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Sweet 16 Update: How do the RPI, Pablo, and AVCA Poll Rankings Compare?

December 4, 2011

Is Pablo the cat’s meow? Heisenberg isn’t certain

NCAA Tournament Central

NCAA Interactive Tournament Bracket

Looking at the Seeds, RPI, Pablo and AVCA Poll

It’s down to 16 teams for the 2011 NCAA Women’s Volleyball NCAA Division 1 Championship — including six teams from the B1G (for what it’s worth, the same number as last year).  So how did the Selection Committee do compared, for example, to Pablo’s algorithmic ranking system, which is favored by the cognocenti in the blogisphere?

As shown in the chart below, five unseeded teams made it into the Sweet 16:

  • Kentucky (RPI #13, Pablo #21,  AVCA #16)
  • Florida (RPI #20, Pablo #7, AVCA #17)
  • Michigan (RPI #23, Pablo #28, AVCA #22)
  • Kansas State (RPI #26, Pabla #34, AVCA #36)
  • Ohio State (RPI #48, Pablo #32, AVCA #28)

The seeded teams that were bounced were:

  • #2 Nebraska (RPI #4, Pablo #5, AVCA #2)
  • #6 Northern Iowa (RPI #5, Pablo #15, AVCA #12)
  • #11 Stanford (RPI #18, Pablo #25, AVCA #6)
  • #14 Tennessee (RPI #9, Pablo #9, AVCA #15)
  • #16 Texas A&M (RPI #17, Pablo #12, AVCA #27)

The average RPI for the Sweet 16 teams is 13.81, compared to a 9.0 average RPI for the 16 seeded teams.  Of course, having #4 RPI Nebraska get knocked out in the 2nd round, and #48 RPI Ohio State confound the experts (algorithmic and otherwise) tends to throw things off a bit.  That (and Kansas State – another ratings outlier that is still standing in the Sweet 16) probably explains much of the differential between the seeded teams’ rankings and the Sweet 16 teams’ rankings.

One thing that struck us is that the average RPI, Pablo ranking, and AVCA poll ranking for the Sweet 16 teams are almost identical — with the AVCA holding them, on average, in somewhat lower esteem.  The fact that we don”t have a trenchant explanation for that undoubtedly exposes our total lack of knowledge of Poincaré’s conjecture, super string theory, and Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle (but we’re not sure).

In any event, here’s the Sweet 16 table, organized by Bracket.  It’s sortable, by clicking the arrows at the top of any given column.

2011 NCAA Tournament: Sweet 16

Team
Pre-Tournament
W-L
NCAA
Tournament
Seed
RPI
Pablo Ranking
AVCA Poll
Conference
Regional
Sweet 16
Regional Final
Texas22-41225Big 12Lexington
Kentucky26-5unseeded132116SECLexington
Penn State23-781139B1GLexington
UCLA24-8915134Pac-12Lexington
Illinois27-431107B1GGainesville
Ohio State19-14unseeded483228B1GGainesville
Michigan20-12unseeded232822B1GGainesville
Florida24-5unseeded20717SECGainesville
Minnesota18-1113121619B1GMinneapolis
Iowa State22-543614Big 12Minneapolis
Purdue27-45648B1GMinneapolis
Florida State24-612102321ACCMinneapolis
USC25-47811Pac-12Honolulu
Hawaii29-110783WACHonolulu
Pepperdine22-615161118West CoastHonolulu
Kansas State20-10unseeded263436Big 12Honolulu
Average: unseeded teams in Sweet 16nana2624.423.8nana
Average: seeded teams not in the Sweet 16na9.810.613.212.4nana
Average (for seeds 1 through 16)na8.59.010.1910.69nana
Average: Sweet 16nana13.8113.6914.25nana

For the Really Obsessed: Surveying the Field of 64

The table below shows all of the results, rankings, ratings, and other minutiae for the entire 2011 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament field of 64.  Enjoy, and don’t be late for dinner.

2011 NCAA Tournament: Field of 64

Team
Pre-Tournament
W-L
NCAA
Tournament
Seed
RPI
Pablo Ranking
AVCA Poll
Conference
Regional
1st Rnd
2nd Rnd
Texas22-41225Big 12LexingtonW (3-0 vs. Texas State)W (3-0 vs. Michigan State)
Nebraska24-42452B1GHonoluluW (3-0 vs. Jackson State)L (2-3 vs. Kansas State)
Illinois27-431107B1GGainesvilleW (3-0 vs. Central Michigan)W (3-0 vs. Marquette)
Iowa State22-543614Big 12MinneapolisW (3-0 vs. Milwaukee)W (3-0 vs. Miami (Fla))
Purdue27-45648B1GMinneapolisW (3-0 vs. Morehead State)W (3-1 vs. Louisville)
Northern Iowa32-1651512Missouri ValleyGainesvilleW (3-0 vs. Niagara)L (1-3 vs. Florida)
USC25-47811Pac-12HonoluluW (3-0 vs. Yale)W (3-0 vs. Tulsa)
Penn State23-781139B1GLexingtonW (3-0 vs. Liberty)W (3-0 vs. Delaware)
UCLA24-8915134Pac-12LexingtonW (3-0 vs. MdES)W (3-1 vs. San Diego)
Hawaii29-110783WACHonoluluW (3-0 vs. Northern Colorado)W (3-1 vs. Colorado State)
Stanford21-71118256Pac-12GainesvilleW (3-1 vs. Sacred Heart)L (1-3 vs. Michigan)
Florida State24-612102321ACCMinneapolisW (3-0 vs. Albany)W (3-2 vs. Cincinnati)
Minnesota18-1113121619B1GMinneapolisW (3-0 vs. North Dakota State)W (3-2 vs. Washington)
Tennessee27-3149915SECGainesvilleW (3-1 vs. Duke)L (2-3 vs. Ohio State)
Pepperdine22-615161118West CoastHonoluluW (3-0 vs. Missouri State)W (3-0 vs. North Carolina)
Texas A&M22-716171227Big 12LexingtonW (3-1 vs. Lipscomb)L (0-3 vs. Kentucky)
Kentucky26-5unseeded132116SECLexingtonW (3-2 vs. Dayton)W (3-0 vs. Texas A&M)
Northern Illinois28-6unseeded14nanrMid-AmericanMinneapolisL (1-3 vs. Miami (Fla.)out
Cincinnati26-9unseeded19nanrBig EastMinneapolisW (3-2 vs. Samford)L (2-3 vs. Florida State)
Florida24-5unseeded20717SECGainesvilleW (3-1 vs. Missouri)W (3-1 vs. Northern Iowa)
Western Kentucky31-3unseeded212624SunBeltGainesvilleL (1-3 vs. Marquette)out
Miami (Fla.)25-4unseeded222025ACCMinneapolisW (3-1 vs. Northern Illinois)L (0-3 vs. Iowa State)
Michigan20-12unseeded232822B1GGainesvilleW (3-1 vs. Baylor)W (3-1 vs. Stanford)
Tulsa27-6unseeded243131Conference USAHonoluluW (3-1 vs. Oklahoma)L (0-3 vs. USC)
San Diego27-4unseeded252420West CoastLexingtonW (3-1 vs. LBSU)L (1-3 vs. UCLA)
Kansas State20-10unseeded263436Big 12HonoluluW (3-0 vs. Wichita State)W (3-2 vs. Nebraska)
Oklahoma21-11unseeded2739nrBig 12HonoluluL (1-3 vs. Tulsa)out
Colorado State23-5unseeded281626Mountain WestHonoluluW (3-2 vs. Oregon)L (1-3 vs. Hawaii)
California26-6unseeded291910Pac-12HonoluluL (2-3 vs. North Carolina)out
Oregon21-9unseeded301413Pac-12HonoluluL (2-3 vs. Colorado State)out
North Carolina23-8unseeded31nanrACCHonoluluW (3-2 vs. California)L (0-3 vs. Pepperdine)
Western Michigan24-8unseeded32nanrMid-AmericanMinneapolisL (1-3 vs. Washington)out
Missouri21-12unseeded33nanrBig 12GainesvilleL (1-3 vs. Florida)out
Ball State25-7unseeded34nanrMid-AmericanMinneapolisL (0-3 vs. Louisville)out
Washington23-7unseeded352111Pac-12MinneapolisW (3-1 vs. Western Michigan)L (2-3 vs. Minnesota)
Dayton25-6unseeded36nanrAtlantic 10LexingtonL (2-3 vs. Kentucky)out
Michigan State21-11unseeded372630B1GLexingtonW (3-1 vs. Arizona)L (0-3 vs. Texas)
Louisville23-8unseeded38nanrBig EastMinneapolisW (3-0 vs. Ball State)L (1-3 vs. Purdue)
Wichita State21-10unseeded39nanrMissouri ValleyHonoluluL (0-3 vs. Kansas State)out
Marquette23-10unseeded40nanrBig EastGainesvilleW (3-1 vs. Western Kentucky)L (0-3 vs. Illinois)
Long Beach State23-6unseeded411823Big WestLexingtonL (1-3 vs. USD)out
North Dakota State26-8unseeded42nanrSummitMinneapolisL (0-3 vs. Minnesota)out
Duke21-8unseeded43nanrACCGainesvilleL (1-3 vs. Tennessee)out
Missouri State22-8unseeded44nanrMissouri ValleyHonoluluL (0-3 vs. Pepperdine)out
Middle Tennessee21-11unseeded45nanrSun BeltGainevilleL (1-3 vs. Ohio State)out
Baylor18-14unseeded46nanrBig 12GainesvilleL (1-3 vs. Michigan)out
Ohio State19-14unseeded483228B1GGainesvilleW (3-1 vs. Middle Tennessee)W (3-2 vs. Tennessee)
Arizona19-12unseeded494032Pac-12LexingtonL (1-3 vs. Michigan State)out
Milwaukee25-4unseeded50nanrHorizonMinneapolisL (0-3 vs. Iowa State)out
Samford29-4unseeded62nanrSouthernMinneapolisL (2-3 vs. Cincinnati)out
Texas State27-7unseeded72nanrSouthlandLexingtonL (0-3 vs. Texas)out
Central Michigan19-13unseeded74nanrMid-AmericanGainesvilleL (0-3 vs. Illinois)out
Delaware20-12unseeded79nanrColonialLexingtonW (3-1 vs. American)L (0-3 vs. Penn State)
Sacred Heart27-7unseeded80nanrNortheastGainesvilleL (1-3 vs. Stanford)out
Albany21-8unseeded85nanrAmercia EastMinneapolisL (0-3 vs. Florida State)out
Moorehead State26-7unseeded86nanrOVCMinneapolisL (0-3 vs. Purdue)out
Lipscomb20-10unseeded89nanrAtlantic SunLexingtonL (1-3 vs. Texas A&M)out
Yale18-6unseeded91nanrIvyHonoluluL (0-3 vs. USC)out
American23-10unseeded94nanrPatriotLexingtonL (1-3 vs. Delaware)out
Northern Colorado22-8unseeded108nanrBig SkyHonoluluL (0-3 vs. Hawaii)out
Liberty20-12unseeded145nanrBig SouthLexingtonL (0-3 vs. Penn State)out
Niagara25-8unseeded148nanrMetro AtlanticGainesvilleL (0-3 vs. Northern Iowa)out
Md.-Eastern Shore24-6unseeded195nanrMid-EasternLexingtonL (0-3 vs. UCLA)out
Jackson State29-9unseeded217nanrSouthwesternHonoluluL (0-3 vs. Nebraska)out

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