Tigers to Face Ohio State in First Round of NCAA Tournament
Nov. 15, 2004
With their first Conference USA regular season and tournament championship titles under their belt, the Memphis Tigers (16-3-1) earned their first NCAA Tournament berth as a member of C-USA and second bid in the history of the program.
Memphis will face Ohio State (10-6-2) in first-round action on Friday at 6 p.m. (CST) in Columbus, Ohio. The winner will take on No. 5 national seed Notre Dame (13-2-3) in the second round on Tuesday, Nov. 23.
Memphis is riding a seven-match win streak into the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers earned an automatic bid with their 3-2 come-from-behind victory against UAB in the 2004 Conference USA Tournament final. This is the first NCAA appearance for head coach Richie Grant, the C-USA Coach of the Year. Memphis has not been in the NCAA postseason since 1993 when it lost 6-0 against Indiana in the first round.
The Tigers have been led offensively by C-USA Player of the Year Dayton O'Brien, who ranked third in the nation with 14 assists (0.70 per game) and scored a conference-high 30 points. Senior goalkeeper Sebastian Vecchio was named the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year and posted an impressive 0.67 goals against average.
When the 2005 Conference USA men's soccer season kicks off, a total of six teams will be coming off NCAA appearances. In addition to Memphis, future men's soccer members Florida International, SMU, South Carolina, Tulsa and UCF all earned a spot among the 2004 NCAA tournament field.