Not being very original, I am making sure I go back to last year’s post and seeing what I can reuse for this year. One of those posts dealt with the regions and conferences and what their records were outside of their region and conference. The intent is to show who had the most success leaving home. I again kept this research exclusive to Division III opponents (so no DI, DII or NAIA results were used). I continued to be lazy and not split up the UAA teams into regions but I will show their conference data.
Starting with the regions and you first have to remember that the NCAA doesn’t show out-of-region records. They show out-of-conference records but when I sum up all of the conferences in a region then any difference above or below 0.500 are your results for out-of-region. In 2017 we saw that the West was best with a 0.555 overall record. This past season, the West Region again leads with a 0.557 overall record. Looking deeper, the region won 44 more matches outside the region than they lost, which accounted for 20% of their total wins (also the highest percentage of any region). In 2017 the West Region was followed by Great Lakes, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic with the other four regions all losing more out-of-region matches than they won. For this past season, after the West Region we have Great Lakes, New England, Central and Mid-Atlantic. The Midwest, New York and South all lost more matches out of region than they won. (The South really gets hammered when I don’t include Emory into their totals…oh well.) Props to the New England Region for the biggest gain from last year going from 0.494 to 0.517. I’ll post all of the data used at the bottom of this article.
Looking at the conferences and the UAA repeats at having the best out-of-conference record with a percentage of 0.7122. Right behind them was the MIAC (0.7115) who saw a huge jump from last year so it’s no wonder that conference got 4 teams into the NCAA Tournament. For the record, the UAA also had 4 teams make the tournament. Going down the list of the conferences that had a record of 0.600 or better, we then had NESCAC (2 tournament teams), NEWMAC (3), Liberty (2), OAC (2), NWC (1) and Landmark (1). I guess it kind of makes sense that the top conferences contributed 11 of the 19 at-large teams to the tournament. This was not the case last year so it will be interesting to see which trend moves forward in years to come. The big drop-off from these top conferences from last year was the SCAC. They finished 0.661 in 2017 but only 0.486 last season. I was curious about this and whether JWU (Denver) contributed to this as a first year provisional school but they were not factored in to the records. Instead it was more about only three schools being above 0.500 (Colorado College, Trinity and Dallas), with Southwestern having an off year.
I’ve also included the worst conferences below (conferences that finished under 0.400). There are 13 conferences and the independents (not including the Atlantic East Conference). Empire 8 and MWC dropped into this worst category this season while the NECC climbed out. The other 11 conferences were all in this place last year with the SLIAC finishing as the worst of the worst again this past season. The New York Region again contributed the most conferences to this category with 4.
All in all I’m not really sure what to make of this data other than it’s out there to be viewed. I like that the “best” conferences sent the most at-large teams to the tournament. By “best” I do have to remind everyone that just looking at records don’t really reflect the quality of teams played. Still, this is an improvement from what I saw last year looking at the same data.
Specifically looking at the West Region, I’m sure no one thought that the NWC would be their “best” conference but there it is. The SCIAC finished second with a 0.592 percentage followed by the ASC at 0.563. That’s actually a huge jump for both the NWC and the ASC from 2017 and hopefully this trend will continue in 2019. As for the SCAC, we need to see their mid-tier teams improve and a better record from Southwestern. Getting Schreiner to win more than 1 out-of-conference match would also boost that conference’s record.
Region Out-Of-Conference Records
Notes – The Atlantic East is calculated as part of the Mid-Atlantic while the ACAA is under the independents. Again, the UAA records are not included.
Best Conferences – Out-Of-Conference Records
Worst Conferences – Out-Of-Conference Records (Matches within DIII)