September 18, 2013 PRINT Bookmark and Share

Home-Road Balance Will be Factored Into Selections

NCAA Cabinet Approves Change to NCAA Tournament Process

CHN Staff Report

A "quality wins bonus" and "weighting for home and away" games will be factored into the NCAA tournament selection criteria this year, under legislation just approved by the NCAA Championships Cabinet.

The selection process for the NCAA tournament is subject to an objective algorithm, commonly known as the Pairwise. (full explanation here). One of the existing criteria — Record vs. Teams Under Consideration — will be replaced by the new criteria.

The changes still need final approval from the NCAA Board of Directors, but that's usually a rubber stamp on issues like this.

Many coaches have been clamoring for changes in recent years, but, in light of the impending major conference re-alignment coming this season, the issue got particular attention at this year's coach's convention and Men's Ice Hockey Committee meetings.

The concern has been that a big difference in the amount of home and away games, puts teams from the smaller conferences — who, on average, play more road non-conference games — at a disadvantage in the selection criteria.

For example, among teams in the new Big Ten, Wisconsin has 14 non-league games, 10 home and four away; Ohio State has 14 non-league games, 11 home and three away; and Minnesota has 16 non-league games, 12 at home (including a tournament at the Xcel Center) and four away.

In the new plan, the RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) will be weighted so that road wins and home losses count by a factor of 1.2. Also, home wins and road losses will count by a factor of 0.8. In other words, road wins and home losses will be a significantly bigger factor in affecting your RPI, which is, generally speaking, the ranking system used by the NCAA to adjust your winning percentage by a strength of schedule.

In addition, your RPI will get a "bonus" for wins against teams ranked in the Top 20 of RPI, based on a sliding scale. If you defeat the No. 1 team, you get an RPI bonus of 5.0 percentage points, sliding down to a 0.25 bonus for defeating the 20th team.

The Quality Win Bonus (QWB) will be multiplied by a factor consistent with the home-road weighting for that game. So, a win on the road against the No. 1 team, for example, would give you a bonus of 6.0 (5.0 x 1.2), whereas a win against the No. 1 team at home, would give you a bonus of 4.0 (5.0 x 0.8).


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