NCAA to put more emphasis on quality road wins

AP Photo/Brandon Dill

Road wins will now have a greater impact on the NCAA men’s basketball landscape.

The NCAA announced on Friday that the selection committee will put more emphasis on quality road wins beginning next season. Quality home wins, neutral-site wins and road wins will all be evaluated when taking into account teams’ chances of making the NCAA tournament.

“We consulted with experts within the coaching and analytics fields who looked at historical data, based on winning percentages by game location, to come up with these dividing lines within each of the columns,” Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis, the current chair of the committee, said in the release. “The emphasis of performing well on the road is important, as was the need for teams not to be penalized as much for road losses. Beating elite competition, regardless of the game location, will still be rewarded, but the committee wanted the team sheets to reflect that a road game against a team ranked 60th is mathematically more difficult and of higher quality than a home game versus a team ranked 35th. We feel this change accomplishes that.”

This could perhaps play a factor in programs scheduling tougher road games heading forward with RPI rarely taking location into account.

“The committee decided to use the upcoming season to study how different composite rankings would perform, and explore other options, as well,”  Dan Gavitt, the NCAA’s senior vice president of basketball, said in the release. “The bottom line is we recognize the need to continue using more modern metrics and the need to make those more front and center in the sorting of data for the selection and seeding process.”

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