It’s 2018. Everything is trash. Of course the new NCAA Tournament metric, the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET), has debuted with as raunchy a smell as expired milk coming from the mouth of a zombie who previously devoured the body of a man who frequented Taco Bell.
Now active, at least in a public forum, for nearly 48 hours, we’ve learned two things.
- The NET values trash.
Exhibit A is a Matt Norlander Tweet:
Glory is so fleeting atop the NET. Ohio State is out and Texas Tech is in at No. 1. Loyola Marymount’s slip from fame appears to be set in motion, as the Lions go from 10th to 13th despite not even playing a game. Sad! pic.twitter.com/rIUXncZSL7
— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) November 27, 2018
Exhibit B is from the Internet’s 55th ranked college basketball media member who has dark hair, resides in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and has a lifelong crush on Christina Ricci:
Not pictured is the 21st ranked University of Broken Dreams. They have wins over the Club State Pool Cleaners and two more victories while playing games of Uno. Would have been higher had they not failed to defeat Sephiroth in FF VII. https://t.co/zcVgCRWcDK
— Joseph Nardone (@JosephNardone) November 27, 2018
The argument for those who believe in this fancy NET is to give it time. To allow for a larger sample of information to be inserted in the the NCAA Evaluation Tool’s figurative veins.
On a slightly more serious note: If this is our fix to years and years of RPI nonsense and a bunch of old humans sitting in a room on Selection Sunday, screaming about the wrongs of the world and probably playing Scrabble… what the hell are we doing?
Shouldn’t a GOOD metric system still function in a reality operating within this universe even if the sample size isn’t all the games? To NOT rank KNOWN only OK teams in the top 15? Wouldn’t an excellent data based ideology avoid such craziness that is punishing teams for not playing back-to-back games?
Like, I mean, passive voice aside, is Jerry O’Connell and the team from Sliders in charge of this stuff? Are we operating in a parallel world? I know Sabrina Lloyd would have zero seconds to waste on this garbage.
Riddle me this, Batman. What if there’s a system put in place that could easily acknowledge Gonzaga — a team that’s already beaten four major conference foes, including Duke — is trotting about the planet with a better resume than schools that defeated a few Radio Shack managers?
Maybe it’s because it’s the NCAA’s system, but giving this NET thing the benefit of the doubt seems silly. It hasn’t earned it.
The NCAA sure as sugar hasn’t earned it.
Hell, given how poorly data tends to operate in a sport with such huge variances in competition level and built in small samples as college basketball, I’m not even sure fancy math deserves it. It hasn’t earned it, that’s for sure.
Nevertheless, trash. Thanks for coming to my short TED talk.
Joseph Nardone has been covering college basketball for nearly a decade for various outlets in a variety of ways. You can follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone.
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