Only three games remain in the regular season for the Virginia Cavaliers and they find themselves fighting to get back on the NCAA Tournament bubble.
Going 1-1 last week on the road was absolutely necessary and while a win over rival Virginia Tech would have been even better, a road win at Miami certainly helped their standing.
All of the remaining games are not must win, but winning all of them could help launch Tony Bennett’s squad onto the right side of the bubble heading to Brooklyn for the ACC Tournament.
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
Here’s what UVA’s NET Report looks like heading into the game on Wednesday night against Duke:
The Hoos’ three remaining games are across the Quads with one each in Quads 1, 2, and 3. The biggest obviously being Wednesday night’s home game against Duke. At 3-5 in Quad 1 games, UVA only trails Duke and Miami in the ACC in terms of Quad 1 victories, but the biggest blemish remains the three Quad 3 losses.
Though the Duke is not truly a “must win” game due to the opponent, the Louisville and Florida State games are if UVA has any hope of making the NCAA Tournament. Suffering a Quad 2 loss that could turn to a Quad 3 loss or another Quad 3 loss at home could be devastating for UVA’s postseason resume.
As for improving their resume in Brooklyn, UVA sits in 6th while tied for 5th with Wake. If games shake out the way they are predicted, UVA would finish in 5th and play the winner of Pitt-NC State in the second round with the winner playing UNC in the semifinals. Neither Pitt nor NC State will move the needle, and even though North Carolina is having a “meh” season, a win over UNC would be another Quad 1 win.
That’s in the coming weeks. For now, UVA needs to work another miracle and upset Duke at home Wednesday night for another resume boosting Quad 1 victory.