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On the Bubble: Pitt men’s soccer will learn NCAA tournament fate on Monday

The NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament committee will be revealing the brackets for the 48-team tournament on Monday.

For the first time since 2018, Pitt is in danger of not making it into the field, as they finished the season with two losses and their record currently is 6-6-4.

The 2023 DI men’s soccer selection show will air Monday, Nov. 13 at 1 p.m. ET, live on 

** NCAA Men’s Soccer DI Tournament Bracket.**

Nearly half of the 48-team field will be filled out by the automatic qualifiers (AQ) from each of the 23 conferences that participate in Division I (see full list below).

That leaves 25 spots open for the committee to choose teams to be selected for at-large bids.

That leaves Pitt, who made it to two of the last three NCAA College Cups (Final Four) and have played the most difficult schedule in DI soccer this season, hoping to hear its name called when the brackets are revealed on Monday.

📊 POLLS: United Soccer Coaches | NCAA Men’s Soccer RPI  📈

The Panthers are currently sitting with an Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) 0f 29 (through games played as of Nov. 5).  This does not include the matches played this past week, which saw many teams that are in the Top 25 of both the Coaches Poll and teams that are ahead of Pitt in the RPI, lose in their conference tournaments.

The Panthers are right on the edge if the committee selectors go mostly by the RPI to take the at-large teams.

Here’s a list of the top teams in the RPI who didn’t automatically qualify for the Tournament and their latest RPI ranking:

  • Notre Dame (2)
  • Georgetown (3)
  • SMU (4)
  • New Hampshire (5)
  • Virginia (6)
  • West Virginia (7)
  • North Carolina (9)
  • UCF (10)
  • Portland (11)
  • Wake Forest (12)
  • Louisville (14)
  • Duke (16)
  • Seattle (17)
  • Stanford (18)
  • Denver (19)
  • Syracuse (22)
  • Missouri State (23)
  • Vermont (24)
  • Oregon State (25)
  • FIU (27)
  • Memphis (28)

With 25 at-large bids, and somewhere in the ballpark of 21 teams ahead of them in the RPI who will likely be selected or at-large bids, Pitt still has a fighters chance to get in as one of the 25 at-large selections.

Two of the teams directly behind them (San Diego and Charlotte) have qualified as conference champions, while the next team in the list is very interesting, as it’s Indiana (32nd in RPI with 9-4-4 record), who Pitt has faced twice in its two College Cup appearances, and lost.

In the RPI, Pitt is also ahead of VCU (33), UIC (34) and Saint Louis (35), who don’t come from traditional power 5 conferences, and VCU, like Pitt, has a very similar record (6-5-5).  The next Power 5 school in the RPI, ironically, is Penn State, who sit at 39th, with a 10-3-4 overall record.  Pitt and Penn State played to a draw in the season opener at Ambrose Urbanic Field.

With the combination of having played the toughest schedule (according to the computers), coming off two college cup appearances in three years, three straight trips to the Elite Eight, plus having Jay Vidovich as its head coach, should be enough to give Pitt a nod for an at-large bid.

If Pitt is selected, it’s very likely that they’ll be slotted into the first round, and will not have a bye, and will likely have to play two matches in the next week (likely Thursday- Sunday or Monday).

We’ll just have to wait and see how it all pans out — starting at 1 p.m. today.

American Charlotte
America East Bryant
ACC Clemson
A-10 Dayton
ASUN Lipscomb
Big East Xavier
Big South High Point
Big Ten Indiana
Big West UC Irvine
CAA Hofstra
Horizon League Green Bay
Ivy League Yale
Metro Atlantic Rider
Missouri Valley Western Michigan
Northeast Long Island
Ohio Valley SIU Edwardsville
Pac-12 UCLA
Patriot League Boston
SoCon Mercer
Summit League Omaha
Sun Belt Marshall
WAC California Baptist
WCC San Diego 

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

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