NCAA Tournament Projections: Latest college men’s volleyball bracketology

The postseason has arrived in full force and there is still isn’t a lot of separation between the teams making the NCAA Tournament and the teams on the bubble.

Off the Block each week during the rest of the regular season and throughout each round of the postseason will unveil its latest projections to the NCAA Tournament.


The men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament is comprised of six teams. Automatic bids are awarded to the winners of the Conference Carolinas, EIVA, MIVA and MPSF conference tournaments, and the NCAA Men’s Volleyball National Committee chooses two teams for at-large bids.

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.

The men’s volleyball championship tournament had a four-team field since the sport became NCAA sanctioned in 1970. However, the NCAA expanded the tournament in the off-season as it added one more at-large bid and awarded an automatic bid to the Conference Carolinas.

With this new format, the top two overall seeds will earn byes to the NCAA Tournament semifinals, while the four remains seeds will compete in the inaugural play-in matches.

The NCAA Tournament will begin with the two play-in matches on April 29 at Loyola. In addition, the NCAA Tournament semifinals and finals will take place May 1-3 at Loyola.

PROJECTED NCAA TOURNAMENT FIELD

FIRST FOUR OUT
Lewis (21-6)
UC Santa Barbara (17-8)
Long Beach State (18-9)
Ball State (21-7)

Quick breakdown: Despite being the No. 3 seed for its conference tournament, Stanford holds the edge over BYU and Pepperdine using the NCAA Tournament selection committee criteria. The Cardinal with its two head-to-head regular season victories against Pepperdine and its undefeated non-conference record is in the best position of any MPSF team to earn an at-large bid if it loses in the MPSF Tournament. BYU’s recent four-match losing streak has dropped the team to the No. 4 seed, and the Cougars could be in jeopardy of missing the NCAA Tournament if they lose in the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals. Lewis still has a chance at an at-large bid but need to make a deep-run in the MIVA Tournament and get some help. However, if it comes down to Lewis and BYU for the final at-large spot, the Flyers hold the advantage in the majority of criteria categories, including head-to-head. Beyond the at-large race, Loyola has locked-up the No. 1 overall seed regardless of what it does in the MIVA Tournament.