Bracketology numbers and notes to know for this weekend

There are two months left in the regular season, and the matches this weekend could have big implications on the bracketology and the selection committee determining the NCAA Tournament at the end of the season.

Check out everything you need to know about the college men’s volleyball bracketology so far this season and for the upcoming matches this weekend.

Conference RPI

Non-conference results are what ultimately determine a conference’s RPI ranking. The ranking is based on a conference’s combined winning percentage against NCAA opponents. Every conference match results in one winner and one loser, which in terms of conference winning percentage means it’s always guaranteed to be at .500. As a result, non-conference results are the greatest influence on a conference’s RPI rankings. Teams also benefit in their RPI ranking if they play in a league with a strong conference RPI because during the conference season they have an increased opportunity to play against teams with winning records and high RPI rankings. Below are the non-conference records for each NCAA Division I-II conference against other NCAA members this season.

Conference Record Winning Pct.
1. Big West 45-17 .726
2. MIVA 39-20 .661
3. MPSF 40-28 .588
4. EIVA 23-40 .365
5. ConfCarolinas 11-37 .229

Strength of schedule

Strength of schedule is one of the criteria categories the selection committee uses to determine the NCAA Tournament field. In addition, a team’s strength of schedule is part of the formula used to determine the RPI rankings. Below are the teams projected to have the best strength of schedule at the end of the season. The projections are based on match results so far this season.

Projected strength of schedule (as of Feb. 14)
1. Hawai’i
2. UC Santa Barbara
3. USC
4. Lewis
5. UC Irvine
6. Concordia-Irvine
7. Quincy
8. BYU
9. UCLA
10. Stanford

Record against teams under consideration

The category of record against other teams under consideration for the NCAA Tournament is a piece of criteria that historically has helped shape the NCAA Tournament field. Below are the records for some notable teams against teams under consideration, according to Off the Block’s latest bracketology projections.

Record vs. under consideration teams
Long Beach State (2-0)
UCLA (5-1)
Hawai’i (2-1)
UC Irvine (4-2)
Ohio State (1-2)
Loyola (1-2)
BYU (3-3)
Lewis (0-3)
Penn State (0-2)
Barton (0-3)

Six is the magic number

No team with more than six losses during the regular season has earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament since the field expanded to include two at-large bids in 2014.

Nationally ranked teams already with at least three losses
No. 4/4 UC Irvine (11-3)
No. 7/7 BYU (8-4)
No. 8/8 Lewis (8-3)
No. 10/10 Grand Canyon (11-3)
No. 11 CSUN (7-4)
No. 12 Pepperdine (6-3)
No. 13 UC Santa Barbara (4-4)
No. 15 USC (4-9)

Big bracketology matches this weekend

Below are the matches to watch this weekend that could have big implications on the bracketology at the end of the season.

Match Start time Bracketology significance
Long Beach State vs. UCLA 7:30 p.m. Saturday This match-up checks several of the significant selection committee criteria categories, including head-to-head record and record versus teams under NCAA Tournament consideration. The winner will have a big edge for an at-large bid and NCAA Tournament seeding.
Loyola vs. Fort Wayne 7 p.m. Friday Fort Wayne is 0-2 against top-10 ranked teams and needs a signature victory to get into the at-large bid race. Loyola with a victory can improve its at-large bid resume and remain tied for first-place in the MIVA.
Lewis vs. Ball State 7:30 Friday The Flyers may be on an eight-match winning streak, but those three loses to start the season have created very little margin of error for the rest of the season in the at-large bid race.
Mount Olive vs. Belmont Abbey 7 p.m. Friday Mount Olive is undefeated in the ConfCarolinas and can move into a tie for first place in the conference with a win. If Mount Olive reaches the NCAA Tournament at the end of the season, that would benefit Penn State and Long Beach State in several criteria categories.