Dec. 27, 2004
Here in December, it may seem early to be talking about RPI and the NCAA Tournament. Let me tell you, games at this time of the season can have a big impact on what the NCAA Tournament selection committee decides come March Madness.
The good news is that the selection committee has decided to revamp the RPI (Rating Percentage Index). This move will allow more weight to be placed on a road victory against a quality opponent.
OK, we're not talking about the VBDI (Vitale Bald Dome Index)! Sometimes common sense should dictate in these discussions, and the new plan should allow for more points when a team wins on the road.
This is a wise decision. The NCAA is bringing more sanity to the RPI.
This will become a factor as schools realize the added importance of winning on the road. Also look for this to influence scheduling in the future, because a big road win will help even more on the road to securing a bid to the Big Dance.
Look at Kentucky's recent win at Louisville. The Wildcats deserve to be treated in a special fashion for winning a tough road contest like that one. A bonus should come in that situation.
I think this is a wise decision. The NCAA is bringing more sanity to the RPI. Remember, the RPI is just a tool used by the selection committee, helping in the process. It isn't the end-all, even though you will hear talk of schedule strength and RPI in February as we prepare for March Madness.
Some people go bananas over those numbers. I love evaluating these teams and figuring out who belongs come Selection Sunday. There is nothing like March Madness in sports, baby!
Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in December 1979. Send him a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.