Last year I wrote an article that supported the view that the Atlantic-10 conference was stronger than the Pac-12. This year the case is stronger.
At the time this article is being written, in the RPI rankings the A10 is ranked #7. The conference has six teams in the top 60, St. Joseph's (13), Dayton (22), Xavier (24), Temple (34), St. Louis (53) and St. Bonaventure (57). Xavier would be much higher if not for their recent loss to Oral Roberts that they played with three starters suspended.
The Pac-12 is ranked #9 and only has two teams in the top 60, Arizona (35) and California (58).
Let's review each conferences bad losses and good wins. Good wins are any wins over a team with a better than 60 RPI or a strong BCS team. Bad losses are losses to a team with an RPI over 100 or a low mid-major team.
In the Pac-12, California defeated Denver (11) and Georgia, Stanford beat North Carolina St. (56) and Colorado State (52), Oregon State beat Texas, Arizona State beat Wake Forest, Washington lost to South Dakota State and Nevada, Oregon State lost to Idaho (239), Washington State lost to UC-Riverside (256), USC lost to Cal-Poly (127), Arizona State lost to Pepperdine (257), Northern Arizona (278) and Nevada, UCLA lost to LMU (164) and Middle Tenn. St. (132) while Utah lost to Boise State (124), Montana State (317), UMass (108), UNC-Asheville (139), Fresno State (196) and Fullerton (228), A total of six good wins and 16 bad losses.
In the A10, St. Joseph's defeated Georgia Tech, Creighton (34) and Villanova (91) while losing to American (120). Xavier beat Georgia (73), Vanderbilt (28), Purdue (39) and Cincinnati. Dayton defeated Minnesota (18), Alabama (22) and Wake Forest while losing to Miami (OH) (269) and Buffalo (112). Temple beat Wichita State (44) and Villanova and lost to Bowling Green (229). St. Louis beat Oklahoma (24) and Villanova and lost to Loyola Marymount (164). Richmond beat Wake Forest. St. Bonaventure lost to Arkansas State (138). Charlotte beat Davidson (20) and lost to E. Tennessee St. (203). Duquesne lost to Western Michigan (207). LaSalle lost to Delaware (169). George Washington lost to Loyola (MD) (134) and Bradley (199). Fordham lost to Loyola (IL) (211), Lehigh (111), Manhattan (151) and Monmouth (284). Rhode Island lost to George Mason (191), Boston U. (157), Brown (300), Maine (200), Georgia State (273) and Yale (125). A total of 16 good wins and 21 bad losses with 10 of the bad losses by the bottom two teams.
Let's compare the conferences in games against BCS conference schools. The Pac-12 is 10-17 while the A10 is 20-18. In matchups between the conferences the result is 2-2 with St. Louis beating Washington 77-64 and UMass defeating Utah 89-75. The Pac-12's wins were Cal over George Washington (81-54) and Arizona beating Duquesne (67-59).
As far as NCAA bids, the Pac-12 shouldn't get more than two bids (maybe Arizona and Cal the way it looks now) while the A10 can get 3-4 out of Xavier, St. Joseph's, Dayton, St. Louis and Temple.
The verdict is in. The Atlantic 10 is a stronger basketball conference this year than the Pac-12.
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