29 games in the books and the ACC Tournament is upon us. The Virginia Cavaliers finished with 15 conference wins and tied for yet another ACC Regular Season title.
But all that is in the past now as the postseason has finally arrived. It’s time to set sights on a tournament title and bolster a postseason resume that could use a little more bolstering.
There is a path where UVA could pick up two more Quad 1 victories with wins over North Carolina and NC State, but those teams have to win themselves. Any other teams and while the game might be an easier win, it won’t help the Cavaliers’ NET sheet.
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 close wins against Louisville and Notre Dame and the road losses to Boston College and North Carolina caused a pretty precipitous drop for the Hoos from around the 14 spot in the NET Rankings to 30th currently.
A home win against Clemson helped in Quad 2, but beating Louisville helps nobody and likely hurts more than anything.
Here’s how UVA’s NET Report looks heading into the ACC Tournament:
UNC right now is 49th in the NET and Boston College is 162. A Tar Heel victory on Wednesday could move them up a little higher giving UVA some breathing room for another possible Quad 1 game on Thursday while a game against BC would surely be a Quad 3 game.
If UVA is able to advance to the semifinals, they could face a similar situation. Clemson, the 3 seed in Greensboro, is only 61st in the NET, while NC State is 41st and Virginia Tech is 70th. If the Hoos want to continue to pad their resume, they’ll need NC state to win their two games and make it to Friday. Clemson cannot likely jump 11+ spots from one victory, and a Quad 2 game would not be nearly as beneficial.
Most project UVA as either a low 4 seed or a high 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament. If the Hoos want to move up in the 4 seeds and play next weekend in Greensboro again, they could help themselves out a lot by winning at least two games this weekend and hope that both are Quad 1 opponents.