Top 5 historical trends, stats to know about BYU vs. UC Irvine in NCAA finals

Numbers and trends can start to become extremely interesting, especially when they begin to involve a championship match and historic possibilities.

The No. 1 seed BYU and the No. 2 seed UC Irvine will play each other in the NCAA Tournament championship match on Saturday with numerous trends and streaks of historic proportions on the line.

Check out the top five facts and stats to know about this national title match before it begins.


1. Like father, like son: If BYU wins, coach Chris McGown and his father Carl McGown would become the first father-son combination to coach the same school to NCAA championships in any college sport. Chris McGown would also be one of the first coaches in men’s volleyball NCAA history to guide a team to a national title within his first two years as a head coach.

2. Perfect in finals: UC Irvine has won all three of its previous appearance in the NCAA Tournament championship match and is the only program to have reached the national championship match and never lost in it.

3. Not many clean sweeps: Both UC Irvine and BYU swept their semifinal matches, but a sweep in the championship match Saturday would make this NCAA Tournament unusual. Four times in NCAA Tournament history — 1983, 1993, 2000 and 2010 — have the two semifinals matches and championship match all been sweeps with it only happening once in the rally scoring era.

4. No first-game victory success: Don’t look too much into the winner of the first game determining the outcome of the match. The team that has won the opening game of the NCAA Tournament championship has won the match six times since the start of the rally scoring era in 2001. In addition, with the two finals during the rally scoring era that produced a first-game overtime the losers of the overtime went on to win the championship match.

5. Two-games down, near impossible to comeback: BYU rallied from a two-game deficit to beat UCLA in the MPSF Tournament semifinals, and UC Irvine twice in the postseason last year rallied from a two-game deficit to win. However, it’s historically rare to see teams pull off those types of comebacks in the NCAA Tournament. The last time a team won a NCAA Tournament championship match after losing the first two games was USC in 1988.

BONUS FACT AND STAT
Best NCAA Tournament teams ever: The winner of this championship match will not only win the NCAA title but have the best winning percentage for any program in NCAA Tournament history. BYU enters tonight leading all schools with a .889 all-time winning percentage in the NCAA Tournament, while UC Irvine is in third place with a .875 all-time winning percentage.