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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Southern Cal Men, Georgia Women Top Seeds for NCAA Division I Team Championships

After UCLA defeated Southern Cal on Saturday at the Pac-12 men's tournament, I thought that would help the Bruins and hurt the Trojans in the NCAA seedings, but it didn't, with Southern Cal staying at No. 1 and UCLA actually falling from its April 22 ranking of 5 to the No 6 seed.  The ITA rankings aren't revealed until Thursday, so we won't know until then whether the committee deviated from the rankings, but if the two teams should meet for the fifth time this year, it will be for the NCAA title, as they are in opposite sides of the draw, which was revealed a few hours ago.

The top 16 men's seeds:
1. Southern Cal
2. Oklahoma
3. Ohio State
4. Virginia
5. Baylor
7. North Carolina
8. Texas A&M
9. Texas
10. Georgia
11. Duke
12. Illinois
13. Notre Dame
14. Florida
15. Kentucky
16. Columbia

Seeds 1-15 are hosting regionals, but Columbia is not, with Vanderbilt, a 17-32 seed, serving as a host and Columbia traveling to Nashville. According to the NCAA release, "per NCAA policy, the top 16 seeds are guaranteed to host if a bid was submitted and criteria are met," so it can only be assumed that Columbia did not submit a bid.

Notably absent from the 64-team field are the following schools, with their April 22 rankings in parentheses: Alabama(36), Dartmouth(42), LSU(46), TCU(47), VCU(50) and Pepperdine(51).

The complete men's bracket is available here:

There were a few surprises in the men's seedings, but nothing compared to the what happened in the women's seedings. The 16 women's seeds:

1. Georgia
2. Alabama
3. Virginia
4. Duke
6. Cal
7. North Carolina
8. Florida
9. Vanderbilt
10. Texas A&M
11. Stanford
12. Miami
13. Clemson
14. Baylor
15. Northwestern
16. Southern Cal

All of the top 16 seeds are hosting regionals, with five each in the ACC and SEC, four in the Pac-12 and just one in the Big Ten and Big 12.

Where to start on the surprises?  UCLA was ranked No. 1 in the April 22 rankings, but they are now at No. 5, and still the highest Pac-12 seed.  Duke moved up to No. 4, despite losing to Virginia in the ACC conference tournament final, and if the Bruins and Blue Devils do get by No. 12 Miami and No. 13 Clemson in the round of 16, which is by no means a given, we could have a quarterfinal rematch of the dramatic Women's Team Indoor final, but this time in a standard scoring format.  The best projected round of 16 match is likely to be defending champion Stanford, seeded 11th, against No. 6 seed Cal, who just beat the Cardinal at home to claim its first Pac-12 title.

Georgia, who was No. 2 in last week's rankings, is now the top seed, the first time the Bulldog women have ever been the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. They have looked strong recently, avenging losses to Vanderbilt and Alabama in winning the SEC tournament, but no team has separated itself from the other contenders this year, which should make for an exciting week in Athens next month.

It should be noted that last year it was No. 12 seed Stanford against No. 3 seed Texas A&M in the final.

The bubble teams that didn't make the tournament include: Illinois(37), Utah(38), Washington(39), Saint Mary's(44), Memphis(45) and Yale(47).

Also of note, Jackson State lost in the conference final to Southern University, but Jackson State received the SWAC conference bid, with Southern not eligible to take part due to an insufficient NCAA Academic Progress Rate.

The complete women's draw is here.

The NCAA deserves credit for producing a quick and efficient show that provides all the necessary information without adding extraneous fluff.

I will have more comments on the tournament in the Tennis Recuiting Network's annual roundtable. TRN has opened their May Madness challenge, so head over there to make your picks. As always, there are some valuable prizes awarded to the winners.

Tomorrow the singles and doubles selections and seeds will be announced, although just via a release, on or about 6 p.m. EDT at ncaa.com.


Austin said...

Alabama didnt receive a bid because of a losing overall record, correct?

I know the Top 6 teams are interchangable, but I think UCLA should get the top seed.

Bubble Teams said...


You are listing the old rankings for The bubble teams that did not make it this year. The new rankings are not published until May 1st but they have been run twice today for the most accurate rankings which determines the at-large bids.

Those bubble teams will have lower rankings than you listed.

ricky said...

So strange that UCLA men just came off of a victory over the #1 team in the nation (who they've beat twice) and they actually go down in the seedings. But it really does seem like this year, more than most years past, there are several teams that could very feasibly win it -- on both men's and women's sides. Should be an interesting tourney!

Looking forward to your coverage of the event!

russ said...

Colette, maybe a bid was submitted but the criteria i.e. a suitable venue wasn't met. Columbia's facilities are awful and they couldn't arrange to use Billie Jean King. Just a guess.

Bobby said...

The final ITA rankings which will be released on Thursday should be as follows:

2 Oklahoma
3 Ohio State
4 Virginia
5 Baylor
7 North Carolina
8 Georgia
9 Texas A&M
10 Texas
11 Duke
12 Illinois
13 Kentucky
14 Notre Dame
15 Florida
16 Columbia
17 Mississippi State
18 Vanderbilt
19 California
20 Tennessee
21 Clemson
22 Memphis
23 South Florida
24 Penn State
25 Boise State
26 NC State
27 South Carolina
28 Oklahoma State
29 Northwestern
30 Stanford
31 Harvard
32 Wake Forest
33 Florida State
34 Louisville
35 Alabama
36 Virginia Tech
37 Michigan
38 Purdue
39 Ole Miss
40 Texas Tech
41 Auburn
42 San Diego
43 Drake
44 Oregon

LSU, Dartmouth, and TCU were the last 3 out and the only reason Oregon got in was because Alabama had a losing record.

NC said...

The NCAA committee doesn't necessarily just go down the ITA rankings for selections. The rankings provide a guideline for the committee. For example, head-to-head is part of the criteria, so Oregon could have actually been selected ahead of Drake since they beat them even if Oregon finished ranked a spot below them.

Jason said...

Crazy that neither the #1 nor #2 seed won their conference tournament on the men's side.

Big picture said...

I am confused by comments on seeding. UCLA and USC were 2-2 with each other. UCLA won most recent, but USC beat them just a few days before. Call that even. But UCLA lost to Baylor. The top seeds had better/stronger seasons, they aren't evaluating ranking/seeding because of one match.

College Fan said...

In 2005, UCLA won the title as the #6 team in the rankings and the #7 seed in the tournament.

They were finally healthy by tournament time and defeated the defending champs, a powerful Baylor team in the finals.

A similar scenario is possible this year.

college observer said...

In the end there's so much parity amongst the top 8 that it's really anyone's trophy to take.

To the people commenting on UCLA's seed: strength of schedule hurt them, a high % of their wins came against a bunch of weaker, local california schools - D3 Claremont Mudd Scripps, Loyola Marymount, UC San Diego, UC Irvine, St. Mary's

on the flip side, they had the highest # of top5 wins out of any team at 4 (USCx2, virginia, oklahoma), and second-highest (to virginia) # of top5 losses at 3 (USCx2, baylor)

the computer said...

college observer,

UCLA's matches against the smaller, local CA schools had little impact on their ranking/seeding.

At this stage, the computer only considers your 9 best wins and, to a minor extent, your losses.

Any other matches are irrelevant for ranking purposes.

russ said...

I think what college observer was getting at was that instead of playing matches against those lesser teams they should have scheduled more matches against higher ranked teams, thus allowing the nine wins to be of higher quality.