College Top 20 Rankings: UNC rally to stay alive

Photo courtesy of University of North Carolina Athletics

There were stretches during North Carolina’s 3-2 win over Coastal Carolina on Sunday when the underdog Chanticleers looked capable of pulling off the upset.

After all, the high-scoring CCU offense put the unseeded visitors out in front, not once but twice, and held a 2-1 lead in the second half. But the Tar Heels weren’t going to let up, and Kirk Urso’s strike from distance tied the game before midfielder Enzo Martinez curled home a free kick in the 69th minute, allowing UNC to advance in the NCAA Tournament.

MLSsoccer.com's Top 20

Rank School Record Last Week
1 New Mexico 18-0-3 1
2 North Carolina 18-2-2 2
3 Creighton 19-2-0 3
4 Connecticut 18-3-2 4
5 UCLA 16-4-1 5
6 Maryland 14-3-3 6
7 South Florida 13-3-3 7
8 Indiana 13-3-5 8
9 UCSB 15-6-1 12
10 Louisville 13-6-2 10
11 Akron 15-3-4 11
12 Charlotte 15-4-2 15
13 James Madison 13-4-2 16
14 Boston College 14-7-0 9
15 Brown 12-4-3 NR
16 UC Irvine 16-6-1 13
17 SMU 13-7-1 14
18 Coastal Carolina 18-4-0 17
19 Furman 14-4-4 18
20 Rutgers 10-6-4 NR

Here’s how the rest of the MLSsoccer.com Top 20 fared in NCAA Tournament action on Sunday:

2010 runner-up Louisville endured an up-and-down regular season. And with just under six minutes to go, it looked like the offseason was starting early as the Cardinals trailed 1-0 against Bradley.

But the Cardinals’ group of seniors wasn’t ready to call it a day on their college career, and Louisville struck twice through Colin Rolfe and Kenney Walker to take a 2-1 lead. However, with less than 30 seconds left in the game, Bradley tied it through Bryan Gaul, sending the game into overtime – where Lousville senior Nick DeLeon scored the game-winner in the 108th minute for a dramatic 3-2 victory.

After battling through a rough end of their regular season, Maryland was back to their best in a second-round clash against West Virginia. Casey Townsend’s hat trick led the way in a 4-0 win, the Terps facing Louisville in the third round.

Also avoiding upset was undefeated New Mexico. It looked dicey for the Lobos, trailing at home 1-0 to Duke. But after Chris Tweed-Kent picked up a red card, New Mexico took advantage of playing a man up, equalizing to send the game into overtime, where Carson Baldinger grabbed the winner in the 98th minute.

Despite heading into the tournament unseeded, defending champion Akron is also in the third round after a 3-2 win over SMU. The Zips jumped out to a 3-0 lead, thanks to a pair of goals by Darren Mattocks, and staved off a late Mustangs rally.

A pair of seeded teams saw their tournaments end prematurely, however, as Brown defeated No. 9 seed St. John’s 1-0, while St. Mary’s got the best of UC Irvine, winning 2-1.

UCLA also moved on to the third round, defeating Delaware 1-0 on a Chandler Hoffman goal. They’ll host Rutgers next weekend, which defeated Boston College on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw.