INDIANAPOLIS — With only two weeks remaining before selection Monday, the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Committee announced its top 10 ranking during halftime of ESPNU’s telecast of Michigan State at Indiana on Sunday, Oct. 28.
Using the selection criteria and results through games of Oct. 21, Wake Forest is the top-ranked team with a record of 15-1-0. The Demon Deacons were a perfect 9-0-0 during non-conference play, including a win over the committee’s No. 2 team, Indiana, while also compiling a 6-1-0 record so far in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Last year’s national runner-up, the Hoosiers are ranked second by the committee with a record of 13-2-0, including 6-0-0 to start Big Ten play and a win over the No. 3 team, North Carolina.
North Carolina (11-2-1) edges conference rival Virginia (9-2-2) for the third spot in the rankings, while Kentucky (12-1-1) rounds out the top five.
“As our committee has evaluated results through the first two months of the season, it’s evident that there are a lot of quality sides from coast to coast,” said Jeff Bacon, chair of the committee and senior associate commissioner of the Mid-American Conference. “The margin between these teams in our top 10 and those knocking on the door is very narrow. They all have earned impressive results to this point and it’s been especially good to see these top teams playing each other and testing themselves in the non-conference schedule.”
The remainder of the top 10 includes Notre Dame (8-5-1), Saint Mary’s (California) (14-0-0), Virginia Tech (9-4-2), Louisville (8-3-3) and Duke (9-4-1).
“I know our committee is excited to see how the end of the regular season and conference tournaments play out,” Bacon said. “None of these teams have their spot locked up with significant match-ups remaining to improve tournament profiles and make their case for seeds in this year’s championship.”
The ranking is based on the criteria used to select and seed the 48 teams for the Division I Men’s Soccer Championship and includes strength of schedule, Rating Percentage Index, head-to-head competition, results versus common opponents, significant wins and losses and locations of contests. Additionally, input is provided by the regional advisory committees for consideration by the Division I Men’s Soccer Committee.
The 2018 championship field will consist of 24 automatic qualifiers and 24 at-large selections, which will be revealed on Monday, Nov. 12 at 1 p.m. on NCAA.com. The top 16 teams will be seeded and receive first round byes before hosting second round games.
The tournament opens with first round games on Thursday, November 15 as the championship will be take place at campus sites through the quarterfinals as teams look to earn a trip to the College Cup.
For the first time since 2010, the College Cup returns to California in 2018 when teams and fans will descend upon Harder Stadium on the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara, with semifinals on Friday, Dec. 7, on ESPNU (8 p.m/10:45 p.m. ET), followed by the national championship game on Sunday, Dec. 9 on ESPNU at 8 p.m. ET.
Tickets for the Men’s College Cup are available at ncaa.com/tickets.
NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Committee Top 10 ranking (record through games of October 21)
- Wake Forest (15-1-0)
- Indiana (13-2-0)
- North Carolina (11-2-1)
- Virginia (9-2-2)
- Kentucky (12-1-1)
- Notre Dame (8-5-1)
- Saint Mary’s (CA) (14-0-0)
- Virginia Tech (9-4-2)
- Louisville (8-3-3)
- Duke (9-4-1)