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College basketball’s NET rankings are bad so far, and could stay that way

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Always trust the NCAA to make the worst possible decision.

NCAA Basketball Tournament - East Regional - Wisconsin v Florida Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

When the NCAA announced it would replace the RPI with the incredibly vague “NET” rankings over the summer, we were at least a little concerned.

The NCAA Tournament selection process has always been a bit strange, with measurables shifting from year to year, and no cut-and-dry number to point to when seeding or selecting teams.

On Monday, the NCAA showed us just how bad things could get this season when unveiling the first NET rankings for 2018-19. The Syracuse Orange were 92nd there, but that’s not important. What is critical is that the formula process continued to be pretty vague and also discounts strength of schedule for much of it, too. FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver sees the design of the whole thing keeping rankings flawed all season. ESPN also has a lengthy overview of what’s wrong with the rankings, too.

Hopefully Syracuse course-corrects this year and we don’t have to worry much about these numbers at all. But worth keeping an eye on the numbers as they have a chance to cause some real chaos come selection time.

That, plus the rest of your Syracuse-related links below:

No. 1 Ohio State? NCAA’s initial NET basketball ratings raise questions (ESPN)

And the NET’s efficiency rankings, unlike KenPom.com and other analytics sites, don’t account for the quality of the opponent. So a team that records a net efficiency of 0.5 points per possession against Michigan gets the same credit for a team that records that mark against Central Michigan. It’s too early to know how the first season of the NET will play out.

Syracuse basketball center Paschal Chukwu has groin strain, hopes to play at Ohio St. (Syracuse.com)

Chukwu, the 7-foot-2 center, was limited to four minutes in that Colgate game. He sat behind the SU bench wearing his warmups for the second half. He said before Monday’s practice that he wants to play Wednesday, but will see how he feels after the Orange works out Monday and Tuesday. The team leaves for Columbus on Tuesday to play the No. 16 Buckeyes.

Tiana Mangakahia named ACC player of the week (Cuse.com)

She earned All-Tournament Team honors and was named the Cancun Challenge Mayan Division MVP. The Brisbane, Australia, native tallied two double-doubles last week. She had 14 points and a season-high 11 assists in a 92-61 win over Princeton and followed that performance with a 22-point, 10-rebound effort against the Blue Demons on Saturday.

Shooting struggles holding Syracuse back early in the season (Daily Orange)

“It’s not what we can do,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said on Nov. 21 after defeating Colgate. “I think we can do better. Hopefully it will come” Though it’s a small sample size, Syracuse has shot nearly 40 percent from the field and 23.3 percent from 3 through five games this season, which ranks in the bottom 10 among all NCAA Division I teams, per Kenpom.com.

Syracuse rises to No. 12 in AP Poll (Daily Orange)

Syracuse (6-1) is now ranked No. 12 in this week’s AP Top 25 poll released on Monday. SU moved up two spots from last week’s posting following three-straight wins in the Cancun Challenge. On Nov. 22, the Orange toppled Kansas State, 70-61. A day later, SU demolished Princeton, 92-61.

Will bowl history repeat for NC State? (News & Observer)

West Virginia’s most exciting bowl game possibilities — and the worst (WV Metro News)

2001: Fun facts about last time Syracuse football won 9 games (Syracuse.com)

Update on Louisville’s search for next head coach (FootballScoop)

Three takeaways so far from the Ohio State baskebtall season (Buckeye Wire)