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The DII Men’s club playoffs are starting to take shape. Aside from the Pacific Coast, where the Pacific Northwest RFU has yet to determine its representatives, and the Northeast, where their champs are already decided, the entire country is in the territorial playoff stage.
The West just reached this point over the weekend, with Tulsa punching its ticket to the West semifinals (Austin, Texas April 30-May 1) Sunday. Tulsa defeated the Omaha GOATS in the Saturday semifinal and St. Louis Bombers in the final to win one of the toughest DII leagues in the country. The GOATS were national quarterfinalists last year, and the Bombers beat both Palmer and the Chicago Blaze, the Midwest’s DI champ and DII frontrunner, respectively, this spring.
Joining Tulsa in Austin are Albuquerque, who again ransacked their competition in the Rio Grande, Northern Colorado (6-2 to win the Eastern Rockies) and Ft. Worth, who hope to return to the National playoffs for the second year in a row. All but one of the West’s semifinalists advance to Nationals.
Tulsa vs. Albuquerque
Northern Colorado vs. Ft. Worth
The South semifinals are also set, with each of the four teams remaining already winning a quarterfinal match April 16. The most competitive game in the quarterfinal lot was between defending champs Tampa Bay Krewe and Chraleston. Charleston beat Tampa in a preseason friendly earlier this competitive cycle, but Krewe got the win, 33-23, when it counted.
The South semifinals are April 30-May 1 in Lakeland, Fla.
New orleans 44 - 3 nashville
Atlanta old white 22 - 0 chattanooga
Greenville 43 - miami tridents 21
Tampa krewe 33 - charleston 23
Krewe vs. Old White
Grenville vs. New Orleans
The Pacific Coast has seemingly improved their playoff structure since last year’s debacle, but it is still unique. Eight teams advance to the playoffs, with the top seed playing the eight seed, the two seed playing the seven seed, etc. However, these are not quarterfinal matches.
The top-seeded winners from Saturday May 7 play each other Sunday for the PacCoast Championship. The winner gets the TU’s top seed to Nationals and the loser the second seed. The other two winners play on Sunday for the third seed.
Arizona’s seeds are set, as Tempe defeated Red Mountain 23-22 for the league title.
One seed is set in stone for NorCal, and that’s SFGG with the third. However, the top two seeds are still in flux. Fresno and Santa Rosa both finished league play 8-1, but the union seems unsure if it’s using head-to-head or point differential as the first tiebreaker. If it’s head-to-head, Fresno is the top seed. If it’s point differential, Santa Rosa is.
The Pacific Northwest is down to the semifinals, which take place Saturday and Sunday. Chuckanut and Tsunami play in one, and Portland and ORSU in the other. The winners advance to the final to determine the one and two seeds, and the losers battle it out for the third seed.
Pacific Coast first-round matchups:
1 PNRFU #1 vs 8 PNRFU #3
2 Fresno/Santa Rosa (NorCal #1) vs 7 PNRFU #2
3 Santa Rosa/Fresno (NorCal #2) vs. 6 Red Mountain (Arizona #2)
4 SFGG (NorCal #3) vs. 5 Tempe (Arizona #1)
Southern California is much simpler. The Old Aztecs have clinched the top seed with a 9-0-1 record. Currently in second place is Eagle Rock, but they lead Pasadena by just four points, despite having played an extra game. Eagle Rock’s final league match is Saturday against the Old Aztecs. If they win, they bolster their chances. However, if they lose, it’s likely Pasadena will surpass them, with two of the league’s weakest opponents left on the schedule.
The Midwest is down to semifinals, like the South and West. The Chicago Blaze, our favorite to win the territory, face off against Dayton in one semi, and Buffalo plays Wisconsin in the other. In the fall, Chicago defeated Wisconsin and Buffalo defeated Dayton, so look for a Buffalo vs. Blaze final. The top two teams move to Nationals from the Midwest.
Buffalo vs. Wisconsin
Chicago Blaze vs. Dayton
The Mid-Atlantic has eight teams left in contention. The Quarterfinals are hosted by the higher seed (the first listed below in the matchup) April 30, and the semis and final are May 7-8 in Brandywine. The winner of game one advances to play the winner of game four, and the winner of two to play the winner of three.
Game 1 D2N #1 (Doylestown) - D2S #4 (Frederick)
Game 4 D2S #2 (Severn River) - D2N #3 (Brandywine)
Game 2 D2N #2 (Jersey Shore) - D2S #3 (Washington Irish)
Game 3 D2S #1 (Rocky Gorge) - D2N #4 (Wilmington)