NCAA Tournament play-in matches to follow tonight

After four months of regular season matches and the conference tournaments, The NCAA Tournament is finally here.

Check out all the NCAA Tournament play-in matches to follow today and how to follow them live..

No. 3 seed BYU (24-4, 16-2 MPSF) vs. No. 6 seed Barton (23-5, 16-2 ConfCarolinas)
Match vitals:
6 p.m. Tuesday, May 2 in Columbus, Ohio
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
Season series: First meeting this season
Last meeting: First all-time meeting
NCAA Tournament record: BYU (9-4); Barton (0-0)
Last NCAA Tournament appearance: BYU (2016); Barton (never)
Last NCAA Tournament title: BYU (2004); Barton (never)
How they reached NCAA Tournament: BYU earned one of the two at-large bids after winning a share of the MPSF regular season title and losing in the conference tournament semifinals. Barton won the ConfCarolinas Tournament to earn the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
What to know: Two teams that have prided themselves all season long on their improved serving will open the NCAA Tournament. The No. 3 seed BYU and the No. 6 seed Barton both enter the NCAA Tournament play-in match among the nation’s leaders in aces. The Cougars, which switched to a more aggressive serving approach in the off-season following their loss in NCAA Tournament finals last season, are second in the MPSF and fifth in the nation with a 1.64 aces per game average. BYU also has a combined 29 aces in its last four matches, including a season-high 13 aces in a victory against UC Santa Barbara in the final week of the regular season. All-American outside attacker Jake Langlois was in the nation’s top 10 with a 0.55 aces per game average. The finalist for the 2017 Karch Kiraly Award also was among the national leaders with a 3.83 kills per game average and had a team-high 15 kills on a .462 attack percentage in a MPSF Tournament semifinals loss to the No. 4 seed Hawai’i. Barton enters its first NCAA Tournament in program history with the nation’s second-best aces per game average at 1.87. In addition, the Bulldogs had a combined 15 aces in their three victories in the Conference Carolinas Tournament. All-conference setter Federico Pagliara is third in the nation with a 10.55 assists per game average and guided Bulldogs offense to a .329 attack percentage, the third-best hitting efficiency in the nation. Barton has hit above its season average in the last four matches, including a .403 attack percentage in its sweep against Mount Olive in the conference finals. This match also could feature the return of All-American opposite Ben Patch to the NCAA Tournament. Patch missed the majority of the season’s second half with an injury but returned to play in five of the team’s final six matches and started two of those matches. Patch, a finalist for the 2017 Bryan Ivie Award, had 14 kills while hitting .385 in the team’s conference tournament loss to Hawai’i.

No. 4 seed Hawai’i (26-5, 14-4 MPSF) vs. No. 5 seed Penn State (21-10, 9-3 EIVA)
Match vitals:
8 p.m. Tuesday, May 2 in Columbus, Ohio
Season series: First meeting this season
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
Last meeting: Penn State defeated Hawai’i in four games in the 2015 NCAA Tournament play-in match.
NCAA Tournament record: Hawai’i (3-4); Penn State (16-30)
Last NCAA Tournament appearance: Hawai’i (2015); Penn State (2015)
Last NCAA Tournament title: Hawai’i (2002); Penn State (2008)
How they reached NCAA Tournament: Hawai’i received one of the two at-large bids after finishing in third place in the MPSF and reaching the conference tournament finals. Penn State won the EIVA Tournament to earn the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
What to know: It’s a match-up that is becoming a common occurrence in the NCAA Tournament. For the second time in the last three years, Hawai’i and Penn State will meet in the play-in match. Hawai’i earned the final at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament after winning six of its last seven matches and reaching the MPSF Tournament finals. However, the Rainbow Warriors could be without all-conference middle attacker Hendrik Mol for this postseason match. Mol is among the nation’s leaders with a 1.08 blocks per game average but injured his ankle in the team’s MPSF Tournament finals loss to the No. 2 seed Long Beach State. The Rainbow Warriors are fifth in the nation with a .322 attack percentage and have hit more than .300 in five of their last seven matches. Without Mol for most of its conference finals loss, Hawai’i was out-hit .361 to .184. This play-in match will also feature two of the top pin-hitters in the nation. Hawai’i All-American opposite Stijn van Tilburg is third in the nation with a 4.26 kills per game average. The 2017 Bryan Ivie Award recipient for the nation’s top opposite also had a combined 38 kills in the three MPSF Tournament matches, including 14 kills while hitting .619 in a quarterfinals sweep against Stanford. Penn State All-American outside attacker Chris Nugent was among the EIVA leaders with a 3.26 kills per game average and a .312 attack percentage. In addition, Nugent had double-digit kills in seven matches since returning to the court in mid-March from a month-long injury. Along with Nugent, Penn State setter Luke Braswell is fifth in the nation with a 10.54 assists per game average. Braswell was earned Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshmen All-American Team honors as he helped lead the Nittany Lions to the EIVA regular season title and conference tournament championship.