Say hello to the NET.
No, we’re not talking about the net as is Internet. We’re talking about the NCAA Evaluation Tool, college basketball’s new measurement of ranking all 353 NCAA Division I teams using a number of criteria to gauge a team’s strengths and weaknesses.
The NET replaces the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), which not a lot of people understood. Then again, the new rating tool isn’t all that easy to comprehend either, and at least in the early going, there are some massive swings of fortunes based on one result.
Take the case of St. Joseph’s. The Hawks took a NET ranking of 137 into Sunday’s home game against No. 290 George Washington and lost, dropping 22 spots to 159 while the Colonials vaulted 35 rungs to No. 255.
Nationally, following Saturday’s results, Iowa State jumped 16 spots (30 to 14) after defeating Kansas, but previously undefeated Nevada fell 21 spots (8 to 29) after losing at New Mexico.
The criteria for the NET are Team Value Index (game result, opponent, location and scoring margin capped at 10 points per game), Winning Percentage, Net Efficiency (offensive efficiency minus defensive efficiency) and Adjusted Win Percentage (weighted value based on location and result).
A win is worth 1.4 extra points on the road, 1.0 extra point at a neutral location, and 0.6 at home. A loss costs a team 1.4 points if it’s at home, 1.0 if on a neutral court and 0.6 points if on the road.
The quadrant system is back and part of a team’s resume. A team would gain a Quadrant 1 win at home over a team ranked 1 through 30, on a neutral court over a team ranked 1 through 50, and on an away court over a team ranked 1 through 75.
Easy to figure out, right? Coach Jay Wright of Villanova (ranked No. 33 Monday) was asked what he thought.
“I feel like whatever they use, learn what it is and do the best you can with it,” he said. “When it was RPI and we looked at RPI and how we had to schedule and what we had to do, we made the best of it. Now we’re looking at NET and trying to figure out what’s the difference. It seems to me it’s still playing road games, not playing low RPI teams, winning and not being afraid to go on the road and play games.”
As far as building offensive and defensive efficiency, Wright said, “We decided not to address it any differently.
“The scheduling you control but the offensive and defensive efficiency, you’re trying to do that anyway,” he said. “You’re not worried about your offensive and defensive efficiency because of the NCAA tournament. You worry about it because you want to win each game.”
The ratings like undefeated teams. Virginia, Michigan and Houston – the last three unbeatens in college basketball – are ranked 1, 3 and 4 respectively with Duke at No. 2. The Cougars were ranked 17th in this week’s Associated Press poll.
Here are the other City Six rankings through games of Sunday: