Bracketology: Team comparisons using NCAA selection committee criteria

Only three matches remain before Selection Sunday but there remains an incredibly tight race for the at-large that the NCAA Tournament selection committee will have to sort out.

Off the Block has crunched the numbers using the same criteria as the selection committee to show how the top teams in the nation fare against each other in the race for the two at-large bids and NCAA Tournament seeding.


Below is an excerpt from the NCAA handbook on the primary criteria the three-person volleyball selection committee will use 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. 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.

This season the selection committee will have the additional task of filling out a tournament field that expanded from four teams to six teams. The six-teams will include four conference automatic qualifiers and two at-large bids


The extra at-large bid and the tight conference races have also resulted in an more than usual amount of teams remaining under consideration for a spot in the tournament, according to the latest Off the Block projections.

Here’s how the at-large bids and tournament seeding races look right now using the selection committee criteria and giving equal weight to each category.

[Editor’s note: Teams projected to qualify or be under consideration are Loyola, BYU, Pepperdine, UC Santa Barbara, Stanford, Lewis, Ball State, Penn State and Erskine. The amount of teams under consideration will continue to change as it gets closer to Selection Sunday on April 27.]

At-large bid (BYU vs. UC Santa Barbara)
Won-lost results:
BYU 20-8; UC Santa Barbara 18-9. Edge: BYU
Head-to-head competition: BYU won season series 2-1. Edge: BYU
Non-conference record: BYU 0-2; UC Santa Barbara 1-0. Edge: UC Santa Barbara
Home record: BYU 13-0; UC Santa Barbara 13-2. Edge: BYU
Road record: BYU 7-6; UC Santa Barbara 5-7. Edge: BYU
Record vs. common opponents: BYU 18-5; UC Santa Barbara 17-7. Edge: BYU
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: BYU 5-4; UC Santa Barbara 3-4. Edge: BYU
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: BYU

At-large bid (BYU vs. Pepperdine)
Won-lost results:
BYU 20-8; Pepperdine 19-7. Edge: Pepperdine
Head-to-head competition: Season series tied 1-1. Edge: Push
Non-conference record: BYU 0-2; Pepperdine 0-0. Edge: Push
Home record: BYU 13-0; Pepperdine 12-2. Edge: BYU
Road record: BYU 7-8; Pepperdine 7-4. Edge: Pepperdine
Record vs. common opponents: BYU 19-5; Pepperdine 18-6. Edge: BYU
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: BYU 5-4; Pepperdine 2-5. Edge: BYU
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: BYU

At-large bid (BYU vs. Stanford)
Won-lost results:
BYU 20-8; Stanford 22-7. Edge: Stanford
Head-to-head competition: BYU won season series 2-0. Edge: BYU
Non-conference record: BYU 0-2; Stanford 3-0. Edge: Stanford
Home record: BYU 13-0; Stanford 13-3. Edge: BYU
Road record: BYU 7-8; Stanford 7-4. Edge: Stanford
Record vs. common opponents: BYU 17-7; Stanford 20-5. Edge: Stanford
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: BYU 5-4; Stanford 5-3. Edge: Stanford
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: Stanford

At-large bid (BYU vs. Lewis)
Won-lost results:
BYU 20-8; Lewis 22-6. Edge: Lewis
Head-to-head competition: Lewis won season series 1-0. Edge: Lewis
Non-conference record: BYU 0-2; Lewis 9-3. Edge: Lewis
Home record: BYU 13-0; Lewis 15-3. Edge: BYU
Road record: BYU 7-8; Lewis 7-3. Edge: Lewis
Record vs. common opponents: BYU 6-1; Lewis 2-4. Edge: BYU
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: BYU 5-4; Lewis 5-4. Edge: Push
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: Lewis

At-large bid (UC Santa Barbara vs. Pepperdine)
Won-lost results:
UC Santa Barbara 18-9; Pepperdine 19-7. Edge: Pepperdine
Head-to-head competition: Season series tied at 1-1. Edge: Push
Non-conference record: UC Santa Barbara 1-0; Pepperdine 0-0. Edge: UC Santa Barbara
Home record: UC Santa Barbara 13-2; Pepperdine 12-2. Edge: UC Santa Barbara
Road record: UC Santa Barbara 5-7; Pepperdine 7-4. Edge: Pepperdine
Record vs. common opponents: UC Santa Barbara 17-8; Pepperdine 18-6. Edge: Pepperdine
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: UC Santa Barbara 3-4; Pepperdine 2-5. Edge: UC Santa Barbara
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: Pepperdine

At-large bid (UC Santa Barbara vs. Stanford)
Won-lost results:
UC Santa Barbara 18-9; Stanford 22-7. Edge: Stanford
Head-to-head competition: Season series tied at 1-1. Edge: Push
Non-conference record: UC Santa Barbara 1-0; Stanford 3-0. Edge: Push
Home record: UC Santa Barbara 13-2; Stanford 13-3. Edge: UC Santa Barbara
Road record: UC Santa Barbara 5-7; Stanford 7-4. Edge: Stanford
Record vs. common opponents: UC Santa Barbara 17-8; Stanford 19-6. Edge: Stanford
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: UC Santa Barbara 3-4; Stanford 5-3. Edge: Stanford
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: Stanford

At-large bid (UC Santa Barbara vs. Lewis)
Won-lost results:
UC Santa Barbara 18-9; Lewis 22-6. Edge: Lewis
Head-to-head competition: Did not play each other. Edge: Push
Non-conference record: UC Santa Barbara 1-0; Lewis 9-3. Edge: UC Santa Barbara
Home record: UC Santa Barbara 13-2; Lewis 15-3. Edge: UC Santa Barbara
Road record: UC Santa Barbara 5-6; Lewis 7-3. Edge: Lewis
Record vs. common opponents: UC Santa Barbara 4-5; Lewis 2-2. Edge: Lewis
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: UC Santa Barbara 3-4; Lewis 5-4. Edge: Lewis
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: Push

At-large bid (Pepperdine vs. Stanford)
Won-lost results:
Pepperdine 19-7; Stanford 22-7. Edge: Stanford
Head-to-head competition: Stanford leads season series 3-0. Edge: Stanford
Non-conference record: Pepperdine 0-0; Stanford 3-0. Edge: Stanford
Home record: Pepperdine 12-2; Stanford 13-3. Edge: Pepperdine
Road record: Pepperdine 7-4; Stanford 7-4. Edge: Push
Record vs. common opponents: Pepperdine 19-4; Stanford 17-7. Edge: Pepperdine
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: Pepperdine 2-5; Stanford 5-3. Edge: Stanford
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: Stanford

At-large bid (Pepperdine vs. Lewis)
Won-lost results:
Pepperdine 19-7; Lewis 22-6. Edge: Lewis
Head-to-head competition: Did not play each other. Edge: Push
Non-conference record: Pepperdine 0-0; Lewis 9-3. Edge: Lewis
Home record: Pepperdine 12-2; Lewis 15-3. Edge: Lewis
Road record: Pepperdine 7-4; Lewis 7-3. Edge: Lewis
Record vs. common opponents: Pepperdine 4-5; Lewis 2-2. Edge: Lewis
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: Pepperdine 2-5; Lewis 5-4. Edge: Lewis
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: Lewis

At-large bid (Stanford vs. Lewis)
Won-lost results:
Stanford 22-7; Lewis 22-6. Edge: Lewis
Head-to-head competition: Stanford won season series 1-0. Edge: Stanford
Non-conference record: Stanford 3-0; Lewis 9-3. Edge: Stanford
Home record: Stanford 13-3; Lewis 15-3. Edge: Lewis
Road record: Stanford 7-4; Lewis 7-3. Edge: Lewis
Record vs. common opponents: Stanford 6-2; Lewis 5-1. Edge: Lewis
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: Stanford 5-3; Lewis 5-4. Edge: Stanford
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: Lewis

POTENTIAL NCAA TOURNAMENT SEEDING BATTLES

Seeding match-up (Loyola vs. Penn State)
Won-lost results:
Loyola 26-1; Penn State 23-6. Edge: Loyola
Head-to-head competition: Loyola won season series 1-0. Edge: Loyola
Non-conference record: Loyola 10-1; Penn State 9-5. Edge: Loyola
Home record: Loyola 16-1; Penn State 14-0. Edge: Penn State
Road record: Loyola 10-0; Penn State 7-5. Edge: Loyola
Record vs. common opponents: Loyola 15-0; Penn State 16-1. Edge: Loyola
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: Loyola 7-0; Penn State 3-1. Edge: Loyola
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: Loyola

Seeding match-up (Loyola vs. BYU)
Won-lost results:
Loyola 26-1; BYU 20-8. Edge: Loyola
Head-to-head competition: Loyola won season series 1-0. Edge: Loyola
Non-conference record: Loyola 10-1; BYU 0-2. Edge: Loyola
Home record: Loyola 16-1; BYU 13-0. Edge: BYU
Road record: Loyola 10-0; BYU 7-8. Edge: Loyola
Record vs. common opponents: Loyola 3-1; BYU 5-1. Edge: BYU
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: Loyola 7-0; BYU 5-4. Edge: Loyola
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: Loyola

Seeding match-up (Loyola vs. Pepperdine)
Won-lost results:
Loyola 26-1; Pepperdine 20-6. Edge: Loyola
Head-to-head competition: Did not play this season. Edge: Push
Non-conference record: Loyola 10-1; Pepperdine 0-0. Edge: Loyola
Home record: Loyola 16-1; Pepperdine 12-2. Edge: Loyola
Road record: Loyola 10-0; Pepperdine 7-4. Edge: Loyola
Record vs. common opponents: Loyola 2-1; Pepperdine 4-2. Edge: Push
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: Loyola 7-0; Pepperdine 2-5. Edge: Loyola
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: Loyola

Seeding match-up (Loyola vs. Stanford)
Won-lost results:
Loyola 26-1; Stanford 22-7. Edge: Loyola
Head-to-head competition: Did not play this season. Edge: Push
Non-conference record: Loyola 10-1; Stanford 3-0. Edge: Stanford
Home record: Loyola 16-1; Stanford 13-3. Edge: Loyola
Road record: Loyola 10-0; Stanford 7-4. Edge: Loyola
Record vs. common opponents: Loyola 6-1; Stanford 7-2. Edge: Loyola
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: Loyola 7-0; Stanford 5-3. Edge: Loyola
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: Loyola

Seeding match-up (BYU vs. Penn State)
Won-lost results:
BYU 20-8; Penn State 23-6. Edge: Penn State
Head-to-head competition: Did not play this season. Edge: Push
Non-conference record: BYU 0-2; Penn State 9-5. Edge: Penn State
Home record: BYU 13-0; Penn State 14-0. Edge: Push
Road record: BYU 7-8; Penn State 7-5. Edge: Penn State
Record vs. common opponents: BYU 4-6; Penn State 2-4. Edge: BYU
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: BYU 5-4; Penn State 3-1. Edge: Penn State
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: Penn State

Seeding match-up (Penn State vs. Pepperdine)
Won-lost results:
Penn State 23-6; Pepperdine 20-6. Edge: Penn State
Head-to-head competition: Did not play this season. Edge: Push
Non-conference record: Penn State 9-5; Pepperdine 0-0. Edge: Penn State
Home record: Penn State 14-0; Pepperdine 12-2. Edge: Penn State
Road record: Penn State 7-5; Pepperdine 7-4. Edge: Penn State
Record vs. common opponents: Penn State 1-3; Pepperdine 8-1. Edge: Pepperdine
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: Penn State 3-1; Pepperdine 2-5. Edge: Penn State
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: Penn State

Seeding match-up (Penn State vs. Stanford)
Won-lost results:
Penn State 23-6; Stanford 22-7. Edge: Penn State
Head-to-head competition: Did not play this season. Edge: Push
Non-conference record: Penn State 9-5; Stanford 3-0. Edge: Stanford
Home record: Penn State 14-0; Stanford 13-3. Edge: Penn State
Road record: Penn State 7-5; Stanford 7-4. Edge: Penn State
Record vs. common opponents: Penn State 2-3; Stanford 4-4. Edge: Stanford
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: Penn State 3-1; Stanford 5-3. Edge: Penn State
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: Penn State

Seeding match-up (Penn State vs. Erskine)
Won-lost results:
Penn State 23-6; Erskine 20-6. Edge: Penn State
Head-to-head competition: Penn State won season series 1-0. Edge: Penn State
Non-conference record: Penn State 9-5; Erskine 5-4. Edge: Penn State
Home record: Penn State 14-0; Erskine 9-2. Edge: Penn State
Road record: Penn State 7-5; Erskine 8-4. Edge: Erskine
Record vs. common opponents: Penn State 8-1; Erskine 5-5. Edge: Penn State
Record vs. teams qualified or under consideration: Penn State 3-1; Erskine 0-3. Edge: Penn State
Eligibility and availability of athletes: Neither teams with serious injuries. Edge: Push
OVERALL EDGE: Penn State

One Reply to “Bracketology: Team comparisons using NCAA selection committee criteria”

  1. What do you think the possibilities are of UCI getting an at-large bid for the tournament? If BYU and Loyola secure their reigning spots, do you think that they have a chance to make it without making it to the semi-finals? The MPSF standings were so neck-in-neck this past season… Do you think it is a realistic possibility or do you believe that if they were chosen for a bid, the political side of volleyball will go haywire over it?

    Thank you! I was just thinking about it and wanted your insight on the situation.

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