Texas, Stanford, Wisconsin and Louisville are the four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament.
San Diego was one of the four No. 2 seeds along with Minnesota, Pittsburgh and Nebraska.
This year, the NCAA did not rank the seeds 1-16 but instead assigned 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 and seeded half the 64-team field. The No. 1 seeds get to be third- and fourth-round hosts if they win their first two matches. All four top seeds in each regional play at home for the first two rounds.
In the Texas regional, Texas plays FDU, Georgia plays Towson, Georgia Tech plays Wright State and Ball State plays Marquette, the fourth seed in the regional. In the other half of the Texas regional Ohio Stateis the third seed and the Buckeyes play Tennessee State, High Point plays USC, Florida State plays Northern Iowa and Southeastern Louisiana plays second-seeded Minnesota.
In the Stanford regional, the Cardinal play Pepperdine, LSU plays Hawai’i, Houston plays South Dakota and Auburn plays the No. 4 seed in the regional, Creighton. The third-seed is Kentucky, which plays Loyola Chicago, Bowling Green plays Western Kentucky, Washington State plays UNLV and San Diego is the second seed and plays Northern Colorado.
In the Wisconsin regional, the Badgers play Quinnipiac, TCU plays Washington, UCF plays Yale and UMBC plays the No. 4 seed, Penn State. The third seed is Florida, which plays Florida A&M, FGCU plays Iowa State, BYU plays James Madison and Colgate plays No. 2 Pittsburgh.
In the Louisville regional, the Cardinals play Samford, Tennessee plays Purdue, Rice plays Colorado and fourth-seeded Baylor plays Stephen F. Austin. The third seed is Oregon and plays Loyola Marymount, Utah State plays Arkansas, Miami plays Kansas and second-seeded Nebraska plays Delaware State.
NCAA committee chair Pauline Thiros, the athletic director at Idaho State, said Stanford edged San Diego for the last No. 1 seed.
The last four in, according to ESPN, were Auburn, Ball State, LMU and Pepperdine. The last three out were Colorado State, Texas State and UCLA.
The SEC got seven schools, the Big Ten and Pac-12 six each, and the ACC and Big 12 five each.
First- and second-round matches are Thursday-Friday or Friday-Saturday on 16 host campuses. The regional (third and fourth rounds) are December 8 and 10. on the campuses of the top four seeds, provided they advance. If a top four seed loses the host honor trickles down.
The first- and second-round matches will be shown on ESPN+, not network, and Texas matches will be shown on the Longhorn Network. ESPN told us there will also be a whiparound show for the first time, also on ESPN+. Speaking of ESPN, unlike previous years there was not a ballgame leading directly into volleyball on ESPNU that inevitably went long, so the selection show started on time.
The national semifinals are December 15 and the national championship is December 17 at CHI Health Center Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska.
We will have more VolleyballMag.com coverage and features all week. Later Sunday night, look for our Zoom with, among others, Thiros, Texas star Logan Eggleston, Louisville coach Dani Busboom Kelly, Wisconsin coach Kelly Sheffield, Stanford coach Kevin Hambly and San Diego coach Jen Petrie.
HISTORY: Wisconsin defeated Nebraska in five to win the 2021 NCAA title. It was the second straight year in which a first-time champion was crowned after Kentucky won in 2020 (spring of 2021).
Just 12 programs have won it since the NCAA began holding women’s volleyball championships in 1981: Stanford (9 times), Penn State (7), Nebraska (5), UCLA (4), Hawai’i (3), Long Beach State (3), USC (3), Pacific (2), Texas (2), Kentucky (1), Wisconsin (1) and Washington (1).
Kentucky of the SEC is the only team outside of the Big Ten or Pac-12 to win the crown since Texas of the Big 12 won 10 years ago.
FIRST TIMERS: There are programs in the tournament for the first time, Fairleigh Dickinson of the NEC, Delaware State of the MEAC, and Southeastern Louisiana of the Southland.
There will be at least five first-year head coaches in the tournament, Katie Schumacher-Cawley of Penn State, David Nguyen of Fairleigh Dickinson, Tonya Johnson of LSU, Jason Williams of TCU, and Trav Green of Wright State.
NCAA COMMITTEE: In addition to Thiros, the committee included Loyola University Chicago deputy director of athletics Holly Strauss-O’Brien, Marquette executive associate athletic director Danielle Josetti, Utah State executive associate athletics director Amy Crosbie, Tennessee senior associate athletics director Angie Boyd Keck, Texas associate athletics director Christine Plonsky, Bowling Green senior woman administrator/deputy AD Stacy Kosciak, Missouri Valley Conference assistant commissioner Kirsten McCowan, Washington assistant athletics director Karen Baebler and Coastal Carolina senior women’s administrator/associate AD Cari Rosiek.