With just a few hours left before the start of tournament play, here is a look at the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's volleyball tournament by the numbers.
Central Arkansas and East Tennessee State raise the number of schools that have been invited to play in the NCAA's version of the "Big Dance" for women's volleyball to 219 since the inception of the tournament in 1981.
The number of wins, most all-time, for Stanford in its years of championship play. As the No. 2 seed, the Cardinal have a great opportunity to push their record to 100, or more, match victories in the NCAA Championship.
As with any tournament, only one team can ultimately go home happy. One winner, 63 losers. The the 31 years of play, prior to this year's tournament, only 36 schools have a winning percentage over .500. Stanford leads the pack with a .790 winning percentage (98-26). Nebraska, UCLA, Penn State, Hawaii, Florida, Southern Cal, and Texas round out the teams that have won 70% or more of their tournament matches.
The record for number of appearances in the Division I tournament. The top two seeds in this year's tournament, Penn State and Stanford, hold this record having appearances in every one of the tournaments since the NCAA first invited 20 teams to play for the volleyball crown.
The number of teams that have made at least one NCAA Semifinals appearance. Stanford holds the record with 18 National Semifinals appearances, going 14-4 in those semifinal matches.
Defending National Champion UCLA (8-4) has the next most seminal appearances with 12. Nebraska (6-5) is next with 11, followed by USC (4-6) with 10. Penn State (8-1) and Hawaii (5-4) have both made nine. Long Beach State (5-3) has made eight appearances. Pacific (3-4), Texas (3-4) and Florida (1-6) have all made seven.
The number of years that have passed since NC State was last in the tournament. The Wolfpack last received an invitation to the NCAA Championship when only 32 teams recieved invites.
While fifteen teams have at least one appearance in the National Championship match, the embarassment of riches goes to the Cardinal of Stanford, who have made fourteen National Championship match appearances. Stanford holds a record of 6-8 in those matches. Penn State (5-3) and UCLA (4-4) are tied with the next most championship appearances at eight.
Nebraska (3-3) has played in six championship matches; Hawaii (3-2) and Long Beach State (3-2) have each played in five; Southern Cal (3-1) has appeared in four; Pacific (2-1) and Texas (1-2) in three; Washington (1-0), Florida (0-1), Minnesota (0-1), Illinois (0-1), Cal (0-1), and Wisconsin (0-1) have each played in one.
The number of teams that have won National Championships. Stanford, Penn State, UCLA, Nebraska, Hawaii, Long Beach State, Southern Cal, Pacific, Texas, and Washington have divied up the 31 titles that have been awarded.
The record for second place finishes, held by Stanford. UCLA is next with four, followed by Penn State and Nebraska that each have three.
Southern Cal and Florida have each finished third six times to share the in the "close but no cigar" record. Nebraska has finished third five times while Hawaii and Texas have each been third four times.
Long ago, prior to 1986, teams used to play for third place instead of being tied for third. When you play for third, someone ends up being fourth. Five times there have been a fourth place team, and twice it was Pacific. Truly a record that will not be broken.