How Virginia Tech Could Game the RPI Next Year

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Buzz Williams
Buzz Williams has done a great job this season, but he’ll need to improve Tech’s non-conference schedule this year.

A lot of things matter when you’re trying to make the NCAA Tournament as an at-large. In my opinion, nothing matters more than overall wins, RPI and strength of schedule (SOS).

Bad computer numbers, particularly strength of schedule, have kept the Hokies out of the NCAA Tournament in years past. Here are the numbers from 2010, when the Hokies were 25-9 (10-6 ACC) but didn’t get into the tournament:

RPI: #57
SOS: #118

That RPI is good enough, but the strength of schedule is pretty bad, especially for an ACC team.

Other Tech teams got left out for a variety of reasons. Picking the final 3-4 teams for the NCAA Tournament field isn’t easy. Each year is different, and it’s different at all levels of the field. For example, last season’s #1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament combined for nine losses. This year, they’ve combined for 23 losses.

I don’t think Virginia Tech was handled very fairly in a couple of those bubble seasons. We can complain about it all we want (and we did), but in the end it doesn’t matter. Nobody is going to bat for the 3-4 bubble teams who might have a gripe about being left out, because those teams aren’t going to win the National Championship anyway. In the end, it doesn’t affect