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Soccer

College Cup: Wake Forest Heads 48-Team Field on Road to Santa Barbara

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Forty-eight teams have set their sights on Santa Barbara and the College Cup after they were drawn into the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament on Monday.

Wake Forest was awarded the top seed for the tournament, which wraps up at UCSB’s Harder Stadium on Dec. 7 and 9 with the semifinals and championship match.

The Demon Deacons (17-2-1), which won the College Cup in 2007 (the year after UCSB captured the title) are the regular season champions of the Atlantic Coast Conference. They are making their eighth straight NCAA Tournament appearance and 22nd overall.

TOURNAMENT BRACKET

No. 2 seed Indiana (17-2-1) is making its 43 appearance, the most of any team in the field. The Hoosiers, a six-time national champion, lost to Stanford in double overtime in last year’s final 

The third seed is Kentucky (17-1-1), which set a program record for wins and won its first Conference USA Tournament championship. The Wildcats this season beat Louisville and Indiana by 3-0 scores.

Louisville (11-4-3) is looking for a return trip to Santa Barbara. Coach Ken Lolla brought the Cardinals to the College Cup in 2010 and lost in the final against Akron.

Louisville upset North Carolina to win the ACC Tournament title.

The ACC leads all conferences with nine teams in the field, tying its NCAA record. In addition to Wake Forest, Louisivlle and North Carolina, the ACC representatives include Duke, Syracuse, Virginia, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech and North Carolina State.

The Pac-12 has four entries: three-time defending champion Stanford, Oregon State, Washington and UCLA.

Stanford is seeking to become the second team in NCAA history to win four-consecutive national titles, matching Virginia’s four-straight from 1991-1994.

The West Coast Conferences has three teams in the tournament: Portland, St. Mary's and Pacific.

The Big West got two teams in the mix: UC Riverside and UC Irvine.

There are three newcomers in the tournament: Grand Canyon, High Point and UC Riverside, the Big West Tournament champion.

UC Riverside opens tournament play Thursday against Pacific, which is coached by Westmont College alum and former Warrriors’ assistant coach Ryan Jorden.

The NCAA Tournament’s 48-team field includes the champions of 24 conferences and 24 teams that were selected at-large.

The top 16 teams were all seeded and receive first-round byes.

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