THE AUTOMATIC BIDS:
Big West: #1 Long Beach State (21-0, 6-0)
- The 49ers dispelled UC Irvine twice on the week and now lead everyone by three plus matches in the Big West. One more win earns them at least a share of the regular season league crown, but regardless at this point they might be in.
Conference Carolinas: (RV) Barton (17-6, 13-0)
- Barton didn’t play this week as King moved within a match of their lead. That sets up a big match this week with the regular season title (or a shared version of it) potentially on the line between the two.
EIVA: #16 George Mason (14-10, 10-0)
- George Mason almost was tripped up by Princeton for the first time in EIVA action this season, but squeaked by in five as they remain unbeaten. They’ll have to overcome the pressure of being unblemished to finish the year, as they can wrap up a regular season league title this week.
MIVA: #5 Ohio State (19-4, 10-2)
- After weeks in this slot, Loyola Chicago is ousted by Ohio State who jumped them by a spot in the rankings overall and is tied atop the MIVA table following a head-to-head victory.
MPSF: #2 BYU (19-5, 9-1)
- BYU lost for the first time in MPSF play, but luckily had UCLA lose as well. That means they still lead the MPSF by two plus matches on everyone, but if they lose to Pepperdine and UCLA to finish things off this week their could be chaos atop the league table.
#3 UCLA Bruins (20-6, 7-3 MPSF)
- UCLA had a split week, but with other teams around them losing stayed in their VolleyMob Top 20 ranking. They also sit second in the latest RPI – heavily used by the committee in this at-large selection – so should be headed for this bid, especially if they can beat BYU this week.
#4 UC Irvine Anteaters (17-7, 3-3 Big West)
- This is a close one between UC Irvine and Loyola Chicago. The Anteaters rank fourth in the VolleyMob rankings but fifth in the RPI. Loyola is sixth in VolleyMob and third in the RPI. Although it won’t come down to just this, the two teams are similar enough in everything they have compiled that UC Irvine’s win on a neutral court over Loyola could be the difference.
SEEDING THE BRACKET:
- (1) LBSU
- (2) BYU
- (3) UCLA
- (4) UC Irvine
- (5) Ohio State
- (6) George Mason
- (7) Barton