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Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

January 23, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Some revealing RPI data and the best of the college-hoops week ahead . . .


A while back this month, the NCAA stats folks released their first detailed RPI data. Below is the link.

You can access data the NCAA basketball selection uses in “nitty-gritty” analysis, as well as “team sheets” for each of the Division 1 programs. The RPI has been assailed for whether it accurately reflects the strength of teams, but as long as the committee uses it, it’s worthwhile to study some of the quirks therein.

Some of the numbers – randomly, and nationally — that I found revealing from a quick perusal of the nitty-gritty data:

—    Dan Monson’s Long Beach State team, which annually schedules some of the toughest out of league, is 0-10 against the top 100. (Long Beach State is No. 141.)  I wouldn’t be telling him anything he doesn’t already know to say that the 49ers need to win the Big West tournament to get to the NCAA.

—    Seattle U. is 0-7 against the top 200. Notwithstanding a one-point loss to WAC leader Utah Valley the other day, that’s a pretty strong statement that the Redhawks are something short of ready for prime time.

—     St. Mary’s may present a head-scratching resume to the committee. The Gaels are 5-1 against the top 100 (tournament worthy) and 6-4 against the 100-200 teams (not so worthy).

—     From the team sheets: Washington’s average RPI victory is 200 (the rating of teams it has beaten), and its average RPI loss is 60. WSU’s is 223 and 63, Gonzaga’s is 136 and 78. That may be an elusive concept, so here’s a measure of a team that’s very likely NCAA-bound. Cal’s numbers are 147 and 35.

—     Showing the cold RPI number can be deceiving, Toledo is No. 37, but is 0-1 against the top 100, and that won’t cut it.

—     Along that line, Boise State is 1-5 against the top 100, so the Broncos still have serious work to do to make a return trip to the NCAA tournament.

Herewith, the best of what’s on tap starting Thursday night (Jan. 23) for the next week:


Colorado at Arizona, 6 p.m., ESPN2. Last year, this was a mega-thriller.

Utah at Arizona State, 6 p.m, Pac-12 Networks. Pivotal game for two aspiring teams.

San Diego at Gonzaga, 7 p.m., ESPNU. Gary Bell Jr. due to return after broken hand.

Stanford at UCLA, 8 p.m., Pac-12 Networks. Cardinal needs a breakthrough to get to NCAAs.

Oregon at Washington, 8 p.m., Fox Sports 1. Loser here is going to be checking hole card.


Michigan at Michigan State, 4 p.m., ESPN. GameDay there for two Big Ten undefeateds.

Oregon State at Washington, 2 p.m., Pac-12 Networks. Beavers have parts to be troublesome the rest of the way.

Colorado at Arizona State, 4 p.m., Pac-12 Networks. Another swing game for second-level Pac-12 squads.

BYU at Gonzaga, 7 p.m., ESPN2. BYU has rebounded from sluggish WCC start.


Stanford at USC, 2 p.m., Pac-12 Networks. Trojans showed Cal that they have fangs on the right night.

Oregon at WSU, 4 p.m., Pac-12 Networks. Duck quickness probably lethal against Cougars.

Cal at UCLA, 5 p.m., ESPNU. Loss to USC increases Cal’s urgency here.

Utah at Arizona, 5 p.m., Fox Sports 1. ‘Zona unbeaten string getting into historic territory.


Duke at Pittsburgh, 4 p.m., ESPN. A new rivalry in reconstituted ACC.

Oklahoma State at Oklahoma, 6 p.m., ESPN. Sooners, 25th this week, unexpectedly salty.


Michigan State at Iowa, 4 p.m., ESPN. Three days after Wolverines, Sparty will get tested.

Virginia at Notre Dame, 6 p.m., ESPNU. Bennett bested Bray for Sweet 16 spot with WSU in 2008.


Arizona at Stanford, 6 p.m, ESPN2. Bay trip could be telling for ‘Zona.

Iowa State at Kansas, 6 p.m, ESPNU. Tough place for reeling Cyclones to find themselves.

Gonzaga at Santa Clara, 8 p.m, Root. Zags have a history of struggles at this site.

Arizona State at Cal, 8 p.m, ESPNU.  NCAA-hopeful ASU in much the same spot as it was last year.





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