Initial look at the NCAA Tournament finals

Photo courtesy of Long Beach State athletics.

The NCAA Tournament finals is set and now it’s just having to wait one more day until the match takes place between Long Beach State and UCLA. Check out what this championship match and the historical stats to keep in mind.

Long Beach State vs. UCLA

Records: Long Beach State (27-1, 9-1 Big West); UCLA (25-7, 9-3 MPSF)
Match vitals: 4 p.m. Saturday in Los Angeles
How they reached here: Long Beach State after winning the Big West Tournament received the No. 1 overall seed and a bye to the VolleyFour and then beat Ohio State in four games. UCLA earned one of the two at-large bids, defeated Harvard in four games in the NCAA Tournament first round and then beat BYU in four games in the VolleyFour.
All-time series: UCLA leads 64-35
Season series: Long Beach State leads 2-0
Last meeting: Long Beach State beat UCLA in four games in February.
Last NCAA Tournament meeting: UCLA swept Long Beach State in the inaugural NCAA Tournament finals in 1970.
NCAA championships: Long Beach State (1); UCLA (19)
Last NCAA title: Long Beach State (1991); UCLA (2006)
Last NCAA finals appearance: Long Beach State (2004); UCLA (2006)
NCAA Tournament all-time record: Long Beach State (14-9); UCLA (54-8)
Quick stats: Both the No. 1 seed and No. 3 seed have twice won the national championship since the NCAA Tournament field expanded in 2014. Alan Knipe with a win will join UCLA coach John Speraw, former Pepperdine coach Rod Wilde and former USC coach Bob Yoder as the only individuals make a NCAA All-Tournament Team as a player and then be a head coach of a team that won a men’s volleyball NCAA championship. Setter Josh Tuaniga was named the 2018 AVCA National Player of the Year. The team with the National Player of the Year has won the NCAA championship nine times since 1991. All-American outside attacker TJ DeFalco has a combined 97 kills and a .371 attack percentage in five career matches against the Bruins. UCLA is 19-5 all time in the NCAA Tournament finals, including a loss to Pepperdine at Pauley Pavilion in 2005. Teams that have a home court advantage in the NCAA Tournament finals are 13-4 all-time. If UCLA wins, Speraw would join former Penn State and BYU coach Tom Peterson as the only coach to lead multiple programs to a NCAA championships.