This may not seem like much right off the bat, but I can tell you this is a huge step in the right direction. The committee has adjusted team sheets and just how valuable wins are on neutral courts and on the road. According to Andy Katz at NCAA.com the new sheets will be in four quadrants and as follows:
Quadrant 1: Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75
Quadrant 2: Home 31-75; Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135
Quadrant 3: Home 76-160; Neutral 101-200; Away 136-240
Quadrant 4: Home 161-plus; Neutral 201-plus; Away 241-plus
Now if you’re a Monmouth fan, I apologize. This new team sheet would have absolutely gotten your team in the NCAA Tournament two years ago with neutral court and road wins over USC, UCLA, Georgetown and Siena. The way the committee used to look at team sheets were simply divided into wins/losses vs Top-50, then 51-100, 101-200 and 201 and higher. It didn’t take into account where the game was played, which simply was dumb.
While I still don’t love the RPI and think it can be updated – or preferably other tools could be used – this is a huge step for the committee. This rewards teams for winning away from home and could set up more big time neutral court games or home-and-home deals with known teams.
There are two ways to look at who this will benefit. The first are teams like Monmouth – those mid majors that are talented enough to play with most in the country and can convince teams to play them either on neutral courts or on the road. That helps move a one-bid league to a two and doesn’t reward a known program on the bubble who doesn’t leave home during the nonconference. The other way is what I mentioned earlier. Teams that seem to always be on the bubble from the major six conferences scheduling each other and getting that neutral court or road win.
Changes like this are good for college basketball, now let’s hope for some more.