Compiled Rankings

We’ve looked at Massey’s Compiled Rankings over the last several weeks as a different way to come up with projected seeding for the NCAA tourney. The underlying assumption is that the consensus of the various polls and computer formulas will come close to the actual seedings doled out by the NCAA Selection Committee.

I have come up with several reasons to doubt that underlying assumption, but first let’s go ahead and look at this week’s compilation. Click here for a frequency graph and here is the table:

 

NCSU

UNC

BC

 

2/19

2/26

2/19

2/26

2/19

2/26

SEED

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

53%

 

10%

50%

 

 

4

23%

16%

27%

38%

20%

9%

5

13%

47%

40%

 

33%

22%

6

 

16%

13%

 

17%

25%

7

 

9%

 

 

 

16%

8

 

 

 

 

10%

13%

It will be interesting to see what happens with BC’s actual seeding. A loss to UVa followed by a win in Raleigh has certainly spread their rankings around a lot. We’ll have to see if they converge any after the regular season concludes.

As I was looking over the compiled rankings, I was curious where Massey’s got their RPI numbers from. That’s when I noticed that it looks like they got the RPI rankings Sunday morning, before Saturday’s games were included in the calculations. I changed the RPI values for the table and graph, but certainly didn’t bother to check the other 31 rankings in the compilation. The obvious concern is that if there are mistakes with the input data, then any conclusions reached are compromised.

My next area of concern came when I looked at a previous SFN entry comparing four year’s worth of RPI rankings vs NCAAT seed:

NCAAT

RPI

Average

Seed

Range

RPI

1

1-7

3

2

4-32

9

3

1-20

11

4

9-25

16

5

13-28

19

6

12-37

22

7

17-47

30

History says that State is sitting somewhere around a 7 or 8 seed while the compiled rankings put State at around a 5 seed. Over the last four years, no team with a #34 ranking has gotten a 5 seed and only one team ranked 31+ has gotten a six seed.

The difference between historical trends (though only four years) and the compiled rankings made me start wondering how much the NCAA Selection Committee moves teams from their expected seeding based strictly on the RPI ranking. Here’s a summary of how much the first six seeds in the NCAA tourney varied from their RPI ranking:

 

Seeding

 

 

 

 

 

Change

2002

2003

2004

2005

Better

Seed

-6

1

 

 

 

-5

0

 

 

 

-4

0

1

 

 

-3

1

0

0

 

-2

2

5

1

2

-1

2

2

8

8

 

0

10

13

8

8

Worse

Seed

1

7

3

6

4

2

1

 

0

2

3

 

 

1

 

Of the 96 teams summarized in the table, 82% were seeded within +/- 1 seed of what would be expected based on their RPI calculation. There are still a fair number of teams that were seeded higher than we would “expect�, but let me ask you a question: What has State done over the last six weeks that would lead an impartial observer to seed them higher than “normal�?

About VaWolf82

Engineer living in Central Va. and senior curmudgeon amongst SFN authors One wife, two kids, one dog, four vehicles on insurance, and four phones on cell plan...looking forward to empty nest status. Graduated 1982

General NCS Basketball

12 Responses to Compiled Rankings

  1. class of '74 03/01/2006 at 7:15 AM #

    Nothing! A seventh seed would be realistic based on recent performance. So much for highwater mark.

  2. HeelsFan 03/01/2006 at 9:28 AM #

    If the selection was today I think State would be a 5, BC a 4 and UNC a 4.

    Of course, the games this week and the ACC Tourney will determine final seedings. If the Wolfpack decides to play defense like they were earlier in the year and Herb decides to use his NBA caliber center appropriately, State could win the ACCT and get to a 3 or 2.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see State rise up out of this funk.

  3. cfpack03 03/01/2006 at 9:28 AM #

    Off topic but Cowher just bought $2.5M home in Raleigh.

    http://www.newsobserver.com/122/v-print/story/412472.html

  4. SaccoV 03/01/2006 at 9:56 AM #

    If State cannot win at Wake this weekend or can only pull one win out of the ACCT, I think a 6 is very very possible. Regardless of standing or overall record, State really should be a 3 but couldn’t do what it takes to solidify their presence in the top 15 for the entire season. Either way, this seeding is NOT what the fans expected given the team’s fabulous start. Nice numbers work here. Always a pleasure to see ALL the data to reach your own conclusions.

  5. Matt E. 03/01/2006 at 10:54 AM #

    This is taken from today’s N&O:

    “The RPI released Tuesday by the NCAA rates Duke at the top, followed by N.C. State (18), UNC (19) and Boston College (34). The other NCAA hopefuls are Maryland (45), Florida State (60), Virginia (71) and Miami (72).”

    Is this a misprint?

  6. Fish 03/01/2006 at 10:57 AM #

    State is doomed between a 7-10 seed. This team has been spiraling downward since the GW game and quite honestly they do not deserve anything higher much less a bid. State will likely lose against WF and will then face a 5 seed (FSU, UVa or Miami) who will likely thump us.

    This seeding is not what anyone should have expected from a team that could have outright clinched 2nd place in the conference and positioned itself for a Top 5 seed in the dance.

  7. RickJ 03/01/2006 at 12:46 PM #

    Matt E. – I saw that too and it is either a misprint or the NCAA release did not include the last two games. Either way, it is poor reporting.

  8. VaWolf82 03/01/2006 at 12:59 PM #

    Is this a misprint?

    Just printing old information. State dropped to about #26 after the UNC debacle and to #35 after the loss to BC. When Sunday’s games were included, State moved up to #34…or put more accurately, someone dove underneath State.

  9. cfpack03 03/01/2006 at 1:05 PM #

    The Wake game is basically irrelevant. W or L, we’ll finish 4th in ACC.

  10. VaWolf82 03/01/2006 at 2:12 PM #

    Irrelevant for ACCT seeding…..but not for NCAAT seeding.

  11. Jeff 03/01/2006 at 5:19 PM #

    Interesting to see the impact of losing “just one game out of 28″.

  12. VaWolf82 03/01/2006 at 11:11 PM #

    I plan on quantifying the effect of just one game after the ACCT. I’m interested in seeing exactly what the impact of just one game is.

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