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This story has been edited to reflect scores and matchups not known at the time of first publication.
The DII Men’s Club Playoffs are full steam ahead. There will be a new champion this postseason with Tempe joining the DI ranks. Can the Detriot Tradesmen finish the job or will there be a new contender to the crown. The final eight will be determined in the next two weeks, as regional playoffs will round out the field.
The national tournament is made up of eight teams from the various geographic unions across the country. (see the picture above to see how the eight spots are made up). Like past years, the field will be divided into regional spots, Tuscon, Ariz., and Pittsburgh, Pa.
Heading to the Pittsburgh Regional will be the winners of the Atlantic North, Mid-Atlantic, Southern, and Midwest. Most of the regions are still finishing up their playoffs, but here is what we know so far:
The Atlantic North is made up of the New England Rugby Football Union (NERFU) and the Empire Union (mostly the Tri-State area of New York, New jersey, and Connecticut).
Playoffs have been completed in each of these unions with only the Mystic Barbarians returning from last year's bracket. The Morris Lions beat the Village Lions to advance to the Round of 32. The teams will meet on May 6 to determine who heads to Nationals.
The Mid-Atlantic is made up of Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Union and the Capital Rugby Union. Philladelphia-Whitemarsh has moved move step farther than it did last year, while the Washington Irish are new to the dance. These two will meet Saturday to decide who marches on to Pittsburgh.
The southern region is one of the largest qualifier groups. The region is made of geographic unions ranging from the Carolinas to Alabama. Although the South doesn't send a DI representative to Nationals, DII is going strong.
The playoffs are down to four teams and are set for May 6-7. The teams will play on back-to-back days with the winner heading to Pittsburgh. Newcomers Life and Boca Raton will battle while Chattanooga will take on the Miami Tridents in a rematch from last year.
The Midwest is comprised of three regions spanning seven states from Minnesota to Pennsylvania to Ohio.
The playoffs are down to two teams after a weekend of back-to-backs. After not making Nationals last season, Wisconsin is back and faces off against the Detroit Tradesmen, who advanced all the way to the finals a year ago.
The western regional will be comprised of the Pacific North, Pacific South, Frontier, and Red River. Here is how things have shaken out so far:
The Pacific North is made of Northern California and the Pacific Northwest (which contains Oregon and Washington).
The battle of Sacramento set the Blackhawks over the Capitals to the Pacific North final. In the Pacific Northwest, Tacoma Nomads won a 32-30 thriller against the 43rd State Crimson Lions. The two will battle this weekend.
This region is made up of southern California, Arizona, and Rio Grande unions. This group is down to its final two teams with Ventura taking on the DII Arizona team, Red Mountain. The Warthogs get their first crack at the playoffs in a while after last year's DII Champion, Tempe, elected to move up to DI.
This region includes Mid-America (Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska) and the Rocky Mountains. The St. Louis Bombers outlasted the Glendale Raptors to become the first team to book a spot in the final eight.
The Red River includes all of Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Three out of the four entrants from last year made it back to the Round of 32. Tulsa hosts the two-day conference championships welcoming the old guard of the Little Rock Stormers, Austin Blacks, and Houston United to Oklahoma this weekend.