Conference play has begun and this is the time of year when people start paying attention to the RPI.

For those who don't recognize the letters, it stands for Rating Percentage Index.  It is a formula designed to gauge the relative strength of teams in college basketball.  50% of the formula has to do with your opponent's winning percentage (designed to pinpoint strength of schedule).  25% is your teams winning percentage (non-Division I games do not count) and the other 25% is the winning percentage of your opponents' opponents.  You get extra credit for winning a road game and get penalized for losing at home.

At this time of year, RPI can still fluctuate greatly because your team's opponents are now just getting into league play.  Teams that didn't do well out of conference frequently improve their winning percentage once conference play starts.  Of course, the opposite can be true as well.

Here is the latest RPI for men's basketball for the Sun Belt and Louisiana Division I schools..  We're using as the source.  While they may not be exactly the same as the official NCAA RPI, they're awfully close (it is a formula, after all) and they update theirs more quickly.

35.  UTA

50.  Arkansas State

69.  Nicholls State

74.  Louisiana

78.  LSU

115.  Georgia St.

118  Georgia Southern

140.  New Orleans

215.  McNeese

218.  South Alabama

221.  Little Rock

231.  Coastal Carolina

233.  Louisiana Tech

246.  Troy

248.  Appalachian State

291.  ULM

294.  Southeastern La.

302  Tulane

308.  Southern

320.  Northwestern State

324.  Texas State

330.  Grambling


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