Last August, the NCAA introduced a new metric, the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET). It replaced the Rating Percentage Index (RPI) as the NCAA’s main metric to rank college basketball teams. As The Comeback’s Sean Keeley wrote in August, “The NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) is a proprietary AI program that values game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, net offensive and defensive efficiency, and the quality of wins and losses.”
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
But the NET rankings are now supposed to be the selection committee’s primary metric for arranging the NCAA Tournament field.
Well, the NCAA Tournament field of 68 was revealed on Sunday, and for the teams on the bubble, the NET rankings didn’t seem to mean much.
The last four teams in have NET rankings of 47 (Belmont), 56 (Temple), 63 (Arizona State), and 73 (St. John’s). Meanwhile, teams with NET rankings of 33 (NC State), 35 (Clemson), 52 (TCU), and 54 (Indiana) were left out of the tournament.
Bubble Team NET Rankings:
NC State: #33 OUT
Clemson: #35 OUT
TCU: #52 OUT
Indiana: #54 OUT
Arizona State: #63 IN
St. John’s: #73 IN
— hothot (@ULhothot) March 17, 2019
NET rankings mean nothing then…got it pic.twitter.com/F5T9onPiEk
— Mark Andrew Wood (@mandrewood) March 17, 2019
There are obviously several factors at play in the selection process, as there should be. But for how much the NCAA played up their new fancy metric over the last several months, it’s interesting how little the NET seemed to matter for selecting teams on the bubble, and will be something to keep in mind next year.