Men’s volleyball bracketology: conference championship matches implications
It’s the weekend of selection Sunday and it remains unclear on who will be the men’s volleyball teams in the Final Four.
The EIVA, MIVA and MPSF conference championships matches on Saturday will make the four-team field for the NCAA Tournament clearer entering selection Sunday. However with the winner of these conference title matches receiving automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament, there are still numerous scenarios that could effect this year’s bracket.
Check out the potential implications each conference tournament could have on the bracket if either team wins.
[Editor’s note: For an in-depth look at how teams fare using the criteria of the selection committee, check out this breakdown.]
EIVA championship match
No. 1 seed Penn State (23-6, 10-0 EIVA) vs. No. 3 seed Springfield (18-14, 4-6 EIVA)
If Penn State wins: The Nittany Lions likely would be the No. 3 or No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament, unless both Ohio State and USC loses. It would also mark the second consecutive year the host school for the NCAA Tournament received an automatic bid after winning its conference tournament. Springfield has to win to get into the Final Four and is not being considered for an at-large bid.
If Springfield wins: The Pride would be the No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament and it would mark the first time in recent history an unranked team made the NCAA Tournament. Penn State would be in consideration for an at-large bid, if USC and Ohio State win their championship matches. Penn State would have a slight edge over current at-large front-runners Stanford and BYU if the selection committee equally weighs all the criteria.
MIVA championship match
No. 1 seed Ohio State (23-6, 11-1 MIVA) vs. No. 2 seed Loyola (20-7, 9-3 MIVA)
If Ohio State wins: The Buckeyes likely would be the No. 2 or No. 3 seed for the NCAA Tournament. Ohio State has never been higher than a No. 4 seed during its run of three consecutive conference titles and Final Four appearance. Loyola has to win to get into the Final Four, and is out of the equation for at-large bid.
If Loyola wins: The Ramblers would be the No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but could possibly be the No. 3 seed if UC Santa Barbara or Springfield received their conference’s automatic bid. Ohio State would be in consideration for the at-large bid, if USC wins its conference championship. It also would hold a slight edge over perceived at-large front-runners Stanford and BYU if the selection committee equally wights all the criteria.
MPSF championship match
No. 1 seed USC (23-2, 20-2 MPSF) vs. No. 7 seed UC Santa Barbara (16-14, 11-11 MPSF)
If USC wins: The Trojans will be the No. 1 seed for the NCAA Tournament. The Gauchos hope of a bid to the Final Four would likely be finished with Stanford, BYU and UC Irvine all having significant edges over UC Santa Barbara using the selection committee criteria. In addition, Stanford and BYU would still be alive to get the lone at-large bid.
If UC Santa Barbara wins: The Gauchos likely would be the No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but it could be the No. 3 seed if Springfield received the EIVA automatic bid. Despite losing the championship match, the Trojans likely receive the at-large bid and be the No. 1 seed. The scenario at-large hopes of BYU and Stanford receiving the at-large bid, along with Penn State or Ohio State they lost in the conference championship match.