The hopes of winning the national championship for No. 3/3 UCLA and No. 4/5 Long Beach State remain very much alive.
The Bruins and 49ers earned the two at-large bids to NCAA Tournament that had its six-team field unveiled Sunday.
Long Beach State following a loss in the MPSF Tournament semifinals narrowly edged out No. 5/4 Stanford for the No. 4 seed and the final at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The 49ers held the advantage compared to the Cardinal in several criteria categories including overall winning percentage and played in five more non-conference matches.
Long Beach State will play the Conference Carolinas champions and No. 5 seed Erskine in the play-in match on Tuesday, May 3 at Penn State. Erskine is the first Conference Carolinas school be seed higher than the No. 6 seed in the history of the NCAA Tournament.
BYU was the No. 1 overall seed after winning the MPSF regular season championship and the MPSF Tournament championship for the third time in the last four years.
UCLA earned the No. 2 overall seed and a bye into the NCAA Tournament semifinals. The Bruins advanced to the MPSF Tournament finals and finished the regular season undefeated in non-conference play and in second place in the MPSF.
UCLA making its first NCAA Tournament appearance in a decade narrowly edged out Ohio State for the No. 2 seed in part because of its head-to-head victory against the Buckeyes in January.
Ohio State is the No. 3 seed and will play the No. 6 seed George Mason in the other play-in match on May 3 at Penn State.
The Buckeyes won the MIVA championship and are on a nation-best 20-match winning streak. This will also be the team’s first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since winning the national title in 2011.
George Mason is making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1988 and earned a berth into the field after winning the EIVA Tournament on Saturday.
Penn State will play host to all five NCAA Tournament matches with the two semifinal matches on Thursday, May 5 and the championship match on Saturday, May 7.