And then there were 16. After two rounds of the men’s division I soccer championship bracket, the upcoming matches are all set to begin on November 25th. There have been some upsets thus far – Wisconsin took down 12th ranked Notre Dame and 8th seeded Clemson fell to unranked Coastal Carolina. While highly-ranked teams like Michigan and Georgetown were unexpectedly eliminated, many top programs continue their quests towards soccer’s ultimate prize. Here is a look at the top-five contenders remaining in the bracket.
Entering the bracket as the number one seed will always put a target on your back. That was definitely the case in Wake Forest’s second round match against Columbia. But Wake showcased the resiliency they have displayed all season, outlasting the Lions with a 1-0 victory. Can the Demon Deacons survive another close game this weekend?
Next Game: vs Butler (11/26)
Indiana entered the championship rounds as the number two seed in the country and more than lived up to that hype in the second round. Facing an upstart Old Dominion team that shut out NC State in round one, Indiana was able to stave off any upset talk by dominating the entire match. The Hoosiers emerged from the game with a resounding 3-0 win.
Next Game: vs New Hampshire (11/25)
There was talk about Seattle U being the possible cinderella team of the bracket after their surprise victory over Washington. All of that talk ended quickly as Akron had arguably the best performance of the tournament so far, defeating the U by a score of 3-0. Up next for Akron is another cinderella story – Wisconsin, a team that just knocked off #12 Notre Dame.
Next Game: vs Wisconsin (11/25)
Of all the ranked teams in the tournament, Michigan State may have the toughest third round matchup. They face a Western Michigan team that has won eight of their last nine games, including a 2-0 victory over Albany in the second round of the bracket. Even worse for MSU – the Broncos will be looking for sweet revenge after falling to the Spartans, 1-0, back in October.
Next Game: vs #10 Western Michigan (11/25)
Last year’s division I champion felt disrespected after they were given the ninth seed heading into this year’s tournament. But the Cardinals were lucky to get by unranked Pacific in round two. Now they face a tough test in Coastal Carolina, a group that claimed the biggest upset of the tournament so far – a 3-1 win over 8th ranked Clemson. The Cardinals have to be on upset watch this Sunday.
Next Game: vs Coastal Carolina (11/26)