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Gaming the NET
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rath v2.0 Offline
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Gaming the NET
Bearcatman and I were early adopters on this. Some are catching on. Since its first year the NET has been gameable in favor of big conferences and it props them up even more than the old RPI did once they get into conference play. The B10 benefitted early and often. The B12 is perhaps the current beneficiary.

SVP regarding Clemson HC Brad Brownell's comments:

Quote:On WCCP radio, Brownell pointed out how the out-of-conference scheduling of the Big 12 helps ensure higher NET rankings so that once they play in-conference games, everyone benefits because you're only head-to-head with highly ranked teams.

Regarding that out-of-conference, Brownell said, "They're playing 300-level teams and winning by 40 and 50 points to increase their offensive and defensive efficiency numbers, which is a big part of the NET tool." I would interject to say that's not entirely correct -- the quality of the opponent is taken into account. Brownell added, "Our league has zero teams in the top 50 of the NET that have a nonconference strength of schedule 250 or higher. The Big 12 has six teams."

I appreciate a coach being willing to name names -- which Brownell did. Specifically pointing out the Cincinnati Bearcats and Iowa State Cyclones as examples of out-of-conference schedules that were -- to use his word -- awful. Now, that is an opinion ... so I looked. Hard to argue it's not a fact.

Here's where fans get mad -- so Cyclone fans, please listen to me. I know you're good because you are. But look at your out-of-conference and you see exactly what Brownell is talking about. Outside of a big win over in-state rival Iowa, it's mostly 40-point blowouts versus hopelessly overmatched teams. It also includes losses to the Texas A&M Aggies and the ACC's own Virginia Tech Hokies. Which, no shock, Brownell mentioned in noting the ACC is 9-3 against the Big 12 this season.

That includes Clemson's win over the TCU Horned Frogs. Again quoting Brownell, "We played TCU, beat TCU, TCU's doing well in the Big 12. And I remember preparing for the TCU game and telling my staff, 'Look who they've played.' They haven't played anybody. Every game is Abilene Christian and Houston Baptist. We're getting ready to play them and we've already played a really hard schedule. But look at their NET. Their NET rankings get up and then when they beat each other up, they don't have bad losses."

And that, as I mentioned earlier, is the way you game this one particular data point the committee uses. You have a cheat code if you can artificially bump your NET ranking out of conference, you're effectively depositing money you draw down against in conference play.

https://www.espn.com/mens-college-basket...t-rankings
 
02-28-2024 12:31 PM
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Bruce Monnin Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Gaming the NET
I saw today someone mocking Joe Lunardi by claiming BYU was "gaming the NET" again by beating Kansas.
 
02-28-2024 12:35 PM
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Don't tase me bro Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Gaming the NET
Brownell calls out UC by name, but conveniently fails to mention that UC beat GA Tech, a team in his league by 35. I guess UC was gaming the NET by punking an ACC team that his team wasn't able to beat at home.

I'm on record as not being a fan of UC's OOC schedule, but this stuff is uncalled for. Hopefully UC gets them in an MTE next year
 
02-28-2024 12:56 PM
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bearcatmark Online
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Post: #4
RE: Gaming the NET
It's nonsense. There is zero actual statistical evidence of "gaming". Everyone hated that the metrics (including NET) had Iowa State as a top ten team early in the season. Turns out, Iowa State is really damn good.

Kansas played an elite non-conference schedule...only lost 1 game. beat UConn, beat Kentucky, beat Tennessee....NET didn't love them. Guess what, the NET has been pretty accurate at their place in the big 12.

Houston had a really high NET last year...everyone was talking about how they gamed it by playing weak teams... and that they'll struggle in the Big 12. They are about to win the Big 12 in year 1.

All the evidence of "gaming" in anecdotal / cherry picked to support that argument. But you can just as easily cherry pick the other side of it. It tracks closely to most predictive metrics which all adjust for competition. Until someone actually shows data supporting the "gaming" idea it's all nonsense.

RPI was different because 3/4 of it was quite literally your opponents records and your opponents opponents record...it had nothing to do with how you perform. You know how you move up in the NET...you play well relative to your competition. That's not gaming. That's a reflection of the team you are.
 
(This post was last modified: 02-28-2024 01:04 PM by bearcatmark.)
02-28-2024 01:03 PM
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rath v2.0 Offline
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RE: Gaming the NET
I think its a fairly accurate criticism. I've been critical of NET since it came out and all the B10 dreck teams made the tourney by ballooning computer numbers in conference. play. Its predisposed to silly Q1 Q2 numbers. Gets teams in that shouldn't and often protects/overseeds. I'd be a hypocrite if I stopped pointing it out just because we are now in a beneficiary conference.

And Brownell's team is top 25 in NET so its not screed from some mid major coach who knows they are toast due to the NET boxing them out heading into March.
 
(This post was last modified: 02-28-2024 01:07 PM by rath v2.0.)
02-28-2024 01:05 PM
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bearcatmark Online
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Post: #6
RE: Gaming the NET
(02-28-2024 01:05 PM)rath v2.0 Wrote:  I think its a fairly accurate criticism. I've been critical of NET since it came out and all the B10 dreck teams made the tourney by ballooning computer numbers in conference. play. Its predisposed to silly Q1 Q2 numbers.

And Brownell's team is top 25 in NET so its not screed from some mid major coach who knows they are toast due to the NET boxing them out heading into March.

Q1/Q2 system benefits conferences with a lot of good teams (this was true when RPI was used too). That's absolutely the case. NET as a ranking system isn't being "gamed". It's just not something that you can really do. It's all about how you play.

I'd rather get rid of Q1/Q2 and concentrate more on strength of record metrics for evaluating your resume, because it would give more credit to some of the smaller conference teams than they get when they run through their conference now, but that's an entirely different thing.
 
02-28-2024 01:08 PM
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rath v2.0 Offline
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RE: Gaming the NET
Chicken v. egg.... system helps provide certain conferences way more of those Q1 Q2 opportunities.

The NET was created because the NCAA and TV wanted more big conferences (big $$) to get a better slice of the pie.
 
(This post was last modified: 02-28-2024 01:13 PM by rath v2.0.)
02-28-2024 01:13 PM
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bearcatmark Online
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Post: #8
RE: Gaming the NET
The NET tracks closely with most predictive metrics which are only measuring the quality of a team.

If you're telling me Q1/Q2 record is a bad way to evaluate tournament resumes I'll agree with you... but that isn't NET driven. It was used similarly during the RPI days too.

ACC coaches are mad because half of that confernece sucks and they don't get much credit for those wins. But they still should be thankful. Being in the 50s in predictive metrics in the ACC gives them a good chance at making the tournament. Being in the 50s in a League like the Big 12 is going to put you well under .500 and not close to the tournament.
 
02-28-2024 01:18 PM
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Captain Bearcat Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Gaming the NET
The problem for the ACC isn't that the Big 12 "gamed" the NET. The problem is that the ACC had worse records against similar competition.

In games against the bottom 21 conferences + independents, the ACC is 75-6. The Big 12 is 97-4.

In games against mid-majors (A10, AAC, MVC, WCC), the ACC is 11-7. The Big 12 is 13-5.

In games against conferences expected to get 4 or more bids (P6+MWC), the ACC is 32-33. The Big 12 is 35-25.
 
02-28-2024 01:29 PM
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bearcatmark Online
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Post: #10
RE: Gaming the NET
They gamed the system by winning the most.
 
02-28-2024 01:34 PM
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Z-Fly Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Gaming the NET
(02-28-2024 01:34 PM)bearcatmark Wrote:  They gamed the system by winning the most.

I like that game.
 
02-28-2024 02:20 PM
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BcatMatt13 Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Gaming the NET
Damn I knew the ACC was going to fall when the legendary coaches all retired but I didn’t think it would get bad enough where they would have to whine about big bad Cincinnati and Iowa State.
 
02-28-2024 05:25 PM
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UCGrad1992 Offline
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RE: Gaming the NET
Like the ACC hasn't had its share of "over-metric inflated" middlin' teams in the tourney over the years LOL. Cry Me A River playing your golden violin Clemson Coach.
 
02-28-2024 06:32 PM
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BearcatMan Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Gaming the NET
I wasn't necessarily as in on the gamification of the NET as I was on early that it was inflating bad P5 schools fairly significantly. I'll have to see if I can find the post I wrote a few years back, but there were like 9 P5 teams in the Top 100 of NET that were 2 games or more below .500 in one year. That doesn't just help them, it helps every other team in their conference by making the wins more valuable and the losses less painful.
 
02-28-2024 08:42 PM
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Bear Catlett Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Gaming the NET
I sense a serious case of B12 pen!s envy coming from the ACC. I guess I'd be a little paranoid too if half my conference was scratching at the windows to get out.

Big Brad knows that he'd lose playing TCU at TCU. He also knows that every home court in the B12 is going be packed to the gills and deafening every game. The ACC is filled with a bunch of lousy teams playing in mausoleums.

I never really had an opinion of the guy before but now he's on the d!ck list.
 
02-29-2024 07:21 AM
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Bruce Monnin Offline
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Post: #16
RE: Gaming the NET
Watching the Alabama game last night, the announcer proclaimed that the SEC was obviously the toughest league in NCAA basketball.

I guess that means the Big XII must obviously be gaming the NET.
 
02-29-2024 08:16 AM
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OKIcat Offline
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Post: #17
RE: Gaming the NET
(02-28-2024 06:32 PM)UCGrad1992 Wrote:  Like the ACC hasn't had its share of "over-metric inflated" middlin' teams in the tourney over the years LOL. Cry Me A River playing your golden violin Clemson Coach.

Imagine a power conference taking an expansion team from the G5 that became #1 ranked in its first season? Oh, then add a team from another P5 the following year (Arizona) that has a national championship banner of its own and may be a one seed this season.

That's the Big 12. ACC: your time as top dog in college basketball has come and gone. SEC: let's see how many teams survive the first weekend in 2024.

As Bearcat fans, none of us like living in the cellar right now. But the upside opportunity for UC basketball in the Big 12 remains unparalleled.
 
02-29-2024 08:35 AM
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rath v2.0 Offline
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RE: Gaming the NET
So are we pissed he said this about the B12 or that he appropriately said UC's OOC schedule was awful?

Other than made for TV paydays I'm not sure why anyone in power conferences will schedule tough OOC under the NET system.
 
(This post was last modified: 02-29-2024 08:49 AM by rath v2.0.)
02-29-2024 08:47 AM
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Bear Catlett Offline
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Post: #19
RE: Gaming the NET
If I were Cunningham I'd make a publicity stunt and offer to schedule Clemson at UC next season and then mock them when they turn it down.
 
02-29-2024 08:58 AM
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Captain Bearcat Offline
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RE: Gaming the NET
(02-29-2024 08:47 AM)rath v2.0 Wrote:  So are we pissed he said this about the B12 or that he appropriately said UC's OOC schedule was awful?

Other than made for TV paydays I'm not sure why anyone in power conferences will schedule tough OOC under the NET system.

A) What he said was inaccurate about the NET.
B) I want UC to have a more interesting OOC schedule. More national brand names, with mostly local opponents as the body-bag games.


(The bottom end of this year's OOC was somewhat decent with local opponents like NKU, Evansville, UIC, and Detroit. Plus Dayton and Xavier on the top end (although those shouldn't be the ONLY top-end games). We need more of that and more of Miami, Wright St, WKU, MAC, MVC, A10, Big 10 etc and less Merrimack, Bryant, Stetson, EWU, FGCU.
 
02-29-2024 09:15 AM
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