NCAA Tournament play-in match, opening round to be played on back-to-back days

Photo courtesy of Belmont Abbey athletics

All four rounds of the men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament will take place during a six-day span.

NCAA officials confirmed to Off the Block that the NCAA Tournament play-in match will take place on Monday May, 3 and the two opening round matches will be played the following day.

The NCAA previously announced that all six matches for the seven-team NCAA Tournament will take place at the Covelli Center on the Ohio State campus. The semifinals and finals were already slated to be played Thursday, May 6 and Saturday, May 8.

This is the first time since the NCAA Tournament expanded to seven teams in 2018 that every match will take place at the same location. The play-in match in previous years was played the week before the opening round matches at the home court of one of the teams involved in the match.


If a team in the play-in match advances to the finals, it will be the most NCAA Tournament matches a team has played during a single week since the tournament eliminated its round-robin format in 1973.

It wouldn’t be the most postseason matches, though, a team has played during a limited time span in recent years.

Stanford in 2014 played five matches in a span of 10 days as it reached both the MPSF Tournament finals and then the NCAA Tournament finals. Loyola also played five postseason matches in 11 days en route to winning the NCAA championship 2015.

The NCAA following those seasons added a bye week between the conference tournament finals and the NCAA Tournament opening round matches.

The NCAA Tournament features the champions from the five conferences — Big West, ConfCarolinas, EIVA, MIVA and MPSF — and two at-large bids.

The top-two teams receive byes to the NCAA Tournament semifinals. Of the five remaining teams, three receive byes to the opening round, while two teams open the tournament competing in the play-in match.

The NCAA men’s volleyball committee will unveil the NCAA Tournament field on Sunday.