According to ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas, Arizona State will be invited to the big dance for the first time since the 2008-09 season.
Bilas told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf he believes, barring an ASU meltdown, “Arizona State is absolutely a tournament team.”
He said ASU is in his ‘Bilas Index’ (ESPN insider), which measures basketball merit and determines which teams can and can’t play in the NCAA Tournament. The index takes into account each team’s RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) and BPI (Basketball Power Index), which are both methods of calculating a team’s strength of schedule.
“They’re in the margin with their RPI and BPI where they still have work to do, they’re in the fifties and if you’re in the top 40 of the RPI … you’re going to get in the tournament,” he said. “If you’re in 40 to 50 you’re a bubble team, if you’re outside of 50, if it ended today you’d probably wind up getting left out considering how many automatic bids there are in the tournament. There’s obviously still some work to do for a team like Arizona State.”
Bilas said metrics such as RPI and BPI are important because the tournament selection committee uses them to organize information and ultimately choose who gets to go dancing.
“The way the data is organized, it’s probably the way it’s organized in the voter’s minds,” he said.