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 eight teams. Automatic bids are awarded to the winners of the Big West, ConfCarolinas, EIVA, MIVA, MPSF and SIAC 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 21.

The NCAA Tournament will begin with all four quarterfinal matches on Tuesday, April 30 at Long Beach State.

Off the Block is in its 13th season of providing college men’s volleyball bracketology.

NCAA Tournament projections

No. 1 seed UCLA vs. No. 8 seed Fort Valley State
No. 2 seed Long Beach State vs. No. 7 seed Belmont Abbey
No. 3 seed Grand Canyon vs. No. 6 seed Ball State
No. 4 seed UC Irvine vs. No. 5 seed Penn State

First-four teams out
Ohio State

Quick breakdown: There are three series left in the regular season that will primarily determine the bracketology picture entering the conference tournaments – UC Irvine versus Hawai’i and UCLA versus Grand Canyon this week and Long Beach State versus UC Irvine next week. UCLA, Grand Canyon and Long Beach State all are in the best position to receive an at-large bid based on their RPI, KPI and record versus teams under NCAA Tournament consideration. The two-match series between Hawai’i and UC Irvine has the potential to be a de facto elimination match-up. If either of these teams can pull off a series sweep, it would likely knock the other team out of at-large bid consideration. BYU remains in the bleakest position among all the top teams to receive an at-large bid. Both UC Irvine and Grand Canyon swept their two-match series against BYU to hold the advantage in the head-to-head category. In addition, Hawai’i can jump ahead of BYU in multiple bracketology criteria categories if it beats UC Irvine this weekend. The top four seeds for the NCAA Tournament bracket remain in flux, but the seeding for the EIVA, MIVA, ConfCarolinas and SIAC automatic bids are near locks to complete the bracket. Based on the conference RPI, strength of schedule and KPI, the SIAC champion will be the No. 8 seed and the ConfCarolinas champion will be the No. 7 seed. The MIVA champion will be the No. 6 seed, unless anyone else besides Penn State wins the EIVA. Penn State is projected to be the No. 5 seed, but if it falters in the conference tournament the MIVA champion will move to the No. 5 seed and the EIVA champion will be the No. 6 seed.