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NCAA Tournament kicks off today

The NCAA Tournament Field will whittle down from 48 teams to 32 teams as the tournament kicks off with first-round action across the country.

A pair of early games today have already begun proceedings, with Virginia facing Lafayette and Michigan State taking on Cleveland State, but the other 14 match-ups in the first round will be taking place tonight.

Headlining the day’s matches is a clash between Coastal Carolina and Elon. Coastal Carolina boast a pair of top attacking stars in Pedro Ribeiro and Ashton Morgan, who will look to outdo Elon standout Chris Thomas today when the squads face off in South Carolina.

Another quality tilt features Kentucky taking on A-10 power Xavier in Lexington. The Wildcats played one of the toughest schedules in the nation, and own several impressive victories, but they will have a tough task going against a Xavier side that was in and around the SBI Top 10 for most of the year.

If you will be attending today’s matches, and can offer some thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play, please feel free to do so in the comments section below. Also watch for NCAA Tournament updates on SBI’s Twitter feed, @soccerbyives.

Here is the schedule of first-round games being played on Thursday, with start times and locations:


(All Times Eastern)


Michigan State vs. Cleveland State, 1 p.m., East Lansing, Mich.

Kentucky vs. Xavier, 7 p.m., Lexington, Ky.

Old Dominion vs. Maryland-Baltimore County, 7 p.m., Norfolk, Va.

St. John’s vs. Farleigh Dickinson, 7 p.m., Queens, N.Y.


Charlotte vs. Alabama-Birmingham, 7 p.m., Charlotte, N.C.

Cornell vs. Syracuse, 7 p.m., Ithaca, N.Y.

South Florida vs. Florida Gulf Coast, 7 p.m., Tampa, Fla.

California State-Northridge vs. San Diego, 10 p.m., Northridge, Calif.


Michigan vs. Niagara, 7 p.m., Ann Arbor, Mich.

Washington vs. Air Force, 10 p.m., Seattle, Wash.

Virginia vs. Lafayette, 1:30 p.m., Charlottesville, Va.

Northeastern vs. Boston College, 7 p.m., Brookline, Mass.


Northwestern vs. Western Illinois, 8 p.m., Evanston, Ill.

Southern Methodist vs. Winthrop, 8 p.m., Dallas, Texas

Coastal Carolina vs. Elon, 7 p.m., Conway, S.C.

Drexel vs. Brown, 4 p.m., Philadelphia, Pa.


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