Expect discussions to continue for the rest of this week about who should get the lone at-large bid to the men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament.
NCAA volleyball committee chairman Bob Krimmel said Monday that this has the potential to be one of the closest races he can recall to determine the at-large bid and seeding for the NCAA Tournament.
“There are some years when it is so obvious it’s not even possible for you to get it wrong. This year it’s very close,” Krimmel said.
Krimmel, who is also the St. Francis athletics director, led a scheduled conference call with the two other committee members Monday. The focus of the meeting, according to the NCAA volleyball committee handbook, was to discuss the teams under consideration for the at-large bid and potential seeding for the national championship tournament.
The men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament is comprised of four teams, the conference champions of the EIVA, MIVA and MPSF and one at-large bid.
Krimmel declined to comment on the teams the committee has under consideration for the one at-large bid.
No. 2 BYU (20-8, 16-6 MPSF) and No. 3 Stanford (19-9, 15-7 MPSF) were perceived to be the at-large bid front-runners entering the conference tournament. However, both teams were upset in the first round of the MPSF Tournament on Saturday.
“Every year it’s different, but nothing makes it easy,” Krimmel said. “You have four teams and you can only take one at-large. You can never look at it as easy because you have a chance to send a student athlete to a national championship and we are all aware of that.”
The selection committee, Krimmel said, does not intend to deviate from the NCAA’s criteria to select the at-large bid and seeding for the NCAA Tournament. The criteria includes various items such as overall record, head-to-head record, non-conference record and record against other teams under consideration.
Krimmel also said the committee, as in previous years, will not place a greater a emphasis on one particular category to determine the at-large bid.
The conference tournaments will continue with the three championship matches scheduled for Saturday. In addition, the NCAA Tournament will be May 5-7 in University Park, Pa.
The volleyball committee will meet again Sunday to finalize its decision on the at-large bid and seeding for the NCAA Tournament. However, Krimmel said the committee members will continue to communicate throughout the week through email to help the decision process on the selection day.
“We are expecting Sunday to have a lengthy conference call,” Krimmel said.