what if the RPI is out as a decision metric

There is suggestion and consideration to drop it, which could be good or bad for any SEC team not named Ky:

http://insider.espn.com/mens-college-ba … new-metric

Nice find.

I actually hope they do start using other metrics, it can’t hurt, all it would do is help ensure even more the best teams make the field. I also think it would help balance things out and stop some of these conferences like Big 10 and ACC from averaging like 8-10 teams making the field. Because when you’re going strictly off of RPI these teams benefit from just being in their conference, they can go .500 and have some blowout losses, yet because their conference RPI is so strong, those losses don’t really hurt them. Some of the bottom tier ACC schools that are making it in, aren’t as good as maybe the 4th or 5th SEC team, yet they will get in over them.

Same story not behind their paywall: <LINK_TEXT text=“http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basket … new-metric”>http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/18468008/ncaa-tournament-officials-meet-analytics-experts-consider-creating-new-metric</LINK_TEXT>

I don’t mind them using RPI as one of many metrics, as a different way to assess strength of schedule (which is about all it’s good for). But if they dump it entirely I wouldn’t be upset either.

Do you think they go off strictly RPI today? Because they don’t.

I know there are other factors but RPI is one of the biggest right now. My bad on wording, I did say strictly.

The reliance on RPI is not nearly what it used to be. But they still use it. I think individual committee members look at the advanced metrics but they’re not part of the official package.

This change would throw the SEC a curveball. The SEC office has pressed schools hard to adopt scheduling principles that boost RPI. These include avoiding games against the very worst conferences.

In the SWAC for example, no team has a record above .500. One of 13 MEAC teams is above .500. Same is true for the Northeast.

Merely by avoiding teams against opponents below 250th in RPI, a school can boost its RPI by a significant amount. I saw some before-and-after scenarios that showed 50- to 100-slot improvement in RPI, just from selection bias.

As a principle, this would force the lower-rated conferences to play more games against one another, further exaggerating the advantage of avoiding games against the worst conferences.

RPI also gives teams too much credit for losing in good conferences. All formulaic ranking systems probably do, because of the high priority the basketball lords place on “schedule strength.” They don’t want to punish teams that play tough schedules.

You can see the math bias inherent to the RPI by looking at top 20 teams by conference:

3 Big East
3 Pac 12
2 Big 12
1 Big Ten

Xavier, 21st in RPI, has a 13-5 record, 3-3 in the Big East. Its best wins were over No. 30 Wake Forest (10-7) and No. 42 Clemson (11-6). Not only do the Musket guys get too much credit for playing in the Big East, they also got two wins vs. vastly overrated ACC teams. Xavier beat Missouri by 1 point; that’s their worst opponent. Good, middling schedule. Perfect team to lose in the first round of the NCAAT.

I think it would throw everybody a curveball.

I also don’t think they’ll completely discard RPI. They’ll just officially add Pomeroy, Sagarin and other more advanced metrics – which I understand individual committee members already use. And strength of schedule factors into all of them AFAIK, so there will still be incentive to cut down on the creampuffs.

I was completely unfamiliar with KPI so I went to check it out. The KPI algorithm includes SOS, opponents’ SOS, site of game, pace of game, scoring margin, W/L and opponents’ KPI ranking to determine a value for each game, which is added up and divided by number of games for the overall KPI ranking.

Just for comparison sake, here’s where we are in each metric this morning:

Pomeroy 47
Sagarin 43
BPI 46
KPI 29
RPI 36

So if there’s an outlier for us, it’s KPI.

What I find funny is there’s a committee in football that said get rid of the metrics and lets half a playoff like the NCAAT. The NCAAT had 64 teams, but that wasn’t good enough, so it went to 68. Now it needs a new formula for the formula. In other words, get rid of the formula and have 64 teams to pick #1. But, now we need a formula to decide who the 68 teams will be, to decide who the #1 team will be. Where will it end. Let’s just put in all 300+ teams. But, then we need a formula for proper seeding, that also takes into account location of where the tourney games will be played. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAhhhhhhhh when will it end?!?!?!?

They went to 68 teams because all these little schools wanted their share of the golden goose’s eggs, joined D-I and formed conferences that are charitably called mid-major. And those mini-leagues were squeezing out real teams. Say those 11 and 12 seeds don’t belong in the tournament? Three of them have made the Final Four. And without going to 68 teams, one or more of those three might have been sitting at home when the tournament started.

They’re not going to go to 80, or 96, or 128 teams.

Football and basketball are completely different situations. The whole NCAAT extends the winner’s season by maybe 20%, or less. An 8 or 16-team playoff in football would be more like 40%, in a much more demanding sport.

It wouldn’t seem fair to discard RPI during a season when teams have scheduled with it in mind.

This wouldn’t kick in until the '17-'18 season, if then. As I noted above, all of those metrics have a SOS component, so you can be pretty sure that scheduling the worst team in the SWAC or MEAC is not a good idea, whether RPI or KPI or BPI are in use (or all of the above). It might take a couple of years to figure out how to game the system like the Mo Valley has done for years, and the SEC is trying to do now.