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Women’s DI Conference tournaments kick off

Article Written by Travis Clark
Published: October 26, 2018

Postseason play is here.

A handful of conference tournaments are set to kick off this weekend, with Sunday featuring a trio of leagues officially beginning knockout play.

Here’s what to keep an eye on this weekend (kickoff times listed EST).

ACC (at campus sites – ACC Digital Network)

Virginia Tech at North Carolina
Florida State at Duke
Louisville at Virginia
Clemson at Boston College

All games kick off simultaneously at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, with the quartet of advancing teams shifting to Cary for Friday night’s semifinals. Virginia-Louisville could be one of the more entertaining matchups of the round, with both teams looking to get forward and score goals. Florida State, entering the tournament as the No. 7 seed, has an up-and-down season though should be a handful for Duke in Durham. The two sides didn’t meet in the regular season, so it’ll be an intriguing postseason measurement after FSU outshot Miami 24-1 only to loss to Miami by a 1-0 score in overtime. Clemson faces a tall task when they travel up to Newton, as Boston College boasts an 11-0 record on home turf. Finally, top seed North Carolina edge the field as favorites after going 10-0 in the ACC regular season.

Big 12 (at Swope Soccer Village – Big 12 Digital Network)

Baylor vs. Iowa State, 12:30 p.m.
TCU vs. Texas Tech, 3:00 p.m.
West Virginia vs. Oklahoma, 6:30 p.m.
Texas vs. Kansas, 9:00 p.m.

Swope Soccer Village welcomes the Big-12 tournament, with Baylor seeking to claim the double after winning the regular season. Like the 2018 league title race, the conference tournament is anyone’s game, but the stakes will certainly be high no matter who emerges victorious. Look for Texas and West Virginia, should they prove to best their opponents on Sunday, to go on a deep run both in Big 12 play and the NCAA tournament.

Big Ten (at campus sites – Big Ten Network)

Michigan at Penn State, 1 p.m.
Illinois at Wisconsin, 1 p.m.
Nebraska at Ohio State, 2 p.m.
Minnesota at Rutgers, 1 p.m.

After a mid-season wobble, Penn State righted the ship to capture the Big Ten regular season crown. The Nittany Lions still lack a bit of sharpness and consistency in the final third but have shown signs that they’ll find the goals needed to win. Michigan makes the trip to State College to provide the first hurdle in a field where several of the lower seeded sides need to go on a run to solidify at-large prospects. Illinois-Wisconsin and Nebraska-Ohio State are both instances where the visiting team would do wonders for an at-large bid and are going to be desperate for a win. Minnesota likely needs to run the table and it’s a tough first hurdle awaiting on Sunday at Rutgers.

Decisive WCC clash

Santa Clara at BYU, 7 p.m.

The West Coast Conference doesn’t have a conference tournament, but Saturday’s matchup between Santa Clara and BYU is massive. That’s especially true for the hosts, which sit outside the bubble in terms of earning at at-large bid in the tournament. A win against the Broncos on Sunday wouldn’t secure the WCC title outright, although it would give them a massive edge heading into the final match of the season. Santa Clara has a Top 10 RPI and several strong wins, so missing out on the WCC title wouldn’t rule them out of the NCAA tournament conversation.

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