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GREENSBORO, N.C. – Three Atlantic Coast Conference field hockey teams were selected to participate in the 2011 NCAA Field Hockey Championship, the NCAA announced Tuesday. North Carolina (20-1, 5-0 ACC), the top-ranked team in the latest Kookaburra/NFHCA Division I National Coaches Poll, earned the league’s automatic berth by winning the 2011 ACC Field Hockey Championship and clinched the No. 1 overall seed. Maryland, the defending national champion, will host first and second round games, while Duke will be on the road.
North Carolina will be attempting to win its seventh all-time NCAA title in its 28th tournament appearance. The Tar Heels are 44-21 in tournament play, winning six titles and reaching 12 finals, and will host Ohio (19-4) in the first round.
Maryland (15-4, 4-1 ACC) will start its championship defense against Iowa (15-4). The Terrapins have won seven national titles and have compiled 10 appearances in the final game.
The Duke Blue Devils (13-7, 2-3 ACC), after finishing in last place in the conference the last two years, will be making their first tournament appearance since 2008 when they reached the second round before losing to Maryland. Duke has made three finals appearances in the program’s history, and will take on Stanford in the first round in Norfolk, Va.
First round action will take place on Saturday, Nov. 12 at campus host sites. The second round games will be played on Sunday, Nov. 13, with the winners advancing to the semifinals, which will be hosted by Louisville on Friday, Nov. 18. The championship game is scheduled for noon on Sunday, Nov. 20. The semifinals and championship will be played at Louisville’s Trager Stadium.
ACC teams have accounted for the last nine national champions and 16 of the last 24 overall. The national championship game has been an all-ACC matchup in three straight years and in seven of the last eight. Last season, Maryland defeated North Carolina 3-2 in double overtime to take home the title.