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NC State is No. 15 in NCAA’s latest NET rankings

The RPI is dead now, remember?

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-North Carolina State vs Seton Hall Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The men’s basketball NCAA tournament selection committee is no longer using the RPI to evaluate teams, it’s using a brand new metric called the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET for short). The first set of NET rankings were released last Monday, and the updated standings went up today. NC State is in good shape, checking in at No. 15.

The results this new metric spit out last week were widely ridiculed, mostly, I suspect, out of a total lack of understanding of what’s going on. Of course NET is going to look wacky at this point in the season—there haven’t been enough games played by anybody to establish a refined statistical profile. The NCAA’s computatin’ machine needs lots more data.

The Pomeroy Ratings are weighted in the early season by each team’s preseason projection, which is based on past performance, individual statistics, and even weights recruiting a bit. That allows for a more accurate, less volatile snapshot of college hoops early on. It cuts through a good chunk of the noise.

NET is not doing any of those things—NET is operating completely from scratch, with zero weight on past performance of any kind. Everybody started with a blank slate—as equals—when the season started. That’ll make for some weird-looking results in the first week of December. Pittsburgh (112th in KenPom), for instance, is obviously not a top-25 team, and NC State—alas—probably is not better than UNC.

I’m guessing that in a month or so, these rankings will look quite a bit saner, and much more aligned with established metrics like BPI and KenPom.