Basketball: How does losing RMC affect team rankings?

(Spoiler: not much.)

With RMC's announcement to move its basketball programs out of CIS, one can wonder what it will mean to not have them around anymore. Say, if we removed all of those games from the rankings.

Most of those games last year turned out the same — the Paladins lost poorly — so we'd probably guess that the team overall had no effect. Is that actually true, though?

Well, yes. Yes it is. But read on anyway.

Removing RMC's games does the following to the men's rankings:

  • The nature of SRS means those points that they were below average need to be accounted for somewhere. So if we take away their -34.4, for example, from the totals, then all the other teams need to lose 34.4 to make it all balance out in the end. And most teams did lose a small amount off their SRS measure.

    In fact, a very small amount. Acadia, Ryerson, Dalhousie, and York were the only ones to lose more than two points per game, but two points in CIS basketball is equivalent to less than 3% of a win per game. These teams played 29 non-RMC games on average, so that's 0.8 of a win over the entire season. Basically, not getting to beat up on RMC made these teams lose not only the wins in those games, but also nearly an extra win on top of that because their point differential wasn't as high as it was before. (RMC lost every non-Queen's game by at least 38 points, and on average by 56.) There's not much of a trend to who loses SRS points: Acadia won by 88, the highest of any RMC game, and Queen's won by 31 and 16, the two lowest.

  • With RPI it's the same idea, even with ignoring the score, but it affects different teams. York, Western, Waterloo, and Queen's lose the most off their RPI (12 points on average) but it's not like they were all that high to begin with. Those four teams were, respectively, 39th, 36th, 38th, and 42nd out of 43 teams before removing RMC.

  • The highest team in RPI whose ranking is affected by the RMC removal is Laurier (12 down to 13) and the highest in SRS is Acadia (9 to 11) as noted above. In WLU's case, though, the change isn't significant.

And on the women's side:

  • It's Waterloo who would suffer the most, but still not by much: 13 points of RPI and 1.2 points of SRS, in both cases either moving them from 41st or 42nd to last place.

  • None of the top 12 in SRS, or top 13 in RPI, change positions in the rankings without RMC.

Overall, hardly anyone is affected significantly, and the teams at the top don't even notice a difference. It would seem that RMC did not matter at all to CIS basketball last year. (There are few other ways to interpret such a season, honestly.) So their departure is, for everyone else, pretty much a non-event.
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