Initial look at NCAA Tournament opening round matches

Photo courtesy of Long Beach State athletics

The NCAA Tournament continues Tuesday with the final two opening round matches.

Check out what to know about these matches before filling out your NCAA Tournament bracket.


Long Beach State (20-4, 9-1 Big West) vs. Grand Canyon (22-7, 6-6 MPSF)
Match vitals:
5 p.m. Tuesday in Fairfax, Virginia
Where to watch: ESPN+
Where to buy tickets: George Mason ticket office
How they get here: Long Beach State earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament after losing in the Big West Tournament semifinals.
All-time series: Long Beach State leads 1-0
Last meeting in series: Long Beach State swept Grand Canyon in 2019
NCAA Tournament appearances: Long Beach State (1970, 1973, 1990, 1991, 1999, 2004, 2008, 2016, 2017 2018, 2019, 2022, 2023); Grand Canyon (2023)
NCAA Tournament record: Long Beach State (18-10); Grand Canyon (0-0)
NCAA championships: Long Beach State (1991, 2018, 2019); Grand Canyon (none)
Long Beach State player accolades this season: Mason Briggs (All-Big West); Spencer Olivier (All-Big West); Sotiris Siapanis (All-Big West); Simon Torwie (All-Big West); Connor Bloom (Big West All-Freshman)
Grand Canyon player accolades this season: Christian Janke (Second-Team All-MPSF); Rico Wardlow (Second-Team All-MPSF); Cameron Thorne (MPSF All-Freshman Team)
Historical stats to know: Long Beach State is 11-1 all-time in its opening match at the NCAA Tournament with its lone loss coming in 2017. Grand Canyon is making its first NCAA Tournament appearance. North Greenville last year became the first school to win a match in its NCAA Tournament debut since CSUN in 1993. The nickname for Grand Canyon is Antelopes. Teams named after four-legged animals are 11-17 in NCAA Tournament matches since the field expanded from four teams in 2014.

Penn State (26-3, 10-0 EIVA)Ohio State (23-9, 11-3 MIVA)
Match vitals:
7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Fairfax, Virginia
Where to watch: ESPN+
Where to buy tickets: George Mason ticket office
How they reached the NCAA Tournament: Penn State defeated George Mason and Princeton in the EIVA Tournament to earn the conference’s automatic bid. Ohio State won the MIVA Tournament to earn the conference’s automatic bid and then swept King in the NCAA Tournament first opening-round match on Sunday.
All-time series: Penn State leads 82-49-1
Season series: Tied at 1-1
Last meeting in series: Ohio State beat Penn State in five games
NCAA Tournament appearances: Penn State (1981, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2021, 2023); Ohio State (1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1993, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2023)
NCAA Tournament record: Penn State (17-32); Ohio State (17-23)
NCAA championships: Penn State (1994, 2008); Ohio State (2011, 2016, 2017)
Penn State player accolades this season: Cole Bogner (EIVA Player of the Year, First-Team All-EIVA); Ryan Merk (EIVA Freshman of the Year, First-Team All-EIVA); Toby Ezeonu (First-Team All-EIVA); Cal Fisher (First-Team All-EIVA); Michal Kowal (First-Team All-EIVA); Owen Rose (First-Team All-EIVA); Brett Wildman (Second-Team All-EIVA)
Ohio State player accolades this season: Jacob Pasteur (MIVA Player of the Year, First-Team All-MIVA); Shane Wetzel (MIVA Newcomer of the Year, Second-Team All-MIVA); Cole Young (First-Team All-MIVA)
Historical stats to know: This is the seventh all-time meeting in the NCAA Tournament between Ohio State and Penn State, including meeting four times in the now defunct third-place match. Penn State has won the NCAA championship every time it has played a MIVA team in its first NCAA Tournament match. Ohio State has not lost to a non-West Coast team in the NCAA Tournament in 15 years. Penn State that season defeated Ohio State in the semifinals en route to winning the national championship. The only tie in the Ohio State and Penn State series history occurred in 1983 at the Golden Dome Invitational. It’s highly unlikely this upcoming match will end in a tie.