Four matches in eight days will offer answers [CORRECTED VERSION]
- #13 Arizona @ #5 Washington | Fri, Nov 21 | 8PM
- #22 Arizona State @ #5 Washington | Sun, Nov 23 | 11AM
|Washington's Tia Scambray and Melanie Wade look to Coach Jim McLaughlin during home win against Oregon State|
-Volleyblog Seattle photo by Leslie Hamann
Four matches in eight days. For Washington volleyball, the next week-and-a-day will help answer several important questions.
CAN WASHINGTON WIN A SHARE OF THE PAC-12 TITLE?
Losses at Colorado and Utah mean that one of those two teams will have to beat Stanford in Palo Alto this weekend. If that happens—and if the Huskies can get past Arizona and Arizona State—then next Wednesday’s Seattle showdown with Stanford will give the Huskies a shot at a title tie. Next Friday, Stanford plays Cal and Washington travels to WSU. Cal and WSU are tied for last place, with just one win apiece.
WILL WASHINGTON HOST THE FIRST AND SECOND ROUNDS OF THE NCAA TOURNAMENT?
The top 16 teams get to host. Only an utter collapse could drop UW out of that group.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR THE TOURNAMENT’S THIRD AND FOURTH ROUNDS?
The four sites for the 2014 Sweet 16/Elite 8, selected two years ago by the NCAA, are Washington, Minnesota, Iowa State and Louisville. Hard to imagine any scenario where the NCAA would not place Washington in its own regional. If the Huskies win their final four conference matches (Arizona, Arizona State, Stanford and @Washington State), they will undoubtedly be the top seed in the Washington Regional. If they lose one or more of those four, they would almost certainly stay in that regional, but might not be the top seed. That opens the door for a powerhouse team—Penn State?—being sent to Seattle for the third and fourth rounds.
If the season were to end today (a fun but meaningless exercise), here’s one stab at how the regions should be seeded using teams in this week’s RPI:
- WASHINGTON REGIONAL: 1. Washington, 2. Penn State, 3. Oregon, 4. Kansas
- MINNESOTA REGIONAL: 1. Wisconsin, 2. Florida, 3. Illinois, 4. Arizona
- IOWA STATE REGIONAL: 1. Stanford, 2. Florida State, 3. Nebraska, 4. Iowa State
- LOUISVILLE REGIONAL: 1. Texas, 2. North Carolina, 3. Colorado State, 4. Kentucky
Remaining matches for select teams:
- WASHINGTON: Arizona, Arizona St, Stanford, @Washington St
- STANFORD: Utah, Colorado, @Washington, @California
- WISCONSIN: @Ohio St, @Rutgers, Purdue
- TEXAS: Kansas, @TCU, Florida
- PENN STATE: @Maryland, @Northwestern, Nebraska
- FLORIDA STATE: Boston College, Syracuse, Clemson, Miami
- NORTH CAROLINA: @Notre Dame, @Louisville, Duke, Wake Forest
- FLORIDA: @Ole Miss, @Arkansas, South Carolina, @Texas
- NEBRASKA: Michigan, @Illinois, @Penn St
Interesting to note that Washington (25-2, RPI of 4) has by far the highest rating of any of the four Regional hosts. Minnesota (17-11) has an RPI of 51, Louisville (15-12) has an RPI of 93 and
Iowa (13-15) has an RPI of 78. 64 teams are
selected for the tournament. 32 conference champions are automatic qualifiers.
Many of those qualifiers will have RPIs lower than 64, so several teams with
RPIs in the 50s and 60s will not be selected. At large teams with a losing
overall record are not eligible. [CORRECTION 11/21/14, 6:15pm | The NCAA Regional in the state of Iowa will be hosted by Iowa State, not the University of Iowa. Iowa State (15-10) has an RPI of 15.)