Improved Scheduling Helped Marquette Reach 2016-17 Tourney

Improved Scheduling Helped Marquette Reach 2016-17 Tourney

On Selection Sunday, Marquette had an RPI of 61. If the largest component of RPI – opponents’ win-loss performance against all D-I teams except MU – would have been the same as 2015-16, Marquette would have had an RPI that was .0224 lower, slotting them at 82 in the RPI and likely out of the NCAA tournament.

The Warriors’ strength of schedule ranked them 219 of 351 teams as of Selection Sunday this season. This was a sizable improvement from 326 in 2015-16.

Before the season began, Late Night Hoops projected the opponents’ win-loss component of the RPI to be .5551. The actual results were a bit better: .5620, or .0069 higher than our pre-season projections.

To be clear, there remains plenty of room for improvement; however, it’s worth acknowledging that without the improved scheduled in 2016-17 as compared to the prior season, Marquette would likely not have reached in NCAA tournament.

Where did we miss?

There weren’t too many dramatic outliers when comparing actual results to our preseason projections, as only four teams had a winning percentage that was 15% or more different than our projections (e.g., if we projected a team’s winning percentage to be 60% and they finished at 45%, they would meet this criteria):

Howard (LNH projection: 13-15, 46.4%; Actual: 8-23, 25.8%, a difference of 20.6%)
Due largely to multiple injuries, including the reigning MEAC Player of the Year and 2016-17 Pre-season Player of the Year being limited to 2 games played.

Georgetown (LNH: 17-11, 60.7%; Actual: 13-17, 43.3%, a difference of 17.4%)
Welcome back, Patrick Ewing.

SIU Edwardsville (LNH: 10-18, 35.7%; Actual: 5-22, 18.5%, a difference of 17.2%)

Houston Baptist (LNH: 9-16, 36.0%; Actual: 13-12, 52.0%, a difference of 16.0%)

In addition to Houston Baptist, teams helping to offset the negative differences of Howard, Georgetown and SIUE included Creighton, Villanova and Providence.

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