As we hit the end of February and get into the beginning of conference matches and league play, it’s time to unveil our fourth bracketology of the 2018 Men’s NCAA Division I-II Volleyball season. Starting with three weeks ago, VolleyMob will be releasing an updated bracketology of the seven-team tournament once a week until the official brackets come out.
Before we get started with the fourth version of bracketology, here’s a reminder of how this year’s tournament works. With the addition of the Big West, the tournament will feature seven teams with five automatic bids and two at-large picks. A full article detailing it all can be seen here.
Note: All of the choices below for the at-larges are picked on what is currently happening as opposed to projection. A link to the updated conference tables can be seen here.
THE AUTOMATIC BIDS:
Big West: #10 UC Santa Barbara (5-5, 1-0)
- It feels odd to put UCSB here with the top team in the country and a few other elite teams in the league, but we base these berths off of right now, so UCSB steals the early bid.
Conference Carolinas: (RV) Barton (10-6, 8-0)
- Barton took control of the league race after downing King for first over the weekend. They look plenty ready to defend their conference crown as they join the bracketology for the first time.
EIVA: #15 George Mason (8-7, 4-0)
- The Patriots look like the league favorite after not just beating Penn State, but doing it on the road in sweep-fashion. A later match with the Nittany Lions comes down the road, but as for now GMU makes it in the latest bracketology.
MIVA: #5 Loyola Chicago (12-3, 5-1)
- Loyola Chicago overcame a 2-0 set hole from last week’s leader, Ohio State, to take this spot. They’ll either confirm it or a change will occur as they battle Lewis this week for the number one ranking in the MIVA.
MPSF: #6 BYU (12-4, 5-0)
- BYU is the lone undefeated team in league play left in the MPSF, as UCLA fell to Pepperdine. BYU will have its hands full this week though, as they take on both of those teams.
#1 Long Beach State (14-0, 0-0 Big West)
- The 49ers will likely take the Big West automatic bid, but have yet to commence league play yet. That makes them an automatic choice for an at-large.
#2 Hawaii (9-2, 1-1 Big West)
- Hawaii, who split with both UCLA and UC Irvine (teams on their tails), ends up with the second choice after the Bruins have lost three straight and the Rainbow Warriors have the slight on a UC Irvine team who has dropped a few extra matches.
SEEDING THE BRACKET:
- (1) LBSU
- (2) Hawaii
- (3) Loyola Chicago
- (4) BYU
- (5) UC Santa Barbara
- (6) George Mason
- (7) Barton