NCAA Tournament Projections: Season’s final college men’s volleyball bracketology

All the matches are over and the final Off the Block bracketology is out just hours before Selection Sunday.

Off the Block has released its latest projection of the NCAA Tournament field that the selection committee will announce at 11 a.m. (EST) Sunday.


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 held its final meeting following the conference tournament championship matches on Saturday night 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. In addition, it has correctly projected every opening round match with the exception of one year.

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 Tuesday at Loyola. In addition, the NCAA Tournament semifinals and finals will take place Thursday and Sunday at Loyola.

PROJECTED NCAA TOURNAMENT FIELD

FIRST FOUR OUT
Lewis (23-8)
UC Santa Barbara (18-9)
Ball State (22-8)
Long Beach State (18-10)

Quick breakdown: The strength of schedule factor saved Pepperdine’s season and gave it enough to jump over Lewis for the final at-large bid. Despite Lewis holding the advantage in the majority of criteria categories before factoring in strength of schedule, it likely will not be enough for the selection committee to make the Flyers the second Midwest team in the tournament’s history to receive an at-large bid. Pepperdine is projected to be the No. 4 seed and play the No. 5 seed Penn State in the opening round. Along with the at-large race, BYU jumped into the No. 2 overall seed and earned a bye to the semifinals finals following its victory against Stanford in the MPSF Tournament championship match on Saturday. That loss also made Stanford the first at-large team and dropped it into the No. 3 seed.