The final word in basketball proficiency and accomplishment is, of course, the Bilas Index. As the selection committee flails around, claiming to be digging down, what it is really doing is digging into the Bilas Index for all the answers. And we are happy to oblige them.
The Bilas Index is a registry of teams in order of merit that is devised by The Bilastrator himself after comprehensive study and breakdown of the very best and most reliable analytics such as ESPN's Basketball Power Index (BPI), the Sagarin ratings, KenPom.com, Basketball Prospectus, the UPS Team Performance Index (TPI), and the video and information of more than 5,000 games logged on Synergy Sports Technology. In this catalog of teams, ranked in magnificent and undisputed order, The Bilastrator gives to you the gift of accuracy in determining the best teams in the land as we approach the NCAA tournament. Forget the bracket and its autobids, if the world wants to see the nation's best 68 teams, it will find them below.
A little later this week, The Bilastrator will take you pick by pick through his bracket on Insider, but if you want to get a leg up now, feast your eyes on the most comprehensive power ranking on this planet or any other. The stats used in this piece are as of Saturday, and The Bilastrator is well aware that some conference tournaments haven't yet concluded. However, at this point in the season, single-game results move The Bilastrator as much as the tide moves Gibraltar.
While you are reading and absorbing the Bilas Index, the selection committee continues to deny consulting it, even though it has been caught doing so as if it were an unfocused student looking at a comic book placed inside of his textbook jacket. As you and the selection committee are taken to areas of the game you could never fathom before the Bilas Index, as always, you're quite welcome.
Moving out: Harvard, Arkansas
Coming in: Massachusetts, Illinois State
1. Louisville Cardinals (Previous ranking: 3)
The top defensive team in the nation, second only to VCU in turnover and steals percentage. This team is deep, athletic, big and talented. Peyton Siva and Russ Smith are the fastest and most dynamic guards in the country, and Luke Hancock is shooting the ball with great accuracy.
2. Indiana Hoosiers (Previous ranking: 1)
The best offensive team in the nation, the Hoosiers rank in the top five in 3-point shooting and offensive rebounding. Cody Zeller is among the most efficient players in the nation, runs the floor better than any big man in the country and is an outstanding defender. To beat Indiana, you have to be physical with the Hoosiers. Otherwise, this team will be too skilled for you.