Eight games into the ACC conference slate and the Virginia Cavaliers are feeling pretty good after winning their last four and six of their last seven. A dominant performance against Virginia Tech on Wednesday night is cause for optimism as it seems the team is clicking correctly on both ends of the floor heading into a road game against a streaking Wake Forest Demon Deacon team.
A win on Saturday would give UVA another quality win as Wake Forest currently sits at 68 in the NET which would be a Quad 1 victory in the eyes of the NCAA Tournament selection committee.
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
Currently, UVA is 14th in the NET and the highest rated ACC team by 12 spots with Duke coming in at 26 and NC State at 27.
Here’s what UVA’s NET Report looks like before the big road game in Winston-Salem on Saturday:
The good news is UVA doesn’t have any losses outside of the first quadrant, but a losing record in Quad 1 is not something a team with Final Four aspirations should necessarily have.
The biggest reason for UVA at under .500 in Quad 1 is Michigan. The Wolverines have looked great at times and awful in others making them hover around the 75 number, flip flopping between a Quad 1 win and a Quad 2 win.
With the return of Hunter Cattoor, Virginia Tech should be able to rebound and improve their stock solidifying next month’s game in Blacksburg as another crucial Quad 1 game.
The biggest issue for UVA, and the rest of the ACC, is the abysmal ratings of BC, FSU, Louisville, and to a lesser extent, Notre Dame. Other than ND, the other three are 200+ in the NET and a conference loss to one of them could torpedo an NCAA Tournament resume. UVA obviously needs to avoid losses to those teams at all costs.