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The final men’s volleyball bracketology

May 1, 2011

With selection Sunday upon us, Off Block is releasing its final projections of the NCAA Tournament bracket after Ohio State, Penn State and UC Santa Barbara won their conference championships Saturday.

The men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament is comprised of four teams. Automatic bids are awarded to the winners of the EIVA, MIVA and MPSF conference tournaments, and the NCAA Men’s Volleyball National Committee chooses one team for an at-large bid.

The three-person men’s volleyball committee typically meets following all of the conference tournaments to select the at-large team and the tournament seeding. For an in-depth look at the criteria used by the selection committee, check out this breakdown.

The men’s volleyball championship tournament has remained a four-team field since the sport became NCAA sanctioned in 1970.

In recent years, though, there has been a growing possibility of the NCAA Tournament expanding to eight teams. This also might become more likely with the Conference Carolinas qualifying for an automatic bid to the tournament starting in 2014.

As a result of this potential tournament format change, Off the Block will also project this year’s NCAA Tournament if it expanded to eight teams with four automatic conference bids and four at-large bids.

The men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament will take place Thursday and Saturday in University Park, Pa.

Projected Final Four

No. 1 seed USC (23-3)* vs. No. 4 seed UC Santa Barbara (17-14)
No. 2 seed Ohio State (24-6) vs. No. 3 seed Penn State (24-6)

Last four out
Stanford (19-9)
BYU (20-8)
UC Irvine (19-12)
Hawai’i (15-13)

Comments
UC Santa Barbara is taking the greatest underdog postseason run in NCAA men’s volleyball history to University Park, Pa. However, don’t expect the Gauchos to be higher than the No. 4 seed, which would set up a MPSF championship re-match against USC in the semifinals. Ohio State and Penn State both lead UC Santa Barbara almost every criteria category the selection committee uses to determine the seeding.

If the NCAA Tournament expanded to 8 teams

No. 1 seed USC (23-3)* vs. No. 8 seed Mount Olive (20-7)
No. 2 seed Ohio State (24-6) vs. No. 7 UC Santa Barbara (17-14)
No. 3 seed Penn State (24-6) vs. No. 6 UC Irvine (19-11)*
No. 4 seed Stanford (19-9)* vs. No. 5 seed BYU (20-8)*

Last four out
Hawai’i (15-13)
Loyola (21-7)
Long Beach State (15-14)
Lewis (20-11)

Comments
UC Santa Barbara upset victory in the MPSF Tournament took away an at-large bid for Hawai’i, which now moves to the last four out. Despite losing in the conference championship match, USC remains the No. 1 overall seed for having the three fewer losses than any team in the nation and winning the MPSF regular season title.

*Indicates at-large bid

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Josh permalink
    May 1, 2011 6:19 am

    UCSB will be the second or third seed.
    Ohio State and PSU would have just as many losses in the MPSF.

    UCSB just won the toughest conference’s tournament and that deserves the 2 seed . What have PSU and especially Ohio State done lately to deserve to be higher than them??

  2. May 1, 2011 6:35 am

    Josh,

    All valid and logical points. However, the selection committee makes a commitment to looking at the whole body of work and not just the final few weeks of the season. Here’s a breakdown of the what the selection looks at and this is how I projected Ohio State and Penn State to be ahead of UC Santa Barbara

    https://offtheblockblog.wordpress.com/2011/05/01/deeper-look-at-ncaa-tourney-selection-criteria-after-conference-championships/

  3. wordzmith12 permalink
    May 1, 2011 4:36 pm

    2 things, all week I’ve studied criteria for at-large picks, now you are saying they use that same criteria for seeding (why isn’t it “seating” by the way, I’m tired of standing)–but anyway, I guess you could be right there.

    2.) you also said earlier this week that to match two MPSF teams in the semis has only happened once, I think–a low precedence, and for good reason, the NCAA wants to be entertaining and interesting, who wants to see THAT rematch unless it’s in the finals, no one has STOOD up to USC better than the Gauchos, the only match to five games at Galen Center, let alone a visitor victory…….

    My feeling is that the committee is more human and passionate about this than your criteria suggests, this isn’t math, this is volleyball!!!!!!! USC 1, UCSB 2, Penn State 3, Ohio State 4 — sets up a re-match between Penn State and the Gauchos, the Nittany Lions victors earlier in the year, a deserved 1-4 for USC, and hopefully for this Gaucho fan, a re-match perhaps in the Finals Gauchos/Trojans, brings US back to ’88, maybe we can SWEEP this time!!!!!!! :)!!!!!!!PEACE!!!!!!!

    p.s. thanks for the 8-team expansion comments, very informative, I also talked with a “Gaucho Loco” fan who spoke of more conferences in the west, the dream of course being, let’s go past the club level with schools like Cal and Arizona, get the Pac-10 going, Big West, etc…….——-:)!!!!!!!

  4. wordzmith12 permalink
    May 1, 2011 4:51 pm

    I must also say this Gaucho “run” does not surprise me, it’s a team that all year has won when we needed to win, has played with lineups and played subs in non-conference matches–we gave away matches we didn’t need you could say. I mean I said it, no one official can say that–but I can, that’s why blog write? I mean right???????PEACE!!!!!!!

    “that’s what I say/ And if I didn’t say that, you’d say it anyway” –Run DMC

  5. wordzmith12 permalink
    May 1, 2011 7:15 pm

    “win when we needed to win–” Lakers this year???????

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