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NCAA releases first NET rankings, Tennessee No. 27

Get to know the new system.

NCAA Basketball: Georgia Tech at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA unveiled the first set of their new rankings, the NCAA Evaluation Tool, or NET rankings.

The NET is the new main factor the NCAA Selection Committee will use to compare and contrast the teams to both selection and seeding for the NCAA Tournament. Yes, it means the RPI is gone.

There are a few factors that go into the NET to determine a team’s rankings. You can find a good primer on it here. It takes into account who you played and where you played them, as well as offensive efficiency, winning percentage and margin of victory (though the formula caps the margin at ten, overtime games at one). So the better you do in games, the better your NET rankings will be.

The NET will also be the new way the NCAA groups teams, similar to what they did last season. That means Group 1 victories will be those that come at home against the top 30, on a neutral court against the top 50 and on the road against the top 75. And as we gathered from last season, those Tier 1 victories will mean a lot. Just ask Oklahoma.

So with that in mind, here’s the first top 25 of the NET rankings.

  1. Ohio State (6-0)
  2. Virginia (6-0)
  3. Texas Tech (6-0)
  4. Michigan (6-0)
  5. Gonzaga (5-0)
  6. Duke (5-1)
  7. Michigan State (5-1)
  8. Wisconsin (5-1)
  9. Virginia Tech (5-0)
  10. Loyola Marymount (7-0)
  11. Kansas (5-0)
  12. Belmont (5-0)
  13. Nevada (6-0)
  14. Nebraska (5-1)
  15. Iowa (5-0)
  16. Auburn (5-1)
  17. Maryland (6-0)
  18. Houston (4-0)
  19. Notre Dame (5-1)
  20. Purdue (5-1)
  21. North Carolina (6-1)
  22. Radford (4-1)
  23. Pittsburgh (6-0)
  24. Kansas State (6-0)
  25. San Francisco (6-0)

Tennessee (4-1) is just outside the top 25, sitting at No. 27. They’ll likely rise up these rankings as the season progresses.

As nice as it is for the RPI to be replaced and to see a new metric being utilized, it is a bit early to begin releasing these rankings. As we saw with RPI in the past, there are too few games to get a true feel for these teams.

And in looking at these initial rankings, there is obviously a long way to go and not a lot to go off of at the moment. For example, there are three West Coast Conference teams in the top 25. In all likelihood, Gonzaga will be the only team dancing from that conference. No disrespect to Loyola Marymount or San Francisco, but unless they win a few games in Las Vegas in March, they’re watching the Tournament with the rest of us.

You also have Ohio State at No. 1. Part of that is likely them being one of the few teams to already have two road victories under their belt, winning at Cincinnati and at Creighton, though the Buckeyes are the only blemishes on both the Bearcats’ and Bluejays’ records (and Creighton just defeated previously-ranked Clemson).

Having Kansas be their only loss thus far is far from a disappointment for the Vols, as they have cemented themselves as one of the early favorites in the SEC, along with Auburn and, perhaps to an extent, Kentucky. And Tennessee still has a date with new AP No. 1 Gonzaga on December 9 as well as a trip to Memphis on December 15 left on their non-conference schedule. Plus, depending on how they fare, Louisville could become a sneaky quality victory for Tennessee.

A long way to go, but neat to see these new rankings in effect. And RIP, RPI.