Bracketology: Latest NCAA Tournament projections

Off the Block throughout the postseason will unveil its latest detailed projections to the NCAA Tournament.

The men’s volleyball Division I-II NCAA Tournament is comprised of seven teams. Automatic bids are awarded to the winners of the Big West, ConfCarolinas, 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. The field for the NCAA Tournament is scheduled to be released during Selection Sunday.

The NCAA Tournament will begin with a play-in match and then two first-round matches. The top-two seeds will receive byes to the semifinals and will play the winners from the first round.

Off the Block is in its eighth season of college men’s volleyball bracketology. In previous seasons, Off the Block has accurately projected more than 95 percent of the teams making the NCAA Tournament field.

PROJECTED NCAA TOURNAMENT FIELD

FIRST FOUR TEAMS OUT
UC Irvine (21-9)
Loyola (23-6)
Pepperdine (15-8)
Lewis (19-11)

Quick breakdown: Hawai’i is in the NCAA Tournament, regardless of what happens on Conference Championship Saturday. The victory against UC Irvine in the Big West Tournament semifinals made Hawai’i a lock for the final at-large bid. The Rainbow Warriors now hold the edge against the Anteaters in the majority of selection committee criteria categories, including RPI, strength of schedule and head-to-head record. In addition, Hawai’i in the at-large race will hold an advantage in all the majority criteria categories against the loser of the MIVA Tournament finals — Ohio State or Loyola. Both BYU and UCLA also have secured an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament if either loses in the MPSF Tournament finals. This conference championship match, though, is critical for the bracketology. The winner will be the No. 2 seed and earn a bye to the NCAA Tournament semifinals, while the loser will be the No. 3 seed and have a NCAA Tournament first round match.