Nov. 12, 2012

NCAA BRACKET

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - A league record four men's soccer programs will represent the Atlantic 10 Conference in the upcoming NCAA Tournament, the governing body announced on Monday. Saint Louis, winner of last week's A-10 Championship, earned the Conference's automatic bid, while VCU, Charlotte and Xavier garnered at-large bids.

The A-10 has received multiple bids to compete in the NCAA Tournament nine times and prior to 2012, received a league-best three bids in both 1989 (Penn State, Rutgers, George Washington) and 2008 (Saint Louis, Dayton, Massachusetts).

Saint Louis (16-4) was selected as the No. 8 seed and received a first-round bye in the 48-team field and will face either Fairleigh Dickinson (9-5-6) or St. John’s (10-4-4) Sunday, Nov. 18, at 2 p.m. at Robert R. Hermann Stadium. SLU, which has won five in a row and 10 of its last 11, captured the Billikens’ second Atlantic 10 Conference Championship title last weekend, topping La Salle, Xavier and VCU at Charlotte’s Transamerica Field. Saint Louis, which owns a record 10 NCAA Championships, will be making its 47th NCAA Tournament appearance and its first since 2009.

VCU (12-3-5) is also one of 16 teams to earn a national seed and first round bye. The Rams, the 14-seed in this year's event, will host the winner of Thursday's matchup between Syracuse and Cornell on Sunday, Nov. 18. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. at Sports Backers Stadium. VCU has been a national seed in each of its last three trips to the NCAA Tournament. VCU was the No. 9 seed in 2003 and No. 16 seed in 2004. The Rams, who return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since appearing in the regional final in 2004, have posted 23 wins over the past two seasons under third-year Head Coach Dave Giffard. Prior to his arrival in 2010, VCU had finished above .500 just once in the previous five years.

Charlotte (14-3-3) will play UAB (10-7-2) at Transamerica Field in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7:00 p.m. The 49ers are making their eighth appearance in the NCAA Tournament and their third in the last four years. Last season, the 49ers advanced to the College Cup Final for the first time in school history. Charlotte has reached the College Cup twice in 1996 and 2011. The 49ers are 6-5-4 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. The winner of the Charlotte-UAB game advances to the second round to face third-seed Georgetown on the road, Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1:00 p.m.

Xavier (13-2-5) earned its first-ever at-large bid and will make its third-straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, Nov. 15, as the Musketeers travel to Kentucky for a 7:00 p.m. match-up in Lexington. Head Coach Andy Fleming has led Xavier the program's only three NCAA Tournament outings. Thursday’s encounter between the Musketeers and Wildcats will be the 11th all-time meeting. Kentucky holds a 7-3 advantage in the series but XU has won three of the last four meetings. Xavier lost the last meeting to then No. 20 Kentucky 1-0 at home in 2009.

A-10 Teams in the NCAA Tournament
November 15
Xavier at Kentucky - 7:00 p.m.
UAB at Charlotte - 7:00 p.m.

November 18
TBD at Saint Louis - 3:00 p.m.
TBD at VCU - 7:00 p.m.