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 23.
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 12th season of providing college men’s volleyball bracketology.
FIRST-FOUR TEAMS OUT
Quick breakdown: There is no change to the projections following the match results on Thursday. However, there is now much more clarity to the bracketology. Grand Canyon lost in the MPSF Tournament semifinals, but secured its hold on the final at-large bid because BYU also lost in the MPSF Tournament semifinals. The Antelopes will enter Selection Sunday holding the advantage against the Cougars in the criteria categories of head-to-head record, record against teams under NCAA Tournament consideration, RPI ranking, strength of schedule, non-conference record and road record. In order for Grand Canyon to make its first NCAA Tournament in program history, it will need help on Conference Championship Saturday. Both the No. 1 seeds UCLA and Penn State need to win their conference tournament finals to receive automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament instead of one of the two at-large bids. The No. 1 seed Hawai’i or the No. 2 seed Long Beach State also will need to win the Big West Tournament championship. UCLA has seemingly locked up the No. 1 overall seed but can further secure the top spot if it beats Stanford in the MPSF Tournament finals. Penn State continues to hold the edge over Hawai’i and Long Beach State for the No. 2 seed. There is a path, though, for Long Beach State or Hawai’i to surpass Penn State if either of them can win the Big West Tournament. Penn State holds the advantage in RPi ranking and has a head-to-head victory against Hawai’i. The Rainbow Warriors will hold the edge in record against teams under NCAA Tournament consideration, while the Beach beat the Nittany Lions in their lone regular season meeting.