First Look At NCAA Conference Realignments For 2017-2018

  0 Jared Anderson | May 15th, 2017 | Big West, College - Men's Indoor, College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, MIVA, MPSF, News

The men’s volleyball scene will shake up pretty drastically at the conference level next season, with the Big West adding men’s volleyball and nabbing six major programs from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

We track the major conference changes we could dig up for the 2017-2018 season below. If there’s an addition we didn’t include, let us know in the comments and we’ll investigate further.

The Big West addition could have major changes for the NCAA Tournament selection system on the men’s side. In the past, four conferences have earned automatic bids: the MPSF, MIVA, EIVA and Conference Carolinas. But with MPSF Champs Long Beach State and at-large NCAA Tournament qualifier Hawaii both leaving the conference for the Big West, there could certainly be momentum to give the Big West an automatic bid. That would require the NCAA to tweak its selection process, perhaps dropping one automatic conference bid, perhaps dropping one of the two at-large bids or perhaps expanding the tournament from 6 teams to 8, with 5 automatic conference bids and 3 at-large slots.

Big West Inaugural Season

The Big West will become the first multi-sport Division I conference nationwide to add men’s volleyball to its official slate of sponsored sports. The conference pulled 6 programs from the MPSF, though all 6 of those schools were already Big West members in other sports.

The Changes (men’s programs only):

  • Long Beach State jumps from the MPSF to the Big West
  • Hawaii jumps from the MPSF to the Big West
  • UC-Irvine jumps from the MPSF to the Big West
  • UC San Diego jumps from the MPSF to the Big West
  • UC Santa Barbara jumps from the MPSF to the Big West
  • Cal State Northridge jumps from the MPSF to the Big West

MPSF Reloads

Losing those six programs, the MPSF will add two teams, ultimately dropping from 12 programs to 8. The conference should open up considerably, with 2 of the 3 NCAA Tournament-participating programs moving to the Big West. Only BYU returns from the conference’s NCAA qualifiers.

The Changes (men’s programs only):

  • Concordia-Irvine from an independent program to the MPSF
  • Grand Canyon from the MIVA to the MPSF

Queens Adds Mens Volleyball

The last big change to the men’s volleyball landscape comes in North Carolina, where Queens University will add a men’s volleyball program. Queens typically competes in Division II, but will be a player on the biggest stage as the NCAA combines Divisions I and II for men’s volleyball.

The Change (men’s program only):

  • Queens adds program

Wichita State to The American

On the women’s side, Wichita State will move from the Missouri Valley Conference into the American Athletic Conference, also known as “The American” or the AAC. Wichita State were the 2016 conference champs in the Missouri Valley Conference, which impressed nationally by sending three programs to the NCAA Tournament. The American sent a pair of teams: SMU and Cincinnati.

The Change (women’s program only):

  • Wichita State jumps from the MVC to the AAC

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