Initial look at the NCAA Tournament finals

Photo courtesy of Hawai’i athletics

The NCAA Tournament concludes Saturday with the finals. Check out what to know about this championship match between Hawai’i and Long Beach State.


No. 1 seed Long Beach State (20-5, 8-2 Big West) vs. Hawai’i (26-5, 7-3 Big West)
Match vitals:
5 p.m. Saturday in Los Angeles
Season season series: Long Beach State leads 2-1
Most recent meeting: Hawai’i swept Long Beach State in the Big West Tournament finals
All-time series: Long Beach State leads 50-46
Series record in NCAA Tournament: Long Beach State leads 1-0
How they reached the NCAA Tournament finals: Long Beach State rallied from a two-game deficit to beat UCLA in five games in the NCAA Tournament semifinals on Thursday. Hawai’i defeated the No. 2 overall seed Ball State in five games in the NCAA Tournament semifinals on Thursday.
NCAA Tournament championships: Long Beach State (1991, 2018, 2019); Hawai’i (2002; 2021)
NCAA Tournament record: Long Beach State (18-9); Hawai’i (9-6)
NCAA Tournament appearances: Long Beach State (1970, 1973, 1990, 1991, 1999, 2004, 2008, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019); Hawai’i (1995, 1996, 2002, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021, 2022)
Stats to know: This NCAA Tournament finals will feature two teams for the Big West. Regardless of the match result, the Big West will be assured to extend the conference’s streak to four consecutive NCAA championships. A Big West school has won a NCAA championship every season since the conference added men’s volleyball in 2018. Long Beach State is attempting to win its third NCAA championship in a four-season span – a feat that has not been accomplished since UCLA from 1995-98. The Beach is also attempting to become the third consecutive at-large bid to win the NCAA championship, including Long Beach State beating Hawai’i in the 2019 finals. That finals marked the fifth time in the last 10 years that the No. 1 seed lost in the NCAA Tournament finals. Long Beach State outside attacker Alex Nikolov was named the 2022 AVCA National Player of the Year. The team with the National Player of the Year has won the NCAA championship 11 times since 1991. Hawai’i is the first team since UCLA in the 1990s to reach three consecutive NCAA Tournament finals. In addition, the Rainbow Warriors are attempting to become the fifth program in NCAA men’s volleyball history to repeat as national champions. The postseason series between Hawai’i and Long Beach State is tied at 4-4. However, this will be the first time the two schools will play a postseason match on a neutral court.