Bracketology: Latest men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament projections

The race for the final at-large bid of the NCAA Tournament is going to be decided in to the final days before Selection Sunday.

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 on Sunday.

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
Stanford (19-6)
UC Santa Barbara (20-9)
Loyola (20-7)
Ball State (20-9)

Quick breakdown: Long Beach State has surpassed Stanford for the final at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament following the Cardinal’s loss in the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals. That postseason upset to UC Santa Barbara alone would not have been enough to keep Stanford out of the NCAA Tournament. However, the match result changed the dynamics of the bracketology (further explained in this video breakdown) moving UC Santa Barbara into the projected teams under NCAA Tournament consideration. Long Beach State being 2-0 against UC Santa Barbara compared to Stanford’s 1-2 record helped the 49ers gain the advantage in the selection committee criteria category of record against teams under NCAA Tournament consideration. Stanford still has a chance to make the NCAA Tournament, but it will likely need Long Beach State to lose in the MPSF Tournament semifinals and any team besides Penn State to win the EIVA Tournament. Along with the at-large bid race, Ohio State and BYU have solidified their claims to the top-two seeds in the NCAA Tournament, regardless if they lose in their conference tournament. In addition, UCLA is projected to have secured an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament if BYU or Ohio State win their conference tournament.