How the NCAA abuses statistics to stack the deck against small schools.
-By Ken Pomeroy
Consider the case of Illinois State, the highest-rated team in the RPI that missed the 68-team tournament. It wasn’t a surprise that the No. 33 Redbirds were excluded from the field. According to bracketmatrix.com, just nine out of the 100 prognosticators that posted a projected bracket on Sunday had ISU in the field.
Why did Illinois State miss out? We have a system designed to rank teams based on their records and the quality of their schedules, but when it comes to a small-conference school like ISU, the human evaluators don’t trust the computer ranking. Instead, they rely on metrics like “quality wins” and “bad losses,” where “quality” and “bad” have arbitrary definitions.
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