Recently there has been much debate concerning the basketball program. Much of it innuendo without much supporting analysis or fact based data. Some of this was my fault. So I started down a rabbit hole of sorts to decipher some fact from fiction and try to be as objective as I could be. I went further than ever intended so I though I would share some of my findings some of which were interesting…..
I endeavored to answer a number of questions based on recent dialogue with other posters which I have included in the following sub-thread posts (Part I and Part II).
1) Has the number of Division I teams grown with the expansion of the NCAA/NIT?
2) Is the NIT/NCAA watered down? e.g., is it easier to get into the post-season now than ever before?
• NIT started in 1938 NCAA started in 1939; source data for Division I teams started in 1948 (starting point for graphs).
• The NIT tournament originally consisted of only 6 teams, which later expanded to 8 teams in 1941, 12 teams in 1949, 14 teams in 1965, 16 teams in 1968, 24 teams in 1979, 32 teams in 1980, and 40 teams from 2002 through 2006. The tournament reverted to 32 teams for 2007.
• The NCAA tournament originally consisted of only 8 teams, which later expanded to 16 teams in 1951, between 22 and 25 teams 1953 to 1974, 32 teams in 1975, 40 teams in 1979, 48 teams in 1980, 52 teams in 1983, 53 teams in 1984, 64 teams in 1985, 65 teams in 2001, and 68 teams in 2011.
The number of Division I teams has steadily grown since 1948 roughly doubling from 160 to 328 in Year 2012. There is a discrepancy with Wiki. Wiki reports elsewhere (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/College_basketball) that there are currently 344 Division I basketball teams. I didn’t find a list to compare which schools are missing and why.
It appears that there are two distinct periods where there is a difference in the ratio of teams to available post-season berths (NCAA+NIT). Period 1: from mid-50’s to mid-70’s and then Period 2: from mid-70’s to present. There are more post season berths available during Period 2 compared to Period 1; however, there is relatively little difference during these periods. The years where post season berths were the hardest to come by were 1973 and 1974. So the data suggests the NCAA and NIT are “watered down” when compared to the time period prior to mid-70’s; after that it is steady and there is no apparent watering down of the post-season from the mid-70’s onward. I would suggest that todays’ basketball teams are better simply because of better facilities; better training; and generally better knowledge of the game. For example, the Ivy League schools used to dominate the national football championships of yesteryear, but I am convinced these teams would get crushed by the BCS champions of today.
1) Do we play more regular season games today than in the past?
2) What is VT’s historical winning %?
3) What is VT’s conference and post-season tournament winning %?
4) How do all of VT’s basketball coaches compare to each other?
Anything pre-1950 is sort of a mixed bag. Apparently VT played some non-colleges and even the YMCA in regular season games in the very early years. From 1921-1945 we average about 18 regular season games. From 1945-1975 we average about 24 games. From 1975-present we average about 28 games. (NOTE: This figure is hard to see. The y-Axis is from 0-35 games for upper and 0-100% for lower. X-Axis is 1908 to 2008 in increments of 10 years).
VT Winning % during NCAA Years: 74 percent
VT Winning % during NIT Years: 65 percent
(This figure is attached as a pdf which can be viewed large scale).
This is sort of self explanatory and it will always be in the “eye-of-the-beyolder” and will depend on what is important to you. VT was an independent prior to 1921 and between the years 1965-1977. One thing is clear is that the Allen-Hussey-Stokes years were awful.