As we hit February and get into the beginning of conference matches and league play, it’s time to unveil our first bracketology of the 2018 Men’s NCAA Division I-II Volleyball season. Starting with this week, 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 first early 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.
Since conference season is about a week away for some leagues while others have played a handful of matches, the current results may be odd, but 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: #1 Long Beach State (10-0, 0-0)
- No one has played a match yet in the Big West, but the 49ers own the best record and are ranked the highest, so we slide them into this category.
Conference Carolinas: (RV) King (7-2, 4-0)
- Three teams sit atop the Conference Carolinas standings in King, Mount Olive and Barton at 4-0 thus far. Those three were the most thought of before the year started too, so it should be a fun race to the finish. At the moment King holds the edge with a better overall record and ‘on the cusp’ classification in the latest VolleyMob Top 20.
EIVA: Harvard (1-3, 1-0)
- #10 Penn State, #15 Saint Francis, #20 George Mason. These are all teams in the EIVA who may represent the best chance of winning the league. However, since this is based on the data we have now as opposed to projection, the team who has won the only league match thus far (Harvard) takes the spot – at least for now.
MIVA: McKendree (3-5, 1-0)
- This is kind of the same thing with Harvard. Do we expect McKendree to be here? No. They’re in a league with four top 12 teams and another on the cusp. However, with just two league matches, McKendree currently sits on top and since this isn’t a prediction of who will win and more of a putting the pieces together of if the season ended today, they grab the automatic bid.
MPSF: #2 UCLA (10-1, 0-0)
- Like the Big West, the MPSF hasn’t started it’s league play yet. It’s coming soon, but as for now we go with the best record overall in UCLA, who is also the highest ranked team in the league.
#3 Hawaii (8-1, 0-0 Big West)
- Hawaii is the highest ranked team not to be an at-large pick, so they’re an easy choice for this first slot.
#4 UC Irvine (10-2, 0-0 Big West)
- Coming in behind Hawaii is another Big West team, giving the league three in the opening bracketology. The Anteaters overall resume keeps them in the big dance.
Seeding the Bracket:
- (1) LBSU
- (2) UCLA
- (3) Hawaii
- (4) UC Irvine
- (5) King
- (6) McKendree
- (7) Harvard