HUNTINGTON — The metrics to determine college basketball’s power rankings are again changing, and this time, the women’s game will be impacted, too.
Earlier this week, it was announced that the NCAA Evaluation Tool — also known as NET — was implementing changes in its format for the 2020-21 season.
The changes simplify the metric, cutting down the listed numbers of components from five elements to two — those being team value index and adjusted efficiency.
In essence, it appears the changes are going to credit teams for scheduling strong, as opposed to blowout wins, which were equally as beneficial in the previous method.
According to the NCAA’s release on the new ranking, Team Value Index (TVI) refers to “a result-based feature that rewards teams for beating quality opponents, particularly away from home.”
Meanwhile, the adjusted efficiency is a team’s net efficiency, adjusted for strength of opponent and location across all games played. The efficiency is calculated on net points per 100 possessions.
The three elements which have been eliminated from consideration include winning percentage, adjusted winning percentage and scoring margin.
The change by the NCAA comes after just two seasons under the original NET rating, which took the place of the Rating Percentage Index (RPI) following the 2018-19 season.
“We’ve been very satisfied with with its performance thus far, but it became evident after two seasons of use that this change would be an improvement,” said Dan Gavitt, the NCAA’s senior vice president of basketball.
For Marshall’s men’s basketball team, this change could be beneficial for the 2020-21 season with the Herd facing one of its more daunting non-conference schedules in recent memory.
This season, Marshall will travel for games with ACC member Virginia Tech and Big East member Xavier with one more “pay” contest yet to be announced.
In addition, Marshall’s 2020-21 non-conference schedule features only two teams — Eastern Kentucky and Coppin State — who finished the 2019-20 season with a losing record.
The Colonels also got hot to end the season, finishing 16-17 after starting the year 4-11.
That home non-conference schedule includes 25-win Northern Iowa, a pair of 21-game winners in Duquesne and William & Mary, Toledo, Ohio and Tennessee State.
The road sends Marshall to the aforementioned games with Xavier and Virginia Tech, along with contests at 24-win Akron, College of Charleston, Eastern Kentucky and the final ‘pay’ game.
Marshall men’s basketball coach Dan D’Antoni said regardless of the change, the goal is always to win games — not just play well.
Last season, Marshall lost its two ‘pay’ games by six points to nationally-ranked Florida and 10 points to Notre Dame.
“It looks like it will help, but you’ve got to win games,” D’Antoni said. “We are going to have a difficult schedule, and that will help us, but you’ve got to win ballgames.”
While NCAA men’s basketball adopted the ‘NET’ rankings prior to the 2018-19 season, NCAA women’s basketball kept the RPI rankings over the last two seasons.
Starting with the 2020-21 season, both the men’s and women’s game will adopt the newly-formed ‘NET’ metrics, bringing uniformity to collegiate basketball’s system.