For the third year in a row, a record nine ACC teams earned berths in the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship, and eight of those conference powers landed national seeds in the 48-team field Monday.
Locally, this marks the second consecutive season that all six Division I teams will play in their respective national championships.
Fifth-seeded North Carolina (14-3-1), sixth-seeded Duke (10-6-2), and unseeded NC State (9-6-3) made the men’s field, duplicating the postseason honors accorded the schools’ women’s teams last week.
The Wolfpack, which is going to its second consecutive NCAA tournament for the first time since the 1991-92 seasons, will host Big South champion Campbell (9-8-3) at 7 p.m. Thursday in Dail Soccer Stadium. A victory will send NC State, making its 15th NCAA appearance overall, to a second-round match at 11th-seeded Maryland (8-6-4) on Sunday.
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As national seeds, UNC and Duke receive first-round byes and won’t play until Sunday’s second round.
The Tar Heels, whose 1-0 loss Sunday to Louisville in the ACC championship game, apparently cost them a top-four seed, will host the winner of High Point (13-2-2), which is making its tournament debut, and James Madison (12-4-3). UNC will host Sunday’s match at 6 p.m. in Koka Booth Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary because its on-campus facility, Fetzer Field, is undergoing renovations.
Duke will host the West Coast survivor between Pacific (11-4-2) and UC Riverside. The second-round match will be played at 6 p.m. Sunday in Koskinen Stadium.
The other six ACC schools that made the field and earned national seeds were No. 1 Wake Forest, No. 4 Louisville, No. 7 Syracuse, No. 10 Virginia, No. 12 Virginia Tech, and No. 16 Syracuse.
The third and fourth rounds will also be played at campus sites of the higher seeds. The 60th annual College Cup will be played in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Dec. 7-9.
The ACC has placed at least five teams in the NCAA field each of the last 18 years and has sent more teams than any other conference in each of the past six seasons.
At least one ACC team has earned a spot in the College Cup, soccer’s final four, in each of the last 17 years. The ACC has had 55 teams in the College Cup all-time and 26 over the last 14 years.
ACC teams have combined for 17 NCAA championships -- Virginia (7), Maryland (3), Clemson (2), North Carolina (2), Duke (1), Notre Dame (1), and Wake Forest (1) -- including seven of the last 13.