Bracketology: Season’s final Off the Block 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.


UCLA (15-6)
Loyola (15-6)
George Mason (15-7)
McKendree (11-6)

Quick breakdown: The final at-large bid ultimately is going to come down to what criteria category the selection committee values more — head-to-head record or record versus teams under NCAA Tournament consideration. Pepperdine owns the head-to-head advantage over UCLA at 2-1, including a victory in the MPSF Tournament semifinals. UCLA is 3-4 against teams on NCAA Tournament consideration, while Pepperdine is 2-6 with five losses to BYU. The other close race will be whether Lewis or BYU will receive the No. 2 seed and the bye to the NCAA Tournament semifinals. Lewis holds the advantage in the majority of selection committee criteria categories. However, the Flyers because non-conference scheduling restrictions this year did not play a match against a team under NCAA Tournament consideration. The Cougars are 7-2 in this category — the second-best record for any team in the nation. Despite its loss in the conference tournament, Hawai’i should be a lock for the No. 1 overall seed. Conference champions is not part of the criteria the committee uses to determine the seeding. One additional factor that could alter the seeding is whether the committee will attempt to avoid having teams from the same conference meeting in the opening round or semifinals.