College Basketball Content

Non-Division I games figure into non-conference schedules for many teams in November and December

Through games of Monday, Dec. 15, the average Division I team had played just over 8 games against Division I opponents, with that number 8.27 to be exact. Here’s the breakdown of the number of Division I games played by the number of teams and the percentage of teams playing that many games.

 Games    No. of
Played     Teams     Pct.

  12         1       0.28
  11        17       4.84
  10        49      13.96
   9       101      28.77
   8        85      24.22
   7        56      15.95
   6        27       7.69
   5        11       3.13
   4         3       0.85
   3         1       0.28

Now that the season is over a month old, it may seem odd that some teams have played so few games against Division I opponents. That’s where non-Division I games come into play. It is no secret that the months of November and December are when many teams play non-Division I opponents because conference play begins for most conferences in late December or early January, negating most such opportunities thereafter. Through games of Dec. 15, teams had a record of 289-4 against non-Division I opponents, and you can bank on the fact that most of the teams that have played 6 or fewer D-I opponents have played a game or two vs. NDI schools. Many of these are schools that have the very hard, if not impossible task of getting even a couple of non-conference home games against D-I teams.

Adding the NDI games into the mix yields an average of 9.10 games per team through Dec. 15 for all 351 D-I teams. Of course, NDI games do not figure into the RPI, but most schools that load up on NDI games, say 2 or more, are not usually “on the board” when it comes time to select at-large teams for the NCAA tournament. They are concerned about winning their conference tournament and not about creating an impressive resume for the basketball committee.

158 teams have not played a NDI opponent through games of the above date, and they average 9.06 D-I games played thus far. The 193 teams that have played at least 1 NDI game averages 7.62 games played against D-I opponents and 1.51 games against NDI opponents. 109 teams have played 1 game against NDI teams, 71 have played 2 games, 10 have played 3 such games, and 3 teams have reached the maximum of competing in 4 NDI games. The average number of D-I games teams that have played 4, 3, 2, and 1 games against NDI opponents, respectively, averages 5.0, 5.9, 7.5, and 7.9.  


Bracket Bits from The RPI Report and The Women's RPI Report

Tidbits from recent issues of The RPI Report and The Women's RPI Report

From The RPI Report:  Only 6 conferences have single-digit winning percentage ranks for the entire 10-year period from 2005 through 2014. Some conferences have had surprising swings between fairly high and low rankings during this period. Changes in conference membership have played a role in some of these ranking differentials. Teams that play 3 or 4 non-Division I games per season, which D-I teams historically win at a 95% clip, can greatly help the non-conference winning percentages of some conferences. Some changes in non-conference winning percentage can be attributed to cyclical ups and downs due to any number of things that are hard to quantify, such as injuries.

From The Women's RPI Report:  The ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-10/12, and SEC all have single-digit winning percentage rankings against non-conference competition over the last 10 years, from 2005 through 2014. However, the difference between the best and worst rankings for some conferences during that 10-year span is nothing less than astonishing. For example, both the America East Conference and the Horizon League have had a 21-place differential between their best and worst winning percentage rank during this period. Seven other conferences had swings from 16 to 20 places in non-conference winning percentage rank as well. These figures include non-Division I opponents along with all post-season competition.

Teams with No. 1 schedule strength rankings can usually look forward to NCAA tournament invitation

Kansas had No. 1 overall and non-conference schedule strength rank at end of regular season, went 1-1 in NCAA tournament

Kansas won honors for both the best overall and non-conference schedule strength at the end of the 2014 regular season. In fact, the Jayhawks had the second-best overall regular-season schedule strength since CBN began tracking the RPI in 1991. Kansas' .6678 schedule strength for 2014 is second only to Maryland's .6679 in 1998.  The Jayhawks also had the best opponents' won-lost record of 689-369 (.6512) in the regular season, and the best RPI rank of opponents played, which is an alternate way of determining schedule strength. Kansas received a No. 2 seed and eventually lost to Stanford in the third round by a score of 60-57. Since 1991, 19 of the 24 teams holding the No. 1 schedule strength rank at the end of the regular season were in the NCAA tournament, and 20 of those 24 teams were in post-season play. However, having the No. 1 schedule strength does not guarantee success in the NCAA tournament. In six of the last fourteen seasons, the team holding top schedule strength honors has lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament. In the ten years prior to that, no teams with the No. 1 schedule strength that made the NCAA tournament lost in the first round, although three of those teams did not make the NCAA tournament. The best that a team has done in the NCAA tournament that had the best regular-season schedule strength was North Carolina in 1997, losing in the national semifinals to eventual national champion Arizona. Notre Dame had the best regular-season schedule strength in 1992 with a 14-14 record and finished second in the NIT. List

Several conferences use CBN's RPI data to break tournament seeding ties

Administrators have complete confidence in CBN's RPI

Nearly all conference offices subscribe to both The RPI Report and The Women's RPI Report because they know they can count on the most accurate weighted RPI for the men and the women anywhere this side of the NCAA tournament selection committees. CBN first made the Adjusted RPI ratings (which are no longer used for either the men nor the women) available to The RPI Report and The Women's RPI Report subscribers during the 1998-99 season. The NCAA used the Adjusted RPI ratings from the 1993-94 through the 2003-04 season for the men and have used the weighted RPI since the 2004-05 season, while the women used the Adjusted RPI through the 2010-11 season and began using the weighted RPI during the 2011-12 season. The weighted RPI gives more credit to teams that schedule tough opponents and that beat good teams at home and on the road. Story

AP carried the Men's RPI Ratings for 16th consecutive year during the 2009-10 season

2009-10 was the 13th season that AP distributed the Women's RPI Ratings

During the 2009-10 season, the Associated Press (AP) carried the CBN's RPI for both men's and women's college basketball, for the 16th consecutive year, for at least part of the season. In addition, 2009-10 was the 13th consecutive season that the AP distributed the women's RPI for at least part of the season. Story