As Harry King pointed out for us last week, the columns of the data sheets given to the NCAA Tournament selection committee have changed this year. More from Harry:
For several years, the first column of the sheets listed results against the top 50 teams in the NCAA’s Rating Percentage Index.
This year, the first column consists of home games vs. teams ranked 1-30, neutral-site games against teams in the top 50, and road games vs. opponents in the top 75.
Instead of results vs. teams ranked 51-100, the second column will include home games against teams ranked 31-75, neutral-site games vs. teams ranked 51-100 and road games against teams ranked 76-135.
A similar progression continues for two more columns.
“The emphasis of performing well on the road is important, as was the need for teams not to be penalized as much for road losses,” said Mark Hollis, committee chairman at the time. “Beating elite competition, regardless of the game location will still be rewarded, but the committee wanted the team sheets to reflect that a road game against a team ranked 60th is mathematically more difficult and of higher quality than a home game against a team ranked 35th.”
David Worlock, NCAA director of media coordination and statistics, called the visual nature of the team sheets “powerful and influential.”
Right now for Arkansas, the first column looks like this:
Home Games vs. RPI Top 30
Wins: Tennessee (13) and Missouri (23)
Upcoming Games: Auburn (7), Texas A&M (16) and Kentucky (20)
Neutral-Site Games vs. Top 50
Wins: Oklahoma (21)
Losses: North Carolina (7)
Upcoming: Potentially at SEC Tournament
Road Games vs. Top 75
Losses: Auburn (7), Texas A&M (16), Houston (29), Florida (46), Mississippi State (59)
Upcoming: Missouri (23) and Alabama (34)
Right now Arkansas is 3-6 in the first column that the selection committee sees and its final five games should factor into the first column, so long as Kentucky doesn’t stay in free fall.
The second column record for Arkansas right now is 2-1 with a game at Ole Miss (104) tonight that will factor into that record.
Other notable RPIs right now: South Carolina 76, LSU 77, Georgia 84, Oklahoma State 89, Bucknell 92, Fresno State 94 and UConn 100.