The NCAA volleyball tournament has arrived, with Nebraska locking up the No. 1 overall seed.

The five-time national champion Cornhuskers lead a contingent of stacked No. 1 seeds, including 2021 title winner Wisconsin, nine-time champion Stanford and Pitt.

No. 2 seeds include Kentucky, Louisville, Oregon and 2022 champion Texas, while Arkansas, Creighton, Purdue and Tennessee enter as No. 3 seeds. Rounding out the top four seeds are BYU, Florida, Kansas and Washington State.

A total of 64 teams will compete in the tournament. The field includes first-timers in Omaha, Coppin State, Wofford and Grand Canyon.

Penn State is in the tournament for the 43rd time. The Nittany Lions are the only program to appear in the tournament every single year. Nebraska and Stanford each have made 42 appearances and Hawai’i has made 41, while defending national champion Texas has made 40.

The SEC leads all conferences with eight teams, while the Big 12 has seven teams and the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 each have five.

For the first time, the championship match will be televised on ABC, taking place at 3 p.m. ET Sunday, Dec. 17.

Check out the full bracket here. The full schedule for first round matches – including time of matches – is here.

NCAA women’s volleyball tournament: Schedule

  • First and second rounds: Thursday, Nov. 30, through Sunday, Dec. 3
  • Regionals: Thursday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 9
  • Semifinals: Thursday, Dec. 14 — 7 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Championship: Sunday, Dec. 17 — 3 p.m. ET on ABC

Nebraska volleyball is officially more popular than the football team.

As if filling out Memorial Stadium wasn’t enough, Cornhuskers volleyball’s upset over then-No. 1 ranked Wisconsin on Saturday averaged 612,000 viewers. The most-watched regular season volleyball match ever and the largest volleyball audience in Big Ten Network history, the match also beat out Nebraska football’s game against Northwestern.

The volleyball team beat the Badgers in five sets and took over the No. 1 ranking in the process. The match aired at 8 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network.

The football game, which aired at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday on Big Ten Network, averaged just 560,000 viewers for the Huskers’ 17-9 win.

“Both teams delivered on the hype of an undefeated No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup with a thrilling five-set match,” Big Ten Network executive Michael Calderon said. “It was a tremendous introduction to Big Ten volleyball for any first-time viewers, who will undoubtedly be back to watch more Big Ten volleyball during the final five weeks of the season. We believe there is still plenty of room for more growth.”

It’s the first time that a volleyball match has exceeded 600,000 viewers on Big Ten Network. The previous high came on Black Friday of 2022, when 587,000 viewers who tuned in for the Nebraska-Wisconsin rivalry match.

Earlier this year, 518,000 viewers tuned in to watch Nebraska’s outdoor volleyball match in late August, which set the all-time attendance record for women’s sports.

Volleyball viewership is on the rise this season in the Big Ten, with the 142,000 average viewers — up 13% from 2022.

Nebraska volleyball won the last two sets against Wisconsin to claim the battle of unbeatens in Lincoln on Saturday night.

The win snapped the Huskers’ 10-match losing streak against Wisconsin dating back to 2017. Saturday night’s matchup was also the first between the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in women’s volleyball since 2019. With the win, Nebraska will overtake the Badgers for the No. 1 spot this week.

A challenge by Nebraska coach John Cook on the final point resulted in a net violation against Wisconsin and sealed the victory after a 4-0 run in the fifth set, 25-22, 17-25, 20-25, 26-24, 15-13. Huskers junior Merritt Beason led the way with 21 kills, while freshman and 2023 No. 1 recruit Harper Murray registered 14 kills and 15 digs.

“It was a match for the ages tonight — two great teams battling every point,” Cook said after the match. “We just found a way to be two points better.”

The teams played in front of 9,198 fans at the Devaney Center, marking the 314th consecutive sellout for Nebraska volleyball. The match comes nearly two months after Nebraska shattered the attendance record for a women’s sporting event when 92,003 fans packed Lincoln’s Memorial Stadium to watch the team defeat Omaha on Aug. 30.

Nebraska (19-0, 10-0 Big Ten) and Wisconsin (18-1, 9-1) meet again on Nov. 24 in Madison, Wisc.

Nebraska volleyball made history Wednesday, setting the attendance record for a women’s sporting event with 92,003 fans packing Lincoln’s Memorial Stadium to watch the team beat Omaha 3-0.

Organizers anticipated “Volleyball Day in Nebraska” would surpass the previous record, held by FC Barcelona. But reality exceeded expectations, for those in attendance and those watching from home.

“It’s incredible. I don’t have enough words to describe it,” Nebraska middle blocker Andi Jackson said. “We were walking out of the tunnel after the second set, and we heard on the speaker we had just broken the world record. Everyone was trying to stay locked in, but we were also so excited. I can’t describe how grateful I am to be a part of it.”

LSU women’s basketball star Angel Reese had her eyes on the spectacle from afar, and now she wants to see her team play in Tiger Stadium, her school’s 102,321-capacity football stadium in Baton Rouge.

“LET’S MAKE THIS HAPPEN!” she said in response to one fan suggesting the idea. In a separate post, she added: “Women’s sports is growing and I love that for us.”

Of course, Iowa women’s basketball is already making it happen in October. The Hawkeyes are hosting an exhibition game in 69,250-capacity Kinnick Stadium, with all proceeds going to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. That game set to break the record for the most-attended women’s basketball game.

And Iowa star Caitlin Clark also was among those awed by Nebraska’s feat, reacting to a video of the Cornhuskers walking out of the tunnel with one word: “Sheesh.”

Other big names also applauded the event, with Las Vegas Aces star A’ja Wilson calling it “dope.” Tennis legend Billie Jean King called it “outstanding” before calling for the continued growth of women’s sports.

Nebraska volleyball players were glad their match, which was televised on Big Ten Network, reached such a wide audience.

“I’ve been saying it’s so huge for little girls to get to see a women’s sport and volleyball being played on this big of a stage and having so many people invest in it,” junior Lexi Rodriguez said. “When you’re little, you have big dreams and big goals. Having this to look up to is something that a lot of little girls will keep in the back of their mind when they’re pursuing the sport of volleyball.”