Release of first NET rankings creates more questions than answers when NCAA keeps formula a secret

The new NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) rankings were published for the first time Monday and, as it was with the RPI, there are some counterintuitive results with so few games having been played.

For example, Ohio State leads the way in the NET, but is only 13th in the RPI and 16th in the AP Top 25 and CBS Sports' Top 25 and 1.  The No. 1 team in the CBS Sports' Top 25 and 1 and in the current RPI is Kansas, but the Jayhawks check in at No. 11 in the first edition of the NET. In what will likely prove to be an early anomaly in both systems, Loyola Marymount rounds out the top 10 in the NET and is No. 3 in the RPI.

However, the thing that is missing from the what the NCAA revealed with the release of the NET ratings is any of the supporting data that goes into the rankings. All we are being given for now is each team's overall record and breakdown by home/road/neutral/non-Division I. That's it. There is not one piece of useful information on the rankings page except the ranking itself.

Obviously, that will not do at all. I have to believe that the component data will at least be on the team sheets that the NCAA men's basketball committee uses to help with selection and seeding of the NCAA tournament. I very much hope for something more suitable for public consumption than that.

The NCAA has been working very hard in recent years to make the selection process as transparent as possible. Not releasing the formula for this is a significant step backwards in that process. And, while it may be so complicated that nobody on the actual committee can understand it, let alone explain it, surely there is one geek at every school that would. The geek writing this column is confident he would ultimately understand it also.

However, even if the NCAA wants its formula to be a secret, there is no excuse for keeping the component data under wraps. We may not be able to validate the Team Value Index, but we can with the other four components. That is important because mistakes have been found – and corrected -- in the RPI data in the past. There is no reason to assume it will be perfectly clean now.

When the NET was announced we were told that there were five components and that margin of victory was only a small part and was capped at 10 points per game. That last bit of information is not entirely true, but let's go through the components and you will see why.

Here is a quick review of the components of the NET, with some new information. These five components are listed in order of how they are weighted in the formula. Note that only games against Division I opponents are included.

  1. Team Value Index: It includes the opponent, whether a team won or lost and the game location. There is no scoring margin in this component.

  2. Net Efficiency: This is basically an analytic sounding term for margin of victory - pure and nearly unadulterated. It is largely a measure of an uncapped, no diminishing returns Margin of Victory. It is measured in points per possession on both offense and defense. The net is Offensive Efficiency – Defensive Effeciency. Net efficiency is calculated for each team for every game and then averaged. Statistically speaking, it correlates almost perfectly with margin of victory. So, running up the score is the second most important factor in this formula.

  3. Simple winning percentage

  4. The weighted winning percentage used in the RPI formula.

  5. Average scoring margin, with each game capped at 10. Overtime games are treated as one point results.

What we still don't know…

  • The formula for the Team Value Index (TVI)

  • How the different components are weighted within the formula

  • How to calculate the actual NET

It would seem that having factors three and four is kind of redundant. A winning percentage of some form could be part of the TVI also, for all we know. Certainly game location is part of the TVI and the RPI version of winning percentage. It would seem best to pick one way to measure winning percentage and go with it.

Finally, having a capped margin of victory as the least important factor seems completely irrelevant if an uncapped version is already much higher on the list.

NCAA NET rankings

RANKSCHOOLCONFERENCERECORDROADNEUTRALHOMENON DIV I
1Ohio StateBig Ten6-02-00-04-00-0
2VirginiaACC6-00-03-03-00-0
3Texas TechBig 126-00-02-04-00-0
4MichiganBig Ten6-01-02-03-00-0
5GonzagaWCC6-00-03-03-00-0
6DukeACC5-10-03-12-00-0
7Michigan St.Big Ten5-10-02-13-00-0
8WisconsinBig Ten5-11-02-12-00-0
9Virginia TechACC5-00-03-02-00-0
10Loyola MarymountWCC7-01-02-03-01-0
11KansasBig 125-00-03-02-00-0
12BelmontOVC5-02-00-02-01-0
13NevadaMWC6-00-02-04-00-0
14NebraskaBig Ten5-10-01-14-00-0
15IowaBig Ten5-00-02-03-00-0
16AuburnSEC5-10-02-12-01-0
17MarylandBig Ten6-01-00-05-00-0
18HoustonAAC4-01-00-03-00-0
19Notre DameACC5-10-00-05-10-0
20PurdueBig Ten5-10-02-13-00-0
21North CarolinaACC6-12-01-13-00-0
22RadfordBig South4-12-10-01-01-0
23PittsburghACC6-00-01-05-00-0
24Kansas St.Big 126-00-03-03-00-0
25San FranciscoWCC6-01-01-03-01-0
26Ga. SouthernSun Belt5-00-03-01-01-0
27TennesseeSEC4-10-01-12-01-0
28Arizona St.Pac-125-00-02-03-00-0
29St. John's (NY)Big East5-01-02-02-00-0
30BuffaloMAC5-02-00-03-00-0
31NC StateACC6-00-00-06-00-0
32Iowa St.Big 125-10-02-13-00-0
33ArizonaPac-124-20-01-23-00-0
34IndianaBig Ten5-10-10-05-00-0
35TexasBig 125-10-02-13-00-0
36CreightonBig East5-10-03-02-10-0
37Utah St.MWC5-11-01-13-00-0
38VillanovaBig East5-20-03-02-20-0
39OregonPac-124-10-01-13-00-0
40DuquesneAtlantic 104-10-10-04-00-0
41Murray St.OVC3-00-00-02-01-0
42OklahomaBig 125-12-02-11-00-0
43MinnesotaBig Ten5-00-03-02-00-0
44Florida St.ACC5-11-02-12-00-0
45ButlerBig East5-10-02-13-00-0
46CincinnatiAAC5-10-02-03-10-0
47UNLVMWC4-10-00-04-10-0
48FurmanSoCon7-03-00-01-03-0
49UCFAAC5-10-03-02-10-0
50LipscombASUN5-13-00-01-11-0
51ClemsonACC5-10-02-13-00-0
52MontanaBig Sky4-10-01-12-01-0
53ArkansasSEC4-10-00-14-00-0
54North TexasC-USA8-01-01-03-03-0
55Abilene ChristianSouthland6-03-01-01-01-0
56VCUAtlantic 105-10-01-14-00-0
57UConnAAC5-10-01-14-00-0
58WashingtonPac-124-20-12-12-00-0
59Fla. AtlanticC-USA6-11-02-11-02-0
60LibertyASUN5-11-10-02-02-0
61KentuckySEC5-10-00-15-00-0
62Saint LouisAtlantic 105-11-00-14-00-0
63Miami (FL)ACC5-10-02-13-00-0
64Fresno St.MWC3-20-12-10-01-0
65San DiegoWCC5-11-10-03-01-0
66Mississippi St.SEC4-10-01-13-00-0
67LSUSEC5-20-01-24-00-0
68ColoradoPac-123-11-10-02-00-0
69DaytonAtlantic 104-20-01-23-00-0
70SamfordSoCon7-12-10-04-01-0
71VanderbiltSEC4-11-00-03-10-0
72UNC GreensboroSoCon6-13-11-01-01-0
73UICHorizon3-30-30-02-01-0
74RutgersBig Ten4-10-00-04-10-0
75Penn St.Big Ten3-20-11-12-00-0
76GeorgetownBig East5-11-01-13-00-0
77Oklahoma St.Big 124-20-12-12-00-0
78DePaulBig East3-10-10-03-00-0
79TempleAAC5-10-01-14-00-0
80FloridaSEC3-30-11-22-00-0
81Georgia TechACC4-10-10-04-00-0
82Northern Colo.Big Sky3-11-10-01-01-0
83NorthwesternBig Ten5-10-02-13-00-0
84Southern UtahBig Sky3-12-10-00-01-0
85Seton HallBig East4-20-13-01-10-0
86UCLAPac-124-20-00-24-00-0
87BradleyMVC6-10-12-03-01-0
88Kent St.MAC5-12-00-02-11-0
89MarshallC-USA4-11-10-03-00-0
90Southern CaliforniaPac-124-20-01-13-10-0
91Georgia St.Sun Belt4-20-12-12-00-0
92SyracuseACC3-20-00-23-00-0
93Ole MissSEC3-20-11-12-00-0
94BYUWCC5-20-10-05-10-0
95Saint Mary's (CA)WCC3-31-00-22-10-0
96San Diego St.MWC3-20-01-22-00-0
97ETSUSoCon5-21-20-03-01-0
98Louisiana TechC-USA4-21-10-11-02-0
99MarquetteBig East4-20-11-13-00-0
100DavidsonAtlantic 105-10-02-13-00-0
101XavierBig East3-30-01-22-10-0
102UC IrvineBig West6-13-01-11-01-0
103WoffordSoCon4-21-10-01-12-0
104Oregon St.Pac-125-11-02-12-00-0
105ToledoMAC5-11-13-00-01-0
106Texas St.Sun Belt5-11-12-01-01-0
107TCUBig 123-10-00-03-10-0
108StanfordPac-123-31-11-21-00-0
109Holy CrossPatriot4-21-22-01-00-0
110Ball St.MAC3-30-11-22-00-0
111DelawareCAA4-22-10-00-12-0
112Col. of CharlestonCAA5-21-12-12-00-0
113The CitadelSoCon4-22-20-00-02-0
114MissouriSEC3-20-12-11-00-0
115ProvidenceBig East4-20-01-23-00-0
116PacificWCC5-32-20-02-11-0
117LouisvilleACC3-20-00-23-00-0
118RiderMAAC2-11-10-01-00-0
119William & MaryCAA2-40-30-02-10-0
120LouisianaSun Belt3-30-22-10-01-0
121GeorgiaSEC3-30-11-22-00-0
122ColgatePatriot5-22-20-02-01-0
123South Fla.AAC4-20-01-13-10-0
124HarvardIvy League3-32-20-00-11-0
125IllinoisBig Ten2-40-00-32-10-0
126Wright St.Horizon3-30-10-23-00-0
127FordhamAtlantic 105-10-10-04-01-0
128Northern Ky.Horizon6-11-10-03-02-0
129PepperdineWCC3-20-12-10-01-0
130AlabamaSEC4-10-02-12-00-0
131Detroit MercyHorizon3-31-30-02-00-0
132Wichita St.AAC3-30-02-21-10-0
133LehighPatriot4-22-20-02-00-0
134NortheasternCAA2-41-11-20-10-0
135Indiana St.MVC3-11-10-01-01-0
136HawaiiBig West4-30-01-22-11-0
137Northern Ill.MAC4-21-01-10-12-0
138Texas A&MSEC2-40-10-22-10-0
139Miami (OH)MAC3-30-21-11-01-0
140HofstraCAA3-30-30-03-00-0
141West VirginiaBig 123-20-02-11-10-0
142Southern Miss.C-USA4-22-01-10-01-1
143MercerSoCon3-30-30-02-01-0
144AkronMAC4-20-02-21-01-0
145Southern Ill.MVC3-30-11-12-10-0
146AmericanPatriot3-12-10-01-00-0
147Houston BaptistSouthland2-21-20-01-00-0
148Loyola ChicagoMVC4-20-01-13-10-0
149Saint Joseph'sAtlantic 103-30-11-22-00-0
150Central Conn. St.NEC4-31-21-11-01-0
151PennIvy League5-21-01-22-01-0
152Stony BrookAmerica East5-13-01-10-01-0
153Seattle UWAC6-20-10-05-11-0
154CornellIvy League3-32-10-00-21-0
155Washington St.Pac-123-10-10-03-00-0
156Western Ky.C-USA3-30-22-11-00-0
157New Mexico St.WAC4-11-00-02-11-0
158North FloridaASUN2-40-31-10-01-0
159South Dakota St.Summit League5-20-11-13-01-0
160Rhode IslandAtlantic 102-20-10-02-10-0
161IUPUIHorizon4-21-22-01-00-0
162South CarolinaSEC3-20-01-12-10-0
163Green BayHorizon3-31-21-00-11-0
164Western Mich.MAC4-31-21-11-01-0
165Missouri St.MVC3-30-10-23-00-0
166NJITASUN6-13-00-02-11-0
167WinthropBig South3-31-20-00-12-0
168SMUAAC3-30-01-12-20-0
169UtahPac-123-30-11-22-00-0
170Boston CollegeACC4-10-02-02-10-0
171Jacksonville St.OVC2-30-32-00-00-0
172MassachusettsAtlantic 104-30-01-13-20-0
173DartmouthIvy League3-31-30-00-02-0
174DrakeMVC3-11-10-01-01-0
175South DakotaSummit League3-20-01-21-01-0
176Coastal Caro.Sun Belt4-31-21-10-02-0
177Bowling GreenMAC4-30-31-02-01-0
178Illinois St.MVC5-20-12-12-01-0
179TulsaAAC4-20-00-24-00-0
180UABC-USA4-20-01-22-01-0
181Utah ValleyWAC4-30-32-01-01-0
182Central Mich.MAC5-10-02-11-02-0
183BrownIvy League5-20-20-04-01-0
184Old DominionC-USA3-30-11-22-00-0
185BaylorBig 124-20-01-13-10-0
186PresbyterianBig South3-31-30-00-02-0
187FIUC-USA6-10-12-01-03-0
188Austin PeayOVC2-40-31-10-01-0
189MemphisAAC3-30-11-22-00-0
190A&M-Corpus ChristiSouthland4-21-00-10-13-0
191EvansvilleMVC2-30-30-01-01-0
192North Dakota St.Summit League2-40-21-21-00-0
193UMBCAmerica East4-30-12-11-11-0
194Gardner-WebbBig South2-51-31-20-00-0
195James MadisonCAA5-32-11-10-12-0
196Saint Francis (PA)NEC1-40-40-01-00-0
197OhioMAC3-20-00-22-01-0
198High PointBig South3-31-12-10-10-0
199Grand CanyonWAC4-30-11-23-00-0
200TulaneAAC2-30-01-11-20-0
201YaleIvy League1-20-21-00-00-0
202TroySun Belt3-30-20-02-11-0
203North DakotaSummit League4-21-20-00-03-0
204Colorado St.MWC4-20-11-12-01-0
205Wake ForestACC3-20-02-11-10-0
206UC Santa BarbaraBig West5-11-12-01-01-0
207Sacramento St.Big Sky3-00-01-01-01-0
208Eastern Mich.MAC4-30-20-02-12-0
209DrexelCAA3-31-30-01-01-0
210New MexicoMWC3-11-00-02-10-0
211Florida A&MMEAC2-41-20-20-01-0
212Little RockSun Belt3-31-20-01-11-0
213Idaho St.Big Sky2-21-10-00-11-0
214MilwaukeeHorizon2-40-30-02-10-0
215OaklandHorizon3-40-10-02-31-0
216St. Francis BrooklynNEC3-32-20-10-01-0
217LIU BrooklynNEC3-31-10-11-11-0
218Northern Ariz.Big Sky2-21-20-01-00-0
219Weber St.Big Sky3-20-12-10-01-0
220UC RiversideBig West2-51-40-00-11-0
221IonaMAAC2-30-21-11-00-0
222UT ArlingtonSun Belt3-30-20-02-11-0
223Boise St.MWC2-30-01-21-10-0
224VermontAmerica East3-31-20-01-11-0
225Portland St.Big Sky3-20-10-11-02-0
226HowardMEAC5-21-21-00-03-0
227HamptonBig South2-41-20-20-01-0
228OmahaSummit League3-31-20-01-11-0
229UTSAC-USA1-50-11-20-10-1
230Long Beach St.Big West2-50-31-10-11-0
231VMISoCon5-21-20-01-03-0
232Boston U.Patriot3-42-30-00-11-0
233FGCUASUN2-60-30-31-01-0
234Texas SouthernSWAC1-41-40-00-00-0
235CSU BakersfieldWAC3-30-22-10-01-0
236DenverSummit League2-40-21-11-10-0
237Middle Tenn.C-USA3-40-10-31-02-0
238SienaMAAC2-41-11-10-20-0
239Purdue Fort WayneSummit League4-41-30-01-12-0
240Morgan St.MEAC2-30-30-02-00-0
241HartfordAmerica East2-51-20-20-11-0
242East CarolinaAAC4-30-10-04-20-0
243LongwoodBig South5-32-21-11-01-0
244California BaptistWAC2-41-20-20-01-0
245UNIMVC3-30-22-10-01-0
246CaliforniaPac-121-30-00-31-00-0
247PortlandWCC5-31-10-12-12-0
248UTRGVWAC4-31-20-02-11-0
249Charleston So.Big South4-20-21-01-02-0
250CampbellBig South3-30-22-01-10-0
251Cal St. FullertonBig West2-50-31-20-01-0
252Robert MorrisNEC3-31-30-01-01-0
253Air ForceMWC2-40-11-20-11-0
254Lamar UniversitySouthland3-30-30-01-02-0
255UNCWCAA3-40-12-10-21-0
256RiceC-USA3-40-40-02-01-0
257George MasonAtlantic 102-50-10-22-20-0
258Nicholls St.Southland4-41-42-00-01-0
259Appalachian St.Sun Belt1-40-10-30-01-0
260UMass LowellAmerica East4-40-42-01-01-0
261GramblingSWAC3-31-20-10-02-0
262ValparaisoMVC3-30-11-21-01-0
263RichmondAtlantic 102-40-00-22-20-0
264Albany (NY)America East2-41-20-00-21-0
265FairfieldMAAC2-51-21-10-20-0
266Ark.-Pine BluffSWAC2-41-41-00-00-0
267Southeast Mo. St.OVC3-30-32-00-01-0
268SIUEOVC1-30-10-01-20-0
269UC DavisBig West1-60-31-10-20-0
270Eastern Ky.OVC3-31-00-21-11-0
271Sam Houston St.Southland3-40-41-00-02-0
272Western Caro.SoCon2-50-20-21-11-0
273Loyola MarylandPatriot2-50-41-01-10-0
274CSUNBig West1-30-10-01-20-0
275George WashingtonAtlantic 101-50-10-21-20-0
276Prairie ViewSWAC1-61-60-00-00-0
277WagnerNEC2-41-20-00-21-0
278New OrleansSouthland3-20-20-00-03-0
279N.C. A&TMEAC1-51-40-00-10-0
280CharlotteC-USA2-20-00-02-20-0
281Cleveland St.Horizon2-50-20-01-31-0
282Youngstown St.Horizon3-40-21-20-02-0
283Eastern Ill.OVC3-30-22-11-00-0
284TowsonCAA2-40-10-31-01-0
285WyomingMWC2-40-11-11-20-0
286Arkansas St.Sun Belt2-40-21-20-01-0
287Morehead St.OVC2-40-21-10-11-0
288BinghamtonAmerica East2-40-20-01-21-0
289Saint Peter'sMAAC1-40-30-01-10-0
290CanisiusMAAC1-51-10-30-10-0
291JacksonvilleASUN3-51-31-10-11-0
292Sacred HeartNEC2-40-31-10-01-0
293ChattanoogaSoCon2-51-20-20-11-0
294North Ala.ASUN2-40-40-00-02-0
295BucknellPatriot2-22-00-00-20-0
296Norfolk St.MEAC3-40-20-20-03-0
297Fairleigh DickinsonNEC3-21-10-00-12-0
298ElonCAA2-41-10-10-21-0
299Central Ark.Southland2-40-40-00-02-0
300NiagaraMAAC2-31-10-01-20-0
301IdahoBig Sky1-40-10-10-11-1
302BryantNEC1-40-40-01-00-0
303SFASouthland4-10-10-01-03-0
304Cal PolyBig West2-40-31-10-01-0
305Oral RobertsSummit League3-60-41-10-12-0
306South AlabamaSun Belt3-30-20-02-11-0
307UTEPC-USA2-30-30-00-02-0
308Savannah St.MEAC3-50-41-01-11-0
309LafayettePatriot2-32-20-00-10-0
310La.-MonroeSun Belt2-31-30-00-01-0
311Incarnate WordSouthland4-50-21-20-13-0
312ManhattanMAAC2-40-32-00-10-0
313NavyPatriot2-30-20-02-10-0
314Alabama St.SWAC2-30-30-00-02-0
315McNeeseSouthland2-30-20-00-02-1
316Western Ill.Summit League2-40-40-00-02-0
317UT MartinOVC2-20-20-01-01-0
318Eastern Wash.Big Sky1-30-20-01-10-0
319MaristMAAC1-40-40-01-00-0
320San Jose St.MWC1-50-00-30-21-0
321Tennessee St.OVC2-40-30-00-12-0
322St. BonaventureAtlantic 101-50-10-31-10-0
323Army West PointPatriot2-50-30-21-01-0
324QuinnipiacMAAC2-21-10-01-10-0
325Kennesaw St.ASUN1-60-30-20-11-0
326Santa ClaraWCC1-41-00-20-20-0
327N.C. CentralMEAC2-50-40-11-01-0
328PrincetonIvy League2-21-10-00-11-0
329ColumbiaIvy League1-40-20-20-01-0
330Bethune-CookmanMEAC2-40-30-00-12-0
331Mississippi Val.SWAC1-60-60-01-00-0
332Northwestern St.Southland2-40-40-01-01-0
333USC UpstateBig South1-50-30-20-01-0
334AlcornSWAC1-50-40-10-01-0
335UMKCWAC1-60-40-10-11-0
336La SalleAtlantic 100-70-20-30-20-0
337Southeastern La.Southland2-40-40-01-01-0
338New HampshireAmerica East2-40-30-00-12-0
339Tennessee TechOVC1-50-40-01-10-0
340Montana St.Big Sky1-60-50-00-11-0
341MaineAmerica East0-60-60-00-00-0
342UMESMEAC1-50-40-00-11-0
343StetsonASUN1-50-30-00-21-0
344South Carolina St.MEAC1-60-60-00-01-0
345MonmouthMAAC0-70-20-30-20-0
346Mt. St. Mary'sNEC0-60-50-00-10-0
347Alabama A&MSWAC0-60-60-00-00-0
348UNC AshevilleBig South1-50-20-20-11-0
349Jackson St.SWAC1-50-31-10-10-0
350Southern U.SWAC0-60-50-10-00-0
351Coppin St.MEAC0-70-60-10-00-0
352Delaware St.MEAC1-50-50-00-01-0
353Chicago St.WAC0-80-70-10-00-0
CBS Sports Senior Writer

Jerry Palm started writing about sports on the Internet right after Al Gore invented it. He was the first to bring RPI out in the open and is one of the pioneers of predicting the March Madness bracket.... Full Bio

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