THE AUTOMATIC BIDS:
Big West: Long Beach State 49ers (26-1, 9-1)
- LBSU’s loss a week prior reset their play and may be bad news for their opponents as they have won their last six sets coming against CSUN and the team who originally beat them in Hawaii. That second affair also won them the Big West Tournament, as they are a lock to be the #1 overall.
Conference Carolinas: King Tornado (23-5, 15-1)
- King won round three with Barton in a meeting of co-regular season champions to lock up the NCAA Tournament’s automatic bid. They look destined for the initial play-in-match.
EIVA: Harvard Crimson (13-13, 10-4)
- The Crimson may have fallen twice to George Mason at season’s end, keeping them from the regular season crown, but they still ended the season on a roll and continued their success against Penn State and Princeton to claim the EIVA crown and the automatic bid.
MIVA: Ohio State Buckeyes (23-5, 11-3)
- The Buckeyes made quick work of Loyola Chicago in the third meeting with the Ramblers, as they join the NCAA Tournament yet again. This time they won’t be seen as one of the top contenders, but they’ve been on a roll lately and have championship DNA, so shouldn’t be taken lightly.
MPSF: BYU Cougars (22-6, 10-2)
- After losing in the regular season finale to UCLA, some questioned if the Bruins were destined to run through the league tournament. BYU quelled that thought when the two met in the title match and downed them in four, earning the automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament.
UCLA Bruins (24-7, 9-3 MPSF)
- UCLA couldn’t down BYU once again, but still avoided the loss to Concordia Irvine. That leaves them with the best depth of wins among at-large teams as the RPI and VolleyMob rankings agree that the Bruins are in.
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (19-8, 6-4 Big West)
- Hawaii may have lost to LBSU and didn’t show quite the edge of last week’s meetings, but the Rainbow Warriors accomplished their most important feat of the week in downing UC Irvine. That likely secures Hawaii’s spot here as they own the season series 2-1 with everything else being very close among the two for the last at-large.
FIRST TWO OUT:
UC Irvine Anteaters (21-9, 6-4 Big West)
- The Anteaters did earn a win on the week, but it came over unranked UC San Diego while they lost to the team in front to them in Hawaii. It looks unlikely that they make it at this point, but they still have a chance because they have a few more victories against teams sitting around the top 10 than Hawaii, but it likely isn’t enough to overcome losing the season series.
Loyola Chicago Ramblers (23-7, 11-3 MIVA)
- Loyola set themselves up with a loss to Lindenwood in the season finale to where they likely needed to win the MIVA to garner a bid, and sure enough it looks like that played out. That loss may not be the only tipping point, but it did at the time drop them from three to five in the RPI (and another week later six). Their loss to UC Irvine earlier this season also doesn’t help.
SEEDING THE BRACKET:
- (1) LBSU
- (2) BYU
- (3) UCLA
- (4) Hawaii
- (5) Ohio State
- (6) King
- (7) Harvard