It is simply now bedlam in the college men’s volleyball bracketology because of all the upsets this postseason — making NCAA Tournament projections incredibly difficult.
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
Long Beach State (24-7)
UC Santa Barbara (22-10)
Ball State (20-9)
Quick breakdown: This is one of the closest race for the final at-large bid in the recent history of the NCAA Tournament. No. 4/5 Long Beach State and No. 5/4 Stanford when compared head-to-head using the NCAA Tournament selection committee criteria each hold advantages in several categories. This race entering the final days before Selection Saturday is too close to call. However, Stanford is now projected to hold the advantage in the historically critical criteria categories of RPI ranking and record versus teams under NCAA Tournament consideration. Long Beach State started the conference tournament semifinals holding an edge in both categories, but its loss to No. 3/3 UCLA and No. 9/10 Penn State getting upset in the EIVA Tournament now gives Stanford the narrow edge. The Cardinal projected lead in the final RPI ranking, though, is slim and could be a few thousandth percentage points. The only thing preventing this uncertain at-large bid race from playing out on Selection Sunday is if No. 12 Lewis upsets No. 2/2 Ohio State in the MIVA Tournament finals. No. 1/1 BYU, Ohio State and UCLA are all projected to make the NCAA Tournament regardless of how they fare in the conference tournament finals. Along with Penn State’s upset loss changing the at-large bid race, it has changed the bottom-third of the bracket. The winner St. Francis and George Mason in the EIVA Tournament finals is likely locked into the No. 6 seed. The only chance it can move up to the No. 5 seed is if Belmont Abbey or Pfeiffer wins the Conference Carolinas Tournament. Both Erskine and Barton hold the edge in the majority of selection committee categories against the two EIVA teams.