Arizona soccer will learn their postseason fate Monday at 2:30 p.m. MST. They are expected to make the NCAA Tournament, but will likely be shipped away for the first round for the first time in three years.
As of Sunday, the Wildcats ranked 38th in RPI. The top 32 teams host. However, other factors are considered, so it’s not unrealistic to think they could receive another home game.
Arizona finished the regular season 11-6-1 overall and 5-5-1 in the Pac-12, tied for sixth place. Its best wins came against Washington State (25th in RPI) and UCLA (7th).
“We’re right there on the border of hosting,” Arizona coach Tony Amato said Friday. “So I think some of it will come down to some other results across the country. Some of it will come down to geography. Are we an outlier? Can we get shipped to someone that makes sense or does someone get shipped to us? But we’re right there.”
The selection show can be watched here.
If you are not familiar with the NCAA Soccer Tournament, 64 teams make the postseason with 31 (one from each conference) being auto qualifiers.
The top eight teams host the second and third rounds, and the top four teams host the Elite Eight. The Final Four is played at a different site each year. This season it will be held at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif.
Chris Henderson of AllWhiteKit.com, one of the two well-known women’s soccer bracketologists, projects Arizona will be sent to Lubbock to face No. 4 seed Texas Tech in the first round. The winner would head to South Carolina to face Louisville or Xavier.
Here are the Palo Alto & Columbia quadrants.— Chris Henderson (@chris_awk) November 11, 2019
The winner of each of these quadrants would face each other in the Final Four. pic.twitter.com/DC6O0A4bCP
Texas Tech would be a fascinating matchup for Arizona because Amanda Porter, who led UA in assists in 2018, transferred to Tech this past offseason and starts for the Red Raiders.
Santa Clara, which ranks 30th in RPI, seems like another possible first-round opponent for the Wildcats for geographical reasons. Arizona lost at Santa Clara 4-0 earlier in the season.
Unless the selection committee wants to avoid rematches, it seems like there’s a strong chance @ArizonaSoccer gets sent to Santa Clara for the first round of the NCAA Tournament.— Ryan Kelapire (@RKelapire) November 11, 2019
Makes the most sense geographically when you look at UA’s potential opponents. pic.twitter.com/5Q66hYnvhs
Chris Thomas’ projection doesn’t assign Arizona an opponent, but does predict the Wildcats will make the tournament, though that is pretty much a given after their win over Arizona State.