USC earns at-large bid, NCAA Tournament field announced

The MPSF regular season champions USC are in the NCAA Tournament as the lone at-large.

The NCAA selection committee announced Sunday afternoon that the Trojans after losing in the conference tournament semifinals would receive the only at-large bid to the four-team tournament.


USC earned the No. 2 seed and will play the No. 3 seed Lewis in the NCAA semifinals at 8 p.m. Thursday in Los Angeles.

USC beat out BYU and Stanford for the at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

All three teams were in contention for the at-large bid, according to the latest Off the Block projections. However, USC won the at-large bid because it held the edge in a majority of the eight pieces of criteria used by the selection committee to determine the at-large bid and seeding.

This is the second consecutive year that USC has reached the Final Four as the at-large bid. The Trojans last year won the at-large and No. 1 overall seed after losing in the MPSF Tournament championship match, but were upset in the NCAA Tournament semifinals.

Lewis reached the NCAA Tournament as the automatic bid from the MIVA following its upset victory against the defending NCAA champions Ohio State in the MIVA Tournament championship.

The Flyers are also making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since receiving the men’s volleyball version of the NCAA death penalty in 2004 for using ineligible players. The 2004 NCAA sanctions resulted in a two-year postseason ban and Lewis having to vacate its 2003 NCAA championship.

Lewis joined Penn State and UC Irvine as the three automatic qualifers to the NCAA Tournament.

UC Irvine — which upset USC in the MPSF Tournament semifinals in en route to winning the conference championship — earned the No. 1 overall seed and will play the No. 4 seed Penn State in the other semifinals match at — Thursday.

Penn State defeated George Mason on Saturday to win its 14th consecutive EIVA championship and an automatic bid to the Final Four.

The NCAA Tournament will be played at USC. The winners of the Thursday’s semifinals will advance to the championship match at 7 p.m. Saturday.