Bracketology: Latest NCAA Tournament projections

It’s the final week of the regular season and that doesn’t necessarily mean things are stable 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 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.

NCAA TOURNAMENT PROJECTIONS

FIRST FOUR OUT
UC Irvine (17-6)
UCLA (17-7)
Lewis (21-6)
Grand Canyon (17-10)

Quick breakdown: BYU, Ohio State and Long Beach State are the clear favorites for the top three seeds in the NCAA Tournament, unless all three of them lose in theirconference tournaments. However, their NCAA Tournament seeding order is going to get very complicated with one loss from any of the three drastically changing the bracketology. If both Ohio State and Long Beach State run the table and win their conference tournaments, the Buckeyes will have the edge for the No. 1 overall seed. Ohio State has the advantage in several criteria categories including head-to-head record, RPI ranking and strength of schedule ranking. In contrast, BYU will have an edge against Ohio State for the No. 1 overall seed if the Cougars run the table and win the MPSF Tournament. BYU enters the weekend No. 1 in the RPI rankings and with the best strength of schedule among teams projected to be under NCAA Tournament consideration. While the No. 1 seed race won’t be resolved until the end of the conference tournaments, the battle for the final at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament could drastically change this week. Hawai’i will conclude its regular season with a two-match road series against UCLA. The Rainbow Warriors are the final at-large team in the NCAA Tournament, and the Bruins are the second team out in the latest projections. If Hawai’i loses both of these matches that increases the likelihood that UCLA or UC Irvine will move into the final at-large bid spot.