Men’s volleyball bracketology

Change continues to appear in the latest Off the Block weekly bracketology projections as the men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament gets closer.

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.

Off the Block since starting its bracketology in 2011 has accurately projected every team in the NCAA Tournament and all the semifinal matches.

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. 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 NCAA Tournament will take place May 2-4 at UCLA.

PROJECTED FINAL FOUR
No. 1 seed BYU (17-3) vs. No. 4 seed Lewis (17-7)
No. 2 seed UC Irvine (17-5)* vs. No. 3 Penn State (15-6)


LAST FOUR OUT
Long Beach State (17-7)
Pepperdine (12-7)
UCLA (15-9)
Ohio State (15-5)

Quick breakdown: The only change from last week’s projections is Penn State moving up to the No. 3 seed and Lewis dropping to the No. 4 seed as a result of Lewis’ weekend upset conference loss to Lindenwood. Penn State now an advantage over Lewis in the majority of the selection committee’s criteria categories, including head-to-head and record versus teams under consideration.

IF NCAA TOURNAMENT EXPANDED TO 8 TEAMS
No. 1 seed BYU (17-3) vs. No. 8 seed Mount Olive (21-3)
No. 2 seed UC Irvine (17-5)* vs. No. 7 seed UCLA (15-9)*
No. 3 seed Long Beach State (16-6)* vs. No. 6 seed Pepperdine (12-7)*
No. 4 seed Penn State (15-6) vs. No. 5 seed Lewis (17-7)

LAST FOUR OUT
Ohio State (15-5)
Stanford (12-8)
Loyola (15-8)
Ball State (14-5)

Quick breakdown: UCLA moves ahead of Ohio State and into the final at-large spot following the Buckeyes’ two conference losses last week. This change in the bracketology also means all four of the at-large bid would go to MPSF schools. The bracket could further enrage non-West Coast players and coaches as the only two non-West Coast schools would be paired against each other in the quarterfinals.

*Indicates at-large bid