GREENSBORO, N.C. – Six ACC field hockey teams earned bids to the 2016 NCAA Field Hockey Championship, announced Sunday night by the NCAA Field Hockey Committee. The league claimed five of the eight at-large spots in the tournament and two of the four host sites were awarded to ACC programs.
Duke earned the top overall seed for the first time in program history and will host first and second round games. Syracuse was also selected as a host site and enters the tournament as the No. 3 seed. Virginia clinched the league’s automatic berth by winning the ACC Championship, while Boston College, Louisville, and North Carolina claimed at-large bids and will begin tournament play on the road.
The announcement marks the fourth straight year that at least six ACC teams have earned a postseason bid.
Duke (15-3) is the top seed in the NCAA Championship for the first time in team history after winning the ACC regular season title, also a first for the program. The Blue Devils will play the winner of American and Kent State as they make their 15th appearance in the tournament. Louisville (15-5), which is making its third-straight tournament appearance, will also open tournament play in Durham when they take on Delaware.
No. 3 Syracuse (14-3) will begin its defense of the NCAA title when it takes on Harvard at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. The Orange earned a top-four seed for the fourth consecutive year, and has advanced to the national championship game in each of the past two tournaments. Boston College (10-9), which earned a program-record fourth-straight tournament bid, will play UConn in the opening round at Syracuse.
North Carolina (17-5), the runner-up in last year’s tournament, will travel to College Park, Maryland, to face Stanford. The Tar Heels are making their 14th consecutive tournament appearance and NCAA-record 33rd overall.
Virginia (15-7), which won the ACC Championship for the first time in program history, will open tournament play against Michigan at 2 p.m. on Saturday in University Park, Pennsylvania. This is the 21st trip to the NCAA Tournament for the Cavaliers.
The six ACC teams in the NCAA Championship are ranked in the top 11 spots in the NFHCA Poll, and all have been ranked during the entire season. The league combined to go 69-12 against nonconference competition during the regular the season, the best record of any conference.
The ACC currently has streaks of 27 straight years with at least one team in the NCAA semifinals, 13 straight years with multiple teams in the semifinals, and 17 straight with at least one team in the national championship game. Thirty-four of the last 52 teams to reach the national semifinals have come from the ACC.
Last year, ACC teams went 8-3 against nonconference opponents in the tournament. Duke, North Carolina, and Syracuse advanced to the NCAA semifinals, and Syracuse took home the first national championship in program history.
Play-in games will be played on two campus sites November 9. First- and second-round games will be played on four campus sites November 12-13. Old Dominion University will host the semifinals and final Friday, November 18, and Sunday, November 20, at ODU – LR Hill Complex in Norfolk, Virginia. The semifinals and finals will be streamed live on NCAA.com. For ticket information, please call 866-296-MTIX or visit NCAA.com/tickets.