Off the Block each week throughout the rest of the regular season and during 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 on April 21.
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 ninth season of providing college men’s volleyball bracketology.
PROJECTED NCAA TOURNAMENT FIELD
FIRST-FOUR TEAMS OUT
UC Irvine (14-7)
Quick breakdown: Hawai’i has jumped ahead of Long Beach State in this projection to receive the No. 1 overall seed for the NCAA Tournament. With the data remaining close between the two teams — even after the 49ers loss this weekend — the tournament’s top seed will more than likely be decided when Hawai’i and Long Beach meet in the final week of the regular season and then possibly in the Big West Tournament finals. The 2018 NCAA Tournament finalists UCLA following its road loss to Pepperdine on Wednesday is now in serious danger of missing the NCAA Tournament. UCLA trails UC Santa Barbara in several of the critical categories and will need to win the MPSF Tournament to make the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins still have a chance at an at-large bid, but the Gauchos would likely need to lose four of their six remaining regular season match. Pepperdine being projected to win the MPSF Tournament greatly benefits UC Santa Barbara’s chance of earning an at-large bid. If the Waves and Gauchos are both up for an at-large bid, Pepperdine has the edge in all the major selection committee criteria categories. Both these teams are also projected to be the de facto No. 3 seeds and will compete in the play-in match. NCAA Tournaments have several travel guidelines associated with a play-in match. Pepperdine and UC Santa Barbara would the only non-top-two seeded teams in the tournament located within 400 miles of each other.