Going deep with the RPI

The weekend's best floor-storming. (Rob Carr/AP)

Not long after I put together those tables of NCAA Selection Committee team sheet data last week, I realized that those numbers merited more serious consideration.

So I decided to assemble that data again, but this time I expanded the number of teams involved. Below you'll find average opponent win and loss RPI, top 50 wins and 201+ losses for all the teams in the conferences of most relevance to us: the Big East, Atlantic 10, CAA and Ivy League.

I've also included the Big Ten because of Penn State, and the ACC in honor of Maryland's win over North Carolina.

(Okay, that wasn't the only reason, but that was a great game and I know there are a fair few Terrapins fans in the Philadelphia area. It certainly produced the weekend's best floor-storming, as captured above by Associated Press photographer Rob Carr.)

In all cases, teams are listed in order of conference standings. Schuylkill 16 teams are italicized.

I hope to make this a regular Sunday night feature for the rest of the season, and each week I'll rotate in a different non-local conference to feature in the ACC's spot. Let me know if there's one you'd like to see.

As for conclusions from the data, you'll notice quickly the hour at which this post went up, so excuse me for not wanting to think too much.

The main thing I've concluded so far from this is that for all the talk from Selection Committee members and other analysts about how little a team's RPI matters when it is under consideration for an at-large NCAA Tournament berth, the RPI as a statistic matters a lot because it is the best aggregate measure of a team's opponents.

That is a long sentence, so I'll shorten it: it's not about your RPI, it's about the RPI of the teams you play and beat or lose to.

The other thing I've concluded from this data is that it reflects to no small degree philosophies about how teams schedule. I think this is especially true for the Big East. The average loss RPI is probably an indication of the depth of the conference, because that's where the losses are.

But the average win RPI sets off an alarm bell in my mind about non-conference scheduling. Those numbers seems to indicate that the wins are coming against lesser teams, even if there are a lot of them.

Finally, I understand the selection committee picks teams and not conferences, and the reporting that came out of this year's Mock Bracket really hammered that point home. But these numbers make the Big Ten look really good - and maybe even better than the Big East.

I'd be very interested to know what you think of all this. I'll be back tonight with the Schuylkill 16 rankings.

Big East

Team
Top 50 wins
201+ losses
Avg. win
Avg. loss
Connecticut
8
0
114
19
Pittsburgh
7
0
99
13
Marquette
5
0
138
56
Louisville
5
0
110
47
Villanova
5
0
131
21
West Virginia
3
0
120
23
Providence
1
0
170
39
Syracuse
5
0
113
30
Cincinnati
3
0
156
23
Notre Dame
3
0
165
30
Seton Hall
2
1
174
53
Georgetown
3
0
115
33
St. John's
0
0
228
34
South Florida
1
0
180
57
Rutgers
0
2
243
67
DePaul
0
0
221
63

Atlantic 10

Team
Top 50 wins
201+ losses
Avg. win
Avg. loss
Xavier
4
0
127
63
Dayton
2
0
160
123
Temple
1
0
151
64
Rhode Island
1
0
194
47
Saint Louis
1
1
167
112
Duquesne
1
0
225
61
St. Joseph's
0
0
174
80
Richmond
0
1
194
91
La Salle
0
1
200
68
Massachusetts
3
3
109
119
Charlotte
2
1
169
91
S. Bonaventure
0
4
240
122
G. Washington
0
3
206
124
Fordham
0
5
253
122

Colonial Athletic Association

Team
Top 50 wins
201+ losses
Avg. win
Avg. loss
VCU
0
2
177
130
George Mason
0
2
177
127
Northeastern
0
2
178
121
Hofstra
0
0
185
94
Old Dominion
0
2
205
131
Drexel
0
2
190
105
J. Madison
0
2
214
121
Georgia State
0
5
183
148
Delaware
0
5
202
144
Wm. & Mary
0
4
216
137
Towson
0
4
238
130
UNC-Wilm.
0
4
215
136

Ivy League

Team
Top 50 wins
201+ losses
Avg. win
Avg. loss
Cornell
0
2
226
130
Columbia
0
4
289
168
Yale
0
6
231
199
Dartmouth
0
11
241
217
Princeton
0
10
240
230
Penn
0
4
297
142
Harvard
0
10
220
224
Brown
0
9
284
179

Big Ten

Team
Top 50 wins
201+ losses
Avg. win
Avg. loss
Michigan St.
10
0
101
44
Purdue
5
0
142
23
Illinois
7
0
138
31
Penn State
6
0
169
34
Wisconsin
3
0
104
40
Minnesota
4
0
144
36
Ohio State
6
0
140
27
Michigan
3
0
139
28
Northwestern
5
0
165
46
Iowa
2
0
181
52
Indiana
0
1
149
58

Atlantic Coast Conference

Team
Top 50 wins
201+ losses
Avg. win
Avg. loss
North Carolina
6
0
97
43
Clemson
5
0
127
30
Duke
7
0
105
25
Florida State
4
0
137
25
Wake Forest
5
0
132
88
Boston College
3
1
141
69
Maryland
4
0
146
40
Virginia Tech
2
1
150
56
N.C. State
2
0
211
27
Miami (Fla.)
2
0
140
28
Virginia
1
0
170
44
Georgia Tech
1
0
170
44

Continue Reading