Men’s volleyball bracketology

The gap continues to narrow between schools for the lone at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

With the Final Four in less than two months, Off the Block released its latest projected NCAA Tournament bracket on Monday.

The men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament is comprised of four teams. Automatic bids are awarded to the winners of the EIVA, MIVA and MPSF conference tournaments, and the NCAA Men’s Volleyball National Committee chooses one team for an at-large bid.

The three-person men’s volleyball committee typically meets following all of the conference tournaments to select the at-large team and the tournament seeding. For an in-depth look at the criteria used by the selection committee, check out this breakdown.

The men’s volleyball championship tournament has remained a four-team field since the sport became NCAA sanctioned in 1970.


In recent years, though, there has been a growing possibility of the NCAA Tournament expanding to eight teams. This also might become more likely with the Conference Carolinas qualifying for an automatic bid to the tournament starting in 2014.

As a result of this potential tournament format change, Off the Block will also project this year’s NCAA Tournament if it expanded to eight teams with four automatic conference bids and four at-large bids.

The men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament will take place May 3-5 in Los Angeles.

No. 1 seed UC Irvine (18-3) vs. No. 4 seed Penn State (14-3)
No. 2 seed UCLA* (19-4) vs. No. 3 seed Lewis (18-4)

Last four out
BYU (17-4)
USC (15-4)
Stanford (14-5)
Ohio State (13-7)

No change to the four teams in the NCAA Tournament or the last four out. The gap, though, among UCLA, BYU and USC for the at-large bid is extremely narrow. The Trojans continue to move up the at-large rankings following their victory against the Bruins last week. In addition, the two-match series between UCLA and BYU in early April potentially could have dramatic ramifications on what team receives the at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

No. 1 seed UC Irvine (18-3) vs. No. 8 seed Pfeiffer (15-5)
No. 2 seed UCLA (19-4)* vs. No. 7 seed Stanford (14-5)*
No. 3 seed BYU (17-4)* vs. No. 6 seed Penn State (14-3)
No. 4 seed Lewis (18-4) vs. No. 5 USC (15-4)*

Last four out
Ohio State (13-7)
Pepperdine (11-10)
Harvard (13-3)
Long Beach State (10-11)

Penn State and USC flipped seeds from last week’s bracketology. The biggest reasons for this change was because of Trojans’ head-to-head victory against the Nittany Lions, and its road conference victory against UCLA last week. In addition, Long Beach State dropped two spots in the last-four out. Long Beach State is on a three-match losing streak, including a home loss to last-place UC San Diego last week.

*Indicates at-large bid

2 Replies to “Men’s volleyball bracketology”

  1. I would like to see 8 teams myself, but doubt if Lewis is there. But who knows with volleyball?

    good job!

  2. I would propose a six-team NCAA field. With eight teams, five would likely be from the MPSF for the foreseeable future. The purpose of a regular season, in my view, is to eliminate some teams from national title contention. That function of MPSF regular-season play would be lost if the NCAA expanded too much.

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