The NCAAB NET Rankings are the New BCS Rankings

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Fellow college sports fans - haven't we been through this before?  We have seen a computer or an equation try to pick the best teams in college football.  It was called the BCS rankings, and it was terribly flawed.  You think people have issues with the College Football Playoff selection process now?  Back then was a whole different animal.

The College Football National Championship used to be decided by a computer.  Some sort of formula or algorithm was running on a computer that received all of the college football data.  Then, that computer would tell us who the best two teams were and they would play in the National Championship.  It became pretty flawed over time.  As evident by the move to having actual humans pick the four teams that make the College Football Playoffs now.  

Well we are now experiencing a similarly flawed algorithm in college sports.  This time it is ruining College Basketball.  They are called the NET Rankings.  

The NET Rankings use an equation to rank each game as a Quad 1-4 based on opponent and whether the game is home or away.  However, teams aren't in particular quadrants, it is the game itself that is valued.  So for example, a game between the Pitt Panthers and the North Carolina Tar Heels could be a Quad 1 game for Pitt if it is on the road, but a Quad 2 game if it is played at home.  A game could also move quadrants if a team gets better or worse throughout the season.  

So at any given moment, the Panthers are not a Quad 1 or a Quad 2 team, it all has to do with the game that is being played.  It's not a terrible concept, really.  It's just heavily flawed.  And I'll show you why using the two teams mentioned above.

As of 10AM, the morning of Tuesday, February 14th (Happy Valentine's Day), the North Carolina Tar Heels are ranked 46th in the NET rankings.  That is after their loss at home to the Miami Hurricanes last night.  Meanwhile, the Pitt Panthers are ranked 51st.  

Let's break down these two teams.  Pitt is tied for 1st in the ACC conference.  They have won 17 of their last 21 for a 18-7 record overall, and an 11-3 record in conference.  Pitt is also on a 5-game win streak.

In that SAME CONFERENCE, the North Carolina Tar Heels are 9th, with an overall record of 16-10.  Their conference record is 8-7.  They have also lost 4 of their last 5.  

So let's talk about quality of opponents, which this algorithm is supposed to consider.  Pitt is 5-2 in Quad 1 games and 3-2 against Top 25 opponents.  North Carolina is 0-9 in Quad 1 games and now 1-4 against Top 25 opponents.  Plus, Pitt has beaten 4 of the 5 ACC teams that are currently ranked ahead of them in the NET.  

And then to ice the proverbial cake, Pitt has beaten North Carolina TWICE this season.  Both at the Petersen Events Center and at the Dean E. Smith Center where UNC is 11-2.  

The math ain't mathin' folks.  What is going on here?  How by any conceivable metric could there be any rankings where Pitt is ranked lower than North Carolina.  And this is just one example.  I'm sure if I did this for a living and not just as a hobby/way of venting my frustrations to you all, I could point out many more of the 50 teams ranked ahead of Pitt and why they should not be.  But since I have to get back to my day job, I'll just leave you with this one monstrosity of an example. 

However, if UNC is ranked ahead of Pitt, how many more teams are fraudulently ranked ahead of Pitt in the NET?  I'm sure a lot.