Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Who uses it: College basketball coaches, analysts and fans
What it means: The Ratings Percentage Index, used to help the NCAA Tournament selection committee choose teams and seedings. For men's basketball, the RPI is a combined numerical rating of the team's record, its strength of schedule, and its opponents' strength of schedule; the women's RPI includes a bonus factor based on the team's performance against top-ranked opponents.
How you can use it: When making your NCAA tournament picks.

Okay, let's get this out of the way first: betting on college sports is wrong. These are kids, not professionals or racing animals, and they are in no way responsible for the financial well-being of strangers.

That said, making predictions for bragging rights, or for some token reflection of those bragging rights (say, a pool that does not exceed some humble amount) doesn't really count as betting. How's that for a rationalization? (It's the same, in my mind, as saying that "Jesus, Mary and Joseph," is not taking the Lord's name in vain, it's a spontaneous prayer.)

So let's get down to it. My Final Four predictions: I think it's going to be a very, very good year for the Big East. I pick West Virginia, Pitt, UConn, and Villanova, with West Virginia and UConn in the final, and UConn winning it all. First round upset predictions: Iona, NC State, Penn, Bradley, Xavier -- yes, Xavier! -- South Alabama, Montana, Seton Hall, and George Mason. My beloved Hoyas will make it to the Round of Eight before losing -- again -- to Villanova. Only Scott Peeples will truly understand how that prediction pains me, but it's a rebuilding year.

Post your own predictions in the comments section...


Jim Winter said...

What I want to know is why X gets more respect everywhere else in the country than here in Cincinnati, where Cincinnati, for once, is relegated to the NIT.

AnswerGirl said...

Georgetown is just back from the NIT, so I feel your pain.

As to why Xavier gets more respect everywhere but home, that's in the great biblical tradition of prophets without honor...