The biggest question for UCF Knights Volleyball come Selection Sunday is where will they play in the NCAA Tournament:
We’ll try to give you an idea of what to expect tonight. Keep in mind that the committee likes to bus teams who are within a 400-mile radius to the nearest site, which is part of the process in which they put teams.
Can UCF Host?
UCF’s RPI of 22 is only the 4th-best in the state. UCF is 4-4 vs. RPI Top 50 teams, and 2-1 against Top 25 teams with wins over Miami and Florida State. The Knights’ strength of schedule ranking is 60th. In contrast, in 2018 when UCF hosted, they had an RPI of 10 with an overall record of 27-3, which was the best in the state, with a 6-2 record vs. Top 50 teams and 3-1 vs. the Top 25. The Knights strength of schedule ranking was 19th.
So the Knights will be traveling as a low 2-seed or high 3-seed, depending on their destination.
So where will UCF go?
Scenario 1: Miami (60% chance)
The Hurricanes have not been to the NCAA Tournament since 2017. Miami has never hosted in their previous 8 NCAA Tournament appearances.
Miami has a very similar resume to the 2018 Knights with a 24-4 record and RPI of 10, and a 7-4 record vs. the RPI Top 50 with schedule strength of 39.
One concern that could keep them from hosting is their 2-4 record vs. the Top 25.
- Miami (RPI #11)
- Florida (RPI #21) or Mississippi State (RPI #25) or UCF (RPI #22)
- UCF (RPI #25) or FGCU (RPI #33)
- Florida Gulf Coast (RPI #33) or another school from a small conference
Scenario 2: Atlanta (25% chance)
Georgia Tech will be a national seed. UCF could end up going to Atlanta if the committee decides to move them out of the state. Florida or Mississippi State would be their likely opponent. FAMU is actually closer to Atlanta.
- Georgia Tech (RPI #7)
- UCF (RPI # 22) or Mississippi State (RPI #23) or Florida (RPI #21)
- UCF (RPI #22) or Mississippi State (RPI #23)
- FAMU (RPI #172)
Scenario 2: Gainesville (10% chance)
Gainesville is no strange place for UCF Volleyball, as since 2001, UCF has been sent to Gainesville five of the last seven times they have made the NCAA Tournament. The other two times, UCF hosted as a national seed in 2018, and in April of 2021 the entire tournament was held in Omaha, Nebraska. Florida’s resume is very similar to 2018, when the Gators were sent to UCF. They should be on the road once again in 2021, but if they aren’t:
- Florida (RPI #21)
- Florida State (RPI #19) or UCF (RPI #22)
- UCF (RPI #22) or FGCU (RPI #33)
- Florida A&M (RPI #172) or FGCU (RPI #32)
If Florida hosts, there is a very good chance Florida State and UCF face each other like in 2019. The question will be whether the Sunshine State gets one or two host sites.
Scenario 4: Other (5% chance)
Perhaps UCF gets sent to top-ranked Louisville, Kentucky (#6), or away from the South entirely, if not Atlanta or Miami.
Regardless of where UCF is sent on Sunday night, the Knights will be looking forward to the challenge, as they will try to make more history by going further than any previous UCF Volleyball team has ever gone in the Division I era.