Skip to content

Deeper look at NCAA Tourney selection criteria after conference championships

May 1, 2011

UC Santa Barbara has not only crashed the Final Four, it has changed the landscape the entire equation into deciding the NCAA Tournament.

With the No. 7 seed UC Santa Barbara defeating No. 1 USC to win the MPSF Tournament and receive the conference’s automatic bid, it took away a spot in the NCAA Tournament from another team.

While USC will now without a doubt receive the lone at-large bid to the tournament, it may seem like UC Santa Barbara conference tournament success means it should be higher than a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. However, a closer look at the NCAA selection committee criteria says otherwise.

Below is the entry from the 2011 NCAA men’s volleyball championship handbook on how the three-person volleyball selection committee determines the at-large team and seeding for the NCAA Tournament.

Automatic qualifiers will be determined by a method selected by each conference
office. The remaining at-large team will be selected using the following criteria (in no
priority order):
– Won-lost results;
– Head-to-head competition;
– Results versus non-conference opponents;
– Home and away results;
– Results against common opponents;
– Results against teams already qualified and other teams under consideration; and
– Eligibility and availability of student-athletes for NCAA championships.

The selection committee does not consider match results against NAIA teams, such as Cal Baptist, Lindenwood and UC Santa Cruz. Only matches against NCAA teams factor in the into the criteria

Some selection committees in the past have placed a greater emphasis on a certain categories. For instance, last year’s committee said they placed a greater emphasis on head-to-head results and a team’s record against other teams being considered. However, there is no requirement that categories be weighed differently.

USC (23-3, 20-2 MPSF) will be the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament using the selection committee’s criteria — despite not winning its conference championship.

Everything else involving the NCAA Tournament is still undecided.

The volleyball selection committee has historically avoided pairing two MPSF schools against each other in the NCAA semifinals — it has happened once in the last 10 years.

This trend has the possibility of being snapped in this year’s tournament if the volleyball committee gives equally weight to each category.

Here is how UC Santa Barbara, Penn State and Ohio State match up against each other using the selection committee criteria and giving equal weight to each category.

[Editor’s note: USC is front-runners for the at-large bid. Teams projected to qualify or be under consideration are USC, Penn State, Ohio State, UC Santa Barbara, BYU and Stanford. UCSB victory eliminated UC Irvine and Hawai’i from the equation]

Penn State vs. Ohio State

Won-lost results: Penn State 24-6; Ohio State 24-6 Edge: Push
Head-to-head competition: Split two matches in regular season. Edge: Push
Non-conference record: Ohio State 15-5; Penn State 12-6. Advantage: Ohio State
Home record: Ohio State 14-0; Penn State 15-1. Edge: Ohio State
Road record: Penn State 9-5; Ohio State 10-6. Edge: Penn State
Record vs. common opponents: Ohio State 19-2, Penn State 15-2. Edge: Ohio State
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: Ohio State 1-1; Penn State 2-1. Edge: Penn State
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: OHIO STATE

UC Santa Barbara vs. Ohio State

Won-lost results: UCSB 17-13; Ohio State 24-6. Edge: Ohio State
Head-to-head competition: Did not meet this year. Edge: Push
Non-conference record: UCSB 4-2; Ohio State 15-5. Edge: Push
Home record: UCSB 8-6; Ohio State 14-0. Edge: Ohio State
Road record: UCSB 8-6; Ohio State 10-6. Edge: Ohio State State
Record vs. common opponents: UCSB 4-4; Ohio State 5-4. Edge: Ohio State
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: UCSB 4-3; Ohio State 1-1. Edge: USCB
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: OHIO STATE

UC Santa Barbara vs. Penn State

Won-lost results: UCSB 17-13; Penn State 24-6. Edge: Penn State
Head-to-head competition: Penn State leads 1-0. Edge: Penn State
Non-conference record: UCSB 4-2; Penn State 12-6. Edge: Push
Home record: UCSB 8-6; Penn State 15-1. Edge: Penn State
Road record: UCSB 7-6; Penn State 9-5. Edge: Penn State
Record vs. common opponents: UCSB 8-4; Penn State 3-4. Edge: UCSB
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: UCSB 4-3; Penn State 2-1. Edge: Penn State
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: PENN STATE

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: