Stanford is not only getting to host the NCAA Tournament next season, but possibly both play-in matches.
The NCAA men’s volleyball committee at its annual meetings approved a recommendation to keep the play-in matches at the site of the NCAA Tournament, committee chairman Ron Shayka said in an interview with Off the Block on Thursday.
“One of the top priorities was trying to maintain the play-in games at the championship site,” Shayka said. “We came out of the meeting saying that it was the best way. If it’s not a financial hardship to bring all the teams to one site than that’s what we recommend doing.”
The committee’s recommendation to become official must now be approved by the NCAA governing body.
This would be the second consecutive year that the play-in matches would be played at the same site of the NCAA Tournament semifinals and championship match.
When the NCAA Tournament initially expanded from four to six teams for the 2014 season, the NCAA planned to have the two play-in matches be played at the schools with the higher tournament seed. However, that decision was changed because of the short time between the play-in matches and semifinals and every NCAA Tournament match was played at the host site of Loyola.
Along with keeping the NCAA Tournament matches at the same location, Shayka said the committee opted to keep the same match schedule as last year.
The NCAA Tournament play-in matches will be played on a Tuesday, while the semifinals and championship match will be played on a Thursday and Saturday.
One postseason change this upcoming season, though, is the conferences moving up the dates of its conference tournaments. The MPSF announced earlier this month that it will move its conference tournament championship match from a Saturday to a Friday so its teams can have three days off before the start of the NCAA Tournament.
Shayka said similar to the MPSF the committee would like to have every conference play its conference championship match the Friday before Selection Sunday.
“It will give those teams advancing to take a little more time to prepare for logistics and be a little better as preparation goes for the first play-in game on Tuesday,” he said. “I think in the future we are going to have to take a look at that overall schedule and see’s what makes sense.”