The NCAA Evaluation Tool, better known as N.E.T., will be replacing the Rating Percentage
Index (RPI) for the 2018-19 men’s Division I basketball season. The N.E.T. system will be utilized by the selection committee and serve as the backbone for seeding teams in the NCAA Tournament in March 2019.
There are five categories making up the new system, which include: Team Value Index, Net
Efficiency, Winning Percentage, Adjusted Win Percentage and Scoring Margin. This method is based entirely on statistics and works in contrast to the Associated Press Poll’s ranking method, which is built upon the individual votes of 65 sportswriters and broadcasters.
The NCAA hasn’t released a reason for making the change.
Because of this restructuring, USF landed at No. 25 in the first ever N.E.T. national ranking on Nov. 26. At the time this first ranking was released, the Dons were 6-0, with quality wins over last season’s Big West Conference champions UC Davis and Ivy League powerhouse Harvard.
In fact, three teams in the West Coast Conference appeared in the top 25, with Loyola Marymount University at No. 10 and Gonzaga at No. 5. The Gonzaga ranking is a good example of the differences between the N.E.T. and AP, where the Bulldogs are ranked at No. 1 in the country.
At time of print, the No. 29 Dons are the highest ranked team in California, as the LMU Lions have plummeted to No. 57 following a bad loss to UCLA.
The Dons’ primary concern, as is the concern of virtually any competitive team, will be sustaining the aspect of Winning Percentage. Their schedule includes matches against Pac-12 heavyweights Stanford and UC Berkeley, along with two meetings apiece versus Gonzaga and LMU.
It should be noted that the RPI, first implemented in 1981, will continue to be used by the women’s Division I basketball teams for the current season.