Bracketology: Latest NCAA Tournament projections

The men’s volleyball bracketology continues to be fluid with a month of the season left 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 detailed 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 Sunday 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.

Off the Block is in its seventh season of college men’s volleyball bracketology. It has in previous seasons accurately projected 93 percent of the teams in the NCAA Tournament field.

PROJECTED NCAA TOURNAMENT FIELD

FIRST FOUR OUT
UC Irvine (15-6)
UCLA (15-7)
Lewis (17-6)
Ball State (15-6)

Quick breakdown: The biggest movement in the latest bracketology is BYU overtaking Long Beach State for the No. 2 seed and a bye to the NCAA Tournament semifinals. The Cougars hold the advantage versus the 49ers in multiple selection committee criteria categories, including strength of schedule and RPI rankings. However, these projections can vastly change when the two teams play each other in a two-match series this weekend. Hawai’i despite its two losses to BYU during the weekend still holds the final at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament. The gap, though, between Hawai’i and the first two teams out — UC Irvine and UCLA — has significantly narrowed. The four remaining regular season matches for the Rainbow Warriors are virtual must-wins in order to maintain that at-large bid. Along the at-large bid race, Penn State continues to hold the edge for the No. 5 seed against King or any other team that wins the Conference Carolinas championship.