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 five-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 24.
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 11th season of providing college men’s volleyball bracketology.
PROJECTED NCAA TOURNAMENT FIELD
FIRST-FOUR TEAMS OUT
UC Santa Barbara (14-4)
Grand Canyon (13-8)
Quick breakdown: USC and Penn State topped the first RPI rankings of the season that was released earlier this week. The Nittany Lions are expected to continue to rack up the wins but a projected end of season strength of schedule outside of the top 20 could possibly hinder the team’s chances of earning one of the top two seeds. Long Beach State and USC are both projected to earn the top seeds and byes to the semifinals, but they have little to no margin of error to keep those spots. The first of five regular season series that will have the greatest influence on the bracketology takes place this weekend – UC Santa Barbara versus Long Beach State. If Long Beach State sweeps those matches, it will be in prime position to secure the No. 1 overall seed in the upcoming weeks. UC Santa Barbara, though, needs these wins to bolster its resume and possibly move ahead of Hawai’i in the race for an at-large bid. There is still plenty of time before Selection Sunday, but this is a huge weekend for Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara.