2018 Women’s NCAA Championships: How Did Our Power Rankings Hold Up?


With the 2018 NCAA D1 Women’s Championships wrapping up Saturday night, let’s take a look at how SwimSwam’s power rankings compare to the actual finish.

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Overall, we fared pretty well. Only a few differences stand out:

  • We underestimated Minnesota, especially on diving. Sophomore Sarah Bacon won the 1-meter board, and took 8th on the 3-meter. Sophomore Kristen Hayden also took 12th on the 3-meter board. Hayden also took 11th in platform diving, and junior Morgan Justus took 12th. Minnesota scored right-at their seeds in swimming (113.5 seeded, 110 scored), and 47 dive points pulled them into 10th for the 2nd-straight year.
  • We overestimated USC. Riley Scott missed finals in the 100 breast after entering the meet as the 6-seed; Maggie Aroesty entered the meet 12th in the event and also missed finals. Marta Ciesla also did not score in the 50 free after entering the meet as the 15-seed.
  • We had Tennessee picked for 6th, which might have happened if not for relay DQ and Erika Brown’s miss-swim.
  • UNC, who we had predicted to finish 19th, finished 25th. They scored 25 of their 32 total points on day 1, thanks to their sprint group, including an 8th-place finish for Caroline Baldwin in the 50 free.
  • Aside from UNC, we had the right teams in the top 20, in some order (Arizona and South Carolina tied for 20th). USC’s drop and Minnesota’s rise were the only positions where we missed by more than 2 spots.

Points generally lined out differently from last year. Because Stanford scored so high, as did the rest of the top 4, a lot of mid-range scores got a higher placement than they would have with same points last year. For reference, the top 4 teams last year scored 1437.5, while this year they scored 1532.

Place Actual Finish Rise/Drop vs. Predicted Our Final Power Ranking
1 Stanford – 593 0 Stanford
2 Cal – 373 0 Cal
3 Texas A&M – 299 0 Texas A&M
4 Michigan – 267 0 Michigan
5 Louisville – 232 0 Louisville
6 Texas – 221.5 2 Tennessee
7 Tennessee – 180.5 -1 USC
8 Indiana – 169 1 Texas
9 Virginia – 161 2 Indiana
10 Minnesota – 157 5 Georgia
11 Georgia – 135 -1 Virginia
12 USC – 127 -5 Kentucky
13 Ohio State – 123 0 Ohio State
14 Kentucky – 97 -2 Missouri
15 Missouri – 86 -1 Minnesota
16 Auburn – 82.5 0 Auburn
17 Wisconsin – 78 1 NC State
18 NC State – 70 -1 Wisconsin
19 Purdue – 51 1 UNC
20 Arizona – 46 NR Purdue

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ACC fan
4 years ago

NC STATE would have been 15th without the relay DQ.

Reply to  ACC fan
4 years ago

Where would Tennessee have ended up?!?

Reply to  ACC fan
4 years ago

Wuffie tradition to false-start a relay at NCAAs

4 years ago

Ohio St. Please

Dilly dilly
4 years ago

UVa over performs again! Know time to look back when you are moving forward!Congrats to all the great swims this weekend

Reply to  Dilly dilly
4 years ago

Morgan Hill 1:44 200 free in the Dual meet against NC State, and 144 and 145 at ACC and NCAAs.

Dilly Dilly
Reply to  Fanny
4 years ago

Preseason UVA ranked 17th by SS moved to 9th by end of NCAA’s would be considered moving forward I think.

Reply to  Fanny
4 years ago

She hit the school record in the 100 free and PR’d in the 50 as well

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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