Basketball: Capital Hoops Classic liveblogs

Thanks to Jaehoon Kim at The Fulcrum, we will have liveblogs of both the women's and men's games at this year's Capital Hoops Classic tonight.

The Carleton women (ranked #6 last week) are 12-2 in league play, having won eight in a row, and are undefeated against OUA East teams. The Gee-Gees are three games behind them in the standings.

For the men, the Ravens are as dominant as ever: 14-0 in league play and 21-0 overall, number two nationwide in our RPI, but number one at, in another ranking system, in the Top 10 and of course the CIS Top 10 (as of Monday). It's a little different for Ottawa than it has been in recent years; a coach and a star leaving aren't always easy to recover from. But they're 4-2 in 2011 and just three games behind U of T for second place.

Both matchups will also be webcasted on SSN (women's, men's) for those in the Ottawa area not willing to travel all the way to Nipigon. I mean, Scotiabank Place.

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  1. Hi Rob, the fact that the Ravens are #2 in your RPI might lead one to conclude that the math needs some tweaking. I see three possible problems:

    1. Schedule strength should not put a team with 6 losses ahead of a team with 0 losses, unless one of them has played no one of significance and the other has played a ton of power house tams. That is not the case.

    2. I know that schedule strength is simple number crunching but I still hard time seeing how Cape Breton's gap over Carleton offsets the Raven's record and margin of victory against good teams. Granted, CBU has played more CIS tournaments but that is balanced by the fact that Carleton played 8 games against the deepest division in the CIS and also has played a ranked Toronto team. The AUS is 2, perhaps 3, deep. I think this is a case of CBU benefitting from the fact that a small number of AUS opponents have inflated records against their weaker brothers while the OUA West teams are beating each other up, thus lowering some winning percentages more than the collective strength of the division.

    3 (or 2B). It seems to me that Carleton suffers because they have chosen to focus more on more American competition, where they are truly tested, instead of CIS tournaments where competition is almost never deep.

  2. Jason,

    Your main objection, a valid one, is that strength-of-schedule can't overcome 6 losses vs. 0 losses. I'll try to explain why it could, given the assumptions and calculations I've chosen to use.

    (Just a note - RPI ignores margin of victory, so while "CBU's schedule gap can't offset the Ravens' margin of victory" may be true, it's irrelevant for RPI. Below I have an alternate ranking system that doesn't ignore that, which may interest you more.)

    First, not all games are worth the same in my RPI -- specifically, the weight of a game diminishes over time with a half-life of 90 days, and exhibition games are downgraded further (50% for pre-season, 75% for in-season). In addition to that, road wins and home losses count for more than road losses and home wins. Of CBU's six losses, five were in the fall, and three were on the road. The end result is they're treated as a 17-3 team, not a 14-6 team, even before we get to strength-of-schedule.

    Now, Carleton's SOS ranking is 15th, and CBU's is 1st. This is almost certainly because of where we are in the schedule. The Ravens' last four games were against below-.500 teams (who are at most 25th in my RPI), and their OUA West days are months ago now (even then, playing half those West teams won't help your strength-of-schedule). The Capers' last three games were against X, Dal, and Dal. They have some stinkers coming up, so I expect that to bring them down in the rankings, just like Carleton will play Toronto again soon.

    So we have CBU's losses being downgraded because they happened months ago, and CBU's recent schedule overwhelming the rest of their AUS opponents. On the other hand, Carleton's tough OUA West games were several weeks ago, and they've most recently played some weaker teams. The difference seems reasonable enough to me. In the end all we're disagreeing on is whether Carleton is #1 or #2. And I certainly don't think RPI is the only thing to look at.


    If you prefer a ranking system that tracks margin of victory, try SRS (Simple Ranking System, also in the rankings spreadsheet):

    Carleton +20.2
    UBC +19.4
    TWU +17.4
    StFX +16.5
    Saskatchewan +14.8
    Victoria +10.3
    Alberta +10.3
    Laurier +9.1
    CBU +8.7
    Lakehead +8.4

  3. Thanks, Rob. I can see the effect of weighting the more recent games. That would explain the numbers. Of course, to the casual observer of the CIS this season, that might bring to mind the old adage about damned lies and statistics.

    I suspect Dave Smart would be a big fan of the current RPI; he loves anything that makes his team the underdog.