Bracketology: Off the Block’s latest NCAA Tournament projections

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 Sunday.

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 10th season of providing college men’s volleyball bracketology.


Pepperdine (11-5)
Loyola (15-5)
NJIT (13-5)
McKendree (12-6)

Quick breakdown: There remains a ton of uncertainty and it’s four days until Selection Sunday. The only near-certain locks are Hawai’i at the No. 1 seed, regardless of how it fares in the Big West Tournament, and the ConfCarolinas champions Belmont Abbey competing in the play-in match. BYU and Lewis are in a tight race for the No. 2 seed and a bye to the NCAA Tournament semifinals. Lewis is No. 1 in the RPI rankings, which in typical years would be a strong enough datapoint to secure a top-two seed. However, the incomplete data this year because of the lack of non-conference matches adds more uncertainty to how the selection committee will view certain criteria categories. BYU’s biggest advantage over Lewis is the record versus projected teams under NCAA Tournament consideration — BYU is 6-2, while Lewis is 0-0. Pepperdine continues to hold the edge against UCLA for an at-large bid, but that could significantly change based on the result of a possible MPSF Tournament semifinal match-up between the Bruins and Waves.