Bracketology: Off the Block’s latest 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 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.

Ohio State
UC Irvine

Quick breakdown: The race for the top seed is almost locked up. If UCLA wins the MPSF Tournament it will be a virtual lock for the No. 1 overall seed – and will even have the edge for the top seed if it loses in the conference tournament. The two most compelling races in the bracketology remain battles for the No. 2 seed and the final at-large bid. Off the Block is projecting Penn State to be the No. 2 seed ahead of Hawai’i, but this race is too close to call and could be flipped on Selection Sunday depending on what the committee values more. Penn State holds the edge against Hawai’i in RPI ranking, strength of schedule and head-to-head. However, the Rainbow Warriors will finish with a better overall record with one less loss and slightly better record against teams under NCAA Tournament consideration. Despite BYU climbing in the bracketology throughout the last month, Grand Canyon continues to hold the edge for the final at-large bid. The two teams are defacto tied in the RPI rankings – separated by less than 0.0006 percentage points. Grand Canyon holds a better record against teams under NCAA Tournament consideration. It also has the head-to-head advantage sweeping a two-match series against BYU. The Cougars were without their starting setter for those two losses. However, the selection committee historically has not discredited head-to-head results based on what players were available for the match. One other area that helps Grand Canyon is the record in the last 10 matches is not an official criteria category in men’s volleyball. Grand Canyon is 5-5 in its last 10 matches, while BYU is 9-1.

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