Monday, January 6, 2014

January 6 Update: UCLA Loses Two Games, North Carolina Drops Out

We are still at a point in the season where RPI rankings exhibit large swings with each unexpected win or loss.  James Madison University was just a week ago ranked 42nd in RPI, but today after one loss they are ranked 63rd.  The S-Factor had JMU in the tournament a week ago (RPI 42 is usually on the cusp of an at-large berth), but they dropped out after their loss to North Carolina.

James Madison's Gulf Coast Showcase first round opponent UCLA was just a week ago ranked 24th, but today after two losses, they are 53rd.  The Bruins went from being a top-25 team to a sub-50 team, which matters to the S-Factor because wins over opponents in the top-50 and the top-25 are worth more.

North Carolina had wins over both James Madison and UCLA on their books, which used to give them two top-25 wins and three top-50 wins. But then UCLA lost two games, and now the Tar Heels' only top 50 win is against South Carolina. That puts them out of the tournament for now, but playing in the stacked ACC will give them plenty more opportunities to score meaningful wins.  Of course, the Tar Heels could have had another top-50 win to partially offset the RPI drop of their opponents this weekend, but they lost to Maryland at home.

This has been this week's installment of "How Could My Team Have Fallen So Far In Your Stupid Rankings?"

Now in: 
Penn State
George Washington
Central Arkansas

Now out:
North Carolina
Georgia Tech
Northwestern State

Conferences with multiple bids:
SEC: 9
Big Ten: 6
PAC 12: 6
ACC: 6
Big 12: 4
West Coast: 3
American: 3
Big East: 2
Atlantic 10: 2

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