- This season, the NCAA decided to switch its system for sorting and evaluating teams heading into the NCAA tournament from RPI to the NET rankings.
- According to the NCAA, the new system uses game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, net offensive and defensive efficiency, and the quality of wins and losses to rank teams and ultimately determine who will make the tournament field come March.
- The NCAA released its first set of NET rankings Monday afternoon.
- College basketball fans are roasting the new system after it ranked the Ohio State Buckeyes No. 1 and has the Kentucky Wildcats on the tournament bubble.
The NCAA introduced a new system to replace the RPI in ranking each of college basketball’s 353 Division I programs.
So far, it’s not going too well.
The NET rankings – which, according to the NCAA, factor in game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, net offensive and defensive efficiency, and the quality of wins and losses – placed the Ohio State Buckeyes at No. 1 in the country while college basketball powerhouse Kentucky sits on the NCAA tournament bubble.
For context, the AP Top 25 Poll – which relies on 65 sportswriters and broadcasters to produce the go-to college basketball rankings – has Kentucky ranked tenth in the nation compared to Ohio State at No. 16.
What are the NET Rankings?
Here's EVERYTHING you need to know. Be on the lookout for the first release ???? pic.twitter.com/kdZwDEjFPS
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) November 26, 2018
Other standouts among the NET’s top 25 teams include the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who lost at home to the Radford Highlanders November 14. The Highlanders clock in at No. 22 on the list, behind noteworthy programs such as the Loyola Marymount Lions, the Belmont Bruins, and the Houston Cougars, none of which have faced a single ranked opponent yet this season.
All in all, the NET rankings had 12 of this week’s AP Top 25 Poll top teams, including five of the same teams ranked in the top 10.
The first edition of the NET rankings caught the attention of college basketball fans, and, unsurprisingly, they trolled the NCAA for the bizarre results:
I’m sure everything will be (mostly) fine in time. But this is a pretty embarrassing debut for the NCAA’s NET rankings. It looks like the computer is broken or something. It doesn’t reflect what it’s supposed to reflect. https://t.co/6TQDhGJ3ST
— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) November 26, 2018
Does NET stand for ‘Not Even Trying’?
— Matt (@mwads10) November 26, 2018
— Bam (@BamGroedl) November 26, 2018
At least one Twitter user was a fan of the NET rankings:
Loving the new system guys, keep it up!
— Ohio State Hoops (@OhioStateHoops) November 26, 2018