RPI is also the Ratings Percentage Index formula used as one of the factors by the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee to decide at-large bids for the Tournament.

RPI was first used in 1981. It is designed to measure the strength-of-schedule component for each team. The Committee has historically placed a premium on this criteria, but needed a way to quantify and compare different schools.

The basic formula is: This result, itself a percentage, is called basic RPI.

Adjustments are made using a secret system of bonuses and penalties known only to the Committee. What is known is that there are bonuses for "good wins" (beating a team in the top-50 RPI) and penalties for "bad losses" (losing to a team in the bottom-50 RPI). Other correction factors are used based on location of games, implementation of a difficult non-conference schedule, and so forth.

Nominal Values
An RPI of 0.600 or better at the end of the regular season is considered quite good. For 2002-2003, Kentucky has the top estimated basic RPI of 0.6596.

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