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Albany Great Danes Top Ranked Team in Nation by ESPN's BPI Despite 12-15 Record

By Stephen Douglas
Albany v Kansas State
Albany v Kansas State / Peter G. Aiken/GettyImages
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The Albany Great Danes are coming off back-to-back wins against Binghamton and New Hampshire so there is reason for optimism in New York's Capital Region. However, with a 12-15 record and just three games remaining on their schedule, you probably think they'll need to win the America East Tournament to get invited to March Madness. And that is true, unless the selection committee weighs BPI quite heavily because the Great Danes are suddenly the top ranked team in America by that metric.

I'm not going to pretend to understand BPI, but according to ESPN.com it is a "measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of performance going forward. BPI represents how many points above or below average a team is." Well, that certainly explains Albany skyrocketing up the BPI an astounding 262 spots in seven days to take the top spot.

The main reason for this appears to be their incredible 45.6 BPI Off rating which is nearly four times the rating of next closest team.

Again, I have no idea what any of this means, but it seems broken. Albany is above Gonzaga and every other team in the country and there isn't another sub-.500 team on this list until you get to Northwestern (12-13) at #65.

This is why we play the games. To prove that the computer knows that Albany is truly the best team in the nation, even if they were the 263rd best team in the nation a week ago. Once you remember the computer knows things that the eyes will never understand you'll realize that the only legitimate question is which region will Albany be the top seed in come March.

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