Robert Krimmel in almost 10 years on the men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament selection committee has never seen a race this tight for a spot in the four-team tournament.
Krimmel, the selection committee chairman, said Tuesday that the committee remains undecided on what team will get the lone at-large spot with Selection Sunday five days away.
“In my experience this could be the most difficult selection that we’ve had,” Krimmel said. “We’re ready for it, and it’s the way you want it to be. You want there to be some excitement, and it’s a fantastic way to kick off the NCAA Tournament.”
Krimmel, who is also the St. Francis athletics director, is one of three committee members that will determine the NCAA Tournament field, which will be announced Sunday afternoon.
The Division I-II men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament is comprised of the conference tournament champions from the EIVA, MIVA and MPSF and one at-large bid. The three conference tournaments are underway and will conclude Saturday with the championship matches.
Off the Block’s latest projections still have four teams — BYU, Stanford, UC Irvine and USC — that could receive the at-large bid if they do not win the MPSF Tournament.
Krimmel this is the most teams still in the running for the at-large bid this late in the season. He also said the tight race will result in the MPSF Tournament semifinals and championship match having an increased significance in determining the tournament field.
“It’s very close, and the results of Thursday and Saturday could squeeze it even tighter,” he said. “That’s why the semifinals and championship match will be extremely important, especially with the balance and power of the conference.”
There eight pieces of criteria that the NCAA Tournament selection committee uses to determine the at-large bid and tournament seeding. Among the criteria includes overall record, head-to-head record, non-conference record and record against other teams under consideration.
Krimmel said as in previous years the committee does not plan to place a greater emphasis on one particular category to determine the at-large bid.
“We will use all eight criteria pieces in our evaluation and to determine the teams under consideration and to create the national championship field and seeding,” he said.
Krimmel said the committee will continue to evaluate teams through the conference championship match before finalizing the tournament field Sunday morning. He also said the committee has been diligently following all the teams since the start of the season in January.
The NCAA Tournament will be May 3-5 at USC’s Galen Center.
Krimmel said he is excited to see the conclusion of the conference tournaments and be at the NCAA Tournament next week.
“The people at USC have done a great job at planning and it’s great see how it’s all coming together,” he said.