After a few big wins by my alma mater, I was curious to see if our pathetic RPI ranking had moved up a bit. For those uninitiated in this arcane metric for college basketball, the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) is the formula used by the NCAA to rate both men’s and women’s college basketball teams. The RPI is then used by the NCAA selection committee for picking teams for the tournament and establishing the brackets.
The Rating Percentage Index (RPI) was created in 1981 to provide supplemental data for the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee in its evaluation of teams for at-large selection and seeding of the championship bracket.
The RPI is intended to be used as one of many resources used by the committee in the selection, seeding and bracketing process. It never should be considered anything but an additional evaluation tool. No computer program that is based on pure numbers can take into account subjective concepts, e.g., how well a team is playing down the stretch, what the loss or return of a top player means to a team, or how emotional a specific conference game may be.
As interesting as all this is, the bottom line to me is where Virginia Tech falls. As of 2/19, the Hokies have an RPI of 101. Still bad, but at least we’re moving in the right direction.