Though the Virginia Cavaliers are just two games into the regular season, most prognostications have the Hoos challenging for the ACC crown and firmly in the NCAA Tournament, so it is never too early to look at the future resume.
As a refresher, when the NCAA Tournament committee convenes to set the NCAA Tournament bracket, they use the “NET” rankings to determine who receives the at large bids and seed lines. A team’s NET ranking is comprised of a formula with a whole host of computer numbers incorporated (KenPom, RPI, etc.) and the team’s schedule and results from that year make up the team’s NET Report.
The NET Report is broken up into four “Quadrants.” Quad 1 shows the results of the team’s games at home vs teams ranked 1-30, neutral court games against 1-50, and away games against 1-75. Here’s how the Quads break down:
Quad 1: Home 1-30, Neutral 1-50, Away 1-75
Quad 2: Home: 31-75, Neutral 51-100, Away 76-135
Quad 3: Home 76-160, Neutral 101-200, Away 136-240
Quad 4: Home 161-357, Neutral 201-357, Away 241-357
The official NET Rankings from the NCAA typically come out at the end of November since most teams will have more data points for rankings. Since the official rankings haven’t come out yet, for this exercise, Kenpom’s rankings were used since it is more of a predictive metric.
Here’s what UVA’s NET Report (using KP’s rankings) looks like leading into their game against Baylor on Friday:
Even though the ACC has struggled mightily to begin the year (looking at you Florida State, Louisville, and Boston College), Kenpom still has some favorable ranking numbers for ACC teams. That’s due in large part to most of the numbers used being carry over numbers from the years before. We can likely expect an influx of Quad 3 games after Louisville and BC’s numbers catch up.
Right now, doing well with this schedule would result in UVA having a plethora of Quad 1 and Quad 2 wins which would be favorable in the eyes of the selection committee. Early season games against Houston, Baylor, and either UCLA or Illinois give the Hoos key opportunities to rack up some Quad 1 victories.
To make this schedule even better, right now UVA would only play 8 Quad 3 or Quad 4 games. Compare that to last year’s team that ended up in the NIT that played 14 such games and ended up losing three Quad 3 games.
A lot of that will depend on the bottom of the ACC playing better and that could be a bridge too far this year.