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 24.
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 11th season of providing college men’s volleyball bracketology.
PROJECTED NCAA TOURNAMENT FIELD
FIRST-FOUR TEAMS OUT
UC Santa Barbara (16-8)
Grand Canyon (16-9)
UC San Diego (12-9)
Quick breakdown: There is a clear separation right in the bracketology between the top six teams – Long Beach State, UCLA, Penn State, Ball State, Hawai’i and USC. However, things will begin to get completely murky if there are multiple top seeds upset in the conference tournaments or if USC loses both its road matches to Grand Canyon this weekend. An additional uncertainty entering the final week of the regular season are the top two seeds, which receive byes to the NCAA Tournament semifinals. Long Beach State, UCLA and Penn State all remain in tight contention for these two spots. The Beach and Bruins are projected to receive the top two seeds ahead of Nittany Lions in part because of their conference RPI and strength of schedule. However, another Long Beach State loss opens the possibility for Penn State to move into one of those two spots and the Beach to drop to the No. 3 seed, especially with the Nittany Lions holding the head-to-head advantage.