Four Big Ten Men's Soccer Teams Earn Bids to 2012 NCAA Championship

Eriq Zavaleta and the Indiana Hoosiers have earned a first-round bye in the NCAA Championship.

Eriq Zavaleta and the Indiana Hoosiers have earned a first-round bye in the NCAA Championship.

Nov. 12, 2012

Park Ridge, Ill. -

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Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State and Northwestern have earned berths to the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship, the selection committee announced on Monday. This season marks the fifth time in the last six years the Big Ten has had at least four teams earn bids to the tournament, which begins on Thursday.

Indiana enters the NCAA Championship as the No. 16 seed, earning a bye into the second round. The Hoosiers have put together an 11-5-3 record this season en route to their 26th consecutive championship appearance. Indiana will face the winner of Thursday’s Kentucky-Xavier matchup on Sunday in Bloomington, Ind.

A late season surge propelled Michigan into the tournament, as the Wolverines welcome Niagara to Ann Arbor, Mich., in their first-round matchup on Thursday. The selection marks Michigan’s fifth NCAA Championship appearance.

Michigan State earned the conference’s automatic berth after winning its third Big Ten Tournament title last weekend. The Spartans are making their 15th appearance in the tournament and will host Cleveland State on Thursday.

Northwestern earns its seventh NCAA Championship berth after winning a share of the Big Ten title. The Wildcats enter the tournament with an 11-5-4 overall record and will host Western Illinois in its first-round tilt on Thursday.

The first round of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship will be played on Thursday, while second-round action will take place on Sunday at campus locations. The third round is scheduled for Nov. 25, with the quarterfinals set for Nov. 30 through Dec. 2. The 2012 NCAA College Cup will be held on Dec. 7 and 9 in Hoover, Ala.