Writers and Coaches pick Gonzaga No. 1, but RPI Rates Zags No. 10 and Duke No. 1

Writers and Coaches pick Gonzaga No. 1, but RPI Rates Zags No. 10 and Duke No. 1

Gonzaga is the clear No. 1 in both the writers poll (see AP story here) and coaches poll (see UPI story on USA Today poll here), but they are only ranked 10th in RPI, which has been a bigger determiner of seeding in the past. Duke is No. 1 in the RPI, with Gonzaga at No. 10. Louisville and Indiana are the only two teams besides Duke to be in the top five in all three, giving an indication all three may be headed toward a No. 1 seed in one of the four regions. See the table below for a side-by-side comparison of the top 25 in all three.

The RPI is the combination of a team’s record, their opponents’ records, and their opponents’ opponents’ record. It has been used as the bench mark starting point by the NCAA because it does not give credit for rolling up lopsided scores against weaker teams, and thus it rewards teams for playing tougher schedules.

It also rewards teams for playing on the road, as a team gets 1.4 wins for a road win and only 0.6 wins for a home win, and vice versa for losses, only being hit for 0.6 losses for a road loss and 1.4 for blowing one at home. In light of the number of top teams losing at home, it is easy to see why the NCAA wants to reward teams for road wins. The Mountain West Conference was very tough this year, and therefore New Mexico is rewarded with the number two RPI for beating top 50 and top 100 teams all year.

RK AP Writers USA Today Coaches RPI
1 Gonzaga (54) Gonzaga (29) Duke
2 Duke (11) Duke (2) New Mexico
3 Indiana Indiana Louisville
4 Louisville Louisville Miami FL
5 Georgetown Georgetown Indiana
6 Michigan Kansas Florida
7 Kansas Michigan State Michigan St.
8 Michigan State Michigan Kansas
9 Miami (FL) Ohio State Georgetown
10 Ohio State Miami (FL) Gonzaga
11 Kansas State Florida Marquette
12 Marquette Kansas State Michigan
13 Florida Marquette Arizona
14 Oklahoma State New Mexico Ohio St.
15 New Mexico Oklahoma State Colorado St.
16 Saint Louis Saint Louis Memphis
17 Pittsburgh Memphis Syracuse
18 Arizona Arizona Kansas St.
19 Syracuse Pittsburgh Belmont
20 Memphis Syracuse North Carolina
21 UCLA Saint Mary’s Butler
22 Wisconsin VCU Nevada Las Vegas
23 Creighton Wisconsin Oklahoma St.
24 Notre Dame Creighton Minnesota
25 VCU UCLA Creighton