INDIANAPOLIS - The UC San Diego men's water polo team secured the No. 3 seed for the NCAA Men's Water Polo Championship, it was announced late Sunday evening. This year's championship, hosted by the University of California, Berkeley, will take place December 3 and 4.
The Tritons will face second-seeded UCLA (23-4) on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. in the second semifinal. Prior to the UCSD-UCLA game, top-seeded University of Southern California (22-3) will play No. 4 Princeton University (21-9) at 1:00 p.m.
The winners of each semifinal will play for the NCAA title on Sunday, December 4 at 3:00 p.m. The third-place game will be played at 1:00 p.m. All four championship games will be streamed live on NCAA.com.
Conferences receiving automatic qualification included the Collegiate Water Polo Association, the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and the Western Water Polo Association. Princeton defeated Navy 10-7 to win the Eastern Championships and take the CWPA's bid, UCLA beat USC in sudden-victory on Sunday for the MPSF's automatic bid, and UCSD took the WWPA's spot in the tournament. Defending national champion USC received the only at-large ticket into this year's four-team field despite losing in the MPSF championship game to the Bruins.
In 2010, USC downed Cal 12-10 in overtime to capture its third consecutive and sixth overall national title.
UCSD and UCLA clashed earlier this season on November 6 in La Jolla. The Bruins limited the Tritons to just a single goal in each quarter as UCLA prevailed, 9-4.
UCLA and UCSD do have some history at the NCAA Championships. In 2000, the Bruins topped the Tritons 11-2 in UCSD's first and only appearance in the national championship game.