California wins the 2022 NC men's water polo championship
California wins second straight national championship with late surge
The NC men's water polo championship will stay in Berkeley, as the California Golden Bears successfully defended their title in a thrilling 13-12 win over in-state rivals Southern Cal.
After California took a 4-3 lead into the second quarter, the Trojans surged forward, outscoring California 8-4 in the next two periods. Going into the final frame, the Bears were down 11-8. USC added another, and from there it was all California. The Bears scored five unanswered goals in the final five minutes to snatch the victory.
𝘉𝘈𝘊𝘒 2 𝘉𝘈𝘊𝘒 𝙉𝘼𝙏𝙄𝙊𝙉𝘼𝙇 𝘾𝙃𝘼𝙈𝙋𝙄𝙊𝙉𝙎#GoBears 🐻🏆 pic.twitter.com/Hs1f9dnjaj— Cal Athletics (@CalAthletics) December 5, 2022
California's Nikolaos Papanikolaou led all players with seven goals, including three in that final surge. Roberto Valera added four goals, including the winner with just 41 seconds remaining.
For USC, this is the third straight season it has fallen at the final hurdle and the second straight loss to California (and by the same 13-12 scoreline). The Trojans have not won the NC men's water polo national championship since 2018.
California, Southern Cal win in semifinals
The NCAA water polo semifinals were contested on Saturday. Defending champions California advanced to the final where it will meet Southern Cal. Here are the final scores from the semifinals:
The national championship will be decided on Sunday. The game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. ET and can be streamed on NCAA.com.
Results from quarterfinals of the 2022 NC men's water polo championship
The quarterfinal round of the 2022 NC men's water polo tournament began Thursday with two matches on the schedule.
Pacific defeated UC Davis to advance to face California in the semifinals on Saturday, while Southern California edged Princeton and will take on UCLA.
Here are today's results:
Saturday's Semifinal schedule (all times ET):
- Pacific vs. California | 5 p.m. | Watch on NCAA.com
- Southern California vs. UCLA | 7 p.m. | Watch on NCAA.com
Opening Round Game 1 results
The 2022 NCAA water polo championship kicked off on Saturday when Princeton defeated Fordham 11-10 in overtime. The Tigers advance to play Southern California on Dec. 1.
FINAL: Princeton 11, Fordham 10— Princeton Water Polo (@Pwaterpolo) November 26, 2022
ROKO SENDS THE TIGERS TO CALIFORNIA! UNBELIEVABLE! pic.twitter.com/4GtMCmlBjy
2022 NCAA men's water polo championship bracket announced
INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA Men’s Water Polo Committee announced today the seven teams vying for the 2022 National Collegiate Men’s Water Polo Championship.
The top two seeds have been placed in the bracket; the remaining five teams will compete for the last two berths in the bracket via three opening-round games. The opening-round games will be contested Nov. 26, hosted by Princeton, and Dec. 1, hosted by California, which also will host the championship Dec. 3 and 4. The semifinals and championship game will be played at the Spieker Aquatics Complex in Berkeley, California. The semifinals will be streamed live on ncaa.com with the national championship game live on ESPNU.
Click or tap here to see the 2022 bracket
In the first opening-round game, Princeton (26-5) will host Fordham (26-7). The winner will advance to the third opening-round game against Southern California (18-6), with the winner advancing to the championship bracket to play UCLA (22-4) at California. In the second opening-round game, Pacific (21-6) will play UC Davis (19-7), with the winner advancing to the championship bracket to play California (21-2).
Game times for the opening-round games are listed on the bracket. Game times for the semifinals are 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Eastern time Dec. 3, and the championship game will be played at 6 p.m. Eastern time Dec. 4.
Conferences receiving automatic qualification included the Collegiate Water Polo Association, Golden Coast Conference, Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, Northeast Water Polo Conference and the Western Water Polo Association. The remaining two teams were selected at-large without geographical restrictions.
In 2021, California defeated Southern California 13-12 to capture its 15th national title. For updated championship results, log on to ncaa.com.
Everything you need to know for 2022 selections
The 2022 NC men's water polo selections will be released at approximately midnight ET on Sunday, Nov. 20. You'll find this year's complete field and official bracket right here on NCAA.com.
When: The 2022 NC men's water polo championship selections will be revealed on Sunday, Nov. 20 in an NCAA.com press release. The release is expected around midnight ET.
Where: The selection release and bracket will be released here on NCAA.com.
The top two teams qualify directly into the national championship semifinals, while the remaining five teams selected will compete for the last two berths via three opening-round games.
The championship semifinals and finals will be at Spieker Aquatics Complex in Berkeley, Calif., from Dec. 3-4. The semifinal and national championship rounds will also be streamed live on NCAA.com.
▶️ Full replay: 2021 championship match
Cal edged USC, 13-12, to win the 2021 men's water polo championship last December. It was a thriller, featuring 10 ties before a game-winning goal from Nikos Delagrammatikas with just 28 seconds remaining.
Watch the full finals replay below.
NC men's water polo championship history
Below is the year-by-year championship history, since the NC men's water polo championship was introduced in 1969. Cal, the most recent champ in 2021, leads all programs with 15 NCAA titles.
|2021||California (22-4)||Kirk Everist||13-12||Southern California||Los Angeles, Calif.|
|2020||UCLA (9-7)||Adam Wright||7-6||Southern California||Los Angeles, Calif.|
|2019||Stanford (21-2)||John Vargas||13-8||Pacific||Stockton, Calif.|
|2018||Southern California (29-3)||Jovan Vavic||14-12||Stanford||Palo Alto, Calif.|
|2017||UCLA (21-4)||Adam Wright||7-5||Southern California||Los Angeles, Calif.|
|2016||California (22-4)||Kirk Everist||11-8 (ot)||Southern California||Berkeley, Calif.|
|2015||UCLA (30-0)||Adam Wright||10-7||Southern California||Los Angeles, Calif.|
|2014||UCLA (29-3)||Adam Wright||9-8||Southern California||La Jolla, Calif.|
|2013||Southern California (28-4)||Jovan Vavic||12-11 (2ot)||Pacific||Palo Alto, Calif.|
|2012||Southern California (29-0)||Jovan Vavic||11-10||UCLA||Los Angeles, Calif.|
|2011||Southern California (24-3)||Jovan Vavic||7-4||UCLA||California|
|2010||Southern California (28-2)||Jovan Vavic||12-10 (2ot)||California||California|
|2009||Southern California (26-2)||Jovan Vavic||7-6||UCLA||Princeton|
|2008||Southern California (29-0)||Jovan Vavic||7-5||Stanford||Stanford|
|2007||California (28-4)||Kirk Everist||8-6||Southern California||Stanford|
|2006||California (31-4)||Kirk Everist||7-6||Southern California||Loyola Marymount|
|2005||Southern California (26-1)||Jovan Vavic||3-2||Stanford||Bucknell|
|2004||UCLA (25-3)||Adam Krikorian||10-9 (ot)||Stanford||Stanford|
|2003||Southern California (24-3)||Jovan Vavic||9-7(ot)||Stanford||Stanford|
|2002||Stanford (24-5)||John Vargas||7-6||California||Loyola Marymount|
|2001||Stanford (22-1)||Dante Dettamanti||8-5||UCLA||Stanford|
|2000||UCLA (19-7)||Guy Baker/Adam Krikorian||11-2||UC San Diego||Malibu, Calif.|
|1999||UCLA (22-3)||Guy Baker/Adam Krikorian||6-5||Stanford||La Jolla, Calif.|
|1998||Southern California (25-3)||John Williams/Jovan Vavic||9-8 (2ot)||Stanford||Newport Beach, Calif.|
|1997||Pepperdine (25-3)||Terry Schoroeder||8-7 (2ot)||Southern California||Fort Lauderdale, Fla.|
|1996||UCLA (24-6)||Guy Baker||8-7||Southern California||UC San Diego|
|1995||UCLA (20-6)||Guy Baker||10-8||California||Stanford|
|1994||Stanford (27-1)||Dante Dettamanti||14-10||Southern California||Long Beach, Calif.|
|1993||Stanford (24-6)||Dante Dettamanti||11-9||Southern California||Long Beach, Calif.|
|1992||California (31-0)||Steve Heaston||12-11 (3ot)||Stanford||Long Beach, Calif.|
|1991||California (26-1)||Steve Heaston||7-6||UCLA||Long Beach, Calif.|
|1990||California (29-1)||Steve Heaston||8-7||Stanford||Long Beach, Calif.|
|1989||UC Irvine (27-6)||Ted Newland||9-8||California||Indianapolis|
|1988||California (33-3)||Pete Cutino||14-11||UCLA||Long Beach, Calif.|
|1987||California (27-3)||Pete Cutino||9-8 (ot)||Southern California||Long Beach, Calif.|
|1986||Stanford (36-0)||Dante Dettamanti||9-6||California||Long Beach, Calif.|
|1985||Stanford (25-4)||Dante Dettamanti||12-11 (2ot)||UC Irvine||Long Beach, Calif.|
|1984||California (26-4-1)||Pete Cutino||9-8||Stanford||Long Beach, Calif.|
|1983||California (29-3-2)||Pete Cutino||10-7||Southern California||Long Beach, Calif.|
|1982||UC Irvine (30-0)||Ted Newland||7-4||Stanford||Long Beach, Calif.|
|1981||Stanford (31-0)||Dante Dettamanti||17-6||Long Beach State||Long Beach, Calif.|
|1980||Stanford (28-2-1)||Dante Dettamanti||8-6||California||Long Beach, Calif.|
|1979||UC Santa Barbara (27-2-1)||Pete Snyder||11-3||UCLA||Long Beach, Calif.|
|1978||Stanford (26-1-1)||Dante Dettamanti||7-6 (3ot)||California||Long Beach, Calif.|
|1977||California (29-3)||Pete Cutino||9-6||UC Irvine||Brown|
|1976||Stanford (20-2)||Art Lambert||13-12||UCLA||Long Beach, Calif.|
|1975||California (22-6)||Pete Cutino||9-8||UC Irvine||Long Beach, Calif.|
|1974||California (25-2)||Pete Cutino||7-6||UC Irvine||Long Beach, Calif.|
|1973||California (25-1)||Pete Cutino||8-4||UC Irvine||Long Beach, Calif.|
|1972||UCLA (19-1)||Bob Horn||10-5||UC Irvine||New Mexico|
|1971||UCLA (18-1)||Bob Horn||5-3||San Jose State||Long Beach, Calif.|
|1970||UC Irvine (27-2)||Ted Newland||7-6 (3ot)||UCLA||Long Beach, Calif.|
|1969||UCLA (19-0)||Bob Horn||5-2||California||Long Beach, Calif.|
Note: From 1969 through 1994, the championship was composed of eight teams. Since 1995, the championship has been composed of four teams.