The Charlotte 49ers appear to have sealed the right to open the tournament at home, but who will they play at Transamerica Field? Let’s take a look at some of the updated bracketology projections from various websites to get a sense of what the media thinks.
College Sports Madness: #16 seed; first-round bye
College Sports Madness has the Niners playing either the Paladins or the Buccaneers. With an RPI of 32 coming into the week, Furman is projected as an at-large out of the SoCon after an 11-5-2 record that saw them fall to Wofford in the conference semifinal. ETSU is in behind an auto bid (A-Sun champions). The Furman/ETSU winner is projected to play the Niners at Transamerica on Sunday in the 2nd round.
Other Conference USA teams projected as in by CSM: New Mexico (8 seed vs. Louisville/Indiana winner), UAB (vs. USF in first round) and Old Dominion (vs. Drexel in first round). The Blazers were slated as one of the last four in along with Gonzaga, Wisconsin and Northwestern. Stanford, coached by former Niners head man Jeremy Gunn, is one of the first eight out.
College Soccer News: #16 seed; first round bye
CSN also has the Niners as a #16 seed, playing the winner of the game between Drexel (the CAA champion) and the aforementioned team from Chapel Hill (sixth team in from the ACC). The Dragons won their first CAA crown with a 1-0 victory over William and Mary at home, while North Carolina gets in as an at-large despite a 2-1 loss to Clemson in the ACC quarterfinals and an 8-5-5 record. However, they had a RPI of 20 coming in, so the loss doesn’t hurt them that much.
Other Conference USA teams projected as in by CSM: New Mexico (14 seed vs. Denver/William and Mary winner), Old Dominion (vs. Northwestern in first round), and UAB (vs. ETSU in first round).