2011 State Farm MVC Men's Soccer Tournament champion Creighton will be joined by at-large bid Bradley Braves in the field of 48 in the NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament, as announced today by the NCAA. Creighton, fresh off its 12th MVC Tournament title, is making its 19th trip to the NCAA Tournament in the past 20 seasons. The Bluejays (18-2) earned the No. 2 overall seed and will await the winner of Thursday’s Western Illinois (13-6-1) vs. Northern Illinois (14-5) matchup. Creighton will host the advancing team on Sunday at Morrison Stadium in Omaha, Neb.
Bradley received an at-large bid into the field and will make its sixth NCAA Tournament appearance – and its first-ever back-to-back appearances – when the Braves host Loyola-Chicago (7-11-2) on Thursday, Nov. 17, in an opening round match with the Ramblers. Bradley has already beaten Loyola-Chicago this season, a 2-1 decision on Sept. 18, while the Valley registered a 3-0 records against the Rambers this season (Drake, 2-1 and Evansville, 4-0). The Braves enter their matchup with Loyola-Chicago with a 14-5-2 record, having won eight of its last 10 games. The winner of Thursday's match will meet 12th-seeded Louisville (12-6-2) on Sunday in Louisville, Ky.
The men's NCAA Division I tournament is a field of 48, with the top 16 teams receiving a bye in the first round of play. The 2011 College Cup (Final Four) will take place at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala., on Dec. 9 & 12.
Complete NCAA.com Release:
INDIANAPOLIS - The field and bracket for the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship was announced Monday by the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Committee, which awarded the tournament’s No. 1 seed to North Carolina. The Tar Heels enter the tournament with a record of 17-2-2 and are in search of their second national championship in school history.
Other top teams include second-seeded Creighton, which enters the tournament 18-2, No. 3 Connecticut (17-3-2) and fourth-seeded Boston College (14-6). Those teams lead a field of 48 hoping to advance to the Men’s College Cup, which will be played at Regions Field in Hoover, Ala., Dec. 9 and 11, with UAB serving as a first-time host.
The remaining top-16 seeds in order are Maryland (13-3-3), SMU (13-6-1), South Florida (12-3-3), UC Irvine (16-5-1), St. John’s (New York) (14-6-2), New Mexico (17-0-3), UAB (13-4-3), Louisville (12-6-2), UCLA (15-4-1), James Madison (12-4-2), UC Santa Barbara (14-6-1), and Indiana (12-3-5). The top-16 teams receive a first-round bye.
Twenty-two conferences were awarded automatic bids for the 2011 tournament. The remaining 26 teams were selected as at-large participants.
CSU Bakersfield and Georgia State are two of the at-large selections and are making their first appearance in the Division I Men’s Soccer Championship. Other first-time participants include Florida Gulf Coast, the automatic qualifier from the Atlantic Sun Conference, and Elon, which is the AQ from the Southern Conference. Delaware will make its third tournament appearance, but first since 1970.
Defending national champion Akron is in the field for the 22nd time in school history, and UCLA is in the field for the 29th consecutive year and for the 39th time overall, which ranks second all-time. Indiana is making its 36th appearance overall and 25th consecutive, Virginia is in the field for the 31st consecutive year and for the 33rd time overall, and Connecticut was selected for the 32nd time and for the 14th year in a row. In addition, Maryland made the field for the 11th consecutive year and for the 29th time in school history.
For the second consecutive year, the Big East leads all conferences with seven teams in the tournament. The ACC has six teams in the field, while the Colonial Athletic Association and Conference USA each placed four teams in the field. The Atlantic 10, Big South, Big Ten, Big West, Ivy, Mid-American, Missouri Valley, Mountain Pacific and Southern conferences all have two teams in the tournament.
All first-round games will be played Thursday, November 17, while all second-round action will take place Sunday, November 20.