Bilas Index: Preseason rankings

The introduction of The Bilas Index last season proved without a doubt to be a momentous event in the history of the game and, without hyperbole, in our nation's history.

From the time that Naismith invented the game, man has been wandering in the woods without direction, needing the sage guidance of The Bilastrator to understand that which had been incomprehensible before: the true order of the game and exactly what accurately measures basketball success and proficiency. Like Jonas Salk did in the medical realm with his polio vaccine, The Bilastrator was able to rid the world of basketball of a horrible stain in the fabric of the game: the rank guesswork of the NCAA selection committee.

While the selection committee was, relatively speaking, still climbing out of the primordial ooze in assessing the game and those who play it, The Bilas Index was able to open up the mysteries of the universe for the committee's poor, directionless souls. No longer will those NCAA administrators struggle with the difficulty of the formula for the RPI, because the Bilas Index has made them -- and any prior measure contemplated -- completely and totally obsolete. The selection committee is now the hickory stick mashie in the world of titanium shafts and super COI drivers.

The Bilas Index is, by any measure, the best and most accurate metric of college basketball proficiency ever devised. The Bilas Index uses a combination of today's most reliable metrics, including the efficiency ratings of KenPom.com and Sagarin, along with the most powerful intellectual force the game has ever known: the highly trained eye and unmatched ocean of basketball knowledge inside the cranium of The Bilastrator.

When used by any person with even minor brain function, The Bilas Index is a powerful -- no, an unstoppable force. Those making use of The Bilas Index have been able to win (going away) office pools, fantasy leagues, friendly wagers, and have brought Las Vegas sports books to their knees. In addition, those using The Bilas Index were able to make sound and unassailable decisions on the best teams in the country, based upon merit, performance and true basketball accomplishment.

Last season, in its debut campaign, The Bilas Index was rolled out when there was enough data for those uneducated in the finer points of basketball -- many of whom are in decision-making capacities in the game -- around which to wrap their lesser functioning brains. This season, The Bilas Index will provide its high-powered, superior cranial judgments before the first game has tipped off. Even before any data from the season can be compiled and examined with reliable measures, The Bilastrator is able to see clearly that which others cannot even begin to comprehend. You're welcome.

1. Louisville Cardinals

Louisville couldn't shoot last season and suffered through a laundry list of injuries. The metrics say to move the Cards down a bit. But the team Louisville was at the end of the season is where Rick Pitino will start the 2012-13 campaign. If healthy, this is a title contender. Give Pitino a deep roster of healthy players, and he'll win with it.

Pitino will win with this group. Louisville has the best defensive unit in the country (three of the top five defensive teams, according to kenpom.com's rankings last season, reached the Final Four), and a point guard in Peyton Siva who is ready to become the player everyone has always expected.

2. Indiana Hoosiers