There is still plenty of volleyball left to be played before Selection Saturday but some clarity is starting to emerge in the bracketology.
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 Division I-II 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 committee selects two teams for at-large bids.
The three-person selection committee meets following all of the conference tournaments to decide the at-large teams and the tournament seeding. For an in-depth look at the criteria used by the selection committee and the Off the Block bracketology projections, check out this breakdown.
The field for the NCAA Tournament is scheduled to be released during Selection Saturday on April 23.
The NCAA Tournament will begin with the two play-in matches and the two-top seeds earning byes to the NCAA Tournament semifinals that will played Thursday, May 5 in University Park, Pennsylvania.
Off the Block is in its sixth season of college men’s volleyball bracketology. It has in previous seasons accurately projected 96 percent of the teams in the NCAA Tournament field.
PROJECTED NCAA TOURNAMENT FIELD
LAST FOUR OUT
Long Beach State (20-5)
Ball State (18-6)
Quick breakdown: There was no movement in the new projected NCAA Tournament field compared to last week’s bracketology. However, the gap has expanded between the at-large teams projected to make the NCAA Tournament and Long Beach State. UCLA swept Long Beach State on Saturday to drop the 49ers’ RPI ranking to No. 5 and to a losing record against projected teams in the NCAA Tournament. Among the criteria categories the selection committee uses to determine the NCAA Tournament field includes RPI ranking and record against teams under NCAA Tournament consideration. UCLA remains the projected No. 1 seed but that could drastically change depending on the outcome of its two-match home series against BYU this weekend. In addition, Penn State continues to hold the edge against Pfeiffer for the No. 5 seed. The Conference Carolinas champions, though, has an outside chance to jump into the No. 5 seed if the Nittany Lions lose multiple matches the rest of the season. The Conference Carolinas is ranked ahead of the EIVA in the latest conference RPI rankings.