The NCAA Division I women’s volleyball selection committee revealed its Top 10 teams through Oct. 31 in a Sunday announcement.
ICYMI: Undefeated @BYUwvolleyball holds top spot in #NCAAVB committee's top 10
📰 https://t.co/pIrOvjNaOc pic.twitter.com/FwewoIAFKa
— NCAA Volleyball (@NCAAVolleyball) November 5, 2018
Compared to this Week’s RPI Listing
Of the 10 teams announced, seven are among the Top 10 in RPI as well:
- BYU (23-0) – RPI #3
- Stanford (22-1) – RPI #1
- Minnesota (20-2) – RPI #4
- Illinois (22-3) – RPI #2
- Wisconsin (16-6) – RPI #7
- Texas (15-4) – RPI #5
- USC (18-7) – RPI #6
Landing outside the Top 10 in RPI are three NCAA Tournament mainstays, including defending champion Nebraska. Seven-time champion Penn State checks in at #17 in RPI, while the Huskers are #14. Defending Big East champion Creighton (22-4), which advanced to the second round in 2017, is RPI #16.
Compared to the 2017 Seeds
Of the 10 teams, eight were among the top 16 seeds in the 2017 NCAA Tournament. At-large bids Wisconsin and Illinois, which ended up in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight respectively were the exceptions.
The 2017 seeds/results were:
- #1 Penn State – Final Four
- #3 Stanford – Final Four
- #5 Nebraska – National Champions
- #6 Texas – Elite Eight
- #7 Minnesota – Sweet 16
- #9 Creighton – 2nd Round
- #10 USC – Elite Eight
- #13 BYU – Sweet 16
Three members of the group are returning members of the National Semifinal field – Stanford, Nebraska and Penn State.
Potential Automatic Bids/Conference Champions
Thirty-one teams receive automatic bids as their respective conference champion or conference tournament champion.
Here’s a quick look at which of the 10 are likely to sew up those spots as only one of the five Big Ten teams and one of the two Pac-12 schools can receive an automatic berth and neither league plays a postseason conference tournament.
- BYU – West Coast Conference: The Cougars are currently atop the standings at 13-0, three games up on second place San Diego (10-3) with two and a half weeks remaining in the regular season.
- Creighton – Big East: The Bluejays (14-0) can clinch a fifth-straight regular season title with wins over Georgetown and Villanova this weekend, but the Big East plays a postseason tournament where anything can happen. As the likely No. 1 seed in the event and as its host team, Creighton has to be the favorite.
- Minnesota – Big Ten: The Golden Gophers (14-0) are three games up on second place Illinois in the Big Ten. It is unlikely that anyone can catch the Gophers with only two ranked teams remaining on their schedule (Purdue on Nov. 10 and Penn State on Nov. 23), although Minnesota does play its final four matches on the road.
- Stanford – Pac-12: The Cardinal (14-0) is four games up on second place USC (10-4) with three weeks remaining. Stanford has three ranked teams left on its slate (Oregon on Nov. 8, Washington State on Nov. 16 and Washington on Nov. 18), with the latter two coming on the road next weekend.
- Texas – Big 12: The Longhorns (10-1) boast a two-game lead on Kansas, which handed the team its lone conference loss of the year. The top two teams will tangle on Saturday in Austin. Texas also still has to play RPI #19 Baylor among its final five contests.