Picking up where we left off last year, everybody is continuing to soccer with the 2015 NCAA Soccer Bracket Challenge! Last year we had a heated race that not only saw Liviu Bird top the group, but included a former USMNT player who unfortunately did not do so well with his picks. If you aren't really familiar with college soccer, go to the bottom for the resources so you can have the chance to say you know more about soccer than someone who played for the US.
I've included some fun stats this year. We have a win%, which is based on how many points a bracket has to cover in how many games remaining. There's also the expected points that uses RPI rating as its basis. On the stats tab, you can see each bracket's pick as well as how often a school was picked to advance. The last two tabs are the math behind it all so don't worry about those. If you're on your phone, click here to view the standings.
The account names without an "@" in front of it are taken from bigsoccer forums. Those marked as "N/A" were brackets that were emailed in.
About the NCAA Tournament
Every year NCAA soccer concludes their season with a 48 team tournament. 24 conference representatives are selected by either winning their respective conference or tournament. The remaining 24 spots are filled by teams earning at-large bids. The first round features 32 teams and the second round introduces 16 seeded teams given a bye past the first round.
How to Play
There are a couple of different ways to play.
1. You can print off a bracket, fill it out, and send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet a picture to @letsallsoccer.
2. You can simply just type or write it all out and send me the list. As long as they are sorted by round, I can submit your bracket myself.
3. If you can get to a computer, a fancier and more interactive tool can be found on the google templates. Search for "NCAA Soccer" in the public gallery.
- Click the "NCAA Soccer Bracket Challenge Template By Bill Reno"
- At the top header, click the button "Use This Template"
- Only fill out column D, the blue row. The bracket will automatically update itself. If you spell a college incorrectly (use the gray columns for reference) then it will tell you to try again.
- Enter in your name, team name, state, and twitter handle to appear on the scoreboard.
- Send to it me by selecting File > Share > Email:email@example.com. (Make sure you are clicking the in-template "File" and not the "File" at very top of your computer screen.)
- If something goes terribly wrong and you mess up the whole thing, just go back to the google templates home page to start over.
How to Win
The winner will be determined by who scores the most points. You can score a maximum of 176 points total (32 each round, except the first which is only 16). The rounds are weighted as such:
Round 1 - 1 point
Round 2 - 2 point
Round 3 - 4 points
Quarterfinals - 8 points
Semifinals - 16 points
Final - 32 points
RPIs and Schedules - Dan Gaucho has a great site for all your RPI and scheduling needs.
History - Take a look at each school's history with the tournament. Teams were given points for how many rounds they went and if they held a seed. The first few columns are weighted points for the round reached and seed given. "DIFF" is gauging if they over (+) or underperform (-) in the tournament given their seed.