St John’s Rick Pitino sounds off on ‘fraudulent’ metrics after NCAA Tournament snub

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St. John’s Red Storm coach Rick Pitino ripped the metrics used to determine seeding in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament as his team was left out of the field of 68 on Sunday night.

The Red Storm had an NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) ranking of 32. The formula is used to evaluate teams’ tournament resumes. 

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Rick Pitino of the St. John’s Red Storm reacts in the first half against the Connecticut Huskies during the Semifinal round of the Big East Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 15, 2024 in New York City. (Getty Images)

“The remaining factors include the Team Value Index (TVI), which is a result-based feature that rewards teams for beating quality opponents, particularly away from home, as well as an adjusted net efficiency rating,” the NCAA says in its website. 

“The adjusted efficiency is a team’s net efficiency, adjusted for strength of opponent and location (home/away/neutral) across all games played. For example, a given efficiency value (net points per 100 possessions) against stronger opposition rates higher than the same efficiency against lesser opponents and having a certain efficiency on the road rates higher than the same efficiency at home.”

However, Pitino did not want to hear anything about metrics after watching the selection show.

Rick Pitino on the sideline

St. John’s Red Storm head coach Rick Pitino looks on during a college basketball game against the Xavier Musketeers on Jan. 31, 2024 at Cintas Center in Cincinnati. (Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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“I think we all should probably never mention that word (NET) again because it’s fraudulent,” he said. “My son (New Mexico coach Rich Pinto) was 25 in the NET, and he was saying he wasn’t in with 25 wins.

“I think the NET is something that shouldn’t even be mentioned anymore. I think we had a good strength of schedule. KenPom (rankings). Why mention him? We were 26 in KenPom. We tried to play a tough schedule, we tried to do things the right way, and we didn’t get in. But I never make excuses. I respect the committee for what they do.”

Pitino said the team will not compete in the NIT. Instead, he will focus his attention on recruiting.

It was not all St. John’s fault that they did not get into the tournament. N.C. State put on a magical run to win the ACC Championship on Saturday night and stole an automatic berth away from teams that were hoping for an at-large selection.

Rick Pitino leers

St John’s Red Storm head coach Rick Pitino on the sidelines during the men’s college basketball game between the Butler Bulldogs and St. John’s Red Storm on Feb. 28, 2024, at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. (Getty Images)

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Providence and Seton Hall were among those who did not get into the tournament either.

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