CBN's RPI has had extensive national media coverage through the years
Since Collegiate Basketball News first published the RPI back in 1991, the RPI, or Rating Percentage Index, has gone from an unknown acronym to the most widely talked about basketball computer rating system in the land. As a college basketball fan, you have seen the RPI published in your local newspaper, heard local and national sports talk show hosts discuss it, and listened to broadcasters mention it on-air during local, regional and nationally televised college basketball contests. It remains one of the most intriguing and mysterious aspects of the selection and seeding process for both the men's and women's NCAA tournaments.
Jim Sukup, Editor and Publisher of The RPI Report and The Women's RPI Report, and and founder of CBN, began writing a monthly column titled The RPI Report in the November, 2005 issue of the prestigious publication Basketball Times. Sukup writes about RPI-related topics, statistics, the NCAA tournament, and anything else that may be on his mind. Grab a copy of BT (or better yet, go to BasketballTimes.com and subscribe) to check out Sukup's latest article and to take in the thoughts and commentary of some of the best basketball writers in the country. Sukup also produced The BracketBusters Report, an industry newsletter similar to the Reports for those involved in selecting and paring teams for the BracketBusters events from 2004 through 2013.
CBN's most recent major print contribution was to the ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia: The Complete History of the Men's Game, which was published in October of 2009. CBN and Jim Sukup contributed RPI rankings for the 1990-91 through the 2004-05 seasons for the Encyclopedia. It includes the top 50 teams in the RPI, including Division I records, schedule strength rating and rank, and RPI rating and RPI rank. The Encyclopedia is a book no college basketball fan, either serious or casual, should be without.
The March 3, 2003 issue of Sports Illustrated devoted 8 pages to the article "A Madness to the Method?", which was writer Alexander Wolff's take on what's right and wrong with the RPI. Along with many quotes and thoughts by Sukup, CBN had a strong presence in the article. Subscribers to The RPI Report will notice that numbers from the Report were superimposed upon the photo of NCAA chief statistician Gary Johnson, who is in charge of Division I men's basketball statistics, including the RPI. The photo and menagerie of numbers from the report span the lead 1-1/2 pages of the article.
In the print media, the first mention in a prominent national publication of CBN's RPI was in the January 20, 1992 issue of The Sporting News in an article by Andy Katz about computer power ratings. Since then, the rest is history. CBN has been featured in many prominent newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Enquirer, The Chicago Tribune, New York Newsday, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. The 2016-17 season is the 24th year that CBN has provided men's RPI information to the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, and CBN was mentioned in both editions of Digger Phelps' Basketball for Dummies book in the NCAA Tournament Bracket chapter.
Check out the March 1, 1999 issue of New York Newsday (page A56 of the Sports Monday Special) for an in-depth look at CBN and the RPI. Sports Illustrated carried pieces called Bedeviling the Opposition on page 41 of the February 22, 1999 issue and First Semester Report Card on page 58 of the Inside College Basketball section in the January 10, 2000 issue. The first article showed offensive stats, strength of schedule, and margin of victory, while the second focused on the most-improved teams and teams that had taken the biggest falls in the RPI since the end of the 1998-99 season. CBN provided RPI information exclusively to SI for these pieces. AP sports writer Hal Bock's wrote an article about Jim Sukup, "Mr. RPI", which was distributed during the weekend of Selection Sunday, April 7, 2002.
In the electronic media, CBN first provided ESPN television exclusive use of the RPI during what would later become their "Championship Week" studio broadcasts in 1993. CBN and the RPI have since been featured on national radio talk shows such as ESPN Radio and One-On-One Sports, along with countless local radio station broadcasts throughout the country. Sukup has given on-air television interviews to local television stations during the past several years, the most recent being a show with the local Indianapolis PBS station on 12/10/10 titled "Inside Indiana Business".
CBN provided CBS and ESPN exclusive daily RPI updates during the last week of the regular college basketball season for many years, including to the CBS Television staff at the NCAA Hall of Champions in Indianapolis, where CBS sometimes produces the NCAA men's tournament selection show. With the proliferation of the internet, such updates are no longer needed, as they are easily obtained from CBN's subscriber login interface.