2017 WOMEN’S NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Wednesday, March 15 – Saturday, March 18
- IUPUI Natatorium – Indianapolis, IN
- Prelims 10AM/Finals 6PM (Eastern Time)
- Defending Champion: Georgia (results)
- Championship Central
- Psych Sheet
- Live stream: Wednesday/Thursday Prelims & Finals, Friday/Saturday Prelims / Friday/Saturday finals on ESPN3
- Live Results
With both NCAA Championships now in the rearview mirror, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game of “hindsight is 20/20.” We look back at our final team predictions to see who over- and underperformed our expectations.
When we published our final predictions, we split the teams into some relatively arbitrary tiers, with the idea that the teams in each tier had some commonalities and could fairly easily shuffle around within their tiers, though it would take a bigger performance to actually jump to the next tier of teams. That’s how we’ll break down the risers and fallers, showing which teams stayed within the places we had assigned to their tier and which teams jumped into a placing designated to a different tier.
These teams rose out of their tier:
- +8: Missouri Tigers (#21 to #13)
- +5: Kentucky Wildcats (#19 to #14)
- +4: Louisville Cardinals (#10 to #6)
- +4: Indiana Hoosiers (#12 to #8)
- +3: Minnesota Golden Gophers (#13 to #10)
- +3: Texas Longhorns (#8 to #5)
These teams rose within their tier:
- +2: Texas A&M Aggies (#5 to #3)
- +2: Auburn Tigers (#20 to #18)
Missouri was easily the most impressive team relative to our picks. The Tigers did get 18 diving points, but the big difference was Nadine Laemmler, who entered the meet seeded outside of scoring range in both her events, but wound up making the 100 back A final, then sneaking into the 200 back B final in 16th and finally winning that B final for 9th overall. That earned her 21 points over a projected zero. Mizzou’s medley relays also did extremely well relative to seed.
Kentucky almost doubled their points compared to seeds, with Asia Seidt doing a lot of the heavy lifting. It’s worth noting we had both Mizzou and Kentucky in a tier that emphasized potential relay points, and that’s where both programs did most of their ladder-climbing.
Mallory Comerford pulled off the upset some considered impossible in beating Simone Manuel and tying Katie Ledecky in the 200. She was also a relay beast as Louisville rose dramatically. We slept on Minnesota’s divers, who scored 95 points between the three of them, but we also didn’t account for a big meet from freshman Lindsey Horejsi, who about doubled her projected individual points.
Texas was a classic case of us relying too heavily on past years’ results. Since 2010, the Texas women had a very marked trend of gaining time at NCAAs. We noted in our final predictions that Texas’s tier had the best potential to rise, and Texas did just that, with almost every swimmer exceeding their seeded points and the team holding their 5th-place spot from the scored psych sheets.
Texas A&M‘s rise was half a great effort on their part to leapfrog Georgia and half the Aggies taking advantage of a flat USC showing after we picked USC #4.
These teams dropped outside of their tier:
- -5: USC Trojans (#4 to #9)
- -5: Virginia Cavaliers (#7 to #12)
- -5: Arizona Wildcats (#11 to #16)
- -5: Tennessee Volunteers (#17 to #22)
- -3: Ohio State Buckeyes (#16 to #19)
- -2: Michigan Wolverines (#9 to #11)
- -1: Wisconsin Badgers (#14 to #15
These teams dropped from our final tier (spots 22-25) outside of the top 25:
- -7: Arizona State Sun Devils (#22 to #29)
- -6: Virginia Tech H2Okies (#25 to #31)
- -4: Florida State Seminoles (#24 to #28)
These teams dropped within their tier:
- -2: UNC Tar Heels (#15 to #17)
- -2: UCLA Bruins (#18 to #20)
- -1: Georgia Bulldogs (#3 to #4)
- -1: NC State Wolfpack (#6 to #7)
- -1: UMBC Retrievers (#23 to #24)
USC struggled, with most swimmers failing to hold their seeded places. Riley Scott went from two top-8 breaststroke seeds to finishes of 14th and 16th. USC was always seeded a little high, sitting 3rd in our scored psych sheets, but we underestimated how high (plus we missed predicting great performances from Texas A&M and Texas).
Missing the scoring heat of the 200 medley relay hurt Virginia, especially with two DQs in the B final meaning any team that finished the race was guaranteed at least 6 points. Arizona was able to match their relay times from midseason, but didn’t improve them significantly, and the field went by them a bit.
Tennessee hit some unexpected adversity in star sprinter Maddy Banic being taken away in an ambulance midway through Friday finals. She slid down the ranks a little in her 50 free the night before and missed out on a scoring swim in the 100 fly with that medical situation. Tennessee also DQ’d a relay in a tough showing.
Outsiders In Top 25:
- #21: Northwestern Wildcats
- #23: Purdue Boilermakers
- #25: Miami (OH) Redhawks
Diving killed us on these three. We had no idea just how good Olivia Rosendahl (31 points and an NCAA title) would turn out to be for Northwestern. Purdue scored 29 of its 33 points on the boards. Miami scored all 29 points in diving with Pei Lin.
- #1: Stanford Cardinal
- #2: California Golden Bears
We’re not exactly breaking our arms patting ourselves on the back over these. Statistical analysis showed an almost 100% chance of a Stanford win and an almost 100% chance of a Cal 2nd-place finish. But we’ll take our wins where we can get them!