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Road Wins Matter More Now in College Basketball

The NCAA Committee has put more emphasis on road wins, what does that mean for Wake Forest?

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Basketball: Final Four-Mark Emmert Press Conference Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA announced on Friday that there will be a greater emphasis on quality road wins beginning next season. Wake Forest has already scheduled tougher under the helm of Danny Manning, and it is likely that something like this will benefit the Demon Deacons moving forward, especially since it finally got the monkey off its back with regards to road futility.

From the article, this new system will evaluate teams accordingly:

Next year, teams aiming for the NCAA tournament will be evaluated according to quality home wins (top 30 in the RPI), neutral-site wins (top 50) and road wins (top 75). The tiers expand from there with the same criteria.

A team that plays on the road and beats an opponent rated 50th will get more credit for that victory than it would for a home win over a squad ranked 40th. The change also will ensure teams will not suffer the same penalties for road losses as they do for home losses in the selection process.

This change was made because it was increasingly obvious that it is more difficult to win on the road than it is to win at home. The current system penalized teams for road losses, which discouraged scheduling away from home, especially for a lot of the blue blood teams.

Another big thing that this indicates is a change from the typical RPI system, which has huge and fatal flaws. The RPI formula currently uses a combination of a team’s wins and losses, its opponents’ wins and losses, and its opponents’ opponents’ wins and losses, which is overly complex while not exactly helping determine how good a team actually is.

The RPI system was also easily exploitable because a team could just play really good opponents at home, but mediocre to bad teams on the road, where a win would help out. If the mediocre to bad teams was a top tier team in their (lower) conference then it would provide a false sense of a big win.

We at Blogger So Dear are huge proponents of KenPom and his system, and this hopefully signifies a turn towards a better statistical model to evaluate teams instead of an outdated RPI model, or even worse, the “eye test” by the NCAA committee.

I think moving forward Wake Forest will continue to schedule good opponents on the road, especially since Coach Manning has showed no want or need to shy away from those types of games.

This should benefit the Deacs and I am in favor of the change by the NCAA committee to get teams to play true road games against better teams. It is good for determining the best teams in the country, and also for the product overall, as there will be more entertaining games earlier in the year.