UC Irvine, BYU top latest strength of schedule rankings

UC Irvine in the midst of trying to make a late-season run to earn a postseason berth is playing the toughest schedule in the nation.

The Anteaters were ranked No. 1 in the strength of schedule rankings and No. 2 in the non-conference strength of schedule rankings that the NCAA released this week.


The defending-MPSF champions UC Irvine enter its weekend road series against No. 8/9 Hawai’i in ninth place in the MPSF. It is also one-match behind No. 11 CSUN for the final berth to the conference tournament.

BYU at No. 2 had the highest strength of schedule ranking among teams projected to be under NCAA Tournament consideration, according to the latest Off the Block bracketology. In addition, Stanford, Ohio State and Long Beach State are in the top 10 for strength of schedule, while UCLA is at No. 11.

Along with these rankings, Mount Olive was No. 1 in the non-conference strength of schedule rankings.

Strength of schedule is among the various pieces of criteria the selection committee can use to determine the NCAA Tournament field.

Strength of schedule (as of March 20)
1. UC Irvine
2. BYU
3. Hawai’i
4. Pepperdine
5. Stanford
6. USC
7. Ohio State
8. Long Beach State
9. Lindenwood
10. Penn State
11. UCLA
12. UC Santa Barbara
13. Ball State
14. Mount Olive
15. Erskine
16. Loyola
17. Cal Baptist
18. CSUN
19. Lewis
20. IPFW
21. Princeton
22. Quincy
23. George Mason
24. Limestone
25. UC San Diego
26. Barton
27. Pfeiffer
28. Coker
29. Grand Canyon
30. NJIT
31. Lees-McRae
32. St. Francis
33. Alderson Broaddus
34. Harvard
35. King
36. McKendree
37. Sacred Heart
38. North Greenville
39. Emmanuel
40. Charleston
41. Concordia-Irvine
42. Belmont Abbey
43. Holy Names

Non-conference strength of schedule (as ofMarch 20)
1. Mount Olive
2. UC Irvine
3. Erskine
4. Penn State
5. Princeton
6. UCLA
7. Pfeiffer
8. Lindenwood
9. Ohio State
10. Limestone
11. Stanford
12. Ball State
13. George Mason
14. Loyola
15. Long Beach State
16. Sacred Heart
17. USC
18. Barton
19. Hawai’i
20. NJIT
21. Coker
22. Quincy
23. Lewis
24. UC Santa Barbara
25. St. Francis
26. Emmanuel
27. BYU
28. Charleston
29. IPFW
30. Pepperdine
31. Lees-McRae
32. Alderson Broaddus
33. King
34. Concordia-Irvine
35. Harvard
36. CSUN
37. Holy Names
38. Cal Baptist
39. McKendree
40. Grand Canyon
41. North Greenville
42. Belmont Abbey
43. UC San Diego