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Pitt men’s soccer team gets No. 2 seed in NCAA tourney

The Pitt men’s soccer team finished the regular season as the No. 1 team in the nation but failed to secure the ACC's automatic bid for the NCAA tournament when it faced No. 4 Clemson over the weekend. But just after noon on Monday, the NCAA selection committee awarded Pitt with the No. 2 overall seed and a first-round bye in the NCAA tournament.

As the No. 2 seed, Pitt will face the winner of a first-round game between MAC programs Bowling Green and Monmouth. The matchup between the 7-4-1 Falcons and the 5-2-1 Hawks will take place on April 29, and the victor will face the 13-3 Panthers on May 2. And the winner of that matchup will face the winner of a matchup between UCF and James Madison.

Although Pitt stumbled over the finish line and suffered a 2-0 loss to Clemson on Saturday, it may have received the more advantageous seeding, as Clemson is now in the same region as defending national champions Georgetown, a No. 8 seed. Pitt was knocked out of the 2019 tournament by Georgetown, and the Hoyas finished this season right on the Panthers’ tail as the No. 2 program in the country.

As things stand, the greatest threat in Pitt’s region appears to be Washington, a No. 7 seed. The Huskies finished the season as the No. 6 team in the nation and went 10-3. However, UCF, James Madison, Missouri State and Grand Canyon were also ranked, and Bowling Green was receiving votes in the poll.

With that said, Pitt’s path to a national title will be a difficult one, but if the Panthers can shake off their recent loss to Clemson and regain the form the found late in the spring season, they could make a deep tournament run.