The NCAA is doing away with RPI, the metric that’s been used by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee to pick and seed the teams for March Madness. Instead of RPI, they’ll be using a new ranking metric called NET going forward and they’ve just released the first round of NET rankings that’s absolutely horrendous.
Compared to any respectable rankings (AP, Coaches Poll, Pomeroy, ESPN, etc.) the new NET system has coughed up what appears to be a pile of cat vomit. Coming it at #1 on the list is Ohio State Men’s Basketball who are ranked #16 in the AP and USA Today Coaches Poll. Kansas isn’t even in the NCAA’s Top 10 while Gonzaga and Duke are ranked 5th and 6th respectively. Those three teams are 1-3 in the AP and Coaches Polls.
Here’s the NCAA’s first NET poll.
FiveThirtyEight‘s Nate Silver, a man who has built a media empire out of advanced metrics of every type, wasted no time at all ripping the NCAA’s new rankings to shreds. As he points out below, the NET ranking rewards teams with good records against really shitty teams because it barely accounts for strength of schedule. This career statistician thinks that the ‘eye test’ is better than the NCAA’s new NET.
The rest of Twitter wasted no time at all roasting the NCAA for these garbage rankings. And honestly, they’re trash. The NCAA has 1-loss Florida State ranked 44th in the nation while every other major poll have the ‘Noles ranked 14th or higher, and that’s just one example of how ass-backward this NET ranking is.
The only Twitter account that seemed happy about these new rankings is Ohio State Men’s Basketball which hopped in the mentions to thank the NCAA.
These initial rankings don’t really mean anything at all now. They’ll only be important around the time of the various conference tournaments and then the rankings will change drastically. But it is just another chapter of the NCAA completely butt fumbling something. There’s no reason they needed to release these now if they knew it was going to cause such a controversy and make their new metrics look shitty (which they do, in fact, look shitty).