Evidence Why the RPI is Garbage for Determining March Madness Seeds

The Rating Percentage Index, or RPI, is the biggest aid for the NCAA March Madness Selection Committee to determine which teams make it in March Madness, where they rank, and which teams are left out (ESPN). The RPI is also the simplest of the many ranking indices out there (ESPN), like:

  1. Basketball Power Index or BPI by ESPN
  2. Sagarin Index by Jeff Sagarin
  3. KenPom by Ken Pomeroy
  4. Massey Ratings

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Options Instead of the Extra Point for the NFL and CFL

In North American football, the extra point is a single point short kick after a 6 point touchdown to give the full 7 point value a touchdown can give a team. The full 7 points also makes the touchdown more valuable than two field goals, at 3 points each, in not only concept but also score. Otherwise, the extra point is also a second chance to cheer loudly for the touchdown just scored if it were your team to have done so.

Once upon a time, the extra point used to require an actual effort so it was not a sure thing by any means. However, these days, it has a success rate of over 99% according to New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick. It has become too easy for the players playing to execute it that it not only becomes boring, it’s also a waste of time. Sports Illustrated’s Peter King feels the same way about it, calling it “the biggest waste of time in sports”. Nothing in sports should be that automatic, basically. What kind of competition is there if the outcome was the same more than 99% of the time?

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President Obama’s 2013 Barackets Hurting Badly After Round 1

For the ESPN March Madness Tournament Challenge this year, I thought I’d do a little more analysis than just President Barack Obama’s Barackets.

After Round 1, da Prez’s Barackets are hurting badly relative to the nation’s performance (see bracket link at bottom). He only got 19 of 32 games predicted correctly. Not much better than a random 16 of 32, or 18 of 32 if the #1 teams were not picked to lose as they have never lost. This poor performance so far left his brackets at just 19.9 percentile among those entered. In other words, 4 of 5 brackets among 8 million are doing better than his (or 6,527,401). That’s kind of terrible and worse than his approval rating, I hate to tell ya!

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Obama’s 2011 Barackets Beat 87.4% of ESPN Brackets Despite No Teams Past Elite 8

President Barack Obama

With the 2011 March Madness Tournament over, the results and in and Barack Obama’s 2011 Barackets beat 87.4% of ESPN’s 6 million or so bracket entries. This was despite having had no teams past the Elite 8 as da Prez picked heavily for the favourites in a year where parity was more the rule than the norm. However, he was bailed out by the fact the parity was so strong that less than 30% of entries had even one team in the Final Four. Translate that and it meant less than 30% had an entry that potentially had a chance to get points past the Elite 8 round or half the tournament! That’s one way to get bailed out for not being able to get points for half the tournament.

Now, if only the POTUS’ political foresight and planning only worked as well!

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