Deeper look at men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament selection criteria

Three of the four tickets to the NCAA Tournament have been punched but the one at-large spot remains increasingly tight heading into Selection Sunday.

With Selection Sunday here, Penn State, Lewis and UC Irvine received the three automatic bids. However, a closer look at the criteria used by the selection committee shows that BYU, Stanford and USC all still have case for the lone at-large bid.

Below is the entry from the 2012 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 Cardinal Stritch and Hope International. Only matches against NCAA teams factors into the criteria.

Some selection committees in the past have placed a greater emphasis on a certain categories. For instance, the 2010 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.

No team is a lock at this point in the season and everyone from the lone at-large and to tournament seeding is still undecided.

Here is how UC Irvine, BYU, UC Irvine and USC match up against each other using the selection committee criteria and giving equal weight to each category.

[Editor's note: Teams projected to qualify or be under consideration are UC Irvine, BYU, Stanford, USC, Penn State and Lewis.]

At-large bid (BYU vs. USC)
Won-lost results:
BYU 24-7; USC 22-5. Edge: USC
Head-to-head competition: BYU defeated USC twice. Edge: BYU
Non-conference record: BYU 6-1; USC 3-0. Edge: USC
Home record: BYU 14-3; USC 13-2. Edge: USC
Road record: BYU 9-2; USC 9-3. Edge: BYU
Record vs. common opponents: BYU 21-7; USC 21-3. Edge: USC
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: BYU 6-4; USC 4-4. Edge: BYU
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: USC

At-large bid (BYU vs. Stanford)
Won-lost results:
BYU 24-7; Stanford 22-7. Edge: BYU
Head-to-head competition: Stanford defeated BYU three times. Edge: Stanford
Non-conference record: BYU 6-1; Stanford 3-1. Edge: BYU
Home record: BYU 14-3; Stanford 10-3. Edge: BYU
Road record: BYU 9-2; Stanford 10-2. Edge: Stanford
Record vs. common opponents: BYU 21-4; Stanford 16-7. Edge: BYU
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: BYU 6-4; Stanford 4-5. Edge: BYU
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: BYU

At-large bid (USC vs. Stanford)
Won-lost results:
USC 22-5; Stanford 22-7. Edge: USC
Head-to-head competition: USC defeated Stanford twice. Edge: USC
Non-conference record: USC 3-0; Stanford 3-1. Edge: USC
Home record: USC 13-2; Stanford 10-3. Edge: USC
Road record: USC 9-3; Stanford 10-2 Edge: Stanford
Record vs. common opponents: USC 19-5; Stanford 19-5. Edge: Push
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: USC 4-4. Stanford 4-5 Edge: USC
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: USC

POTENTIAL SEEDING MATCH-UPS FOR NCAA TOURNAMENT

Penn State vs. Lewis
Won-lost results:
Penn State 23-5; Lewis 26-6. Edge: Penn State
Head-to-head competition: Lewis defeated Penn State. Edge: Lewis
Non-conference record: Penn State 7-5; Lewis 14-3. Edge: Lewis
Home record: Penn State 12-0; Lewis 16-0. Edge: Lewis
Road record: Penn State 9-5; Lewis 9-4. Edge: Lewis
Record vs. common opponents: Penn State 13-1; Lewis 11-4. Edge: Penn State
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: Penn State 1-4; Lewis 1-0. Edge: Lewis
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: Lewis

UC Irvine vs. Penn State
Won-lost results:
UC Irvine 24-5; Penn State 23-5. Edge: UC Irvine
Head-to-head competition: Did not play each other this season Edge: Push
Non-conference record: UC Irvine 4-0; Penn State 7-5. Edge: UC Irvine
Home record: UC Irvine 9-4; Penn State 12-0. Edge: Penn State
Road record: UC Irvine 11-1; Penn State 9-5. Edge: UC Irvine
Record vs. common opponents: UC Irvine 10-3; Penn State 3-4. Edge: UC Irvine
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: UC Irvine 5-4; Penn State 1-4. Edge: UC Irvine
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: UC Irvine

UC Irvine vs. Lewis
Won-lost results:
UC Irvine 24-5; Lewis 26-6. Edge: UC Irvine
Head-to-head competition: Did not play each other this season Edge: Push
Non-conference record: UC Irvine 4-0; Lewis 14-3. Edge: UC Irvine
Home record: UC Irvine 9-4; Lewis 16-0. Edge: Lewis
Road record: UC Irvine 11-1; Lewis 9-4. Edge: UC Irvine
Record vs. common opponents: UC Irvine 11-1; Lewis 3-3. Edge: UC Irvine
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: UC Irvine 5-4; Lewis 1-0. Edge: Lewis
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: UC Irvine

USC vs. Lewis
Won-lost results:
USC 22-5; Lewis 26-6. Edge: USC
Head-to-head competition: Did not play each other this season. Edge: Push
Non-conference record: USC 3-0; Lewis 14-3. Edge: USC
Home record: USC 13-2; Lewis 16-0. Edge: Lewis
Road record: USC 9-3; Lewis 9-4 Edge: USC
Record vs. common opponents: USC 10-1; Lewis 6-3. Edge: USC
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: USC 4-4; Lewis 1-0 Edge: Lewis
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: USC

USC vs. Penn State
Won-lost results:
USC 22-5; Penn State 23-5. Edge: Penn State
Head-to-head competition: USC defeated Penn State Edge: USC
Non-conference record: USC 3-0; Penn State 7-5. Edge: USC
Home record: USC 13-2; Penn State 12-0. Edge: Penn State
Road record: USC 7-3; Penn State 9-5. Edge: USC
Record vs. common opponents: USC 8-0; Penn State 6-3. Edge: USC
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: USC 4-4; Penn State 1-4. Edge: USC
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: USC

Stanford vs. Lewis
Won-lost results:
Stanford 22-7; Lewis 26-6. Edge: Lewis
Head-to-head competition: Did not play each other this season. Edge: Push
Non-conference record: Stanford 3-1; Lewis 14-3. Edge: Lewis
Home record: Stanford 11-3; Lewis 16-0. Edge: Lewis
Road record: Stanford 10-2; Lewis 9-4 Edge: Stanford
Record vs. common opponents: Stanford 7-3; Lewis 6-5. Edge: Stanford
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: Stanford 4-5; Lewis 1-0 Edge: Lewis
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: Lewis

Stanford vs. Penn State
Won-lost results:
Stanford 22-7; Penn State 23-5. Edge: Penn State
Head-to-head competition: Penn State defeated Stanford. Edge: Penn State
Non-conference record: Stanford 3-1; Penn State 7-5. Edge: Stanford
Home record: Stanford 11-3; Penn State 12-0. Edge: Penn State
Road record: Stanford 10-2; Penn State 9-5 Edge: Stanford
Record vs. common opponents: Stanford 9-2; Penn State 4-4. Edge: Stanford
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: Stanford 4-5; Penn State 1-4 Edge: Stanford
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: Stanford

BYU vs. Penn State
Won-lost results:
BYU 24-7; Penn State 23-5. Edge: Penn State
Head-to-head competition: BYU defeated Penn State twice. Edge: BYU
Non-conference record: BYU 6-1; Penn State 7-5. Edge: BYU
Home record: BYU 14-3; Penn State 12-0. Edge: Penn State
Road record: BYU 9-2; Penn State 9-5 Edge: BYU
Record vs. common opponents: BYU 9-4; Penn State 4-2. Edge: BYU
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: BYU 6-4; Penn State 1-4 Edge: BYU
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: BYU

BYU vs. Lewis
Won-lost results:
BYU 24-7; Lewis 26-6. Edge: Lewis
Head-to-head competition: Did not play each other this season. Edge: Push
Non-conference record: BYU 6-1; Lewis 14-3. Edge: BYU
Home record: BYU 14-3; Lewis 16-0. Edge: Lewis
Road record: BYU 9-2; Lewis 9-4 Edge: BYU
Record vs. common opponents: BYU 12-2; Lewis 6-4. Edge: BYU
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: BYU 6-4; Lewis 1-0 Edge: Lewis
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: Push