Mizzou NETs (hehe) a Top 10 ranking
If you’re still feeling nervous about the Mizzou men’s NCAA Tournament chances come March, there’s a bit of news from yesterday that should help you breathe easier.
The NCAA dropped its first edition of the NCAA Evaluation Tool, or NET, rankings on Monday. For those who are unfamiliar, these have been used as the primary accounting measure in deciding who makes the Big Dance for the past few years. The rankings used to weigh a number of factors, but now focuses on adjusted efficiency numbers (similar to what you’ll see on sites like KenPom) and Team Value Index, a curious amalgamation of quality wins and game location.
#Mizzou debuted at No. 10 in the NCAA's net rankings, which, if treated as a stand-in for the S-Curve, would put the Tigers in range of a No. 3 or No. 4 seed in March.— Matt Harris (@MattJHarris85) January 4, 2021
As you can surmise from the headline and also the subhead and also Matt’s tweet, Missouri is ranked quite high. The Tigers debuted at No. 10 in the NET rankings, just a few spots behind former opponents Illinois (No. 4) and Tennessee (No. 3). The Tigers are the second highest ranked SEC squad and, if you’re into in-state rivalries, rank just two spots ahead of SLU. Some other spare notes from the NET rankings:
— NET measures wins by Quads (1, 2, 3, 4) which weigh more depending on how you fare in each. The Tigers are tied with Houston and Gonzaga for the most Quad 1 wins in the country at four (Oregon, Wichita State, Illinois and Arkansas). They could pick up a fifth against LSU this coming weekend.
— The SEC came out of the first rankings with some mixed reviews. The conference has five of the Top 25 teams (Tennessee, Mizzou, Florida, Arkansas, LSU), but only one additional team in the Top 50 (Alabama at 36).
— Kentucky and Duke are not ranked in the Top 100, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering UK’s struggles and Duke’s lack of a resume. Kentucky is actually second lowest in the SEC at 144, 33 spots ahead of Vanderbilt and 31 behind Mississippi State.
To analyze the NET rankings too much would be unwise at this point, but the Kansas City Star did have a piece on why the early ranking is a good indicator for Mizzou’s tournament chances. In it, Souichi Terada spent a little more time breaking down each Quadrant.
In more traditional rankings, the Tigers took the smallest of hits for their blowout loss last week. But after rebounding against Arkansas, the Tigers only fell one spot to No. 13 in both the AP and the Coach’s polls.
It feels like it’ll be a challenge to climb much higher than this based on the SEC schedule. Top 15 teams don’t usually get credit for beating teams ranked lower than them. So unless Missouri can hold serve while the country’s elite teams falter or unless the Tigers can knock off Tennessee at some point, it seems like the Tigers are pretty set in this 10 to 20 range.
In other ranking news that don’t mean as much from a numbers perspective (but may give us a clue at how the NCAA media class views Missouri), Andy Katz still has Missouri in the top half of his Power 36 rankings.
Yesterday at Rock M
- Mizzou’s seniors are taking advantage of the extra year of eligibility
- Understanding Efficiency Margin (in college hoops)
- PODCAST: Mizzou had an up-and-down week
- In addition to dropping the NET rankings, the NCAA announced on Monday that the entirety of the NCAA Tournament will take place on a variety of courts in Indianapolis this March. This is probably an effort to replicate the bubble that worked so well in the NBA last season.
- The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is starting a thorough review of the 2020 Mizzou Football season. Here’s what they published yesterday:
- The NCAA also unveiled the NET rankings for women’s hoops, and Mizzou has some work to do, coming in at No. 61.
- At PowerMizzou, Sean Williams spoke with Sam Horn, a 4-star QB prospect from the 2022 class, who has been high on the Tigers since the beginning of his recruitment. Subscribers can also get access to Gabe’s Monday morning thoughts.
- #TigerStyle looked great in their first match of the season, and the polls took notice. The Tigers start out at No. 12 in the first NCAA Wrestling poll.
- If you’re looking to sign up for ESPN+, Rock M Nation now has an affiliate link: click Here for ESPN+ Now!
- If you’re looking to sign up for a new streaming service, you can try FuboTV: click HERE for FuboTV access — FuboTV now has ESPN, CBS, FS1 and more sports channels.
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