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Mid-major conferences use strong schedules to earn at-large bids

Updated: November 28, 2007, 1:30 PM ET
By Dave Reed | Special to ESPN.com

The NCAA volleyball tournament begins on Thursday night in Gainesville, Fla.

For top seeds like Stanford, Nebraska, Penn State and Texas, the early rounds are often little more than a formality. For programs that come from less competitive conferences, the experience of playing at a venue like the Wisconsin Field House or Florida's O'Connell Center is the reward for earning a conference championship.

South Dakota State's first trip to the NCAA Tournament will be memorable, ...

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