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
With UVA currently sitting 27th, how their opponents have performed so far this season is the most critical barometer for how the non-conference schedule will look come March.
Let’s start with the good news: UVA picked up a legit Quad 1 win against Texas A&M this past Wednesday, and their loss to Wisconsin also fits into the Quad 1 section. Losing is never good, but keeping the losses contained to Quad 1 and sometimes Quad 2 is how to avoid dramatic drops in the Net Ranking.
The slightly bad news is that UVA’s Florida win is currently sitting as a Quad 2 win with it being a neutral site game and the Gators coming in at 65. That will be one to watch as the season progresses with Florida’s potential improvement benefitting Virginia down the line. But, so far, to be 2-1 in the top two quads and to avoid any bad losses is a good start to the season even if the Wisconsin defeat was lopsided.
Where things could have gotten really ugly is if UVA hadn’t pulled out the two-point win over West Virginia in Fort Myers. If the ‘Hoos had lost that one, that would’ve been a Quad 4 loss and a result that would’ve stuck with them for the entire season. That’s where losing to Wisconsin arguably hurt the most; if UVA could’ve played SMU (#84) instead of WVU they’d have another Quad 2 game (and theoretically a win). But all’s well that ends well.
Looking ahead, you’d expect some ACC teams to make jumps eventually. Duke, Miami, and North Carolina have all been AP Top-25 teams and while they’ve each taken some losses, there’s an expectation that they’ll round into form in conference play. Still, jeez Duke, maybe try winning games early in the season for once?
Otherwise, the ACC looks kinda gross again this season. Three Quad 4 conference games aren’t ideal, neither are five Quad 3s. For UVA to get favorable NCAA Tournament seeding, they’ll need to avoid losses across those eight games (which they did in the first of them vs Syracuse on Saturday).
All in all though, it’s been a solid start to the season thus far for a fairly new group of Wahoos. If they can avoid the really bad blemishes to their record (like WVU would’ve been), then they’re a team that can absolutely rack up some quality wins this regular season and put themselves in prime position for a run to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament.