one team alternated between playing superbly and horribly. Maybe the other team was superb on offense and horrible on defense. The scenarios are infinite, and looking at how many points were scored can help us find out what happened.

Wins are unparalleled as rewards, but they’re crude adjectives. I’m on the record as thinking that the mere distribution of wins — with due consideration for opponent, time, and place — can yield sufficient information to draw a line across the top quintile of D-I and tell the teams above this line, “You’re in!” But trying to do something as precise as sequencing an entire tournament field on an S-curve armed only with wins is a little like playing the piano while wearing oven mitts. It can be done, but the music would sound better if we freed up our fingers. 

Twitter: @JohnGasaway. Contact: here. Book: now available on Amazon.

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