RPI/NCAA Trivia

Here's some trivia about the RPI and the selection process. (Through the 2012 tournament)

Highs and Lows

Note: This section covers the period since the last major change in the RPI formula, which was first used for the 2005 tournament.

To see similar notes for the period covering 1994-2004, click here.

The "big six" conferences are: ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Big East, Pac 10, SEC.
For the 2005 season only, Conference USA is considered a major conference.

Also, records do not include games against non-Division I opponents.

  • The highest rated team left out: #21 Missouri St, #30 Hofstra (2006), #30 Air Force (2007).
  • ... among the big six: #40 Cincinnati (2006).
  • The lowest rated teams to get at-large bids (ALB): #67 USC, #64 Marquette (2011), #63 NC State (2005), #63 Stanford (2007).
  • Most teams from one conference: 11 (Big East - 2011).
  • ... as percentage of membership: 6/9 (ACC 4 times, last - 2004).
  • Fewest wins to get an ALB: 17 (Alabama - 2006).
  • Most losses to get an ALB: 14 (Arizona - 2008, five teams in 2011).
  • Worst record to get an ALB: 18-14 .563 (Arizona - 2008, Michigan St - 2011)
  • Number of times a team with at least 20 wins has been left out: 215
  • ... among the big six: 37
  • Number of times a team with at least 25 wins has been left out: 11
  • Most wins left out: 27 (Drexel, Oral Roberts - 2012)
  • ... among the big six: 23 (Arizona - 2012, Mississippi St, Virginia Tech - 2010, Florida - 2009)
  • Best record left out: 24-5 .828 (Coastal Carolina - 2011)
  • ... among the big six: 23-8 .742 (Virginia Tech - 2010)
  • Highest RPI ranking for a sub-.500 team: 67 (Georgia Tech - 2008)

    The RPI as a predictor of seed

    The RPI is a decent predictor of seed for the tournament, but there are some extreme cases. Since 1994, if you were to seed the tournament strictly by RPI and compare it to the actual seed teams received, the RPI predicted 903/1234 (73%) teams within one of their actual seeds.

    Since 2005, the RPI predicted 363/526 (69%) teams within one of their actual seeds.

    The final AP poll has actually been a better predictor of seeding for teams ranked in the poll. Since 1994, the poll has predicted 400/475 teams within one of their actual seed. The RPI was 356/475.

    The RPI Geek as a predictor of seed

    My bracket guess results:

  • 2012: 35/37 at-large teams correct, 60 teams within one seed of actual
  • 2011: 35/37 at-large teams correct, 55 teams within one seed of actual
  • 2010: all 34 at-large teams correct, 55 teams within one seed of actual
  • 2009: 33/34 at-large teams correct, 56 teams within one seed of actual
  • 2008: all 34 at-large teams correct, 57 teams within one seed of actual
  • 2007: 32/34 at-large teams correct, 51 teams within one seed of actual
  • 2006: 31/34 at-large teams correct, 50 teams within one seed of actual
  • 2005: 33/34 at-large teams correct, 55 teams within one seed of actual
  • 2004: 33/34 at-large teams correct, 53 teams within one seed of actual
  • 2003: 31/34 at-large teams correct, 53 teams within one seed of actual
  • 2002: all 34 at-large teams correct, 56 teams within one seed of actual
  • 2001: 33/34 at-large teams correct, 48 teams within one seed of actual
  • 2000: 34/35 at-large teams correct, 55 teams within one seed of actual
  • 1999: 32/34 at-large teams correct, 49 teams within one seed of actual
  • 1998: 32/34 at-large teams correct, 60 teams within one seed of actual
  • 1997: 30/34 at-large teams correct, 56 teams within one seed of actual

    Conference Ratings

    Although there is logically some correlation between conference rating and number of teams in the tournament, there is certainly no quotas or guarantees. The 7th rated conference has had the most teams in a given season twice. A breakdown by year of conferences with multiple representation and conference rankings:

    CR - Conference Ranking in Overall Conference RPI, # - number of tournament teams. Most teams in a given year highlighted in red.

    1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
    CR-# CR-# CR-# CR-# CR-# CR-# CR-# CR-# CR-# CR-# CR-# CR-# CR-# CR-# CR-# CR-# CR-# CR-# CR-#
    ACC 3-5 2-4 1-6 1-6 1-5 2-3 7-3 3-6 2-4 3-4 1-6 1-5 3-4 1-7 1-4 1-7 3-6 5-4 5-5
    Big East 5-6 4-4 6-5 5-4 4-5 5-5 4-5 4-5 4-6 4-4 3-6 2-6 2-8 5-6 5-8 4-7 2-8 1-11 2-9
    Big Ten 1-7 7-6 3-5 3-6 3-5 1-7 2-6 2-7 6-5 5-5 6-3 6-5 1-6 4-6 6-4 2-7 5-5 2-7 1-6
    Big 12 2-5 6-4 7-5 3-6 6-6 3-6 2-6 4-4 3-6 5-4 7-4 3-6 3-6 1-7 4-5 4-6
    Pac 10/12 9-4 6-5 7-4 6-5 5-4 3-4 6-4 5-5 5-6 7-5 8-3 4-4 7-4 3-6 2-6 5-6 8-2 7-4 11-2
    SEC 8-4 5-5 4-4 4-5 2-5 4-6 1-6 1-6 1-6 1-6 2-6 5-5 4-6 2-5 4-6 6-3 4-4 6-5 3-4
    Atl 10 7-3 9-2 8-4 7-5 7-5 10-3 9-3 9-3 9-3 7-4 11-2 10-2 7-3 8-3 7-3 9-3 7-4
    Conf USA 5-4 9-4 8-3 6-4 5-4 10-2 8-3 8-4 5-6 9-4 13-2 11-2 10-2 9-2
    Mtn West 10-2 7-3 6-3 9-3 11-2 8-2 8-2 9-2 7-2 6-4 3-3 6-4
    MVC 18-2 10-2 13-2 8-3 11-2 12-2 14-2 12-2 11-2 8-3 6-4 6-2 8-2
    WAC 10-2 11-2 11-2 8-3 9-4 9-3 8-2 7-2 10-2 10-2 12-2 9-2 9-2
    Atl Sun 25-2
    Big West 17-2
    Colonial 10-2 13-2 8-3
    Horizon 19-2 15-2 10-3 13-2 12-2 12-2
    MAC 12-2 14-2 11-2
    Metro Atl 20-2 19-2
    Sun Belt 13-2 15-2
    West Coast 13-2 10-2 15-2 15-2 10-2 7-2 14-3 13-2 10-3
    Big Eight 2-4 1-5 2-4
    Great MW 6-4 8-3
    Metro 3-3
    SWC 9-2

    NCAA Tournament Performance

    The following refer to active streaks only.

    Teams with the most consecutive years of NCAA Tournament appearances:

    Teams with the most consecutive years of at least one NCAA Tournament win:

    Teams with the most consecutive years of Sweet 16 appearances:

    Teams with the most consecutive years of Final Four appearances:

    Results by seed (since 1985 - first year of 64 teams). Seeds listed in bracket order.

    Wins by round
    SeedFirstSecondR SemisR FinalSemisFinal
    11129879462617
    16------
    854107421
    95841---
    48849161121
    13245----
    57439863-
    1238191---
    2106725225124
    156-----
    767197---
    1045217---
    39657281494
    14162----
    6733813321
    11381553--


    Old RPI Notes

    Highs and Lows

    All of the following notes cover the 1994-2004 tournaments.

    The "big six" conferences are: ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Big East, Pac 10, SEC and their predecessors.
    "Major" conferences include the big six plus: Atlantic 10, Conference USA, Mountain West and their predecessors. Also, the WAC is considered a major conference through the 2000 season.

    Also, records do not include games against non-Division I opponents.

  • The highest rated team ever left out: #33 Oklahoma (1994).
  • The lowest rated teams to get at-large bids (ALB): #74 New Mexico (1999) and #70 Air Force (2004).
  • Most teams from one conference: 7 (Big 10 - 1994, 1999, 2001).
  • Fewest wins to get an ALB: 16 (7 times, last by Georgia - 2001).
  • Most losses to get an ALB: 14 (Georgia - 2001).
  • Worst record to get an ALB: 16-14 .533 (Georgia - 2001)
  • Number of times a team with at least 20 wins has been left out: 118
  • ... among major-conference teams: 18
  • ... among the big six: 2 (Alabama - 2001, Syracuse - 2002. Note - Miss St had 20 total wins in 1999 and was left out, but one win was outside Division I)
  • Most wins left out: 25 (Butler - 2002)
  • Best record left out: 24-3 .889 (Utah St - 2004)
  • ... among major-conference teams: 20-7 .741 (Hawaii - 1997)
  • ... among the big six: 19-9 .679 (West Virginia - 1997)
  • Number of non-major conference teams to get an ALB: 29
  • Number of non-major conference teams to get an ALB without winning their conference regular season title: 1 (SW Missouri St - 1999)
  • Highest RPI ranking for a sub-.500 team: 46 (Arkansas - 2002)