I've held off on the head-to-head comparisons until March, but figured tossing a couple of them out there in the next couple weeks wouldn't do any harm.
So how about a look at two teams with some similar postseason profiles through Feb. 28, with data courtesy of CollegeRPI.com and CBSSports.com?
||Category|| Team B
|3-7||Road + Neutral
Well, that looks interesting, doesn't it?
The point of this comparison, unlike normal conditions, isn't to determine which team has the better resume. If you like quality victories, Team A wins. If you like performance away from home, a superior nonconference schedule and avoiding bad losses, Team B wins.
But this isn't an apples-to-apples comparison, and that's because Team A (as you might have guessed from that record against the top 100) is Virginia. The Cavaliers, of course, closed out February with a home defeat of Duke.
Team B, meanwhile, is Virginia Tech --- specifically, 2011 Virginia Tech through Feb. 28 of that year (the asterisk with the nonconference schedule strength is the only full-season number for the Hokies).
That's the same 2011 Virginia Tech that closed out February with a home defeat of Duke, had people declaring it a sure-fire NCAA tournament team and lost three of its next five games to land in the NIT.
Granted, 2013 Virginia and 2011 Virginia Tech have different competition for at-large berths. But both were trying to work their way into a 68-team field, and both followed up their defeats of Duke with games against Boston College (Virginia Tech lost its, Virginia heads to Chestnut Hill on Sunday).
The point is Virginia still has work to do, even after Thursday's victory. Upsetting Duke surely helped the Cavaliers, but they still have at least four games remaining. That's a considerable sum for a team that can't consider itself a sure thing just yet.--- Patrick Stevens