Conference USA teams bow out

November, 21, 2011
11/21/11
10:14
AM ET

Things didn't go well for the host conference of the NCAA men's College Cup. Conference USA got four teams into the NCAA tournament, but all were eliminated by the second round.

That included the official host school, UAB. The Blazers, the No. 11 seed overall, were knocked out Sunday by Charlotte, 3-1. Meanwhile, in the same quarter of the bracket, defending national champion Akron eliminated another C-USA team, No. 6 seed SMU, 3-2.

Also seeing its season end Sunday was Central Florida, which fell 2-1 to South Florida. The other C-USA team, South Carolina, was defeated 4-3 on penalty kicks in the first round by Wake Forest after a 1-1 tie.

While the Mustangs were the second-best seed thus far to be defeated, it was less of a surprise considering it was the Zips who did it. Darren Mattocks had two of the goals for Akron, which will travel to Charlotte for next Sunday's third round.

There have been plenty of upsets through two rounds, with only one quarter of the bracket advancing all four of its seeded teams. Those are No. 2 Creighton, No. 7 South Florida, No. 10 New Mexico and No. 15 UC Santa Barbara.

The Bulls and Lobos will meet in Tampa, Fla., and New Mexico coach Jeremy Fishbein said before the tournament that how teams played on the road likely would go quite a way in deciding who would make it to the Birmingham, Ala., suburb of Hoover for the College Cup.

Creighton, trying to make it to the program's fourth College Cup, will have even more of a home-field advantage next week against No. 15 seed UCSB if the weather is anything like it was Sunday: 30 degrees at Morrison Stadium in Omaha, Neb. The Bluejays advanced with a 3-0 victory over Northern Illinois.

The Gauchos are left to carry the banner of the Big West after No. 8 seed UC Irvine was upset by Saint Mary's 2-1 on Sunday. The No. 9 seed, St. John's, was also eliminated, falling to Brown 1-0 despite having 17 shots to the Bears' nine.

It's the second year in a row that Brown has come up with an upset of a Big East team in the second round; last year, the Bears beat Connecticut.

Probably the biggest upset of Sunday, though, was Rutgers' victory at No. 4 seed Boston College. The Eagles had played well in the ACC tournament, beating both Maryland and Duke on the way to a championship-game loss to North Carolina.

But the Scarlet Knights advanced to the NCAA tournament's third round for the first time since 2001 thanks to Ibrahim Kamara's equalizing goal in the 86th minute, followed by a 4-3 penalty kicks victory.

Mechelle Voepel is a columnist for ESPN.com. She can be reached at mvoepel123@yahoo.com.

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Mechelle Voepel joined ESPN.com in 1996 and covers women's college hoops, the WNBA, the LPGA, and additional collegiate sports for espnW.

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