One week remains in the regular season of the Big West, as Long Beach State has already secured their place as the league victors in the regular season. The jockeying among the other seeds though should be interesting as we get ready for the Big West Tournament, with both an NCAA Tournament bid on the line and an end to an important finish coming for UC Irvine and Hawaii – who are both in the middle of the at-large race as well.
With new story-lines emerging and a new season of sorts in league play commencing, VolleyMob will be giving conference updates. Below is analysis as well as the weekly Big West table, awards, matches of the week and power rankings:
BIG WEST TABLE:
|#4 UC Irvine||5-3||19-7|
|UC San Diego||0-8||9-16|
- VolleyMob Player of the Week (Rado Parapunov – Hawaii)
- VolleyMob Honorable Mention POTW (Arvis Greene – CSUN)
- Big West Weekly Awards
MATCHES OF THE WEEK:
- April 12: #4 UC Irvine at #12 UC Santa Barbara
- April 13: #1 LBSU at #5 Hawaii
- April 14: #10 CSUN at UC San Diego
- April 14: #12 UC Santa Barbara at #4 UC Irvine
- April 14: #1 LBSU at #5 Hawaii
VOLLEYMOB BIG WEST POWER RANKINGS:
- UC Irvine
- #1 Long Beach State 49ers
The 49ers two victories last week clinched the regular season (and first-ever) Big West Championship in favor of LBSU. This week they just look for an encore and to stay perfect in the regular season. In terms of the big picture it might not really matter what they do at Hawaii, as two losses there would likely still have them at #1 in the RPI Poll and in plenty of rankings just because the gap between them and #2 (who has six losses) is so big already. That basically means even if they were to lose out (so three matches) they would likely make the NCAA Tournament as an at-large team, but they have a sense of pride in finishing undefeated and claiming the inaugural Big West Tournament next week.
- #4 UC Irvine & #5 Hawaii
While LBSU might be in no matter what, one of these schools will look to steal the automatic bid by winning the Big West Tournament next week. But if they cannot achieve that goal, they’ve both got an opportunity to make the big dance as an at-large team. In fact, in the latest VolleyMob Bracketology, UC Irvine is in the field while Hawaii is part of the ‘First Two Out’ classification. For the Anteaters playing UCSB, they’re in need of a pair of victories to maintain that status – a split might keep them there but would also put reliance on others losing. For Hawaii, two losses to the 49ers would be the status quo compared to everyone else, so it wouldn’t hurt them really – especially in the RPI. Get a win over the Beach though? Then you have a shiny object on your resume that no one else can touch. Therefore, if you’re a Big West fan wanting three teams in the NCAA Tournament, root for Hawaii to take down LBSU this week, either Hawaii or UC Irvine to win the Big West Tournament and know that LBSU will make it regardless.