UK Men's Basketball

NCAA Tournament will no longer use RPI. See what’s replacing it.

The NCAA has dropped the RPI and adopted a new metric to measure the validity of college basketball teams for postseason play.
The NCAA has dropped the RPI and adopted a new metric to measure the validity of college basketball teams for postseason play. AP

RIP RPI.

The NCAA announced Wednesday that it will no longer use the Ratings Percentage Index as a tool in evaluating Division I men’s basketball teams. Replacing the RPI is what will be called the “NCAA Evaluation Tool.”

The NCAA approved the NET after what it said were months of consultation with the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, the National Association of Basketball Coaches, top basketball analytics experts and the Google Cloud Professional Services.

The NET will rely on game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, net offensive and defensive efficiency and quality of wins and losses.

In a news release, the NCAA said the NET will not consider the date of a game. This is to ensure that equal importance is given to early-season as well as late-season games, the NCAA said.

And there will be a 10-point cap placed on the margin of victory component. “To prevent rankings from encouraging unsportsmanlike play, such as needlessly running up the score in a game where the outcome was certain,” the NCAA release said.

The NET will include what was called the Kevin Pauga Index, ESPN’s results-oriented metric and predictive metrics managed by “renowned basketball analytics experts” Ken Pomeroy, Jeff Sagarin and ESPN’s Basketball Power Index.

Reviewing the results of evaluations entering previous tournaments “will help ensure that the rankings are built on an objective source of truth,” Dan Gavitt, senior vice president of basketball for the NCAA, said in the release.

The NCAA first used the RPI in 1981.

Later in the release, Gavitt acknowledged that the introduction of the NET system does not mean the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee will rely solely on numbers in the process of selecting, seeding and bracketing teams.

“There will always be a subjective element to the tournament selection process, too,” Gavitt said in the release.

The NCAA announced major changes to its rules in an effort to crack down on college basketball corruption. The changes include players being able to hire an agent, and being able to return to school if they're not drafted into the NBA.

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