The DII Men’s college playoff race is ongoing throughout the country, with 11 bids to the Sweet 16 still to be doled out. We take you coast-to-coast to update you on the respective competitions.
There are eight teams still in the running for MARFU's two bids to the Sweet 16. The quarterfinals take place March 31 on the campuses of the higher seeds, and the semifinals and finals are April 14-15 at a neutral site. To see the quarterfinal match-ups, follow this link.
Three of the four semifinal spots have already been claimed. It's unfortunate how the seeds work out, as Northern Colorado is the champion on the Eastern Rockies, and they'll take on Lindenwood. Those are probably the two best teams in the West, and two of the best teams in the country. It's going to be very hotly contested, too, as Lindenwood managed to pilfer a lot of its first recruiting class from UNC territory -- Colorado Springs.
In the other semifinal is Central Missouri. The Mules have dominated DII competition in their area, as well as beaten DI-AA Kansas and Truman State. They're an athletic, powerful bunch, but much less polished than UNC and Lindenwood. UCM will play either Texas Tech or St. Edward's, who play March 24 in Austin for the Texas title. When they met earlier this season, St. Ed's won on a last-minute penalty.
Dixie play is winding down, with just two weeks left.
In the West, Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) and Northern Alabama have played all their games and are left waiting for the result of Harding’s match with Tennessee-Martin this weekend.
No matter what, UAB will make the Dixie semifinals. If Harding beats UT-Martin, Harding will win the West and play the second seed from the East. If Harding doesn’t win, Northern Alabama advances as the conference’s second seed, and UAB as the champ.
In the East, Sewanee has already sewn up the top seed with a 4-0 record. Tennessee Tech is currently in second place, but has played one more game than Lee. Tech and Lee face off this weekend, and if Lee loses, Tech will secure second place.
The Southern Rugby Conference is a little more muddled, as the last three weeks of the regular season finds eight of 12 teams still in playoff contention. The SRC championship weekend will feature the first and second place team from each division fighting for a spot in the national sweet 16. The event will be April 14th and 15th at Elon University.
In the West, three teams control their own destiny. For Appalachian State, College of Charleston and Lander, it is simple -- win out and move on. UNC-Charlotte is still in the mix, but will need a little help.
In the East, UNC-Wilmington has locked up the no. 1 seed. UNC-Greensboro controls its fate –- it has to do is win, and it’s in. Elon and Coastal Carolina also still have a shot by winning out and getting some help.
Three teams sit atop the Southern California DII college league, with UC San Diego 4-2, Cal State Long Beach 3-1-1, and Santa Barbara City College also 3-1-1, but lacking the bonus points to get out of 3rd.
UCSD has two more matches left, against those very same two teams trying to overhaul them.
Last week the Tritons downed Cal State Fullerton 30-8, a team that edged them earlier in the season, behind tries Isaias Bustos, Steve Lopez, Quintin Dolci, and E.J. Quinto.
It was an important rebound win, and now puts UCSD in a position to take control if they beat Long Beach in San Diego Saturday.
SBCC is probably hoping for a low-scoring tie, and then
In Northern California, Sierra College continues to dominate, beating San Jose State 48-14 to improve to 6-0. Santa Rosa JC and Nevada are battling it out for 2nd, but Sierra looks untouchable at the moment.
Oregon Institute of Technology and Western Oregon are both undefeated in the Pacific Northwest. WOU scored big, 55-31, over Boise State on Saturday and 56-10 over Montana on Sunday to close out their regular season.
The PNW playoffs start March 24. The champion of the PNW draws the NorCal champion in the Pacific Coast semifinals, held April 7 in Northern California.
Utah Valley has already sewn up Utah’s bid to the Pacific Coast semifinals, where the Wolverines will take on the second seed out of NorCal, so likely Santa Rosa JC or Nevada.
There are two "conferences" in play. One, the Tournament Conference, consists of Memphis, East Carolina and Western Carolina. These three play each other on March 24th. The winner of that round-robin advances to the South championship April 14-15 in Columbus, Georgia.
They'll play the winner of the Bayou Conference, which is split into two divisions. West Florida is the leader in the East by a large margin. In the West, Tulane is the favorite through three games.