Here's week two of Bracketology. This week, I tried to base my predictions as much off the NCAA selection committee's criteria as possible. Here are the steps I followed.
1. I went through the 31 conferences and picked the winner of each -- the automatic qualifier. I gave each team a letter grade based off their significant wins and losses.
2. While I picked each automatic qualifer, I also chose teams that I thought could earn an at-large big. I gave each of these teams letter grades as well.
3. I then seeded the top-16 schools, and matched up opponents following these priorities (starting with the highest):
A. Bracket balance (the highest graded schools start off playing the lowest graded schools)
B. Location (Limiting the amount of flight time for schools as much as possible)
C. Conference (Avoid matches between teams from the same conference up through the regional finals as much as possible)
Here are some guidelines to maximize your Bracketology experience. I will include these in every subsequent edition.
- The NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament follows a 64-team, six-round, single elimination format.
- Every conference must be represented by at least one school.
- The top 16 overall teams are denoted by numbers before the school.
- Match sites for the first two rounds are determined by the residing top-16 team in every cluster of four teams. For example, No. 1 Illinois, Appalachian State, North Carolina and Tulsa all play at Huff Hall in Champaign, Ill., for the first two rounds.
- The next two rounds -- the Regional semifinals and finals -- are played at the regional location denoted in bold at the top of each grouping of 16 teams.
- The last two rounds -- the National semifinal and final -- are played in San Antonio, Texas.
9. Penn State
12. Northern Iowa
Long Beach State
Maryland Eastern Shore
Florida Gulf Coast
UC Santa Barbara
15. San Diego