It's true! I almost spit out my drink, but the 80-71 victory over Texas has propelled Oklahoma up the RPI rankings. The Sooners now stand at a lofty #75 after being mired in the triple digits for much of the season. Surprisingly this places them a bit higher than UNC, as the Tar Heels have struggled this year posting a 13-10 record (#79 RPI).
The good news for OU is that they finally have a "quality victory" and that's something that even the NIT, much less the Big Dance, will be looking for when they select teams for postseason competition.
Whether or not the NCAA will admit it, the RPI clearly plays a big role in the tournament selection process. I recall seeing a special on TV that described how the selection committee gets these RPI "sheets" with different breakdowns for each team. For instance, it will list how they performed against the RPI Top 25, Top 50, Top 100, etc. In a way, I don't really mind because it provides a pretty good method of quickly comparing teams.
Time for a reality check, though. DanceCard has OU at 0.1% odds of getting a tournament berth. This site's new formula would have had a 97.1% success rate at predicting tournament teams over the past ten years. It is worth noting that this is only based on games so far, so OU has time to make up ground.