3/09/2005 04:17:00 PM|||Kurt|||It’s that time of year when talk of RPI, seedings and bubble teams fills the air. You've got to love March Madness. UCLA is likely in the Big Dance and has an RPI ranking of 29th in the land. The second best team in Southern California based on RPI? Cal State Fullerton, ranked 111th, followed pretty closely by my Cal State Northridge Matadors at 118. Pepperdine is in there at 121, and all those teams are ahead of USC at 130. And you wonder why the Trojans are staying home. All the talk of RPI this time of year reminds me to check out ESPN, which does a meaningless but interesting RPI rankings for the NBA. Not much shocking this year. The best NBA team? San Antonio (.578). Filling out the rest of the top five are Phoenix (.567), Miami (.555), Seattle (.550) and Dallas (.545). The Lakers land at 16th (.500). This seams about right, if you took the top 16 teams in the NBA into the playoffs the Lakers would be hanging on by their fingernails, with Orlando and Indiana right behind them. Minnesota (.504) and Denver (.504) both would be in. Only six of the 16 would be from the East (Miami, Detroit, Washington, Chicago, Boston and Cleveland). The Lakers expected win and losses, by their calculations, would be 27-32, a full three games back of where they actually are. That jibes with the Pythagorean win/loss expectations for the Lakers, which have had the team winning more than their offensive and defensive ratings would predict this year. (Stats Pimp keeps Pythagorean records, but his site seems to be down temporarily.) All of this doesn’t mean a thing for the NBA, but it’s a fun exercise. Next week, after the NCAA brackets are announced, I’ll throw my final four and other predictions out there, which should provide everyone with a good laugh. And this weekend, Go Matadors!|||111041383374953002|||NBA RPI