The near upsets conference tournament quarterfinals during the weekend almost caused upheaval to the bracketology projections. However that overhaul to the projections for the four-team NCAA Tournament can still take place as the conference tournament semifinals begin Wednesday.
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 as the Conference Carolinas receive an automatic bid to the tournament starting next season. However, true bracket expansion of the tournament won’t talk place until 2016 at the earliest because of an NCAA budget freeze.
As a result of this potential tournament format change in future years, 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 (23-4) vs. No. 4 seed Penn State (21-7)
No. 2 seed UC Irvine (23-6)* vs. No. 3 seed Ball State (21-5)
LAST FOUR OUT
Long Beach State (23-7)
Quick breakdown: Both BYU and UC Irvine survived potential upsets in the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals that could have changed the entire NCAA Tournament projections. As a result of their five-game victories, nothing changes in the bracketology heading into the conference tournament semifinals. However, based on the criteria it will now become significantly more difficult for Long Beach State to earn the at-large bid, even if it beats UC Irvine in the MPSF Tournament semifinals on Thursday.
IF NCAA TOURNAMENT EXPANDED TO 8 TEAMS
No. 1 seed BYU (23-4) vs. No. 8 seed Pfeiffer (17-8)
No. 2 seed UC Irvine (23-6)* vs. No. 7 seed Loyola (19-9)*
No. 3 seed Long Beach State (22-7)* vs. No. 6 seed Penn State (19-7)
No. 4 seed UCLA (21-10)* vs. No. 5 seed Ball State (21-5)
LAST FOUR OUT
Quick breakdown: The biggest change in this week’s projected eight-team tournament is Ohio State dropping out of the last four out following its loss to Grand Canyon in the MIVA Tournament quarterfinals. In addition, Loyola would continue to hold a slight edge ahead of Lewis for the final at-large spot in part because of the health status of Flyers All-American setter BJ Boldog and his concussion that he suffered at the end of the regular season.
*Indicates at-large bid