Early-Game Option

Among the 13 national seeds that are serving as host sites, six of them – Boston College, Santa Clara, UCLA, North Carolina, Maryland and Florida State – opted to play the early first-round game at their site. The three national seeds that are playing on the road (UCF, Virginia Tech and Florida) each had their choice of game times and each of theml likewise opted to play in the earlier time slots. These nine games are starting as early as 3:00 local time (Michigan State at Santa Clara), ranging to as late as 5:30 (Boise State at UCLA).

In recent years under the 64-team format, some of the early games (played between the "middle two" teams at a site) have extended to overtime or even PKs, pushing back the start time of the second game upwards of an hour later. Some of the host teams opting to play early also may be concerned about weather and/or cold conditions in the later evening (for teams Boston College and Maryland, plus the three seeded teams that are traveling to colder climates, weather concerns may have played a role in their game-time decisisions).

Home teams traditionally have wanted to play the later game in order to boost their crowd – something that UCLA has worked around due to its 5:30 start for the "early" game. North Carolina and Maryland similarly will be playing at a time (5:00) that still should attract plenty of hometown working fans.

All three of Friday's early games in the Stanford quadrant will see the seeded teams play in the early games. Here's a rundown of the nine seeded teams that will be posting early results on Friday:

STANFORD QUADRANT
Harvard at (2) Boston College  (4 ET)
Milwaukee vs. (3) Central FL  (5 CT ... at Wisconsin)
Michigan State at (4) Santa Clara  (3 PT)

UCLA QUADRANT
Boise State at (1) UCLA  (5:30 PT)
Murray State vs. (3) Virginia Tech  (4 ET ... at Dayton)
  
NORTH CAROLINA QUADRANT
High Point at (1) Norh Carolina  (5 ET)
Monmouth at (4) Maryland  (5 ET)

FLORIDA STATE QUADRANT
Southeastern Louisiana at (1) Florida State  (4:30 ET)
Illinois St vs. (3) Florida  (5 ET ... at Ohio State)

 editor@collegesoccer360.com