2021 W. NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships: Final Psych vs. Actual Scoring

2021 NCAA WOMEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Barry Revzin Contributed to this Report:

In a tough year for swimmers, as everybody around the world, the NCAA Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships have pushed through to the end, successfully completing a national champion meet with, at the least, minimal direct COVID disqualifications.

Outside of a few notable exceptions, like Maggie MacNeil’s 100 fly all-time best of 48.89, there were far more “not lifetime bests” than “lifetime bests” at this year’s meet, even as compared to normal years. There are lots of theories as to why, and those will be dissected in the coming weeks to learn, but there still comes a relative measure to how teams did compared to everyone else via the “change in points” metrics.

A few teams really stood out ahead of the field in this regard. Among those are the champions Virginia, who picked up 16.5 points versus seed. That’s not the largest positive number, but to enter a meet as the team seeded to score the most, and still pick up points versus seed, is hard to do – and that showed by Virginia’s astounding margin of victory of 137 points.

A lot of those points came as the result of an Alex Walsh under-seed in the 200 free (she didn’t swim that race at ACCs), where it was clear she’d move up. But, to pick up points on net, even with just the one relay win, is a good result for the Cavaliers.

Further down the ranks, the UNC women, who finished 12th, picked up a whopping 71 swimming points versus seed. There were high hopes for the Tar Heel faithful that Mark Gangloff would revive a struggling program, and he’s done that faster than most expected.

At the 2019 National Championships, the last before Gangloff was hired, the UNC women were 42nd with just 2 points. This year, they jumped all the way to 12th with 144 points (a lot of which were from freshman diver Aranza Vazquez).

For UNC to do that well, especially after a disastrous ACC Championship where a number of their best swimmers were left home as part of COVID contact-tracing protocols, was a great story of the meet. Specifically, Grace Countie, who did swim at ACCs, was +28 on her individual seeds – more than any other individual swimmer in the meet.

The Tennessee women, who have historically struggled at NCAAs versus seed, had a positive actual-vs-seed day on the final day of the meet and wound up +8 overall versus seed (This was wrong in the initial analysis). That’s a trend in the right direction for the Volunteers, who will enter next season with big expectations thanks to a wave of incoming All-America type transfers.

The Louisville women, historically among the best teams in this classification, continued to build that reputation with a +53.5 score vs. seed, which was second-best behind only North Carolina. More superlatives for the ACC, which had the top two teams in the final standings.

Two other things that jump out:

  • The top 10 finish order would’ve been the same with or without diving, and
  • Cal’s relay DQ, where they touched the wall as the 3rd-fastest team, didn’t ultimately hurt them in team scoring. They were 55 points behind Texas at the final whistle, and that relay only cost them 32 points.

Below, see which teams made up the most on seed on day 4, and then for the meet in totality.

Correction: Our initial parse of the data inadvertently had an error when scoring the 200 medley relay tie on Friday. Updated data is below.

Day 4 Data

Rank school Psych Day 4 Finals Day 4 Seed vs. Actual Day 4 Full Meet Seed vs. Actual
1 Virginia 130.5 147 16.5 15.5
2 NC State 103 113 10 -21
3 Texas 97 94.5 -2.5 -44
4 California 102 80 -22 -65
5 Alabama 107 111 4 -26.5
6 Michigan 88 97 9 27.5
7 Ohio St 30 38 8 40.5
8 Georgia 106 66 -40 -70
9 Stanford 19 16 -3 -13
10 Tennessee 58 63 5 8
11 Kentucky 65 38 -27 -36.5
12 UNC 3 17 14 71
12 Louisville 13 27 14 53.5
14 Texas A&M 19 43.5 24.5 31.5
15 Indiana 4 19 15 33
16 Northwestern 15 32 17 37
17 Florida 20.5 10 -10.5 -25
18 Missouri 26 0 -26 -39
19 Wisconsin 14 22 8 30
20 Purdue 0 0 0 0
21 Virginia Tech 11 27 16 17
22 Southern Cali 30 0 -30 -30
23 Miami 0 0 0 0
23 Minnesota 0 0 0 0
23 Arizona 0 0 0 1.5
23 Nebraska 0 0 0 4
27 Arkansas 13 5 -8 -19
28 Georgia Tech 0 0 0 0
29 Notre Dame 0 8 8 11
30 Houston 0 3 3 9
31 LSU 0 0 0 0
32 FGCU 0 6 6 6
33 San Diego St 0 0 0 3
33 Duke 0 0 0 2
33 Wyoming 0 0 0 0
33 Akron 0 0 0 3
37 U.S. Navy 9 1 -8 -8
38 Oakland 0 1 1 1
39 UCLA 0 0 0 -6
40 Utah 2 0 -2 -2

Full Meet Psych vs. Seed Data

Rank School Psych Scoring Day 1 Seed vs. Actual Day 2 Seed vs. Actual Day 3 Seed vs. Actual Day 4 Seed vs. Actual Total Seed vs. Actual Swimming Points Diving Points Total Score
1 Virginia 475.5 0 -13.5 12.5 16.5 15.5 491 0 491
2 NC State 375 -30 1 -2 10 -21 354 0 354
3 Texas 334.5 -2 -6 -33.5 -2.5 -44 290.5 54 344.5
4 California 355 -2 -20 -21 -22 -65 290 0 290
5 Alabama 292.5 8 -26.5 -12 4 -26.5 266 0 266
6 Michigan 197 0 9 9.5 9 27.5 224.5 0 224.5
7 Ohio St 171 20 2.5 10 8 40.5 211.5 4 215.5
8 Georgia 251 6 -28 -8 -40 -70 181 0 181
9 Stanford 169 -4 -5 -1 -3 -13 156 3 159
10 Tennessee 145 -10 8 5 5 8 153 0 153
11 Kentucky 182.5 6 9 -24.5 -27 -36.5 146 6 152
12 UNC 26 0 38 19 14 71 97 47 144
13 Louisville 54.5 2 46 -8.5 14 53.5 108 0 108
14 Texas A&M 48 2 1 4 24.5 31.5 79.5 28 107.5
15 Indiana 23 2 -4 20 15 33 56 46 102
16 Northwestern 59 0 0 20 17 37 96 0 96
17 Florida 98.5 -6 -13.5 5 -10.5 -25 73.5 11 84.5
18 Missouri 118 0 -3 -10 -26 -39 79 0 79
19 Wisconsin 31 8 9 5 8 30 61 0 61
20 Purdue 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 56 56
20 Virginia Tech 38 0 0 1 16 17 55 0 55
22 Southern Cali 69 0 -2 2 -30 -30 39 12 51
23 Miami 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 42 42
23 Minnesota 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 40 40
23 Arizona 1 0 0 1.5 0 1.5 2.5 32 34.5
26 Nebraska 7 0 3 1 0 4 11 22 33
27 Arkansas 24 0 -9 -2 -8 -19 5 21 26
28 Georgia Tech 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 24 24
28 Notre Dame 0 0 0 3 8 11 11 1 12
30 Houston 0 0 1 5 3 9 9 0 9
31 LSU 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 9
31 FGCU 0 0 0 0 6 6 6 0 6
31 San Diego St 3 0 0 3 0 3 6 0 6
31 Duke 0 0 0 2 0 2 2 3 5
31 Wyoming 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 4
36 Akron 0 0 3 0 0 3 3 0 3
37 U.S. Navy 9 0 0 0 -8 -8 1 0 1
37 Oakland 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 1
37 UCLA 6 0 0 -6 0 -6 0 0 0
37 Utah 2 0 0 0 -2 -2 0 0 0

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swimswamswum
1 year ago

Definitely a way more challenging analysis but would be very interested in the % of swims where swimmers improved from seed by team and also compare to past years. For example, dunking on Texas for adding at NCAAs has been a favorite past time of these comments but to me none of their swims were that massive of gains (other than Bray had a rough day 2) especially compared to what other teams were adding this meet.

Speculating
1 year ago

So impressive for UVA. And finishing just under 500 will be motivating for them next year.

Swimmer
1 year ago

Texas beats Cal by one point with diving Interesting that nearly half of IU points were diving.

Swimmer
1 year ago

The lady horns could have used some Eddie taper magic. Ouch.

Coach
Reply to  Swimmer
1 year ago

Lame statement.

Ghost
1 year ago

Your numbers don’t always add up or I am doing it wrong!?!?

Concerned
1 year ago

Ouch. -70 UGA. Jack on the hot seat??

Swimmer
Reply to  Concerned
1 year ago

Gary Taylor is more likely on the hot seat. Zero points is unacceptable then again Florida scored zero points several years ago.

Former auburn swimmer
Reply to  Swimmer
1 year ago

Gary needs to resign before they fire him

Ghost
Reply to  Concerned
1 year ago

Doubt it is hot seat for Jack, but certainly not a good week for the ladies!!! Men “should” be better….men are talented and way deeper. 3-4th is my guess.

Oldmanswimmer
1 year ago

It’s worth a mention that Michigan moved up on seed even though their relays were devastated by the loss of their #2 sprinter. With her they might have been up 50 or more because of relays. I believe NC State could have been helped as well by their lost sprinter.

Bevo
Reply to  Oldmanswimmer
1 year ago

One of the most interesting stories in the top 10 this year was the hit Michigan took with a full department lock down. Imagine taking the pool away within weeks of the championships. It’s not like you could go out and play sandlot ball or driveway hoops. I would love to hear how Coach B and his staff handled that. It certainly didn’t hurt the 100 fly champion. Well done to all of teams who took us to the finish with them, and with no Covid impacts from what we could assume. Just a great job by the Greenville committee who put this together.

Scarlet
1 year ago

Ohio State +40! So proud of my Buckeyes! Congrats on earning your highest finish in program history!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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