NCAA to place greater emphasis on road wins

Road wins will mean a little more for Indiana beginning next season.

The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee will now place greater emphasis on victories away from home when it congregates to seed the NCAA Tournament in 2018, the organization announced Friday. The committee is shifting its definition of a quality win by giving greater value to those that come on the road.

In recent years, team sheets for postseason evaluation were divided into four result columns: against the top 50 RPI teams, against teams ranked 51-100, against 101-200 and against any team ranked 201 or lower.

Starting this season, team sheets will focus more on where the games are played rather than the opponent’s ranking alone. Teams will be evaluated primarily by quality home wins against the RPI top 30, neutral site wins against the top 50 and road wins against the top 75.

From there, a second tier will examine home wins against teams ranked Nos. 31-75, neutral site wins against teams ranked Nos. 51-100 and road wins against teams ranked Nos. 76-135.

And so on.

“We consulted with experts within the coaching and analytics fields who looked at historical data, based on winning percentages by game location, to come up with these dividing lines within each of the columns,” committee chair Mark Hollis said. “The emphasis of performing well on the road is important, as was the need for teams not to be penalized as much for road losses. Beating elite competition, regardless of the game location, will still be rewarded, but the committee wanted the team sheets to reflect that a road game against a team ranked 60th is mathematically more difficult and of higher quality than a home game versus a team ranked 35th. We feel this change accomplishes that.”

Indiana already has a pair of marquee true road games lined up on its non-conference slate for next season. The Hoosiers will face Seton Hall, an expected top 25 opponent, on Nov. 15 in Newark, N.J., as part of the annual Gavitt Tipoff Games.

Indiana will also play at Louisville on Dec. 9, and face Notre Dame in the Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis on Dec. 16.

IU will also host Duke in the annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Nov. 29.

The committee also announced Friday that it will continue to examine how to rate best the strength of teams through a composite metric. It’s a possible move away from the RPI, which weighs three key areas — team winning percentage, opponent winning percentage and the winning percentage of an opponent’s opponents.

In addition to the RPI, the committee is also free to consider third party metrics including, Sagarin, KPI and BPI ratings. The committee will look to form a composite system for use in future seasons.

“The committee decided to use the upcoming season to study how different composite rankings would perform, and explore other options, as well,” NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt said in a statement. “The bottom line is we recognize the need to continue using more modern metrics and the need to make those more front and center in the sorting of data for the selection and seeding process. However, it’s also critical to have a long-term solution that is tested in real time, so we can roll something out that we have complete confidence in, is mathematically sound and is acceptable in every stakeholder’s eyes.”


  1. In the end they do what they want to do. Through all this scientific, mathematical, rpi, metrics, percentages, kenpom, sagarin, kpi,bpi, ratings, study, over analyze, etc etc etc…..just set down and put together a tournament as any legitimate committee could. Oh, I forgot that would be to easy. The law of parsimony would not be implemented.

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