UNC, NC State, Duke head for NCAA tour­ney

The Herald Sun - - Sports - BY KIP COONS Cor­re­spon­dent

North Carolina earned one of four No. 1 seeds, and Duke and N.C. State were among a record 10 ACC teams to make the field when the bracket was an­nounced Mon­day for the 37th an­nual NCAA Women’s Soc­cer Cham­pi­onship.

The Tar Heels (17-3-1), who own a record 21 NCAA ti­tles, will face tour­na­ment new­comer Howard (12- 6-2) in the first round. Game time has ten­ta­tively been set for 1 p.m. Satur­day at Koka Booth Sta­dium in Cary’s WakeMed Soc­cer Park.

Duke (14- 4-3) landed a No. 4 seed and will host Rut­gers (11-3-5) at 7 p.m. Fri­day.

De­spite an 11th-place fin­ish in the highly com­pet­i­tive ACC, N.C. State (10- 6-3) earned its third con­sec­u­tive NCAA bid and will host North­west­ern (10- 4- 4) at 7 p.m. Fri­day. North­west­ern also failed to make the Big Ten’s eight-team con­fer­ence tour­na­ment but still gar­nered an NCAA at­large berth.

ACC cham­pion Florida State (15- 4-2), which edged UNC 3-2 on Sun­day in the ACC tour­na­ment fi­nal at WakeMed Soc­cer Park, also earned a No. 1 seed, join­ing reign­ing cham­pion Stan­ford (17- 0-2) and Ge­orge­town (17- 0-3) on the top lines of the re­gional brack­ets. WakeMed will also be the site of the Col­lege Cup on Nov. 30-Dec. 2.

The other ACC teams in the field are No. 3 seed Vir­ginia (15- 4), No. 4 seed Bos­ton Col­lege (14- 4-1), Clem­son (12-8), Louisville (12- 6), Vir­ginia Tech (97-3) and Wake For­est (8- 8-1).

The 10 ACC teams rep­re­sent a record for a sin­gle con­fer­ence, break­ing the old mark of nine set by the ACC in 2011 and 2012.

The ACC has had at least six teams in the NCAA field in each of the last 19 sea­sons.

An ACC team has reached the Col­lege Cup, soc­cer’s fi­nal four, in 35 of the 36 years since the tour­na­ment was in­au­gu­rated in 1982, and in each of the past 13 years. The ACC has had 48 teams in the Col­lege Cup all-time, the most by any con­fer­ence. The Pa­cific 12 is a dis­tant sec­ond with 23.

The ACC cham­pion has gone on to win the Col­lege Cup 15 times, most re­cently by Florida State in 2014.

Cur­rent ACC teams have com­bined for 25 NCAA cham­pi­onships: 21 by UNC, three by Notre Dame (all prior to join­ing the ACC in 2013), and one by Florida State.

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