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2018 NCAA volleyball tournament: Bracket, analysis, schedule and how to watch the DI championship

The NCAA volleyball selection committee has spoken. After three months of play, 64 teams get to compete for the national championship, beginning with the NCAA tournament first round on Nov. 29.

Stanford, Minnesota, Illinois and BYU took the top four seeds, which means each team will host a regional if it advances past the first weekend.

Here is the full bracket, schedule of games and viewing information, followed by a region-by-region look at the 2018 NCAA Division I women’s volleyball tournament bracket.

BRACKET: 2018 NCAA DI women’s volleyball interactive bracket | Printable bracket | Field announced

NCAA volleyball tournament schedule:

Below are the top 16 seeds in the NCAA Division I women’s volleyball tournament that will host the first two rounds on campus sites. We will update the information on how to watch these games when those details become available. All games will be available on WatchESPN.

1. Stanford
2. Minnesota
3. Illinois
4. BYU
5. Texas
6. Wisconsin
7. Nebraska
8. Penn State
9. Creighton
10. Kentucky
11. Southern California
12. Pittsburgh
13. UCF
14. Marquette
15. Oregon
16. Washington State

First Round
Game Site Date Time (ET) Network
Florida State vs. Florida UCF Thursday, Nov. 29 4:30 p.m. TBD
Rice vs. Texas State Texas Thursday, Nov. 29 5 p.m. TBD
Northern Iowa vs. Pepperdine Wisconsin Thursday, Nov. 29 6 p.m. TBD
No. 13 UCF vs. Florida Gulf Coast UCF Thursday, Nov. 29 7 p.m. TBD
Hawaii vs. Baylor Oregon Thursday, Nov. 29 7:30 p.m. TBD
No. 5 Texas vs. Stephen F. Austin Texas Thursday, Nov. 29 8 p.m. TBD
No. 6 Wisconsin vs. Green Bay Wisconsin Thursday, Nov. 29 8:30 p.m. TBD
No. 15 Oregon vs. New Mexico St. Oregon Thursday, Nov. 29 10 p.m. TBD
Michigan vs. Navy Pittsburgh Friday, Nov. 30 4 p.m. TBD
Saint Mary’s (CA) vs. Washington Creighton Friday, Nov. 30 4:30 p.m. TBD
Purdue vs. East Tennessee State Kentucky Friday, Nov. 30 5 p.m. TBD
Syracuse vs. Yale Penn State Friday, Nov. 30 5 p.m. TBD
Arizona vs. Missouri Nebraska Friday, Nov. 30 5:30 p.m. TBD
Cincinnati vs. Illinois State Marquette Friday, Nov. 30 5:30 p.m. TBD
South Carolina vs. Colorado Minnesota Friday, Nov. 30 5:30 p.m. TBD
Louisville vs. Dayton Illinois Friday, Nov. 30 5:30 p.m. TBD
Utah vs. Denver BYU Friday, Nov. 30 6 p.m. TBD
No. 9 Creighton vs. South Dakota Creighton Friday, Nov. 30 7 p.m. TBD
No. 12 Pittsburgh vs. Iona Pittsburgh Friday, Nov. 30 7 p.m. TBD
Tennessee vs. Colorado State Washington St. Friday, Nov. 30 7 p.m. TBD
No. 8 Penn State vs. Howard Penn State Friday, Nov. 30 7:30 p.m. TBD
No. 10 Kentucky vs. Murray State Kentucky Friday, Nov. 30 7:30 p.m. TBD
Loyola Marymount vs. Duke Stanford Friday, Nov. 30 7:30 p.m. TBD
No. 2 Minnesota vs. Bryant Minnesota Friday, Nov. 30 8 p.m. TBD
No. 3 Illinois vs. Eastern Michigan Illinois Friday, Nov. 30 8 p.m. TBD
No. 7 Nebraska vs. Hofstra Nebraska Friday, Nov. 30 8 p.m. TBD
No. 14 Marquette vs. High Point Marquette Friday, Nov. 30 8 p.m. TBD
No. 4 BYU vs. Stony Brook BYU Friday, Nov. 30 9 p.m. TBD
San Diego vs. Cal Poly Southern Cal Friday, Nov. 30 9 p.m. TBD
No. 1 Stanford vs. Alabama State Stanford Friday, Nov. 30 10 p.m. TBD
No. 16 Washington St. vs. N. Arizona Washington St. Friday, Nov. 30 10 p.m. TBD
No. 11 Southern Cal vs. Samford Southern Cal Friday, Nov. 30 11 p.m. TBD

Region-by-region look at the 2018 bracket

Starting with No. 1 Stanford, the first thing that jumps off the page is a potential matchup with No. 8 Penn State in the regional final. The Nittany Lions were the No. 1 seed last year but have a much younger team this year, led by freshman outside hitter Jonni Parker. Still, it’ll be tough to pick against the Cardinal in Palo Alto. Loyola Marymount appeared to not really be in the tournament conversation until its late win against then-undefeated BYU. Quite the comeback for the Lions.

MORE: 2018 championship info | Championship tickets

Playing in the Big East, Creighton hasn’t received a lot of attention this season, but Taryn Kloth is an All-American capable of carrying a team. For the best matches in the first weekend, it has to be Tennessee vs. Colorado State and the winner of that possibly against Washington State. The Volunteers have had an incredible season, finishing second in the SEC with a first-year coach.

BYU ended up getting a top-four seed after all. Heading into the final weekend, many around the sport speculated whether or not BYU or Stanford would get the No. 1 seed. Once BYU lost in its final game of the year, the question became whether or not the Cougars would hold on for a top-four seed.

But this region is one of the best from top to bottom. No. 5 Texas should never be taken for granted and No. 12 Pittsburgh has been one of the best stories this season at 29-1. For the best matchups of the first weekend, look no further than in Orlando. No. 13 UCF has had a phenomenal year, winning the American Conference, but last year’s national runner-up Florida could be a sleeper here as an unseeded team.

The No. 2 Minnesota Golden Gophers could theoretically have home-court advantage throughout the tournament. There’s no question the Big Ten champs want to play for a championship in Minneapolis.

MORE: A list of all the teams in the NCAA tournament | 2018 automatic qualifiers

The two teams most likely to thwart those opportunities are the reigning national champion, No. 7 Nebraska, and No. 10 Kentucky. Those two teams could meet in the Big Ten regional semifinals after last season’s regional final matchup. For an unseeded sleeper, it has to be Purdue which has been a top-15 team pretty much all season.

Illinois made the national final as the No. 3 seed in 2011 and the Fighting Illini are very well deserving of that seed this season. If the bracket goes chalk, there could be a Big Ten vs. Big Ten regional final with No. 6 Wisconsin, which is also a championship caliber team.

RELATED: All 86 teams that have yet to make the NCAA volleyball tournament

Southern California at No. 11 was a bit surprising, given its losses to Arizona State and Utah at the end of the season. This region also has one of the most exciting players to watch in Cincinnati’s Jordan Thompson, who is leading the country with an astonishing 6.28 kills per set.

You’ll want to watch as much action as you can through the national championship on Dec. 15 in Minneapolis. This tournament almost always ends up being one of the best of the year.

MORE: The 9 greatest upsets in NCAA volleyball history

Championship History

2017 Nebraska (32-4) John Cook 3-1 Florida Kansas City
2016 Stanford (26-7) John Dunning 3-1 Texas Columbus
2015 Nebraska (32-4) John Cook 3-0 Texas Omaha
2014 Penn State (36-3) Russ Rose 3-0 BYU Oklahoma City
2013 Penn State (34-2) Russ Rose 3-1 Wisconsin Seattle
2012 Texas (29-4) Jerritt Elliott 3-0 Oregon Louisville
2011 UCLA (29-6) Michael Sealy 3-1 Illinois San Antonio, Texas
2010 Penn State (32-5) Russ Rose 3-0 California UMKC
2009 Penn State (38-0) Russ Rose 3-2 Texas South Florida
2008 Penn State (38-0) Russ Rose 3-0 Stanford Nebraska
2007 Penn State (34-2) Russ Rose 3-2 Stanford Sacramento State
2006 Nebraska (33-1) John Cook 3-1 Stanford Nebraska
2005 Washington (32-1) Jim McLaughlin 3-0 Nebraska UTSA
2004 Stanford (30-6) John Dunning 3-0 Minnesota Long Beach State
2003 Southern California (35-0) Mick Haley 3-1 Florida Dallas
2002 Southern California (31-1) Mick Haley 3-1 Stanford New Orleans
2001 Stanford (33-2) John Dunning 3-0 Long Beach State San Diego State
2000 Nebraska (34-0) John Cook 3-2 Wisconsin VCU
1999 Penn State (36-1) Russ Rose 3-0 Stanford Hawaii
1998 Long Beach State (36-0) Brian Gimmillaro 3-2 Penn State Wisconsin
1997 Stanford (33-2) Don Shaw 3-2 Penn State Washington State
1996 Stanford (31-2) Don Shaw 3-0 Hawaii Cleveland State
1995 Nebraska (32-1) Terry Pettit 3-1 Texas Massachusetts
1994 Stanford (31-2) Don Shaw 3-1 UCLA Texas
1993 Long Beach State (32-2) Brian Gimmillaro 3-1 Penn State Wisconsin
1992 Stanford (31-2) Don Shaw 3-1 UCLA New Mexico
1991 UCLA (31-5) Andy Banachowski 3-2 Long Beach State UCLA
1990 UCLA (36-1) Andy Banachowski 3-0 Pacific Maryland
1989 Long Beach State (32-5) Brian Gimmillaro 3-0 Nebraska Hawaii
1988 Texas (34-5) Mick Haley 3-0 Hawaii Minnesota
1987 Hawaii (37-2) Dave Shoji 3-1 Stanford Indianapolis
1986 Pacific (39-3) John Dunning 3-0 Nebraska Pacific
1985 Pacific (36-3) John Dunning 3-1 Stanford Western Michigan
1984 UCLA (33-6) Andy Banachowski 3-2 Stanford UCLA
1983 Hawaii (34-2) Dave Shoji 3-0 UCLA Kentucky
1982 Hawaii (33-1) Dave Shoji 3-2 Southern California Pacific
1981 Southern California (27-10) Chuck Erbe 3-2 UCLA UCLA

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