MSU's No. 7 Seed Leads Trio Of Michigan Teams In NCAA Men's Soccer Tourney

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MSU's No. 7 seed leads trio of Michigan teams in NCAA men's soccer tourney

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Michigan State's Ken Krolicki battles for the ball with Western Michigan's Tommy Clark during a a game on Oct. 4, 2017 at the WMU Soccer Complex. (Patrick Nothaft | MLive.com)
Michigan State's Ken Krolicki battles for the ball with Western Michigan's Tommy Clark during a a game on Oct. 4, 2017 at the WMU Soccer Complex. (Patrick Nothaft | MLive.com)

The NCAA released its Division I men's soccer tournament bracket Monday, and Michigan State, Western Michigan and the University of Michigan all earned top-16 seeds for the 48-team playoff, which begins Thursday, Nov. 16.

Michigan State led the way with a No. 7 seed, while WMU and UM earned No. 10 and 13 seeds, respectively.

The Spartans (11-3-3), ranked No. 12 in the latest NCAA men's soccer RPI poll, will host the winner of Thursday's match between Virginia Tech and Air Force on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 1 p.m.

The tournament berth is the second consecutive for MSU, and the last time the Spartans earned a first-round bye was in 2014, when they were the No. 3 seed.

"First of all credit to our guys," MSU coach Damon Rensing told MSUSpartans.com. "I think that speaks to two things, first our strength of schedule was the 15th-hardest in the nation.  We went 3-1-3 against the top-25 RPI teams, and second, playing in the Big Ten Conference really prepared us. The Big Ten Conference and three teams seeded and a total of five. It is great to see five of the nine teams in the conference make the tournament."

The rival Wolverines check in as a No. 13 seed after finishing the regular season 12-5-2 and No. 15 in the men's soccer RPI rankings.

Michigan opens tournament play Sunday, Nov. 19 at home against the winner of Thursday's game between Massachusetts and Colgate.

WMU (16-3-1) also earned a first-round bye with its No. 10 seed, and the Broncos will face the winner of Maryland and Albany Sunday at the WMU Soccer Complex.

The Broncos are coming off a 3-1 loss to Akron in the Mid-American Conference tournament championship game, but their 16 wins are a program record, and they finished in the top 10 of the RPI rankings (8th) for the first time in school history.

The tournament home game will also be a first for WMU, the NCAA berth is just the second in program history.

"I think it means we're ready to make some noise against the very best teams in the nation, and that we're one of them," WMU coach Chad Wiseman said in a WMU athletics video from the Broncos' watch party. "I think it means we have some unbelievable young men in our program."

WMU midfielder Brandon Bye was recently named the MAC Player of the Year, while four other teammates joined him on the all-MAC first team list.

If the Broncos win their first game, they could face Michigan State in the third round in a rematch of the Spartan's 1-0 victory on Oct. 4.

Third round games will be played on Nov. 25 and 26, followed by quarterfinals on Dec. 1 and 2. The four-team College Cup finals will be played at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania on December 8 and 10.

Click here for the complete Division I bracket


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Source : http://www.mlive.com/sports/2017/11/msus_no_7_seed_leads_trio_of_m.html

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