The selections have been made, and argued about, the teams have traveled to their respective venues, and now all that is left to do is to play the matches...and take our annual look at the tournmanent by the numbers.
It is sung that one (1) is the loneliest number and it is lonely at the top, however for the team that makes it to the top of the NCAA Mountain each year the victory pile looks pretty good.
Since the NCAA began announcing the top 16 national seeds for the Division I tournament in 2000, six No. 1 seeds have gone on to win the National Championship. But one has to go back to 2009 (Penn State) to find the last time that it was done. Nebraska was the first to do it (2000) and has done it on one other occassion (2006).
Southern Cal has done it twice (2002 and 2003) and Penn State has done it twice as well (2009 and 2008).
Nebraska has been tabbed the No. 1 seed the most, receiving the honor on four occassions (2000, 2004, 2005, and 2006) with Penn State being honored the next most often with three occassions (2008, 2009, and 2012). Texas (2013 and 2011) and USC (2002 and 2003) have earned the honor twice while Long Beach State (2001), Stanford (2007) and Florida (2010) have each earned it once.
Four is the number of teams playing in the Division I Women's volleyball tournament for the first time and the number of teams that get special praise.
Alabama State, Duquesne, Hampton and IUPUI received their first invitation to the "big dance" this year, bringing the number of historical dancers to 223 in 32 years of NCAA Tournaments.
Since the NCAA has trademarked Final Four solely for use with Men's and Women's basketball, volleyball has been trying to find a catch phrase to call its own along the lines of the Frozen Four for collegiate Ice Hockey and the Collegiate Cup for the soccer semifinals and finals. The NCAA Selection Committee even had an agenda item a nubmer of years ago to find a name unique to volleyball, but none has been found yet. CVU.com tried Concluding Quartet, but it seems to have gone no where.
This year's National Semifinals and Final will be held in Seattle, Wash. A welcome site to one of the pre-tournament favorites and No. 3 seed Washington.
A deeper look at the time a team has had a chance to play in its home town or on its home court or at a site that favors them as the "home town team" reveals that teams that have had such an opportunity don't generally fare well.
Louisville was eliminated in the second round last year and Texas in the Regional Finals in 2012 (San Antonio) and in the second round in 2005 (San Antonio) and 1994 (Austin). One has to go back to 2006, when Nebraska won in Omaha, to find the last time a team won a national championship in a venue so close to home.
Six is the record for most National Titles, held by Stanford (1992, '94, '96, '97, 2001, and '04). The Cardinal also hold the record for second-place finishes with eight (1984, '84, '85, '87, 1999, 2002, '06, '07, '08).
The number of teams that have won National Championships. Stanford (6), Penn State (5), UCLA (4), Nebraska (3), Hawaii (3), Long Beach State (3), Southern Cal (3), Pacific (2), Texas (2), and Washington (1) have divied up the 32 titles that have been awarded.
Each of those schools, with exception of UCLA, Long Beach, and Pacific, is in hunt this year for title number 33.
One-hundred-and-one is the record for the most number of Tournament victories by one team: Stanford, which hit the century mark in the second round of the 2012 National Championship Tournament.
The next closest team is Nebraska, which has won 86 matches NCAA Tournament competition.