Bracketology: Off the Block’s latest NCAA Tournament projections

Off the Block 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 Sunday.

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.


UC Irvine
Ball State

Quick breakdown: Everything went chalk in the three conference tournaments with at-large bid implications so nothing changed the at-large bid projections. Both Long Beach State and Grand Canyon are projected to make the NCAA Tournament as the at-large bids. Both the teams hold the advantage in the major criteria categories compared to any other team in consideration – RPI rankings, head-to-head record, overall record and record against teams under NCAA Tournament consideration. The team with the closest case for an at-large bid was BYU, but Grand Canyon’s winning both their meetings this season was too much for the Cougars to overcome. Despite UC Irvine reaching the Big West Tournament finals, it does not have the resume to warrant an at-large bid. The tightest race in the bracketology for the No. 2 seed. UCLA is projected to be the No. 1 overall seed with its top RPI ranking and going 9-2 against teams under NCAA Tournament consideration. Penn State and Hawai’i are contending for the No. 2 seed in the race that is too close to call. Penn State earned the No. 2 seed in these projections because of the head-to-head win against Hawai’i and having a better RPI rankings. Teams beware, though, of having the No. 2 overall seed. No. 2 seeds are a combined 3-7 in the NCAA Tournament since the field expanded from four teams in 2014.

One Reply to “Bracketology: Off the Block’s latest NCAA Tournament projections”

  1. Mahalo for a comprehensive breakdown of your reasoning behind your bracket. While Penn State did beat an injury wrought Hawai’i team, it should be noted that Hawai’i beat UCLA the following night, who beat Penn State two nights prior. So in head to head criteria, the selection committee seems to have found too close to call. In any event, this iteration of your bracket, while a little different than what was selected, was appreciated with the accompanying logic behind it. Mahalo Hou

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