Let's just go back to my initial point of "RPI isn't the same as resume'."
If RPI was a team's resume then there would be no need for a committee. Just plug and chug into a spreadsheet and you have yourself an NCAA tournament bracket.
We could argue to what extent and how RPI is used in the decision (both officially and unofficially) all day.
Just FYI, I'm not saying that RPI is a perfect rating system, but like it or not, it gets used. It's a pretty simple formula, really, and only looks at the winning percentage of a team and its opponents. RPI = (.5 x opponents' winning %) + (.25 x opponents' opponents' winning %) + (.25 x winning %)
A huge omission is that RPI doesn't consider the margin of victory. E.g., Miami's rout of Dook means just as much as if they'd beaten them by 1 point on a buzzer beater in the eyes of RPI. There are a lot of alternative ranking systems out there, but nothing that's as universally-used as RPI. I'm intrigued by ESPN's BPI, which they debuted last year:
BPI -The College Basketball Power Index explained - ESPN
A slight aside, but I think this emphasis on "needing a quality road win" isn't as important as people are making it out to be. Last year, our only "quality" road win was K-State (we only beat them by 4 and they weren't ranked), and we coasted into the tournament...and we would have even if we'd lost that game.
The RPI is primarily used to categorize different teams like Top 50, or Top 25, or Top 150, to organize the quality of wins and even losses. The emphasis of any given RPI number to a team as a pure ranking is often over emphasized by the public and media (according to the NCAA's public stance. Individual bias for RPI can't be measured). By nature of the factors used to derive RPI the odds of a top 40 RPI team, from a major conference, being left out are slim.
K-State not being ranked last year is irrelevant. This is where RPI does come in. They had an RPI ranking worthy of a quality win. They may have been top 50 which is certainly considered a certain quality that poll ranking has no bearing on.
We most definitely need a top 50 road win. I shouldn't say definitely, I suppose. It ultimately depends on the quality of resumes of the teams we are being compared to at that point. It's all relative. That being said, we most definitely need a top 50 road win. :spinny:
I wondered about the late-game dilemma — two games I wasn't able to watch, and could only track online, were KU and OSU. Game flow in both had similarities — a multi-possession advantage around the 3-minute mark. In both cases, it appeared Iowa State did what it took to have an upper hand at venues where (historically) the deck is usually stacked. So what went wrong to be able to finish the job?
Using only those two examples, is it the go-to player? Is the coaching-prep spot-on, but a strategic liability down the stretch? Does the team have good chemistry but collective mental lapse during crunch time?
As for the exchange involving Cydkar and DistrictCyclone, you're both correct to a large extent -- you've met closer to consensus by this point. It's a perfect distillation about the imperfect (but typically reliable) selection process.
In a way you both addressed the difficulty of assessing “unbaised” computer numbers vs. quality of results vs. entirety of schedule.
A related exercise. Resist homer-bias if you can, and compare the following resumes. But first, ignore the RPI/SOS numbers (we’ll get to that shortly).
1. Compare the W-L within the categories of 1-50/151-100, et al.
2. Consider rankings of teams within those categories, whether it’s a win or loss and where the games were played.
3. Based on those two results, decide which team is currently more tournament-worthy.
4. Compare the RPI and SOS of each team.
Did your degree of separation between the teams change drastically between steps 3 & 4?
Using the current trend, the 5th place team will be OSU or ISU. We need to pick up some momentum and win three in a row. I say this because we have been just terrible in B12 tournament. When those other teams get desperate/physical and the refs blow their whistles, we are usually on the wrong end. Let's get in a position where we do not have to win a tournament game to make the NCAA.
The big 12 will get 6 teams if the top 6 can separate themselves from the bottome half.