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Kentucky Tops the List of Best Teams in BPI Era

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Since the 2011-12 season, ESPN has used the Basketball Power Index (BPI) to determine the truly best teams in the sport. The rating system accounts for the final score, pace of play, site, strength of opponent and absence of key players in every Division I men’s game, including the NCAA Tournament. I dug up the top ten BPI teams and the results favor Kentucky’s 2015 team as the best overall from the past four years, even above the 2012 Cats.

1. 2015 Kentucky (94.5)

2. 2012 Kentucky (92.4)

3. 2015 Wisconsin (92.0)

4. 2013 Louisville (91.3)

5. 2014 Arizona (91.1)

6. 2015 Arizona (90.9)

7. 2012 Syracuse (90.2)

8. 2014 Florida (90.1)

9. 2015 Virginia (90.0)

10. 2015 Villanova (89.6)

Next three: 2015 Duke (89.5), 2015 Gonzaga (89.1), 2013 Florida (89.0)

The numbers show that 2015 was by far the best season for college basketball in the BPI era. Five of the top 10 teams — and seven of the top 12 — are from 2015. Kentucky’s lone loss of 2015 came against the highest-rated, non-Kentucky team of the BPI era.

The Cats didn’t reach 40-0. They didn’t accomplish what we all wanted in the end — but don’t let anyone tell you they weren’t great, that the SEC was too easy, or even that they choked. They reached the most-stacked Final Four in years, maybe decades, and fell to an elite Wisconsin team in a semifinal that could have gone either way.



Article written by John Wilmhoff

Former beer vendor, college mascot and ESPN editor. This spring, you can also find me blogging about the Reds on Follow me on Twitter: @JohnWilmhoff

4 Comments for Kentucky Tops the List of Best Teams in BPI Era

  1. 2000Wins
    10:41 pm April 9, 2015 Permalink

    Obviously wins during the month of April should count for more points

  2. Luvas
    10:44 pm April 9, 2015 Permalink

    This post is like spitting on a wound because you are out of band aids.

  3. WeareBBN
    11:54 pm April 9, 2015 Permalink

    Well the SEC was horrible and there is no way we go undefeated in the ACC, Big 12 or Big 10. However I feel if we were in one of those conferences this year we would be champions because we would have been a better team. Not our fault the SEC was horrible but it cost us. I don’t know what the BPI is and how it is figured, Don’t Care. Would rather have #9 than this worthless title. Any rating that has us ahead of dUKe or Wisc is bogus…Wisc beat us in only thing that mattered.

    • Al B. Frank
      3:33 pm April 10, 2015 Permalink

      No, Wisconsin beat us in one game. They are an elite team that beat us in ONE GAME. Our conference might’ve been weaker than the ACC, but it was not as horrible as opposing fan bases make it out to be (several teams in the “Top 50”, multiple teams in the Tourney). Whether or not it was horrible, the fact remains that we won the games.

      Speaking of horrible teams… Duke (yes, the National Champions from the ACC) lost a game to Miami (Fla) by 16 points. The same Miami team that lost to EKU by 28. So we beat good teams, mediocre teams, and even weak teams. We lost to one elite team, at a bad time for our first loss.

      I just wish there were more common opponents that we could use to compare the teams. Oh… Duke, the National Champions, lost to Notre Dame twice. We beat them. But… that was just one game, right? Right. Just one game, like the one we lost to Wisconsin.

      No one is arguing that Wisconsin wasn’t a great team. They played great on a night that we made silly mistakes at the end and did things that were uncharacteristic to our team. One game. Wisconsin, the runner up, speaking of one bad game lost to the powerhouse that is Rutgers.

      Are Rutgers and Miami (Fla) examples of the losses that we would have had if we had played in a better conference? Those are not good teams. My point is, even if you perceive our conference as weaker… we still won the games that we were supposed to win.

      Good teams have bad losses. We didn’t. Our only “bad loss” was to a really, really good team.