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 23.
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 12th season of providing college men’s volleyball bracketology.
FIRST-FOUR TEAMS OUT
Quick breakdown: It has been an abysmal last three weeks for Grand Canyon losing five of its last six matches. The good news for Antelopes – record in the last 10 matches is not a criteria category for the selection committee. In the historically important criteria category head-to-head record, Grand Canyon continues to hold a 2-0 advantage against both UC Irvine and BYU. The Antelopes also are 5-2 in the criteria category of record against teams under NCAA Tournament consideration. The at-large hopes for UC Irvine realistically ended with its two losses to Hawai’i this weekend, but it still has a slim chance if it can sweep its upcoming home-and-home series against Long Beach State. BYU has a much clearer path for an at-large bid – win both home matches versus Stanford to close out the regular season and then have a deep run in the MPSF Tournament. That postseason run would likely need to feature a win against Grand Canyon, which may not even be a possible matchup depending on bracket seeding. In addition, BYU needs Ohio State to win the MIVA Tournament to help bolster the Cougars’ record against teams under NCAA Tournament consideration. UCLA has solidified its hold on the No. 1 overall seed. However, the race for the No. 2 seed remains tight between Penn State and Hawai’i. Penn State holds the advantage in head-to-head category and strength of schedule. The Rainbow Warriors best chance to get the No. 2 seed is to continue to bolster its record against teams under consideration. Hawai’i has a chance to finish that category at 7-2 – four more wins than Penn State – if it wins the Big West Tournament and Ball State wins the MIVA Tournament.