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Intrastate showdowns headline second round of NCAA Tournament

Sunday at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC.  (Photo by Sam Roberts)

 Photo by Charlotte 49ers Athletics

By AARON CRANFORD

Sunday’s Second Round of the NCAA Tournament will divide state allegiances.

Out of the 16 matches, six feature intrastate contests. Coastal Carolina visits Clemson, UMBC meets Maryland, San Diego plays UCLA, UC Irvine sees Stanford, Oakland travels to Michigan State and North Carolina challenges Charlotte.

One of the key matchups features two teams who met in the 2011 College Cup final, Charlotte and North Carolina. The Tar Heels finished as champions, so the 49ers would like nothing more than to enact revenge this year. Similarly, in 2012, the Toreros upset the Bruins, 5-2, in the Second Round, making this fixture matter even more to players like UCLA star midfielder Leo Stolz, who played in the 2012 loss.

No. 1 seeded Notre Dame hosts Ohio State, who needed 13 penalty kicks to top Akron. The Fighting Irish were knocked out of the ACC Championship semifinals by Clemson about a week ago, but they have had plenty of time to rest and prepare for Sunday’s showdown.

One second-round match to watch features Syracuse taking on Penn State in a clash featuring two of the country’s best goalkeepers. Syracuse’s Alex Bono and Penn State’s Andrew Wolverton will be playing not only to reach the Round of 16, but also to impress pro scouts trying to figure out which of them has the brightest future.

Here is a rundown of the NCAA Tournament second round schedule (all matches set for Sunday):

NCAA TOURNAMENT SECOND ROUND SCHEDULE

SUNDAY (Seeded teams host)

1 p.m. — (16) Virginia vs. UNC Wilmington

1 p.m. — (8) Georgetown vs. Old Dominion

1 p.m. — (3) Michigan State vs. Oakland

1 p.m. — (5) Indiana vs. Xavier

1:30 p.m. — (12) Creighton vs. Oregon State

2 p.m. — (9) Syracuse vs. Penn State

2 p.m. — (10) Charlotte vs. North Carolina

4 p.m. — (15) California vs. SIUE

5 p.m. — (4) Maryland vs. UMBC

6 p.m. — (13) Louisville vs. Saint Louis

7 p.m. — (1) Notre Dame vs. Ohio State

7 p.m. — (11) Providence vs. Dartmouth

7 p.m. — (7) Clemson vs. Coastal Carolina

8 p.m. — (14) Washington vs. Furman

8 p.m. — (6) Stanford vs. UC Irvine

10 p.m. — (2) UCLA vs. San Diego

Will Notre Dame make a run at a repeat? Who do you have making it to the quarterfinals? Which intrastate matchup looks the most interesting?

Share your thoughts below.

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