University of New Mexico Lobo Soccer is ready to ROLL! I'm going to jump right straight to the chase…..tough loss Friday in the Conference-USA Tournament….coming off a regular season Title and Tournament bye, this was a tough one versus a great Tulsa team with everything to play for. To make a long story short, we started off slow and were punished. It was a painful trip back to Albuquerque with our tails between our legs. We had the real prize still ahead of us; the NCAA Tournament.
The NCAA Division I Soccer Tournament bracket was released this morning. We had a light training session at 8:00 am and then met in The Pit along with local media and athletic department staff to witness our fate. Confident that we were in "The Dance", the big question was would we receive a "Top 16" seed and the accompanying first round bye and home match? Being our first year in Conference USA and facing great competition on a weekly basis, our RPI (the primary factor in NCAA selection and seeding) was extremely high; #5 going into Friday's match (loss). While the RPI is a good indicator of seeding, the NCAA committee doesn't always follow it. Fingers were crossed and every possible scenario had been reviewed, reviewed…..over and over and over….all night long.
As the top seeds were announced and regions filled up, our name wasn't called. I was hoping for a 12th to 16th seed. It came down to the final region and the remaining 16 teams (48 team tournament with 16 seeded teams with byes). Names were called and then the seventh seed was announced….NEW MEXICO! Tremendous news which validates a great regular season and huge wins! It’s the second highest seeding in our history (#2 in 2005). We play the winner of William and Mary and George Mason on Sunday, November 24th at 5:00 at the Lobo Soccer Complex. Here is the link to our website article and ticket information.
Many great teams didn't make the tournament (Duke, Michigan, NC State, SMU….) and many who got in, didn't get seeded (North Carolina, UConn, Akron, Indiana, Creighton…). We're excited about our seventh overall seeding and will be ready to play! This is the third year in a row we have received a "Top 16" seed and our 11th NCAA appearance in the past 13 years. I am pretty proud of our team and program.
2013 NCAA Division I Soccer Bracket (please note our match is at 5 p.m. on Sunday and not 7 p.m.)
I can't thank all of you enough for your incredible support. We look forward to seeing everyone Sunday the 24th at 5:00 for our 2nd Round NCAA Match.