Top two national seeds headline Pac-12 Men's Soccer's three 2021 NCAA Tournament teams
SAN FRANCISCO - Three Pac-12 Men's Soccer teams earned bids to the 2021 NCAA Tournament as revealed on Monday, headlined by the nation's top two overall seeds in Oregon State and Washington.
The Beavers and Huskies were joined by at-large selection UCLA, and all three programs will begin their title quests as hosts.
It marks the second time in Conference history with the NCAA Tournament's top two overall national seeds along with 2013 (#1 UCLA, #2 California). The six-team Pac-12 and ACC (nine times since seeding began in 1994) are the only leagues to have the top two overall national seeds.
It is the 16th time in the 22-season history of Pac-12 Men’s Soccer the league sent at least half its teams to the postseason, including the sixth consecutive year.
Nov. 21 - St. John's (10-5-3)/Princeton (11-5-0) at #1 Oregon State (12-2-3)
No. 1 overall seed Oregon State (12-2-3) earned a national seed for the first time in program history after winning the outright league title in the Pac-12, which rated as the nation's No. 1 conference in the NCAA RPI through the entire regular season.
It is the third No. 1 national seed for Pac-12 programs along with UCLA in 2003 and 2013 (Washington was also No. 1 seed in 1996 as MPSF member).
It is the sixth all-time NCAA appearance for OSU, half of them coming since head coach Terry Boss' arrival in 2018.
Nov. 21 - Portland (10-6-1)/Seattle U (13-7-1) at #2 Washington (14-1-2)
Pac-12 runner-up Washington (14-1-2) earned a national seed for the fourth consecutive season and the 10th time since seeding began in 1994. The No. 2 overall seed is the second-highest ever for the Huskies, who were the No. 1 seed in 1996 as affiliate members of the MPSF.
It is the sixth consecutive NCAA Tournament trip and 27th all-time for Washington. Head coach Jamie Clark has led UW to nine appearances in his 11 seasons.
Nov. 18 - UC Santa Barbara (12-4-4) at UCLA (10-6-1)
UCLA (10-6-1), which came in third in the Pac-12 for its best finish since 2015, earned an at-large bid to secure its 46th all-time appearance, tied for the second-most in NCAA Tournament history. It is the Bruins first appearance since 2018 and first under third-year head coach Ryan Jorden.
The Bruins will host an NCAA Tournament match for the first time since 2016 when they welcome Big West champion UC Santa Barbara on Thursday, Nov. 18 in First Round action, with the winner advancing to visit No. 7 seed Duke on Nov. 21.
The three participants will now look to add to the Conference's success in NCAA postseason play:
- Over the past nine years, Pac-12 men's soccer has earned 31 out of a possible 54 NCAA Tournament bids across its six members, a 57 percent success rate bettered only by the 12-team ACC (65%, 70-108).
- Pac-12 programs have combined for seven NCAA Men’s Soccer Championships - UCLA’s four national crowns (1985, 1990, 1997, 2002) are tied for the fourth-most by a program in NCAA history, while Stanford’s three titles (2015-17) rank seventh among all programs.
- Pac-12 programs have combined for 19 College Cup appearances (national semifinals) all-time, including 10 since the formal creation of the league in 2000, with seven national championships and eight runner-up finishes.