Postseason upsets cause big changes to RPI rankings

Photo courtesy of Stanford athletics

The latest conference tournament upset hurts UCLA slightly more than Penn State in the RPI rankings.

Penn State remained at No. 2, while UCLA dropped one spot to No. 4 in the latest RPI rankings that the NCAA released on Friday.

Both the Nittany Lions and Bruins as the top-seeds in their conference tournaments suffered semifinal losses Thursday. The two teams rallied from two-game deficits on their home courts but lost in the decisive fifth game – Penn State losing to Princeton to end its 19-match winning streak and UCLA losing to Stanford.

The losses remove Penn State and UCLA from consideration of earning their conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. However, the teams remain in contention for the two at-large bids that will round out the seven-team NCAA Tournament field.


The RPI is one of the criteria categories the selection committee uses to determine the NCAA Tournament field. A team’s RPI ranking is calculated using a mathematical formula that includes its winning percentage, strength of schedule and opponents’ strength of schedule.

Ball State, which swept Lewis in the MIVA Tournament semifinals, moved ahead of UCLA to No. 3 in the RPI. The Cardinals also trail the Nittany Lions by about seven-thousandth percentage points for the No. 2 spot.

Ball State could potentially move ahead of Penn State in the RPI if it beats Purdue Fort Wayne in its conference tournament finals on Saturday.

Hawai’i also moved into the top five of the RPI for the first time this season. The team moved ahead of USC following the Trojans’ loss in the conference tournament semifinals.

Long Beach State remains at No. 1 in the latest rankings as it prepares to play in the Big West Tournament semifinals on Friday.

A final RPI rankings will be released at the conclusion of the conference tournaments.

RPI rankings (April 21)

1. Long Beach State – .62665
2. Penn State – .61866
3. Ball State – .61125
4. UCLA – .60112
5. Hawai’i – .59702
6. USC – .59328
7. Loyola – .58597
8. UC Santa Barbara – .58016
9. Lewis – .56774
10. Lincoln Memorial – .56288
11. Ohio State – .55634
12. Pepperdine – .55600
13. McKendree
14. Princeton
15. NJIT
16. Grand Canyon
17. Purdue Fort Wayne
18. BYU
19. UC San Diego
20. Harvard
21. Mount Olive
22. Saint Francis
23. King
24. UC Irvine
25. North Greenville
26. George Mason
27. Stanford
28. Queens
29. Lindenwood
30. Charleston
31. CSUN
32. Concordia-Irvine
33. Limestone
34. Emmanuel
35. Belmont Abbey
36. St. Francis Brooklyn
37. Maryville
38. Daemen
39. Quincy
40. Erskine
41. Sacred Heart
42. Tusculum
43. Long Island
44. Lees-McRae
45. Central State
46. Barton
47. Fairleigh Dickinson
48. Alderson Broaddus
49. Fort Valley State
50. D’Youville
51. Benedict
52. American International
53. Kentucky State
54. Morehouse
Not listed: Edward waters