We are right around halfway through the college basketball season, the Wisconsin Badgers have played 11 games and have 16 remaining (assuming the postponed game against Penn State from Sunday gets rescheduled) and the NCAA has released their first NET rankings of the season. If you need a NET refresher, since they changed the criteria for this year, or you are a NET novice: this post from NCAA.com is for you!
The briefest of overviews from that post:
The 2019-20 men’s basketball season marked the second season of the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) rankings, which replaced the RPI prior to the 2018-19 season as the primary sorting tool for evaluating teams. In May 2020, the NCAA announced there will be changes made to the NCAA Evaluation Tool to increase accuracy and simplify it by reducing a five-component metric to just two.
The Big Ten, as you probably could have guessed, is well-represented in the first NET top-50 and only three conference teams rank outside that arbitrary line of demarcation we’ve set up.
No. 4: Illinois
No. 6: Michigan
No. 7: Iowa
No. 11: Wisconsin
No. 17: Rutgers
No. 28: Ohio State
No. 32: Maryland
No. 42: Penn State
No. 43: Minnesota
No. 47: Purdue
No. 50: Northwestern
No. 51: Indiana
No. 119: Michigan State
No. 186: Nebraska
Now, these rankings are volatile, especially earlier in the season and especially in a COVID season where not everyone has played the same amount of games and players and coaches are missing extended periods of time and teams’ schedules are constantly changing and...well, you get the idea.
For instance, the Patriots League’s Colgate (1-1 overall, 1-1 Patriot) sit at No. 16 in the first NET rankings. The Red Raiders have played Army twice, blew them out by 40 odd points once and lost the second time and, well, they won’t continue to be ranked as a potential No. 4 seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament.
To go a little more in-depth with the Wisconsin profile, here is their record breakdown:
0-1 Quad 1
4-1 Quad 2
1-0 Quad 3
4-0 Quad 4
Quadrant 1: Home 1-30, Neutral 1-50, Away 1-75
Quadrant 2: Home 31-75, Neutral 51-100, Away 76-135
Quadrant 3: Home 76-160, Neutral 101-200, Away 135-240
Quadrant 4: Home 161-353, Neutral 201-353, Away 241-353
Currently the Badgers have no more remaining Quad 4 games on their schedule, which will be good for their ranking, and only one Quad 3 game (at Nebraska) left. So far, their only Quad 1 game was the loss at Marquette, although the canceled PSU game from Sunday would have been one. The Badgers are the only team in the top-15 to not have a Quad 1 win, but with only Big Ten games left on the schedule, that should rectify itself quickly.