USA Rugby will announce the match-ups and at-large bids for the women's DI and DII college championships on April 1, but we've attempted to sort it out in advance. All of the following information comes from coaches and administrators intimately involved in the playoff process, and even they were operating on uncertainties.
Each of the eight conferences was guaranteed an automatic bid (AB), leaving eight at-large bids up for grabs. Within the last two weeks, the at-large bids have started to fill up. The Pacific Mountain Conference received four bids total - AB for PMC North, AB for PMC East, and two at-large bids.
WEST REGION (Palo Alto, Calif.)
Pacific Mountain North - Stanford
Pacific Mountain East - Women's Cougar Rugby*
Pacific Mountain North Play-in - California
Southwest - Texas A&M
*Even though the PMC playoff structure was finalized on January 15, 2013, a rumor has been circulating that WCR might be competing at the Midwest location (Grand Rapids, MI), but that detail will be confirmed or denied in five days' time.
The other PMC at-large bid went to New Mexico, which defeated PMC South's Arizona State and UCLA last weekend for the trip to the Round of 16. Heather Smith (PMC North) indicated that the aforementioned competition was playing for a seed at the Northeast location, Pittsburgh.
Ivy League - Championship this weekend (Brown, Princeton, Radcliffe, Dartmouth)
New England - Norwich
PMC Play-in (At Large) - New Mexico
At Large - (Ivy League #2) ?
The Ivy League is contesting its championship this weekend, so that seed will be known by Sunday. Brown coach Kerri Heffernan intimated that the Ivies are supposed to have two seeds to nationals, and both will play at Pittsburgh. If that is indeed the case, then the semifinal winners - Brown v Dartmouth, and Princeton v Radcliffe - will advance to the Round of 16.
The Southeast location - Annapolis, Md. - is also waiting on this weekend's championships. The Mason Dixon Conference will host its semifinals in Virginia, and either Navy, Virginia, West Chester or James Madison will receive the AB. The South will also name its representative this weekend, and send Central Florida, Florida State, Tennessee or Georgia Tech to the Round of 16.
Mason Dixon - Championship this weekend (Navy, UVA, West Chester, James Madison)
South - Championship this weekend (UCF, FSU, Georgia Tech, Tenn)
At Large - (Mason Dixon #2) ?
At Large - ?
Mason Dixon should receive at least one of the at-large bids, considering the collective success of the teams competing, but the South's one seed suffices.
Which leaves the Midwest location, Grand Rapids, Mich. Only two of the spots are officially accounted for - Penn State out of the Big 10, and Northern Iowa as the Midwest rep.
MIDWEST (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
Big Ten - Penn State
Midwest - Northern Iowa
At Large - (Big Ten #2) ?
At Large -
The Big Ten is another group that makes a strong case for a second seed, and conference finalist Indiana has confirmed that they submitted an at-large bid.
If we assume the suppositions are correct (i.e., Mason Dixon, Big Ten and Ivy League get their additional seed to nationals), then that leaves two at-large seeds to be filled. Convincing arguments could be made for UCLA (PMC play-in finalist, lost by one point to UNM) or a third Mason Dixon team to fill those vacancies.
All questions will be answered on April 1, after all of the conference championships have concluded and USA Rugby's competitions committee has worked through its Monday conference call.
Stay tuned for information on division two, which will be posted later today.
UPDATE (March 29):
Army women will be attending the DI national playoffs and taking an at-large bid at the Pittsburgh location.