NCAA Spring Championships Update

Soccer, field hockey, beach volleyball, and tennis are among the NCAA championship tournaments slated for this weekend. 

By Alex Holmes

The NCAA spring championship calendar is a bit more full than usual this May, as traditional fall sports moved their NCAA tournaments to the spring. The first weekend in May will see national champions crowned in field hockey and beach volleyball. By the end of this weekend, four soccer teams will have clinched their spot in next week’s College Cup, and the NCAA tennis tournament will also be underway. Here’s a look at ongoing NCAA tournaments and the championships that will begin later this month.

Field Hockey

The 2020 field hockey Final Four begins Friday, May 7, with the tournament’s top four seeds fighting for the national championship in Chapel Hill.

Two-time defending national champion and top seed North Carolina will take on fourth-seeded Iowa in the first semifinal at 1 P.M. ET. The second national semifinal between No. 2 Michigan and No. 3 Louisville will follow at 4 P.M. ET. Both semifinal matches will air live on ESPN3.

North Carolina’s Erin Matson is considered the best collegiate field hockey player in the country. Matson and the Tar Heels are in pursuit of the program’s ninth national title. (Source: UNC Athletics, Jeffrey A. Camarati)

North Carolina is looking for its third-straight national championship. Head coach Karen Shelton and the Tar Heels can tie Old Dominion’s NCAA record of nine national titles should they take home the title this weekend.

The national championship game will take place on Sunday, May 9 at 7 P.M. ET and will air live on ESPNU.

Beach Volleyball

The NCAA Beach Volleyball Tournament will run May 7–9 in Gulf Shores, Alabama. The eight teams competing in the double-elimination tournament are No. 1 UCLA, No. 2 Southern California, No. 3 Florida State, No. 4 LSU, No. 5 Loyola Marymount, No. 6 Stanford, No. 7 Cal Poly, and No. 8 TCU.

Top-seeded UCLA will look to defend its national title at the NCAA Tournament in Gulf Shores, Alabama. (Source: UCLA Athletics, Ross Turteltaub)

Live coverage begins Friday at 10 A.M. ET on ESPNU. Coverage for Saturday’s action begins at 2 P.M. ET on ESPN2, while coverage for Sunday will begin at 10 A.M. also on ESPN2. The championship match is slated for Sunday at 1:30 P.M. ET on ESPN2.

The bracket is available here.

Soccer

The NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Tournament continues on Sunday, May 9, with Elite Eight action beginning at 1 P.M. ET. Five of the eight remaining teams are from the ACC.

The tournament’s top overall seed Florida State will battle ACC foe No. 9 Duke at 1 P.M. At the same time, the No. 2 North Carolina Tar Heels will face No. 7 Texas A&M for a spot in the College Cup. The second pair of games will begin at 5 P.M. as No. 4 TCU will take on Virginia, while No. 11 Santa Clara will meet No. 14 Clemson.

The tournament has also seen plenty of tightly contested matches; eight of the first 40 games were decided by penalty kicks. The next four games are expected to be just as competitive. 

Emily Madril and the No. 1 Seminoles will take on ACC rival and ninth-seeded Duke in the Elite Eight.
(Source: FSU Athletics, Larry Novey)

Florida State and Duke met twice in the fall season. The first game went to the Seminoles after Jaelin Howell’s goal with 14 seconds left in regulation. This matchup will pit Duke’s organized defense against Florida State’s high-powered offense, led by USWNT player Howell and midfielder Yujie Zhao.

No. 2 North Carolina has yet to allow a goal in the NCAA Tournament, but their high-press defense will be tested against an Aggies side that has scored 5 goals in its first two games.

Fourth-seeded TCU is coming off a penalty kick win over No. 13 Georgetown and will face traditional soccer powerhouse Virginia. Steve Swanson’s Cavaliers may be the only unseeded team left in the field, but they finished third in the ACC last fall and might just be peaking at the right moment. 

No. 11 Santa Clara is coming off an upset win against No. 6 Arkansas and the Broncos have outscored opponents 6–1 through their first two games. Standing in the way to the program’s first College Cup appearance since 2004 is Clemson. The Tigers are fresh off the tournament’s biggest upset after defeating No. 3 UCLA in penalty kicks. Clemson won both their NCAA Tournament games in penalty kicks and are a perfect 11 for 11 from the mark in shoutouts. 

The 2020 College Cup begins Thursday, May 13, with both national semifinals airing live on ESPN2. The national championship will take place on Monday, May 17 at 5:30 P.M. The NCAA soccer bracket is available here.

Tennis

First and second round action of the 2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Tournament will run May 7–8. The top four overall seeds for the tournament are No. 1 North Carolina, No. 2 Texas, No. 3 Georgia, and No. 4 UCLA.

ACC Player of the Year Sara Daavettila leads the top-seeded Tar Heels into the NCAA Tournament. (Source: UNC Athletics, Dana Gentry)

The 16 teams that advance past the second round will convene in Orlando, Florida, and compete for the national championship May 16–28.

The 64-team bracket is available here.

Golf

The NCAA Golf Tournament begins on May 10 with regional action running through May 12. The four regional sites and their corresponding top four seeds are as follows:

Baton Rouge

  • No. 1 LSU
  • No. 2 Ole Miss
  • No. 3 Baylor
  • No. 4 Oregon

Columbus

  • No. 1 Duke
  • No. 2 Arizona State
  • No. 3 Virginia
  • No. 4 Kent State

Louisville

  • No. 1 South Carolina
  • No. 2 Florida State
  • No. 3 Auburn
  • No. 4 Texas

Stanford

  • No. 1 Wake Forest
  • No. 2 Oklahoma State
  • No. 3 Southern California
  • No. 4 Virginia Tech

Each regional has a total of 18 teams and six individual players from teams that did not qualify. Six teams and three individual players will advance from each regional to the national championship round, which will run May 21–26 at the Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Coming up…

The NCAA championships for water polo, lacrosse, softball, and track and field are right around the corner.

The water polo tournament will start May 12.

The Selection Show for the lacrosse tournament will take place on May 9, and the tournament will begin on May 14. The Final Four is set to run May 28–30.

The field for the NCAA softball tournament will be revealed on Sunday, May 16 at 9 P.M. ET on ESPN2. Regional action begins May 21 and will conclude on May 23. The Women’s College World Series is slated for June 3–9.

The track and field Selection Show will take place on May 20.

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