The men's NCAA soccer playoffs begin this week
The GIST: Practice your cellies, because the footy fellas are joining the postseason party this week. On the men’s pitch, Power Five status arguably means the least — half of the Top 25 are mid-major squads — so here’s a guide to the hottest brackets around.
- The early-bird ACC already kicked off their tourney Wednesday night, and except for the aforementioned Louisville upset over Pitt, it went exactly as expected. Their quarter-finals (QFs) start Sunday, but there’s a ton of action before then…
America East: New Hampshire peaked at the right time with five straight wins to take the regular-season conference title, earning them the tourney’s top seed. Tomorrow’s QFs boast a crowded field — No. 2–seed Bryant, No. 3–seed UMBC, and No. 4–seed Vermont were all in contention for that trophy, and any one of ’em could nab the next one.
The Big East: No. 7–seed Akron sh!t the bed in the regular season’s last four matches, allowing No. 1–seed Georgetown to surge ahead and steal the Big East. But Akron was a national Top-10 team just two weeks ago, so all eyes are on them to see if they’ll rebound tomorrow’s QF against No. 2–seed Xavier.
The Sun Belt: Pun not intended — this is the hottest tourney of all. Top-seed UCF is also the nation’s No. 1, and the conference’s second and third seeds, Marshall and West Virginia, are also in the national Top 10. Sunday’s QFs will thin the field, likely allowing those three powerhouses to battle it out in next week’s semis.