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The USA 7s Collegiate Rugby Championship tournament, slated for 2013 in Philadelphia, has released a list of 19 of the 20 teams that will participate in next year's tournament.
The CRC will once again be broadcast live by NBC and its affiliate sports networks.
Among the big pieces of news is that the CRC has been expanded to 20 teams
from the 16 that participated in 2010, 2011, and 2012.
Expanding to 20 teams has allowed the CRC some leeway in their invitations, and they have expanded their Pennsylvania reach by the inclusion of perennial 7s challengers Kutztown University, Ivy-Leaguers Penn, and local favorites St. Joseph's.
Meanwhile, the West Coast gets another team, as UCLA, one of the most well-known college sports brands and one with a solid alumni following and 7s pedigree, makes the cut.
Life University, despite not being a national brand, makes the tournament on the basis of its top four finish in 2012, and huge fan following.
Atlantic Coast conference winners Virginia Tech and Big 10 winners Wisconsin receive automatic bids. The other team to garner qualification by playing in another tournament will be the winner of the CRC Qualifier at the Las Vegas Invitational Feb 7-9 in Las Vegas (go here to register your team).
Also returning is North Carolina State University, which famously funded their 2012 trip to Philadelphia by mucking out horse stalls at $2 a stall. Their team raised thousands of dollars doing the work, and their enthusiasm is rewarded with a second trip to the CRC.
Two-time defending champions Dartmouth return for another shot. The Big
Green will be playing in their fourth-straight CRC, as will Cal, Arizona,
Notre Dame, Penn State, Army, and Navy.
The teams for the 2012 CRC are:
1 University of Arizona
2 University of California
3 University of California, Los Angeles
4 Dartmouth College
5 University of Delaware
6 University of Florida
7 Kutztown University
8 Life University
9 North Carolina State University
10 Notre Dame University
11 University of Pennsylvania
12 Pennsylvania State University
13 St. Joseph’s University
14 Temple University
15 University of Texas
16 U.S. Military Academy (Army)
17 U.S. Naval Academy (Navy)
18 Virginia Tech
19 University of Wisconsin
20 LVI Champion