NET rankings, quadrant wins explained: College basketball tools to know

As Selection Sunday in college basketball nears, you may hear commentators and bracketologists refer to NET rankings or quadrant wins as factors in at-large teams on the bubble and seeding when it comes to the NCAA Tournament. 

The NET rankings (NCAA Evaluation Tool) are used to look at a team’s record and résumé and replaced the somewhat unpopular RPI (Ratings Power Index) used for years as an evaluating measuring stick by the selection committee. 

This is the fifth season of the NET and would suggest teams fighting for their tournament lives would have a vested interest in the rating. The NCAA has said that the NET is not a deciding factor in whether a team makes the tournament.

What’s the difference between RPI and NET?

The RPI looked at three metrics: a team’s winning percentage, average opponent’s winning percentage, and average opponent’s opponent’s winning percentage. The NET factors in scoring margin, quality of wins and losses, net offensive and defensive efficiency, strength of schedule, game location, and, of course, game results. 

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The most important component of the NET is the team value index (TVI), rewarding teams for beating upper-echelon squads, which makes the entire system results-based. 

What are quadrant wins?

When you talk about quadrant wins, it is based on the NET ranking of the teams at the time of the game. Quad 1 wins have an impact on selecting teams for the tournament, and losses to Quad 3 and 4 teams could severely impact a team’s chances of making the field. 

The bottom line: beat good teams, especially on the road, and don’t lose to bad teams anywhere. 

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 135-240

Quadrant 4: Home 161-353, Neutral 201-353, Away 241-353

For example, through March 2, top-ranked Houston had the top NET ranking in the country based on its 28-2 record and 12 wins against Quad 1 and 2 competition. 

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