Men’s volleyball bracketology

With the second half of the regular season underway and the Final Four starting in less than two months, Off the Block will begin to its weekly projected NCAA Tournament bracket.

The men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament is comprised of four teams. Automatic bids are awarded to the winners of the EIVA, MIVA and MPSF conference tournaments, and the NCAA Men’s Volleyball National Committee chooses one team for an at-large bid.

The three-person men’s volleyball committee typically meets following all of the conference tournaments to select the at-large team and the tournament seeding. For an in-depth look at the criteria used by the selection committee, check out this breakdown.

The men’s volleyball championship tournament has remained a four-team field since the sport became NCAA sanctioned in 1970.

In recent years, though, there has been a growing possibility of the NCAA Tournament expanding to eight teams. This also might become more likely with the Conference Carolinas qualifying for an automatic bid to the tournament starting in 2014.


As a result of this potential tournament format change, Off the Block will also project this year’s NCAA Tournament if it expanded to eight teams with four automatic conference bids and four at-large bids.

The men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament will take place May 3-5 in Los Angeles.

No. 1 seed UCLA (18-3) vs. No. 4 seed Penn State (13-3)
No. 2 seed UC Irvine (16-3)* vs. No. 3 seed Lewis (15-4)

Last four out
BYU (15-4)
USC (13-4)
Stanford (14-5)
Ohio State (13-6)

UC Irvine has the head-to-head advantage against UCLA, but the Bruins get the No. 1 seed because they won more selection committee criteria categories when matched-up with the Anteaters. The gap, though, between UCLA, UC Irvine and BYU for the at-large bid is extremely narrow could easily change in the final five weeks of the regular season. In addition, Lewis is ahead of Penn State for the No. 3 seed race in large part because of their victory against Nittany Lions in January.

No. 1 seed UCLA (18-3) vs. No. 8 seed Pfeiffer (12-4)
No. 2 seed UC Irvine (16-3) vs. No. 7 seed Stanford (14-5)*
No. 3 seed BYU (15-4)* vs. No. 6 seed USC (13-4)*
No. 4 seed Lewis (15-4) vs. No. 5 seed Penn State (13-3)

Last four out
Ohio State (13-6)
Long Beach State (10-9)
Pepperdine (9-9)
Harvard (12-2)

The eight-team tournament seeding could anger MIVA and EIVA followers as two of the three non-West Coast teams would be paired against each other in the quarterfinals. Pfeiffer, the projected Conference Carolinas champions, is secured the No. 8 seed because of its strength of schedule even if the Falcons run the table the rest of the season.

*Indicates at-large bid

One Reply to “Men’s volleyball bracketology”

  1. Expanding the field to eight would bring so much more attention the Men’s Volleyball and would only add one more day of play to the season.
    Seems like a no brainer……….!!!!!

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