Tag Archives: RPI

Minnesota’s RPI Faces SOS Challenge in 2017-18

A year ago, Minnesota’s RPI (20 on Selection Sunday) benefitted from their strong strength of schedule (as defined by the RPI – not as any rational human would define it). Their opponents’ strength of schedule (“SOS”), worth 50% of the RPI, was .5953 as the NCAA tourney field was being finalized.

The Gophers enjoyed a well-constructed schedule under which they faced a number of relative easy games against beatable competition who happened to finish the year with good win-loss records.

For example, no one was concerned about hosting Mount St. Mary’s. Minnesota won 80-56. But, for purposes of Minnesota’s Selection Sunday SOS, Mount St. Mary’s had a record of 19-14 (.5758).

Last year’s lid lifter vs. Lafayette wasn’t scary, but the Ragin’ Cajuns were 19-11 (.6333) on Selection Sunday for purposes of Minnesota’s SOS calc.

Things will not be the same in 2017-18. The Gophers SOS will be considerably weaker.

Late Night Hoops projects an SOS on Selection Sunday of just .5520, or .0433 less than 2016-17. If we adjust last year’s RPI of .6109 for only the impact of the lower SOS (e.g., 50% of .0433), the Gophers would have had a Selection Sunday RPI of 39 instead of 20.

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Marquette Again Improves Schedule in 2017-18

Marquette Again Improves Schedule in 2017-18

As they did a year ago, Marquette has improved their scheduling and projected RPI “strength of schedule”.

Last year MU’s SOS, worth 50% of RPI, was .5621. Late Night Hoops projects an SOS of .5882 in 2017-18. That equals an RPI improvement in the SOS component of .0131.

Had MU’s RPI been .0131 better in 2016-17, their Selection Sunday RPI ranking of 61 would have moved up to 50.

Marquette’s scheduling still has room for improvement, but it’s encouraging that it has improved yet again in 2017-18.

The Warriors begin their season on Friday vs. Mount St. Mary’s.

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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.

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Marquette’s Schedule Improved in 2016-17

Marquette’s Schedule Improved in 2016-17

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Based on our current projections of the 2016-17 win-loss records (excluding games vs. Marquette) of Marquette’s opponents, we estimate a .0189 improvement in the RPI OWP component (50% of the RPI calculation) as compared to 2015-16.

A year ago, MU played 11 games against teams with sub-.300 winning percentages (on an OWP calculation basis). Those games were: St. John’s (x3), DePaul (x2), Chicago State, Grambling State, San Jose State, Maine, Stetson, and Presbyterian. Chicago State and Grambling State were especially bad at 1-27 and 4-23, respectively.

Had the Warriors’ OWP component been .0189 better a year ago, their Selection Sunday RPI ranking would jumped from #110 to #86. To further illustrate the magnitude, last year’s #50 RPI team on Selection Sunday would have jumped to #27 with an additional .0189.

It’s possible that in 2016-17, MU will play ZERO games against sub-.300 winning percentage teams (Western Carolina at .310 is the lowest projection we have).

While a team like St. Francis (PA) has a preseason KenPom rank of #326, the reality is they’re still projected to go 8-10 in their conference and we project them to finish 10-18 (,357) for MU’s OWP purposes.

Ultimately, Marquette needs to win a lot of games in order for the improved schedule to matter. But, without a doubt, they’re in a much better position than they were a year ago from an RPI-potential perspective.

@LateNightHoops
@JBBauer612

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Gophers’ Schedule Will Punish Their RPI in 2014-15

Gophers’ Schedule Will Punish Their RPI in 2014-15

Minnesota’s RPI in recent years has been helped by a strong strength of schedule (SOS). As a reminder, SOS is not a good measurement of schedule strength or difficulty. It’s a calculation that’s called SOS. Many believe SOS to be a good indicator as to how challenging a schedule is, but such thinking is inconsistent with logic.

At any rate, the Gophers have been helped in past years by playing few teams with horrible win-loss records. Based on our projections, the win-loss records of this year’s nonconference opponents as compared to 2013-14 will have a negative impact on the team’s RPI of approximately .0175.

To put in perspective, Minnesota’s Selection Sunday RPI in March was .5778 – good for #50 in the nation. Adjusting downward by .0175 would have pushed them to #73 (adding .0175 would’ve elevated them to #37). Under most circumstances .0175 is not insignificant.

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Are You Smarter Than a D-I Coach?

Are You Smarter Than a D-I Coach?
March 20, 2014

Quiz time. It’s a simple one. Many folks, including coaches, media, fans and “experts” use RPI strength of schedule (“SOS”) to describe a schedule’s “toughness”, “difficulty”, “level of challenge”, etc.

Indeed, SOS is used interchangeably with other descriptors when many argue how difficult a team’s schedule was.

Let’s pretend you’re Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino and your 2014-15 schedule is set with one exception. Coach K, Tyus Jones and Duke have agreed to play the Gophers and left it up to you as to where you want to play – Williams Arena or Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Which game location will make Minnesota’s RPI SOS stronger?

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NCAA Tourney Talk: AWP & the Minnesota Gophers

NCAA Tourney Talk: AWP & the Minnesota Gophers
February 24, 2014

The Minnesota Gophers welcome the Iowa Hawkeyes to the Barn on Tuesday night. A win would help their cause greatly, but there would still be work to do for the Gophers.

The RPI’s Strength of Schedule (“SOS”) is a misnomer. When fans, media, coaches, etc. use the RPI’s SOS as a synonym for “challenging”, “difficult”, “hard” or “tough”, they are being silly at best. Do the NCAA tournament committee members understand this? Perhaps not.

Either way, Minnesota’s RPI – particularly due to the SOS factors – is keeping their name in the NCAA tournament bubble conversation. Today we look at their adjusted winning percentage (“AWP”) and how it may look at season’s end. In addition, we’ll look at teams who have received at large bids despite weak AWP’s in the past couple of years.

As a reminder, we think a wild card in Minnesota’s tourney hopes is Dre Hollins’ ankle. Many things are possible so the team must continue fighting for wins with everything they’ve got.
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Minnesota’s 2012-13 RPI: Skill vs. Luck

June 5, 2013
Minnesota’s 2012-13 RPI: Skill vs. Luck

The Minnesota Golden Gophers had the nation’s 34th best RPI on Selection Sunday. Despite the RPI’s inherent flaws, Minnesota’s RPI ranking likely was a significant aid in making a case for an invitation to the 2012-13 NCAA tournament.

Many have noted the Gophers’ top-5 strength of schedule (“SOS”) ranking and called it “difficult” and “impressive”. How much of the SOS should be attributed to intelligent scheduling as opposed to factors at least partially out of the team’s control?
Continue reading Minnesota’s 2012-13 RPI: Skill vs. Luck

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