NCAA Tournament field set: Louisville top seed, UC-Irvine left out

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 By JOHN BOSCHINI

The map to Santa Barbara was drawn today when the NCAA announced the 48 teams that will compete in this year's men's soccer NCAA tournament. 

Louisville, Maryland, Akron and North Carolina were named seeds one through four, meaning that if all four advance to the final four on Dec. 10, Louisville will face off against North Carolina and Maryland will take on Akron.

More than a few teams had their bubbles burst on Monday. The biggest surprise was the exclusion of UC-Irvine, which was ranked in the top 10 going into the selection show. A lowly RPI ranking of 62, along with a Big West semifinal loss, seem to be the reasons behind the Anteaters demise.

Among the surprise inclusions was College of Charleston, whioch snuck into the field despite playing in a mid-major conference and falling out of the NSCAA rankings. South Florida was another surprise team that appeared set to miss the cut after bowing out of the Big East tournament to West Virginia. Also barely making it into the tournament were West Virginia and Michigan State.

Charlotte was ranked No. 15 heading into the Atlantic 10 conference tournament but a loss to Xavier, combined with an RPI ranking of 51, was enough for the committee to leave the 49ers out of the tournament altogether. Wisconsin-Green Bay had been hanging around the fringes of the NSCAA rankings all season and took undefeated Butler to a penalty shootout in the Horizon League title game, but it wasn't enough to earn the Phoenix an at-large bid.

The Big East has a large showing in this year's field, with seven teams participating, the most of any conference. The ACC and Big 10 had five schools selected.

The 16 seeded teams will receive first-round byes and await the winner of the 16 play-in games to take place starting midweek. A strong conference tournament helped a previously unranked Michigan break into the top 16, landing at No. 10 after its Big 10 championship. The most surprising inclusion in the top 16 was Indiana, which was unranked heading into the conference tournament where the Hoosiers fell to Penn State in the semifinals. The Hoosiers secured a first-round bye with the No. 14 seed thanks to an RPI ranking of eight.

On the outside of the top 16 looking in is Creighton, which was upset in the MVC tournament final by Bradley. Joining the Blue Jays in the first round is Princeton, which was relegated to a Thursday matchup with UMBC despite a perfect Ivy League record and a 12-game winning streak to end the season.

Here's the bracket for the 2010 NCAA Tournament, an interactive bracket can be found here.

Louisville's bracket

First round- East Tennessee State at College of Charleston
Second round- winner at No. 1 Louisville

First round- St. Peter's at Providence
Second round- Winner at No. 16 Ohio State

First round- Dartmouth at Monmouth
Second round- Winner at No. 9 Notre Dame

First round- Santa Clara at Sacramento State
Second round- Winner at No. 8 UCLA 

North Carolina's bracket

First round- New Mexico at Creighton
Second round- Winner at No. 5 Southern Methodist

First round- UMBC at Princeton
Second round- Winner at No. 12 William & Mary

First round- Oakland at Michigan State
Second round- Winner at No. 13 Butler 

First round- UNC Greensboro at Georgetown
Second round- Winner at No. 4 North Carolina 

Akron's bracket

First round- Xavier at West Virginia
Second round- Winner at No. 3 Akron

First round- Bradley at Tulsa
Second round – Winner at No. 14 Indiana

First round – Boston College at Brown
Second round – Winner at No. 11 Connecticut

First round – Denver at UC Santa Barbara
Second round – Winner at No. 6 California

Maryland's Bracket

First round – Coastal Carolina at Duke
Second round – Winner at No. 7 South Carolina

First round – South Florida at UCF
Second round – Winner at No. 10 Michigan

First round – Old Dominion at Virginia
Second round – Winner at No. 15 Penn State

First round – Bucknell at Pennsylvania
Second round – Winner at No. 2 Maryland

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What do you think of the bracket? Disappointed Akron and Maryland can't meet in the final? Which seeded team is most primed for an upset? Who do you think got robbed of an NCAA berth? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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29 Responses to NCAA Tournament field set: Louisville top seed, UC-Irvine left out

  1. Leo says:

    C of C! Go Cougars!

    Also, instead of first, I’ll say “Freddy Adu”. :P

  2. Dominick says:

    I watced the Big Ten title game on Sunday and I must admit–the quality of college soccer stunned me. I really enjoyed the match and I am looking forward to the tourney. Oh and Go Blue!!!

  3. El Gringo Ronaldo says:

    NOT AGAIN! It seems that UCI is bound to flutter right before the college cup!

    ZOT! ZOT! ZOT! Anteater pride!

  4. Tony says:

    U-S-F! U-S-F! Let’s go Bulls! Show our little brothers from Orlando how to play some proper football.

  5. DC Josh says:

    Ludwig field will be nuts Sunday. Can’t wait!

  6. Spirt of Championships Past says:

    Billikens, Billikens, wherefore art thou Billikens?

  7. Friar Fanatic says:

    Lets go FRIARS!

  8. dave says:

    what does RPI stand for?

  9. lassidawg says:

    IS there a reason they don’t do 64

  10. BSU SC says:

    I don’t understand how Butler was undefeated and ranked in the top 10, but received the #14 seed…I guess it doesn’t matter at this point. Go Butler!!!

  11. froboy says:

    Rating Percentage Index, basically computer formula that takes into consideration strength of schedule

  12. froboy says:

    Disappointed that we won’t have Terps vs Akron final

  13. Goat Boy says:

    Roll on you Bears! Go Cal!

  14. James says:

    I guess the NCAA basketball committee has a role in screwing us in soccer seeding as well. Go Dawgs!

  15. Nik says:

    U of L is for real! Butler got screwed. My Hoosiers got a terrible draw.

    Louisville, Butler, Akron, Maryland.

  16. Joe says:

    Creighton!! Go Jays!!

  17. will m. says:

    i don’t understand how a top-10 team doesn’t make it, meanwhile unranked teams are getting at-large bids. maybe i am just not familiar with the system and how it works but that just seems indefensible.

  18. Schiri says:

    Me too.

    Vamos Los Zippos!!

  19. Schiri says:

    Vamos los Zippos!

  20. JSmiley says:

    Hmmm…I attended U of L and UNC, lived in NE Ohio and now in Maryland. Go top seeds!

  21. Gaucholic says:

    Lets go Gauchos!!! Upset Akron and get to the Final Four on your home field!!!

  22. CrimsonCast says:

    You can play the bracket challenge from Crimson Cast.

    Go to: link to crimsoncast.com

  23. Julian says:

    Go Blue! At least one Michigan “football” team is finding success this season.

  24. adam says:

    Only 204 teams in Division I… most fields of 64 are for divisions with 300+ teams.

  25. adam says:

    It is indefensible. Denver, New Mexico, and Old Dominion especially should not be in the tournament ahead of some of the teams mentioned, particularly UC Irvine. It is disgusting, to say the least.

  26. Stoop says:

    UMBC Retrievers: Excellent chess team! Also a pretty good soccer team!

  27. Matt says:

    nevermind the fact that New Mexico knocked at least 4 teams OUT of the rankings but never got ranking consideration themselves, and finished first in the mountain west…yup they dont deserve it at all. get your facts straight

  28. adam says:

    Hey, Matt: LOL.