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RPI stinks, but at least the NCAA is using it more effectively this year

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

So here’s something to think about while we wait to see which college basketball programs get nuked: what the hell are quadrants, and why are we about to hear that word a lot during NCAA tourney selection time?

This year, the committee has introduced a new word to the March Madness lexicon: quadrant. Under the new system, the committee is giving more weight to road and neutral-site victories and using four quadrants to classify the caliber of regular-season games. [...]

Rather than just counting a team’s wins against the top rated RPI teams — top 50 RPI wins, top 100 RPI wins, etc. — the committee now classifies wins into four separate quadrants using the same RPI standings.

As stated above, this is an attempt at giving teams more credit for neutral-site and road wins.

The selection committee will no longer use top 50, top 100, 200 and 201 and above as dividing categories. Instead, the new terminology will be quadrants 1, 2, 3 and 4. The decision is to get away from treating every team the same if the game was on the road, neutral or at home based on their power rating. Now the road/neutral games will matter more.

The breakdown will be as follows:

Quadrant 1: Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75

Quadrant 2: Home 31-75; Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135

Quadrant 3: Home 76-160; Neutral 101-200; Away 136-240

Quadrant 4: Home 161-plus; Neutral 201-plus; Away 241-plus. [...]

This recommendation shouldn’t come as a shock to the coaches. It was their National Association of Basketball Coaches Ad Hoc Committee on Selections, Seeding and Bracketing that made the suggestion. They wanted to formally adjust the team sheets to emphasize games played away from home.

You can take a look at the fancy new “team sheet” here.

This adjustment helps Missouri because the neutral-court game against WVU and the road trips to UCF (win) and Utah (loss) all count as “Quadrant 1” games, and Mizzou has therefore played more Q1 games than just about anyone else.

This is all, of course, an exercise in putting lipstick on a pig. The RPI stinks (I’ve got Nate Silver in my corner on that one), and making good adjustments to a bad thing instead of looking around for a good thing to do instead is very, very much in the NCAA’s wheelhouse. But hey, lipstick is better than no lipstick, I guess.

By the way, my thoughts on the aforementioned nuking:

Friend of the site Brandon Kiley responded with this:

I almost responded with “We lost to SEMO in the Elite 8 :(“ but decided not to.

Yesterday at Rock M

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