Trick or Treat? - plenty at stake on Sunday (10/31/10)

Note: CollegeSoccer360 will be tracking Sunday's extensive action throughout the day, via this blog page, the adjacent sidebar scoreboard and via Twitter feed (cs360updates).

There are plenty of key games on tap around the country on Halloween Day – with 22 games involving top-50 teams in the CS360 Composite National Rankings and 17 conference tournament games (seven of them involving top-50 squads). Scroll down to the bottom of this blog post for the full schedule of Sunday's big games, plus a complete rundown of key results from earlier in the week (all of those games/results also are on the right-sidebar scoreboard).

Six of Sunday's game feature head-to-head matchups between CS360 top-50 teams, led by #9 Florida State at #10 Boston College (1 ET) – with FSU joining UNC, Maryland and Virginia as the four teams that still could win the ACC regular-season title (on the final day!). Elsewhere in the ACC, #3 North Carolina will be looking to secure the ACC title with a win at #25 Wake Forest.

The six conference tournaments in action on Halloween day include the America East, BIG EAST, Horizon, Mid-American, Missouri Valley and Southern.

There are 21 teams in the CS360 top-50 that are idle on Sunday: #1 Stanford, #7 Texas A&M, #8 Florida, #13 Oklahoma State, #17 South Carolina, #18 Hofstra, #21 BYU, #22 New Mexico, #24 Duke, #27 Denver, #28 Texas, #30 Central Florida, #31 Wisconsin, #35 Georgia, #36 Minnesota, #37 Dayton, #38 Memphis, #39 Auburn, #41 California, #42 Nebraska and #48 San Diego.

Here's a look at what's at stake today in various conferences:

ATLANTIC COAST – North Carolina (7-2-0; 21 pts) can clinch the ACC regular-season title and #1 seed through various four-team combinations today (including with a loss at Wake Forest, as long as the other three teams lose or tie) ... those teams tied for second (6-2-1; 19) include Maryland, Virginia and Florida State ... head-to-head results: UNC beat UVa and FSU but lost to Maryland; Maryland beat UVa and FSU; UVa and FSU tied earlier this season ... if Wake Forest (5-3-1; 16) upsets UNC, the 5th-place Demon Deacons could move up the standings ... Boston College (5-4-0; 15) and Duke (4-5-1; 12) also have locked up spots in the ACC Tournament (although idle Duke could slip to the #8 seed) ... Miami (4-5-0; 12) or Virginia Tech (3-5-1; 10) will be the final entrant in the ACC postseason ... if there's a three-way tie for 7th-place (Duke, Miami, VT), then Miami would be the #7 seed (beat Duke and VT) and Duke the #8 (beat VT) ... to make the ACC Tournament, Virginia Tech needs to beat N.C. State (1-7-0) today and hope for a Maryland win over Miami.

BIG EASTNotre Dame enters the day #7 in the national RPI (per www.nc-soccer.com's updated unadjusted RPI), meaning that the Irish likely need to advance in order to feel comfortable about being one of the top-8 national seeds (which ensures a potential hosting spot in the NCAA round-of-16) ... Marquette sits at #12 in the updated RPI and is focusing on locking up one of the #1 seeds in the NCAAs (top-16) ... Georgetown (#16 RPI) would appear to be on the bubble for a #1 seed (and potential hosting role on first weekend of NCAAs) ... West Virginia (#21) seemingly could make a run to one of those seeds but likely would need to win the BIG EAST Tournament to be among the top-16 NCAA entrants ... further down the RPI list, South Florida (#46) and Connecticut (#49) have to be considered squarely on the bubble and will remain there if they lose today (#67 Rutgers and #82 DePaul likely need to win the BIG EAST Tournament to make the NCAAs) ... other bubble teams from around the country simply are rooting for the BIG EAST home teams to advance today – to avoid the risk of an upset tournament winner stealing one of the at-large spots (while also lessing USF and UConn's chances to make the NCAAs as at-large entries).

AMERICA EAST – Boston U. has fashioned a solid season, but the Terriers currently sit at #45 in the latest nc-soccer.com's number and realistically can't afford a loss or tie today vs. an Albany team that is #218 in that same RPI listing ... the other semifinal features two teams with RPI numbers north of 200 (#219 Stony Brook and #237 Maine) ... bubble teams from around the country probably need to root for BU winning the tournament, just to be on the safe side (in case BU still would earn an at-large bid).

HORIZON – Loyola Chicago has some recent NCAA Tournament experience but has struggled this season (#196 updated RPI) while Wright State has been on a roll but does not have a realistic shot at an NCAA at-large spot (#88 RPI) ... Milwaukee (#57 RPI) and Butler (#195) have byes, while #6 seed Detroit (RPI-155) advanced yesterday with a 2-1 win at #3 seed Cleveland State ... bubble-watchers may want to root for a Milwaukee tournament title, to avoid the unlikely chance that the Horizon could get two teams into the NCAAs.

MID-AMERICAN – Toledo looked to be in solid shape for an NCAA at-large spot, before losing earlier this week at Ball State (which had been winless in MAC play) ... the Rockets still have a #39 updated RPI, but a loss to Ohio (#199 RPI) could put Toledo's NCAA hopes in serious doubt ... Central Michigan (#71 RPI) tied Toledo for the regular-season title but likely needs to win the MAC Tournament to punch its ticket to the NCAAs ... the other remaining MAC teams likewise need to win the conference tournament in order to advance to the NCAAs: Eastern Michigan (#128 RPI), Miami (#138), Western Michigan (#153), Northern Illinois (#164) and Akron (#172) .... the MAC likely is a one-bid league, but bubble teams from around the nation still should be rooting for a Toledo title.

MISSOURI VALLEY – All four of the teams playing today have lofty RPI numbers (#106 Drake, #139 Illinois State, #224 Indiana State and #257 Evansville) ... no bubble anxiety here, as the MVC clearly is a one-bid league – as the bye teams Creighton (#91 RPI) and Missouri State (#120) are nowhere near at-large consideration.

SOUTHERN – Bubble teams from around the country simply will be rooting for UNC Greensboro to win this tournament, as the Spartans own a #23 updated RPI ... UNCG would appear to be playing for a #2 seed on the first weekend of the NCAAs (top-32 teams) and would not help its case with a loss today ... here's the updated RPI of the other remaining SoCon teams: #80 Samford, #114 Citadel, #137 Elon, #158 College of Charleston, #165 Davidson, #174 Furman and #251 Wofford.

• • • • •

SUNDAY'S BIG GAMES/RESULTSEAT  (both cs360 top-50;  10/31/10)
#3 North Carolina 2,  at #25 Wake Forest 0
at #6 Maryland 2,  #43 Miami 1
#9 Florida State 1,  at #10 Boston College 0
at #50 Michigan 3,  #20 Illinois 2
at #26 USC 2,  #34 Washington 0
#49 South Florida 1,  at #32 Georgetown 0  (2 OT)  (BIG EAST quarterfinal)

OTHER KEY SUNDAY GAMES/RESULTS  (cs360 top-50;  10/31/10)
at #2 Portland 2,  San Francisco 0
Connecticut 2,  at #4 Notre Dame 0  (BIG EAST Quarterfinal)
#5 Virgnia 6,  at Clemson 0
at #11 Oregon State 3,  Arizona 0
at #12 Marquette 3,  DePaul 0 (BIG EAST Quarterfinal)
at Indiana 1,  #14 Ohio State 0
at #15 UC Irvine 3,  Cal State Fullerton 2
LMU 2,  at #16 Santa Clara 0
at #19 West Virginia 1,  Rutgers 0  (BIG EAST Quarterfinal)
at #23 North Carolina Greensboro 1,  Wofford 0  (Southern Conf. Quarterfinal)
at #29 UCLA 2,  Washington State 0
at Oregon 2,  #33 Arizona State 0
at #40 Boston University 2,  Albany 0  (America East Semifinal)
at  #44 Toledo 1,  Ohio 0  (MAC Quarterfinal)
Iowa 1,  at #45 Michigan State 1
at UC Davis 1,  #46 Long Beach 0
at #47 Virginia Tech 4,  North Carolina State 0

CONFERENCE TOURNAMENTS  (Sunday; 10/31/10)

AMERICA EAST (quarterfinals)
at (1) Boston University 2,  (4) Albany 0
(6) Maine 3,  at (2) Stony Brook 1

BIG EAST (quarterfinals; 1:00 local-time starts)
(A4) Connecticut 2,  at (N1) Notre Dame 0
at (A1) Marquette 3,  (N4) DePaul 0
(A3) South Florida 1,  at (N2) Georgetown 0  (2 OT)
at (A2) West Virginia 1,  (N3) Rutgers 0

HORIZON (quarterfinals)
at (4) Wright State 1,  (5) Loyola (IL) 0 

MID-AMERICAN (quarterfinals; 1 ET)
at (1) Toledo 1,  (8) Ohio 0
at (2) Miami OH 2,  (7) Akron 0
at (3) Central Michigan 2,  (6) Northern Illinois 1
(5) Western Michigan 0,  at (4) Eastern Michigan 0  (WMU advanced 4-2 on PKs)

MISSOURI VALLEY (quarterfinals...1 CT)
(5) Evansville 1,  at (4) Drake 0
at (3) Illinois State 2,  (6) Indiana State 1  (2 OT) 

SOUTHERN (quarterfinals)
at (1) North Carolina Greensboro 1,  (8) Wofford 0
(7) Davidson 1,  at (2) Samford 1  (Samford advanced 4-3 on PKs)
at (3) Citadel 2,  (6) Furman 1  (2 OT)
(5) Elon 1,  at (4) College of Charleston 0

• • • • •

Earlier in the Week ... 

SATURDAY'S KEY GAMES  (cs360 top-50;  10/30/10)
#1 Stanford 3,  at #42 California 0
#17 BYU 2,  at Utah 1
at #18 Hofstra 2, 
Northeastern 1  (2 OT)
#22 New Mexico 1,  at TCU 1

CONFERENCE TOURNAMENTS  (Saturday; 10/30/10)
Horizon League (quarterfinals)
#6 Detroit 2, at #3 Cleveland State 1

Atlantic Sun (quarterfinals)
#6 Stetson 1, at #3 North Florida 0
#5 East Tennessee St. 0, at #4 Kennesaw St. 0  (Kennesaw adv. 4-2 on PKs)


FRIDAY'S BIG GAMES/RESULTS  (both cs360 top-50;  10/29/10)
#7 Texas A&M 1,  at #28 Texas 1
#8 Florida 1,  at #17 South Carolina 0
at #11 Oregon State 1,  #33 Arizona State 0
#20 llinois 1,  at #45 Michigan State 0
#34 Washington 1,  at #29 UCLA 0

OTHER KEY FRIDAY GAMES/RESULTS  (cs360 top-50;  10/29/10)
#13 Oklahoma State 2,  at Oklahoma 0
at #26 USC 3,  Washington State 2
at #27 Denver 1,  North Texas 0 
at #30 Central Florida 6,  Southern Mississippi 0
at Tennessee 2,  #35 Georgia 1
#36 Minnesota 2,  at Northwestern 1
#37 Dayton 2,  at Xavier 0
at #39 Auburn 2,  Alabama 1
at Colorado 2,  #42 Nebraska 1
#46 Long Beach State 2,  at the University of thr Pacific 0
at #48 San Diego 2,  Pepperdine 1
at #50 Michigan 2,  Iowa 1

THURSDAY'S BIG GAMES  (both cs360 top-50;  10/28/10)
#3 North Carolina 5,  at #24 Duke 3
at #6 Maryland 2,  #9 Florida State 1 
at #10 Boston College 1,  #43 Miami 0  (2 OT)
at #16 Santa Clara 2,  #21 BYU 1
 
OTHER KEY THURSDAY GAMES  (cs360 top-50;  10/28/10)
at #5 Virginia 2,  North Carolina State 1
#23 North Carolina Greensboro 2,  at Elon 1
at #38 Memphis 2,  Alabama-Birmingham 1
at Ball State 1,  #44 Toledo 0
#47 Virginia Tech 3,  at Clemson 0

CONFERENCE TOURNAMENTS  (Thursday; 10/28/10)
America East (quarterfinals)
at (4) Albany 2, (5) New Hampshire 1
(6) Maine 1,  at (3) Hartford 0

BIG EAST (first round ... American and National divisions)
at (A4) Connecticut 3,  (N5) Louisville 0
at (N4) DePaul 1,  (A5) Pittsburgh 0
 editor@collegesoccer360.com