Indiana men’s soccer earned the No. 13 seed in the NCAA Tournament, extending its streak of top-16 seeds in the postseason to nine consecutive seasons, the NCAA announced in its official Selection Show broadcast Monday. The entire bracket can be found on the NCAA’s official website.
With the bye, Indiana awaits the winner of the first-round matchup between Saint Louis University and the University of Memphis.
Saint Louis earned an automatic bid by winning the Atlantic 10 Conference title, and comes in with a Ratings Powers Index, or RPI, of No. 18 nationally. Meanwhile, Memphis came in fourth in the American Athletic Conference regular-season standings and lost in the championship match. The Tigers come in at No. 38 in RPI.
If Indiana wins its second-round matchup, it can play either No. 4-seeded University of Virginia, Marshall University or Elon University in the Sweet Sixteen.
Originally, the Hoosiers weren’t in line to receive a top-16 seed at the conclusion of a regular season that saw them post an 8-3-6 record and come up fourth in the Big Ten standings. A deep run to the Big Ten Tournament Final, including wins over Penn State and regular-season champion Maryland, ultimately boosted Indiana’s resume enough.
Heading into the tournament, Indiana’s RPI jumped up to No. 20 nationally, which essentially made the chances of securing a top-16 seed uncertain. Ultimately, the Hoosiers’ results against top-quality sides favored them over other hopefuls in the committee’s selection.
Against other tournament teams outside the Big Ten, Indiana’s results were mixed.
A 3-2 loss to Clemson University, the defending national champion and No. 6 seed in this season’s bracket, on opening day was contested even closer than the final score line. Indiana then drew 3-3 with the University of Portland, an unseeded team that finished 12-2-3. The Cream and Crimson went on to defeat the University of Akron, then a No. 9 seed and currently the No. 16 seed in the bracket, 2-0 on Sept. 9.
The Hoosiers worst loss came in a 3-0 defeat to the University of Kentucky Wildcats. Taken into context, though, this loss likely didn’t drop the Hoosiers too far down. The Wildcats recorded a historic unbeaten season, going 14-0-5 and winning both the regular season and postseason titles in the Sun Belt Conference. They earned the No. 1 overall seed in the bracket.
Another surprising outcome of the bracket selection included fellow Big Ten foe Maryland, which was snubbed from a top-16 seed.
The Terrapins posted a 10-3-5 record overall and went undefeated in Big Ten play with a 4-0-4 mark. The Terrapins’ loss to the Hoosiers in the Big Ten Tournament semifinal dropped them to No. 21 in the RPI standings, just one spot below the Hoosiers.
Maryland, Big Ten Tournament champion Rutgers and Ohio State rounded out the Big Ten’s representation on the national stage.
Indiana’s 36th consecutive NCAA Tournament will start in the second round, and the matchup will take place Sunday at Bill Armstrong Stadium. Neither a time nor broadcast has been announced.