BYU, Hawai’i get NCAA men’s tournament at-large bids

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They played last week and both teams got at-large bids. In Hawai'i's win over BYU, Jake Langlois of BYU hit this as Hawai'i's Jennings Franciskovic hopes for the best/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

Just as there were few surprises during the four Division I-II men’s tournaments, as expected, Ohio State and Long Beach State got byes into the National Collegiate Men’s Volleyball Championship semifinals.

The tournament begins Tuesday, May 2, in Columbus, Ohio.

Defending-champion Ohio State (30-2), which won the MIVA, is the top seed, while Long Beach (27-3), which won the MPSF is No. 2.

Penn State (21-10), which won the EIVA, and Conference Carolinas champion Barton (23-5) had the other two bids. The remaining two at-large berths went to MPSF teams, Hawai’i (26-5) and BYU (24-4).

And it was during the NCAA selection show that the format was announced. The NCAA waited until the field was set to not only decide where matches would be played, but when.

Long Beach's Kyle Ensing, MVP of the MPSF, plays defense in the title match against Hawai'i on Saturday/Ed Chan, VBshots.com
Long Beach’s Kyle Ensing, MVP of the MPSF, plays defense in the title match against Hawai’i on Saturday/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

The NCAA again will have its Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday format, all at Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio. BYU faces Barton at 6 p.m. Eastern with the winner getting Long Beach State, followed by Hawai’i facing Penn State and the winner playing Ohio State.

The way the NCAA seeded and formatted the tournament meant that no team had to go to Hawai’i, nor that it would have on-campus matchups, as early as Friday or Saturday of next week, all of which was considered.

The postseason has been remarkably predictable. In the four men’s leagues, there were just three matches in which lower-seeded teams, all in semifinals, won. No. 3 Grand Canyon beat No. 2 Lewis in the MIVA, No. 3 Hawai’i beat No. 2 BYU in the MPSF and third-seeded Mount Olive beat second-seeded King in the Conference Carolinas.

But in the league championship matches, all four No. 1 seeds won.

 

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