Manitoba is #1 Seed ?! … Blame the RPI
If the play-offs were decided today …
Of course, we can’t do this, with some teams having only 8 games completed, and some with 10, with many more left to play. What we do see are 3 teams which are separating themselves from ‘the masses’. Alberta, UBC, and Calgary are looking like the 3 likely top seeds come late February. But wait ! If they are at the top of the standings after the 20 game schedule is in the books, are they the top 3 seeds for play-offs?
Not necessarily. With this ‘imbalanced’ 17 team League, with big differences in schedules, it was decided that a ‘balancing effect’ was needed to seed the 12 play-off qualifiers on the basis of the quality of their opposition. We present the RPI. A measure combining each team’s winning % (1/4), the winning %s of their 10 opponents (1/2), and the winning %s of the opponents of those opponents (1/4).
We have the current RPI ratings ( provided by our cis hoops stats guru, Martin Timmerman.) Open the above link, and you get a more complete look at the RPI rating system. Today we would get 1. Manitoba, 2.Alberta, 3. Calgary, 4.UBC in the bye spots. Then, 5. TRU, 6. Winnipeg, 7. Lethbridge, 8.Saskatchewan, 9. UNBC, 10. Mt. Royal, 11. Regina, and 12. Fraser Valley.
“The top 12 teams based on winning percentage will earn post-season berths, with playoff ranking based on each team’s Rating Percentage Index (RPI) from the regular season. RPI will be used in order to account for the various strengths of schedule.” (So say the League ‘regs’) “The top four teams based on RPI will receive a bye in the first week of the playoffs.”
The startling ‘Manitoba Effect’, due to the winning records of their very strong opponents in the 1st semester, will largely balance itself off in the upcoming 2nd half. But there will, undoubtedly, be some consternation when the RPI re-shuffles play-off positions. A ‘top 4 team’ losing out on a 1st round bye would be pleading injustice.
But this is what you get when you adopt an ‘All-17 team League’. Schools had options to break into 2 Divisions, but voted for the 17 . Ergo … the whimsical effect of the RPI.
- From the OUA, we note the rise of one of their newest school’s, Nipissing Lakers, whose weekend road sweep at Waterloo and Laurier brought them to 3-5 in league play. Here is the story from canhoops.ca and ‘Junkie’, Mark Wacyck, Ottawa-based ‘super-blogger’.
- Fraser Valley Coach Adam Friesen, after the Cascades’ road win Saturday at Brandon, “We’ve been struggling, and the guys, to their credit, have really worked, stuck together, kept grinding and figured out a way to have some success,” Friesen said. “I’m glad they were able to get a win heading into the Christmas break.” From Dan Kinvig, UFV Athletics.