The first and second rounds of the NCAA soccer tournament were held this past week. Amazingly, all five Big Ten teams in the tournament are still alive and advanced to the Sweet 16, including Michigan and Michigan State.â†µ
Michigan, which won the Big Ten tournament earlier this month, beat UCF in overtime by a score of 2-1 to advance to the Sweet 16. Since the Wolverines are the No. 10 seed in the tournament, they got a first-round bye and got to play at home. The exciting victory at UCF came in front of a packet house at U-M Soccer Stadium, which just opened this year.â†µ
Michigan State's path to the Sweet 16 included two victories since the Spartans entered the tournament unseeded. Last Thursday, MSU beat Oakland by a 2-0 tally to advance to the second round. There, the Spartans' soccer team did what their basketball team couldn't in the Final Four by beating Butler in Indianapolis. The Spartans won 1-0 on a goal scored in the 84th minute.â†µ
Next up for Michigan and Michigan State are road games on Sunday with a trip to the Elite Eight on the line. Michigan plays at South Carolina, the No. 7 seed in the tournament. MSU is headed to North Carolina to play the 4th-seeded Tar Heels. If Michigan wins it will play the winner of the Penn State-Maryland game, whereas MSU would be awaiting the winner of the SMU-William & Mary matchup if it is victorious.â†µ
Penn State, Ohio State and Indiana are also still alive and will be playing on Sunday for a chance to advance to the Elite Eight.