The NCAA Tournament play-in matches are coming to Penn State for the upcoming season.
NCAA men’s volleyball committee chairman Ron Shayka said in a recent interview with Off the Block that it will keep the current NCAA Tournament format and have the play-in matches, semifinals and finals all take place at the same location.
Penn State, which will play host to the 2016 NCAA Tournament, is the third consecutive location to have the national tournament with this format. The NCAA starting in 2014 expanded NCAA Tournament to six teams with two play-in matches on Tuesday before the semifinals on Thursday and the finals on Saturday.
“I think right now we are in a status quo situation,” Shayka said. “That has worked very well for us and it has been a great experience for the student-athlete.”
The men’s volleyball committee last year had proposed moving the play-in matches starting in 2016 to the weekend before the NCAA Tournament semifinals. With that format, the play-in matches would have been played at on-campus locations of the two higher seeded teams.
Shayka said, though, the NCAA Tournament would likely need to expand beyond its six-team field before moving the play-in matches to on-campus sites.
“Once we get to possibly eight teams then I think we are looking at a situation where we might have some regional quarterfinals that would be played on-campuses the week before the championship,” he said.
The 2016 NCAA Tournament will begin with both play-in matches on Tuesday, May 3.
This also will be the first time that Penn State has played host to the NCAA Tournament since 2011.
“Historically they have done a very nice job hosting that national championship,” Shayka said. “We are looking forward to another successful event.”