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Edited: NCR & CRAA Women’s College Playoffs

  • 07 Nov 2022
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RUGBY SUITCASE
[Nov. 9 Disclaimer: The CRAA DII section is wrong. It’s based on info provided on Nov. 5 and several revisions have occurred since then. But at the risk of printing more erroneous information, this piece will not be further updated until CRAA circulates its own playoff info.]

Regional post-seasons begin this weekend, and so all of the collegiate conferences had to wrap up by Sunday. Now both the National Collegiate Rugby (NCR) and College Rugby Association of America (CRAA) have their regional championship brackets filled in. The following starts with national championships and then follows with seasonal (fall) championships.

RELATED: Women’s Rugby Scores: Nov. 4-6

 

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NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

NIRA (NCAA RUGBY)

Believe it or not, there’s still one more regular-season game with potential post-season impact: D2’s AIC vs. New Haven. But that game takes place tonight (Monday, Nov. 7) and whoever wins will travel to Queens Univ. of Charlotte for the Nov. 19 semifinals.

Army also won its final league game, 40-17 against Sacred Heart, but the Black Knights had already secured the No. 3 seed in Division 1. Read the previous update for more info.

CRAA DI ELITE

DI Elite is the only CRAA competition that is considered a national championship, as all of the DI Elite teams compete toward this 15s title. CRAA’s Division I and Division II teams compete in either the fall 15s season or spring 15s season, and thus seasonal titles are awarded for the split membership.

The game of the weekend occurred between Life University and Central Washington, and it’s a matchup that will repeat itself in the Nov. 19 semifinals. The Running Eagles took the game 19-15 in Ellensburg, and is 2-1 against DI Elite opponents. Life will close out the regular season with a homestand against Lindenwood on Saturday.

Central Washington is 1-2, but its losses were competitive and it finishes third in the standings. Lindenwood is still undefeated under interim head coach Trevor Locke and banked a 47-19 win against senior club St. Louis. The Lions will face Penn State, 0-2 against DI Elite opponents, in the Nov. 19 semifinals. Last weekend, the Nittany Lions got a boost with a 52-31 win against the D.C. Furies, a DI senior club. DI Elite will contests its semifinals at Navy alongside the DI and DII CRAA regional championships. The national championship is the weekend of Dec. 3-4 in Charlotte, N.C.

NCR DIVISION I RUGBY

Read previous update. See the bracket. Michigan beat Michigan State 20-7 to finish undefeated in the Big 10 and advances to the western half of quarterfinals, which will be held in St. Louis, Mo., on Friday, Nov. 18. Michigan will play the winner of Iowa State (Midwest #2) a to-be-named Big 10 team, a Wild Card game that takes place on Nov. 12.

Also in St. Louis, Lone Star champion Southern Nazarene will face Midwest champion Univ. Northern Iowa in the Friday quarterfinals. Semifinals are Sunday, Nov. 20.

The eastern half of the bracket meets in Reading, Pa. Notre Dame College sealed its Allegheny title with a 68-5 win against Pitt, and will face the Wild Card winner between Kent State (Allegheny #2) and Clemson (South Atlantic #1). That Wild Card match occurs on Nov. 12 in Culpepper, Va.

Big 10 runner-up Iowa will also be in Reading to play Upstate New York champ Colgate in the Nov. 18 quarterfinals. Again, semifinals occur Sunday, Nov. 20, and the two 2-0 teams on the weekend advance to the Dec. 4 national championship final in Houston, Texas.

NCR DIVISION II RUGBY

See the bracket. There was just one conference championship last weekend, but it sends two quality teams to the national quarterfinals (aka, regional championships). UW Eau Claire beat Marquette 29-0 for the Great Waters DII title, and both are heading to Elkhart, Ind., for the Nov. 12 Round of 8. Eau Claire will play Ohio Valley champ Cincinnati, and Marquette will play Great Lakes champ Bowling Green. Victors advance to the national semifinals (Dec. 3) and finals (Dec. 4) in Texas.

 

The two other quarterfinals were already set heading into last weekend. Lone Star champ UT San Antonio will play Mid-America leader Wayne State College on Nov. 12 in Nebraska. And Rugby Northeast champ Roger Williams will take on the South Atlantic’s Coastal Carolina in Culpepper, Va. A win is a ticket to Houston.

NCR SMALL COLLEGE

See the bracket. Small College is the only competition – across NCR and CRAA – that starts national playoffs at the Round of 16 and features teams from 10 conferences. Most leagues had already named their champions heading into the weekend (read more), but the Colonial Coast held its title match on Sunday. Endicott College reasserted its strength with a 71-7 win against Salve Regina, and both teams will play their Round of 16/8 matches in Beverly, Mass., on Nov. 12-13.

 

SEASONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

CRAA FALL DI

Read previous update for more context. Northeastern and UCONN won their final league games, finishing #1 and #2, respectively, in the Rugby Northeast. Northeastern advances directly to the Nov. 19 semifinals at Navy, while UCONN will host independent Virginia Tech for the Nov. 12 play-ins. Winner advances to the semifinals.

Utah State beat Colorado State 24-22 to stay undefeated in the Rocky Mountain and can now book travel to Annapolis for the semifinals. Rocky Mountain runner-up Air Force, which finished the season 4-1, will host independent Navy for the Nov. 12 play-in round. Navy is the defending CRAA DI Fall champion and if the Midshipmen win on the road then they’ll play their semifinal at home. The fall final is the weekend of Dec. 3-4 in Charlotte, N.C.

CRAA FALL DII

The competition has a wild bracket (read more), but three conference finals have filled in the remaining spaces. In the New England Wide title match, Vermont and Coast Guard met for the third time this fall. The Catamounts won the first two games, but Saturday’s match not only had a trophy at stake but also a direct berth to the semifinals. Coast Guard won 32-24 and heads straight to Charlotte, N.C., on Dec. 3-4. If Vermont wants to join Coast Guard in the semifinals, then it’ll have to win four-straight games during the next two weekends. The first step: the Nov. 12-13 Wild Card rounds in Fairfield, Conn. Vermont will face Mid-Atlantic runner-up Kutztown.

Kutztown faced Temple in the Mid-Atlantic final on Saturday, and the Owls held onto their conference title with a 74-0 victory. Stay tuned for an interview with Temple head coach Gary Pariseau. Temple, the 2021 CRAA fall championship runner-up, does not get a semifinal berth like three other conference champions and must play through the Nov. 19-20 rounds at Navy. Temple will face Rocky Mountain runner-up Colorado Mesa State on Nov. 19.

Tri-State held its semifinals and final last weekend. Defending CRAA DII Fall champion Vassar College beat RPI 48-0 on Saturday, while Fairfield bested Columbia 40-12. On Sunday, the Brewers got some redemption for its regular season loss to Fairfield and banked a 28-10 conference title win. Both head to playoffs. Vassar heads straight to semifinals with Coast Guard and Rocky Mountain champ Colorado School of Mines, while Fairfield flows in the Wild Card route. The Connecticut team hosts the Nov. 12-13 games at home, and will face Rugby Northeast runner-up UMass Lowell on Saturday.

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