RPI: What Is It and Why Is It Keeping My Team out of the 2011 NCAA Tournament?

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RPI: What Is It and Why Is It Keeping My Team out of the 2011 NCAA Tournament?
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

As Selection Sunday quickly approaches, fans of "bubble teams" everywhere will scrutinize every detail of their team's season trying to determine if they will make it into the 2011 NCAA Basketball Tournament.

One tool used heavily by the NCAA to distinguish between teams under consideration is the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI).  The RPI is a mathematical formula that accounts for a team's winning percentage, that team's opponent's winning percentage and the opponent's opponent's winning percentage. 

The RPI can be a coach's best friend or worst nightmare.  The following will show some careful planning during the scheduling process can go a long way in ensuring a strong RPI at the end of the season.

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