Bracketology: Off the Block’s latest Division III NCAA Tournament projections

All the matches have been played in NCAA Division III men’s volleyball and now it’s just a matter of waiting on the selection committee.

Off the Block released Sunday the bracketology projections for the upcoming Division III NCAA Tournament.

The Division III NCAA Tournament is comprised of 14 teams — 10 conference tournament champions from conferences receiving an automatic bid and four at-large bids. The NCAA will unveil its official tournament bracket on Monday.

While there are some similarities to the NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball committee, Division III committee has different criteria for determine teams and seeding for its NCAA Tournament.

The Division III selection committee places teams into three pools and then determines the NCAA Tournament field from those pools.


Pool A is all 10 teams that win their conference tournaments to earn an automatic bid.

Pool B is comprised of 18 teams that competed without a conference affiliation this year or are from a conference that did not receive a NCAA Tournament automatic bid. The committee will select two of these Pool B teams for at-large bids.

Pool C is made of all the remaining eligible teams for the NCAA Tournament — teams that didn’t earn an automatic berth and the 16 remaining Pool B teams. Similar to Pool B, two teams are selected from this pool for at-large bids.

The Division III selection committee uses the following criteria to determine the at-large bid from Pool B and Pool C:
— Win-loss percentage against Division III opponents
— Division III head-to-head competition
— Results versus common Division III opponents
— Results versus ranked Division III teams as established by the final ranking and the ranking preceding the final ranking (including the conference tournaments)
— Division III strength of schedule
— Nullification

Along with this primary criteria, the selection committee can use these secondary criteria categories:
— Division III non-conference strength of schedule
— Win-loss percentage versus non-Division III teams
— Results versus common non-Division III opponents
— Win-loss percentage during the last 25 percent of the season

Geography also plays as significant role in determining the bracket after the at-large bid teams are selected from Pool B and Pool C.

Four of the teams in the tournament field serve as host sites for the opening two rounds. The remaining teams are then placed into one of the host site groupings based on their geography.

Geography takes precedence over traditional tournament seeding. The committee avoids when possible sending a team to a host site that is more than 500 miles away from their school.

Off the Block is in its ninth season of providing college men’s volleyball bracketology. This is the first season it has provided bracketology for the Division III NCAA Tournament.