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NCAA Women 2014: Wrapping Up the Regionals

My Conference-Adjusted Combined Offensive-Defensive (CACOD) measure successfully predicted the winners of 11 out of 12 matches in the NCAA women's Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight.

Only in the Sweet Sixteen win by No. 14-seed Nebraska (CACOD = 1.72) over No. 3 Washington (2.23) did a team with a lower CACOD beat one with a higher one. Unseeded BYU (1.99) knocked off No. 6 Florida State (1.65), then followed up by topping Nebraska, sending the Cougars to the Final Four.

All three other regionals went exactly as the CACOD predicted, with No. 1 Stanford, No. 2 Texas, and No. 5 Penn State joining BYU in advancing to the Final Four.

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In a rematch of last year's national championship match, Penn State once again outlasted Wisconsin in four games (22-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-19; box score) to win the Louisville regional. One thing I examined from last year's final was how each team won its points (i.e., percent from kills, aces, blocks, opponent service errors, etc.). A natural compa…

2014 NCAA Women's Tourney Second Weekend

The women's NCAA Sweet Sixteen begins tonight. Here are the match-ups, showing teams' scores on my Conference-Adjusted Combined Offensive-Defensive (CACOD) ratings. The team with the higher CACOD in a given match would be favored to win.

Host SiteHigher-Seeded Team CACODLower-Seeded TeamCACODAmes, IowaStanford (1)2.24Oregon State1.34Ames, IowaFlorida (8)1.98Illinois (9)1.78LouisvillePenn State (5)3.09UCLA (12)1.47LouisvilleWisconsin (4)2.20Ohio State1.43SeattleWashington (3)2.23Nebraska (14)1.72SeattleFlorida State (6)1.65BYU1.99MinneapolisNorth Carolina (7)1.75Oregon (10)1.59MinneapolisTexas (2)2.29Colorado State (15)2.05
BYU would thus be the only lower-seeded team I would pick to win.

Preview of 2014 NCAA Women's Tourney

With play in the NCAA women's tournament bracket beginning tonight, I wanted to provide a few statistical tidbits in advance.

If there is one team whose players, coaches, and fans have a right to be upset with the seedings, it's Wisconsin. Last year's national runner-up to Penn State, the Badgers closed this season winning 19 straight matches and captured the Big 10 crown. But now, if Wisconsin is to get back to the Final Four, it will have to beat Penn State along the way, in the Elite Eight (barring an upset loss by the Nittany Lions in an earlier round).

As well as the Badgers have played this season (and the latter part of last season), Penn State has been Wisconsin's Kryptonite the past two years. In fact, PSU has won 12 of the 13 games it has played against Wisconsin in 2013 and 2014 (two 3-0 regular-season sweeps and a 3-1 win in the NCAA title match last year, and a 3-0 sweep in the teams' only meeting this year).

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As longtime readers of this blog are a…