The 2023 Women’s NCAA Championships was an incredibly exciting competition that featured numerous records falling by the wayside and a historically dominant performance by Kate Douglass, who finished off her collegiate career on a high by leading the Virginia Cavaliers to a third consecutive team title.
UVA winning the championship banner came as expected, as did the general hierarchy in the team standings. There were no major surprises inside the top nine, though there were some teams that performed better than expected and some that underperformed.
Below, find the top 25 teams from the championships alongside SwimSwam’s final edition of the Power Rankings, as we take a look at what we got right, what we got wrong, and what we got really wrong.
2022-23 Women’s NCAA Power Rankings
WOMEN’S NCAA RESULTS VERSUS SWIMSWAM PICKS (TOP 25)
|ACTUAL FINISH||TEAM||SS FINAL POWER RANKING||DIFFERENCE|
|5||NC State Wolfpack||4||↓1|
|6||Ohio State Buckeyes||6||–|
|10||UNC Tar Heels||15||↑5|
|11||Cal Golden Bears||9||↓2|
|14||Alabama Crimson Tide||11||↓3|
|17||Minnesota Golden Gophers||NR||+|
|20||Virginia Tech Hokies||23||↑3|
|21||Duke Blue Devils||18||↓3|
|22||Miami (FL) Hurricanes||21||↓1|
|25||Texas A&M Aggies||22||↓3|
WHAT WE GOT RIGHT
The top three went as expected. Last year we picked Stanford to place second ahead of Texas, but the Longhorns upended the Cardinal with a strong diving performance and placed second.
With a revamped swimming roster this season, along with Stanford’s notable loss of Regan Smith, Texas became the favorite for the runner-up spot in 2023 and that came to fruition, as the Longhorns outscored the Cardinal by 81.5 points to repeat as the #2 team behind Virginia.
In addition to the top three, we also correctly predicted Ohio State in sixth, USC in 12th, LSU in 13th and Kentucky in 19th, though the teams surrounding them shifted spots.
WHAT WE GOT WRONG – TOP 10
Inside the top six, the only change in the results compared to our picks was Louisville jumping past NC State for fourth.
The Cardinals trailed the Wolfpack by 7.5 points coming out of the 200 backstroke on the final night of competition, but went on to outscore them by 30.5 points, 48.5-18, across the 100 free, 200 fly, 200 breast and platform diving.
Louisville was led by junior Gabi Albiero, who finished top-five in all of her individual events to score 44.5 points, while they also got 22 diving points from Else Praasterink. They ended up edging out NC State by 25 points.
NC State scored 52 fewer points than they were seeded to, while Louisville was nearly right on their projection (-1.5).
Indiana also finished one spot higher than we predicted in seventh, and Tennessee moved up two spots from our rankings into eighth. Florida, coming off winning the SEC title, dropped from seventh to ninth, and Cal ended up 11th after we picked them ninth.
The Hoosiers outscored their psych sheet projection by 47 points, the most of any team other than Virginia (66.5), while Florida actually performed exactly as they were seeded to.
The team that outperformed our prediction the most inside the top 15 was UNC, as the Tar Heels secured a 10th-place finish with 152 points after we picked them 15th.
UNC earned 47 diving points from Aranza Vazquez Montano, which ranks second among teams in the top 15, and they also had four individual swimmers score and added 66 relay points.
The team with the most diving points was Arizona, all coming from Delaney Schnell, which placed them 18th overall, six spots higher than we predicted.
Michigan dropped six spots from our prediction, only receiving nine individual swimming points, while Virginia Tech performed better than expected and Duke and Texas A&M both dropped.
The Wolverines went -31 compared to their psych sheet points, while VT was +23. Wisconsin, which ended up 15th after we picked them 16th, also had an impressive performance going +30 in the pool.
MOVING UP & MOVING OUT
The only teams we incorrectly picked in the top 25 were Auburn (picked 20th) and Arkansas (25th).
The Tigers ended up 30th with 14 points, 12 back of 25th-place Texas A&M, and the Razorbacks were 28th with 18 points. Neither team underperformed relative to seed too much—Auburn was -2, while Arkansas was +6—but other teams had unexpected names step up and score.
The two teams that moved into the top 25 that we didn’t predict were Minnesota and Purdue.
The Golden Gophers scored 53 points, 40 of which came in diving, while all of Purdue’s 32 points were on the boards. We clearly underestimated Minnesota’s diving duo of Joy Zhu and Viviana Del Angel, along with Purdue’s trio of Maycey Vieta, Sophia McAfee and Maggie Merriman.
|Team||Total||Individual Swimming Points||Relay Points||Diving Points||Scoring Individual Count||Scoring Relay Count||Scoring Diving Count|
I wonder what the ranking would be if diving was separate. Just curious
Arizona would have had their worst finish. Not surprising based on the hire and consistent issues with their staff. It has been the quickest landslide in the modern swimming era. When is it enough?