STrib: Gophers' low NET ranking puzzles coach Richard Pitino

The Gophers are one of the best examples in college hoops of the difference between NET and RPI. They are 16-5 overall and 6-4 in the Big Ten, but their NET after Wednesday’s 86-75 victory over Illinois was 50th. That’s 10th in the Big Ten, even behind Indiana (No. 48) after the Hoosiers dropped to 12-9 and lost their seventh game in a row Wednesday at Rutgers. Minnesota’s RPI is No. 33, while Indiana is No. 66.

Those RPI rankings seem more accurate to what actually is going on, at least right now. One team is playing well and beat some quality opponents (four wins vs. top 35 NET teams). The other is really on a nose dive.

“I’m not saying we’re the best team in the country, but with the résumé we have right now,” Gophers coach Richard Pitino said Wednesday, “[Minnesota’s NET] makes no sense to me.”

So why is this happening? Well, NET appears to focus more on scoring margin and efficiency numbers than RPI did, according to analysts. The NCAA hasn’t said that, but it revealed the NET’s five factors: game results, offensive and defensive efficiency, winning percentage, adjusted win percentage and scoring margin.

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Go Gophers!!