Seed Vs. Performance: Day 2 of NCAAs Sees Dramatic Swings of Momentum

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 6

March 18th, 2021 News

2021 NCAA WOMEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

2021 won’t go down as the fastest NCAA Championship meet ever, and after a Cal relay DQ, it appears that the team title battle isn’t going to be in question, barring a disaster for the Virginia Cavaliers.

But there have been some fun races, capped off by the fastest-ever 400 medley relay from NC State, and a nice moment for senior Julia Poole (who in her words, ‘wasn’t supposed to be on this relay’), with a new NCAA Record.

While Virginia looks ready to win the team title, there are great team battles brewing for the minor positions at the meet. That includes NC State, a team battling back from a pointless 800 free relay to open the meet, that now sits in 2nd.

Here’s the data. More analysis after the jump.

ACTUAL TEAM SCORES (THROUGH Day 2/400 MEDLEY RELAY)

  1. Virginia 184
  2. NC State 124
  3. Texas 119
  4. California 114
  5. Ohio St 101.5
  6. Alabama 90
  7. Georgia 85
  8. Stanford 84
  9. Michigan 78
  10. Kentucky 65
  11. Louisville 62
  12. UNC 61
  13. Mizzou 55
  14. Florida 53.5
  15. Tennessee 51
  16. Indiana/Texas A&M 30
  17. Northwestern 28
  18. Wisconsin 23
  19. USC 21
  20. Minnesota/Miami 20
  21. Arkansas 16
  22. Arizona 15
  23. Virginia Tech 11
  24. Nebraska/Akron 3
  25. Duke 2
  26. Houston 1

Day 2 Performance vs. Psych

school Swimming Points – Days 1 & 2 Day 2 Seed Day 2 Score Score vs. Seed – Day 2 Only Score vs. Seed – Day 1 & 2 Diving Points
Virginia 184 157.5 144 -13.5 -13.5 0
NC State 124 123 124 1 -29 0
California 114 102 82 -20 -22 0
Texas 105 81 75 -6 -8 14
Ohio St 100 74 76 2 22 1
Alabama 90 90.5 64 -26.5 -18.5 0
Georgia 85 85 57 -28 -22 0
Stanford 84 67 62 -5 -9 0
Michigan 78 55 64 9 9 0
Louisville 62 12 58 46 48 0
Kentucky 59 16 25 9 15 6
Missouri 55 58 55 -3 -3 0
Tennessee 51 41 49 8 -2 0
Florida 46.5 42 28.5 -13.5 -19.5 7
UNC 44 6 44 38 38 17
Northwestern 28 28 28 0 0 0
Wisconsin 23 6 15 9 17 0
Southern Cali 18 20 18 -2 -2 3
Texas A&M 14 3 4 1 3 0
Indiana 12 4 0 -4 -2 18
Virginia Tech 11 5 5 0 0 0
Nebraska 3 0 3 3 3 0
Akron 3 0 3 3 3 0
Houston 1 0 1 1 1 0
Arkansas 0 9 0 -9 -9 16
Arizona 0 0 0 0 0 15
U.S. Navy 0 0 0 0 0 0
UCLA 0 0 0 0 0 0
San Diego St 0 0 0 0 0 0
Utah 0 0 0 0 0 0
Minnesota 0 0 0 0 0 20
Miami 0 0 0 0 0 20
Duke 0 0 0 0 0 2

Day 1 & 2 Actual + Day 3 & 4 Seed

School Swimming Points After Day 2 Diving Points Day 1&2 Actual + 3&4 Seed Day 1 & 2 Seed vs. Actual (Swim Only)
Virginia 184 0 462 -13.5
NC State 124 0 346 -29
California 114 0 333 -22
Texas 105 14 340.5 -8
Ohio St 100 1 194 22
Alabama 90 0 274 -18.5
Georgia 85 0 229 -22
Stanford 84 0 160 -9
Michigan 78 0 206 9
Louisville 62 0 102.5 48
Kentucky 59 6 203.5 15
Missouri 55 0 115 -3
Tennessee 51 0 143 -2
Florida 46.5 7 86 -19.5
UNC 44 17 81 38
Northwestern 28 0 59 0
Wisconsin 23 0 48 17
Southern Cali 18 3 70 -2
Texas A&M 14 0 51 3
Indiana 12 18 39 -2
Virginia Tech 11 0 38 0
Nebraska 3 0 10 3
Akron 3 0 3 3
Houston 1 0 1 1
Arkansas 0 16 31 -9
Arizona 0 15 16 0
U.S. Navy 0 0 9 0
UCLA 0 0 6 0
San Diego St 0 0 3 0
Utah 0 0 2 0
Minnesota 0 20 20 0
Miami 0 20 20 0
Duke 0 2 2 0

Breakdown

NC State took over 2nd place thanks their session-ending relay win, and now they and the Cal Bears are separated by just 10 points after each had an ’empty’ relay (NC State didn’t score in the 800, though that was a function of their lineup choice rather than a DQ).

Squarely in between them are the Texas Longhorns, with the best diver of the trio.

Aside from the DQ, none of those three teams are blowing away their seeded points, but none are getting beat up too bad by their seeded points either. Each team had a highlight on day 2 (Cal and NC State each won relays, Texas’ Evie Pfeiffer picked off Brooke Forde to place 2nd in the 500 free), and each team missed some opportunities to take control.

It’s going to come down to the wire between those three. We’ll get some more crucial data on day 3, but after the relay swim from Sophie Hansson, the Wolfpack look really great. Izzy Ivey has a tough double with the 100 fly and 100 back scheduled for Friday, and she’ll need to upset some swimmers to keep Cal in the hunt for 2nd.

In the lower ranks, there are some really fun battles to be had. Kentucky, currently ranked 10th and consistently moving up versus seed, should have big swims the last 2 days. The spoiler team is Louisville. They were only seeded to score 14 points through the first 2 days of competition and that number has already bloomed into a whopping 62 points. If they were to keep that pace up for the rest of the meet, it would put them at around 240 points and they would become serious spoiler contenders for a top 5 placement after being seeded just 16th coming into the meet.

There are opportunities. While the opportunities to catch Virginia have all-but-evaporated, there are smaller opportunities all around the last 2 days of this meet – owed in part to an overall lag in times (very few personal bests have gone on the board). If any team, like a Louisville, catches fire, they have the opportunity to move up in a hurry.

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Hannah
2 months ago

Louisville consistently outperforms their seed at NCAAs. They arguably have the most consistent NCAA taper of any team. It’s how they place so high with only a couple stars.

Cards!!!
Reply to  Hannah
2 months ago

100% Cards don’t mess around

Bevo
2 months ago

Terrific analysis, thanks. This has to be one of the most interesting years ever to watch this meet unfold. Prelim swims and relay finals get more interesting every day.

Beth Mahoney
2 months ago

It’s cool to see Teri fully hand over teaching relay exchanges to her assistant. You can see the old MIT performances in these Cal women. Very cool!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder 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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