Happy Thursday Nova Nation! The RPI is dead and gone, and all across America the NCAA is receiving a rare thumbs up for a job well done. For those of you that weren’t familiar, the RPI has played a major part in the seeding process for the NCAA tournament. It’s also been denounced by almost every statistical expert in the sport, so it was time for it to go.
The replacement is the NCAA Evaluation Tool, or NET (oh how pun-derful!). While it may still have a few flaws, there is no perfect solution here. At least the NCAA included the right people in designing and consulting on it, so just about everyone is pretty happy with the result.
I’ll let you read the article for the particulars of the new system, not all of which are known yet, but the big question is how does it effect Villanova? The metrics used to seed the tournament usually have a big impact on how teams schedule their non-conference games, so changing things this late in the off-season when opponents are already set could be detrimental to some schools.
The good news is Villanova seems pretty well positioned with their current schedule. While it’s a detailed system that we’ll probably write more about down the line, it basically boils down to 3 questions: Who did you play? Where did you play? Did you win?
Jay Wright has done a fairly good job of nailing down the who part of the equation. He’s got big names that will be highly ranked like Kansas and Michigan, teams on the rise like UConn and potentially Memphis, and the Wildcats will likely face one of two ranked teams in LSU or FSU as well. Sure there are a handful of cupcake schools also, but everyone has those so they shouldn’t effect Nova’s team sheet.
Villanova’s in even better shape when it comes to the where question. More than half of the Wildcat’s non-conference schedule will be played away from home with four neutral and three away games. To put that into perspective, none of the “blue blood” schools are playing that many games away from home, which should give Nova an advantage in the Quadrant system.
Lastly is the winning. The Wildcats will most likely face their first season in the last three years in which they aren’t favored in every game they play before the new year. That said, Jay Wright’s teams are 62-3 against non-conference opponents over the last five seasons. All three of the losses were on the road or a neutral court to Top 10 teams. Bottom line, it’s very hard to beat the Wildcats early in the season.
So with all three of the main bases covered and an improved metric being implemented immediately, I anticipate the Wildcats again putting themselves in position for a high seed in March. That’s right folks, everything keeps coming up Wildcats.
In other “news”, Eric Paschall is the man, Nova recruits are climbing the rankings, and more. Enjoy!
Division I Men’s Basketball Committee adopts new ranking system | NCAA.com
The NCAA has developed a ranking system that will replace the RPI as the primary sorting tool used to evaluate teams.
Villanova's next star is already on the roster. Here's who it will be | NCAA.com
Eric Paschall is going to be tough to stop this season.
Candid Coaches: Which player would you most want to add to your own roster for the 2018-19 season? | CBSSports.com
Of the top 11 vote-getters this year, only two of them are freshmen -- but one of those frosh (barely) won out in this poll.
Wiseman holds onto top spot in updated 2019 rankings | 247 Sports
When player rankings are updated, usually the release following the spring AAU session is the time when there’s the most movement and reshuffling.
Candid Coaches: Will the Commission on College Basketball actually solve the sport's problems? | CBSSports.com
The overwhelming majority of college coaches have no faith in the Commission on College Basketball.
Philadelphia 76ers: It's time to bring a WNBA franchise to Philly | The Sixer Sense
The Philadelphia 76ers have grown into a world-class organization with ample amenities. It's time to add a WNBA team to the mix.