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Insider

RPI change helped, even with odd application

11/14/2005

It was a good idea poorly executed. So says your friendly neighborhood bracketologist about the not-so-subtle changes to college basketball's ultimate survivor: the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI).

Quick refresher: the NCAA announced in January, prior to the start of major conference play, that its primary computer rating system had been adjusted to reward road performance at the expense of home-cooked victories. As someone who had advocated for years that the NCAA recognize the obvious degree of difficulty of playing on the road (not to mention the equally obvious number of schools "buying" home wins), I applauded the move with two caveats:

1. It seemed patently unfair to all involved to announce such a change after the start of the season. Whether or not schools would have altered scheduling decisions had they known of the adjustments beforehand is immaterial; one of the fundamental rules of sport prohibits "changing the rules in the middle of the game."