After four months of regular season matches and three conference tournaments, the Final Four field and semifinal pairings are set for the upcoming men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament.
Here is the initial look and the historical information to know about every NCAA Tournament semifinals match.
NCAA TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALS
No. 1 seed BYU (25-4, 21-3 MPSF) vs. No. 4 seed Penn State (23-7, 13-1 EIVA)
Match vitals: 8 p.m. Thursday in Los Angeles
Last meeting: BYU swept Penn State in April 2011
How they got to here: BYU won the MPSF Tournament to receive the conference’s automatic bid. Penn State won the EIVA Tournament to receive the conference’s automatic bid.
Last NCAA Tournament appearance: BYU (2004); Penn State (2012)
Last NCAA Tournament championship: BYU (2004); Penn State (2008)
Historical stats to know: BYU in its program history never has a recorded loss in the NCAA Tournament, including defeating Penn State twice in the national semifinals. In addition, the Cougars have not lost to a team from the EIVA since 2005 but that loss was against the Nittany Lions. Penn State has lost the last two years in the semifinals but has not lost three consecutive years in the semifinals since 2003-05.
No. 2 seed UC Irvine (23-7, 18-6 MPSF) vs. No. 3 seed Loyola (22-9, 10-4 MIVA)
Match vitals: 6 p.m. Thursday in Los Angeles
Last meeting: UC Irvine swept Loyola in March 2009
How they got here: UC Irvine received the only at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Loyola won the MIVA Tournament to receive the conference’s automatic bid.
Last NCAA Tournament appearance: UC Irvine (2012); Loyola (never)
Last NCAA Tournament championship: UC Irvine (2012); Loyola (never)
Historical stats to know: UC Irvine is two wins away from joining UCLA as the only programs to repeat as men’s volleyball NCAA championships — with the Bruins last achieving the feat in 1995-96. In addition, only three defending national championships that reached the NCAA Tournament have lost in the semifinals since 2000. Loyola leads the all-time series against UC Irvine 3-2, but the Ramblers are on a seven-match losing streak when playing on the West Coast dating back to 2011.