Bracketology numbers and notes to know for this weekend

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. MPSF 54-20 .730
2. Big West 49-28 .636
3. EIVA 35-25 .583
4. MIVA 40-32 .556
5. NEC 30-30 .500
6. Independents 22-24 .478
7. ConfCarolinas 14-27 .341
8. ECC 2-26 .071
8. SIAC 1-35 .028

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 end of season strength of schedule (as of Feb. 27)
2. Stanford
3. UC Santa Barbara
4. UC Irvine
5. USC
6. UC San Diego
7. Concordia
8. Pepperdine
10. Ohio State
11. Grand Canyon
12. BYU
13. Purdue Fort Wayne
14. Ball State
15. Lewis
16. Hawai’i
17. McKendree
18. Penn State
19. Lindenwood
20. Harvard

KPI rankings

The NCAA men’s volleyball committee this season added the KPI as a selection criteria category. The KPI is a ranking system that evaluates every match result on a scale with the best positive result receiving about a 1.0 score and the worst possible result garnering about a negative-1.0 score. Among the variables used to determine a match result score includes opponent’s winning percentage, opponent strength of schedule, point differential, match location.

KPI rankings (as of Feb. 28)
1. Grand Canyon
3. UC Irvine
4. Hawai’i
5. Ohio State
6. Long Beach State
7. Penn State
8. BYU
9. Stanford
10. Pepperdine
11. Loyola
12. USC
13. Purdue Fort Wayne
14. Ball State
15. Lincoln Memorial
16. Princeton
17. McKendree
18. Daemen
19. Lewis
20. Belmont Abbey

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
Penn State at Long Beach State 7 p.m. Friday The winner will have the edge in the head-to-head criteria category and pick up a win in the record against teams under consideration category. This match will play a big role in the Selection Sunday decisions.
Loyola at Ohio State 4 p.m. Saturday Ohio State is the only MIVA team still in at-large contention, but the Buckeyes can’t afford many more losses to remain on the bubble.
Stanford at Grand Canyon 6 p.m. Friday and Noon Sunday Grand Canyon has a chance for two more quality wins before entering a gauntlet next week at the Outrigger Invitational
Central State at Fort Valley State 5 p.m. Friday There will be a SIAC team in the NCAA Tournament this year, and those match results against the SIAC champion count in the criteria category of record versus teams under consideration. Several West Coast schools can benefit if either of these teams win the SIAC.