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Jacob Myers | NCAA.com | November 15, 2018

These NCAA volleyball teams were ranked high in RPI yet didn’t make the tournament

Jamie Schwaberow | NCAA Photos ncaa-womens-volleyball-tournament Teams as high as 37th in RPI have not made the NCAA volleyball tournament since 2010.

The RPI ranking is just one of several criteria the selection committee considers when choosing and seeding teams for the NCAA Division I women’s volleyball tournament.

As fans try to evaluate which teams will head to the tournament and which ones will stay home in the coming weeks before the selection show on Nov. 25, we looked at every tournament field since 2010 to determine just how high a team can be ranked in RPI and still not make the tournament.

Below is a list of the four teams in each year — from 2010 through 2017 — that ranked highest in RPI but didn’t make the field of 64. The biggest takeaway from this list is that if a team is in the top-40, there’s a strong likelihood that team will be selected for the tournament, as only two teams ranked in the top-40 missed the tournament — and one had a losing record.

The average RPI ranking for the top four teams that missed the tournament since 2010 is between 47th and 48th, so you can assume that if a team is at least a couple spots ahead of that benchmark, there’s a good chance it will be playing at least one more game.

MORE: Teams from these conferences are most likely to bust your NCAA volleyball bracket

It’s also important to note that a lot of these numbers are dependent on automatic bids. There were several automatic bids since 2010 that were in the top 50 of RPI, but it’s debatable whether those teams would have made it had they not won their conference or conference tournament.

Here are a few other trends that jumped out at us.

  • Illinois and Tulsa were the only teams that were inside the top-40 and missed the NCAA tournament. But it was a little surprising to see that even if a team is 45th or better in RPI, there were only 10 cases since 2010 where that team was left out.
  • Several of the teams with high RPIs that didn’t make the tournament came from conferences that don’t have a lot of ranked teams. Again, strength of schedule is a factor in the committee’s decisions.
  • The most stark difference in RPI between a team that missed the tournament and one that made it came in 2015. Baylor, Boise State and Wyoming each missed the NCAA tournament with RPI rankings of 42nd, 43rd and 44th. Michigan State made the tournament and was 54th in RPI.
  • Of the eight teams on the list from the Big Ten, Big 12 or Pac-12, four of them had records of .500 or under .500. The four other teams above .500 had at least four more losses than wins in conference play.

RELATED: How low can a team be ranked in RPI and still make the NCAA volleyball tournament?

Year Team Conference RPI Record
2012 Illinois Big Ten 37th 14-16 (8-12)
2013 Tulsa C-USA 37th 24-7 (13-3)
2014 Southern Methodist American 42nd 26-6 (15-5)
2015 Baylor Big 12 42nd 17-13 (5-11)
2013 Butler Big East 43rd 23-8 (11-6)
2015 Boise State Mountain West 43rd 23-7 (15-3)
2014 Ohio MAC 44th 23-6 (16-1)
2015 Wyoming Mountain West 44th 23-7 (13-5)
2017 Ohio State Big Ten 44th 15-16 (8-12)
2014 Cal State Northridge Big West 45th 19-9 (10-6)
2010 Southern Methodist C-USA 47th 25-6 (17-3)
2011 Kansas Big 12 47th 14-14 (3-13)
2013 UCLA Pac-12 47th 15-15 (6-14)
2016 Temple American 47th 22-8 (15-5)
2017 North Texas C-USA 47th 29-4 (13-1)
2010 Marquette Big East 48th 23-9 (12-4)
2010 Pepperdine WCC 49th 20-8 (11-3)
2014 Pacific WCC 49th 24-7 (13-5)
2016 Georgia Tech ACC 49th 24-8 (15-5)
2010 Western Michigan MAC 50th 22-10 (12-5)
2012 Arizona Pac-12 50th 16-15 (8-12)
2013 Ohio State Big Ten 50th 18-14 (6-14)
2017 Iowa Big Ten 50th 18-15 (7-13)
2011 Ohio MAC 51st 23-10 (14-4)
2012 Xavier A-10 51st 21-11 (12-4)
2017 Dayton A-10 51st 23-8 (13-1)
2011 North Dakota Great West 52nd 24-5 (10-2)
2012 Ohio MAC 52nd 21-10 (15-3)
2011 UC Santa Barbara Big West 53rd 19-12 (11-5)
2015 Long Beach State Big West 53rd 25-6 (15-3)
2016 Alabama SEC 53rd 20-11 (9-9)
2016 Cal Poly Big West 54th 18-9 (11-5)

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