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Less than three weeks before kickoff, USA Rugby has finally announced the regional sites and pairings for the DII college playoffs. Rhode Island, James Madison, Salisbury and Saint Louis University will host the four regionals Nov. 22-23. Furman, for the second year in a row, will host the DII semifinals and final Dec. 6-7.
An addition to this year's playoffs will be play-in games. Ten conferences will see their champions qualify automatically for the Sweet 16 – Potomac, WIIL, Rugby Northeast, New York Upstate, New England, Cardinals, Gateway, Mid-Atlantic, Southern and Northern Lights. Five of those conferences, the Potomac, WIIL, Northern Lights, Mid-Atlantic and Cardinals, will have their second teams participate in play-in games.
The champions of the New England Wide and Colonial Coast conferences, both are new to DII, will face off in one play-in game. And the champions of the Deep South, Great Lakes and Tri-State will have to play into the Sweet 16, too. Play-in games are to take place Nov. 15.
“The addition of the Colonial Coast Collegiate Conference and the New England Wide Collegiate Rugby Conference has improved and broadened the depth and quality of the USA Rugby Men’s Division II College National Championship,” said USA Rugby Collegiate Director Rich Cortez in a press release. “The traditionally strong conferences, such as the Northern Lights, Cardinals, Potomac, and the WIIL have also continued their pathways to excellence. The result is that we have more conferences playing better rugby with better organizations and coaching than ever before in Division II. We expect this year’s Championship to be the best one yet.”
Kingston, RI (University of Rhode Island)
WIIL vs. Rugby Northeast
University of Vermont (New England) vs. Upstate NY
Harrisonburg, VA (James Madison University)
James Madison (Cardinals) vs. Tri-State/Mid-Atlantic 2
Potomac 2/Cardinals 2 vs. Great Lakes
Salisbury, MD (Salisbury University)
Potomac vs. New England Wide/Colonial Coast
Mid-Atlantic vs. Furman (Southern)
St. Louis, MO (SLU/Washington University)
Northern Lights vs. Deep South/Colorado College
SLU (Gateway) vs. WIIL 2/Northern Lights 2