10 tips for filling out your conference tournament bracket

It’s that time of when fans across the nation are filling out their college men’s volleyball brackets. There are a couple stats to be aware about before hitting that submit button for the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Bracket Challenge.

Check out the 10 stats and trends to know when filling out your conference tournament brackets this year.


MPSF quarterfinal upsets are rare — One lower seed has won a MPSF Tournament quarterfinals match in the last five years — and that one time was the No. 5 seed UC Santa Barbara beating the No. 4 seed Stanford in 2016. The last time a No. 6 or No. 7 seed won a MPSF Tournament match was 2011, while a No. 8 seed has not won a quarterfinal match this decade.

Chalk rules in recent years — The No. 1 seed in the EIVA, MIVA and MPSF have won their conference tournaments all but a combined five times since 2012. The MIVA has been the most chaotic in the finals with the No. 2 seed winning in the finals three recent times — Lewis in 2012 and Loyola in both 2013 and 2015. In addition, the No. 1 seed has won every Conference Carolinas Tournament since the conference earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament in 2014.

Beware of No. 6 seed in MIVA — There have been two quarterfinal upsets, excluding the No. 4 seed versus No. 5 seed match, in the modern era of the MIVA Tournament. Both these upsets, though, have been this decade with a No. 6 seed winning, including McKendree beating Ball State last season. McKendree is the No. 6 seed again this season.

BYU virtual lock at home — BYU is 23-2 all-time in MPSF Tournament home matches with its last loss occurring in the 2011 MPSF Tournament quarterfinals against UC Santa Barbara.

Buckeyes at home scary good — Ohio State since 2007 have won all but two home postseason matches — the 2007 and 2012 MIVA Tournament finals. The 2007 season also was the last time the Buckeyes played host to the NCAA Tournament.

Upset runs unlikely — There is a reason why UC Santa Barbara as a No. 7 seed winning the 2011 MPSF Tournament and UCLA as a No. 7 seed winning the 2006 MPSF Tournament are so memorable. A low seed making a deep postseason run doesn’t happen often in any conference. The last non-No. 1 or No. 2 seed to win a conference tournament was UC Irvine as a No. 4 seed in 2012.

ConfCarolina sanity — Lower-seeded teams playing road matches are a combined 2-16 in the Conference Carolinas Tournament during the last three years. The only two teams to accomplish the feat of winning a road postseason match were Barton in the 2014 quarterfinals and Mount Olive in the 2014 semifinals.

EIVA No. 2 seed unlucky — George Mason last season became the first No. 2 seed to win its EIVA Tournament semifinal match since the conference changed to a four-team tournament format in 2012.

Needing a postseason win — King, North Greenville and Quincy are the only teams currently in the postseason that have not won at least one conference tournament match since 2013.

Hawai’i polar opposite complex — Hawai’i is 4-10 in road or neutral site postseason matches during the rally scoring and are on an eight-match postseason losing streak away from its home court that dates back to 2003. However, the Rainbow Warriors are 5-2 in rally scoring era postseason matches, including its most recent conference tournament home wins in 2015 and 2010.