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New York Athletic Club defeated rivals Boston 24-0 over the weekend to all but guarantee NYAC will be the Northeast DI club winners.
NYAC is 9-0 and while they have three games remaining, in two they are heavily favored. Only rivals Old Blue (8-2) present a challenge, and one loss for NYAC won't be enough to unseat them.
The Northeast winner will go directly to the national quarterfinals in Pittsburgh, Pa.
The Northeast #2 is not out of it, as that team will travel to Life University, which is one of two DI clubs without a domestic league to play in (the other, Seattle-OPSB, is competing in Canada). Who takes that #2 slot will likely be decided April 19 when Boston (7-2) visits Old Blue in New York.
However, it could be decided before then. Boston has two very winnable games left in Mystic and Middlesex. Old Blue has just one other game left, the aforementioned clash with NYAC.
Should these games go to form, Boston will go into the clash with Old Blue with a 9-2 record and 45 standings points. Old Blue would be 8-3 with 40. In that scenario, Boston could lose, and still finish 2nd if they deny Old Blue a bonus point, or if they earn a bonus point, or if they don't lose by too much.
Boston beat Old Blue 37-20 in Boston in September. That result could come back to haunt Old Blue.
In the MAC Conference of the Mid-Atlantic, everyone is pretty close in points up top, but in reality it's all over. The Norfolk Blues have two games left and 2nd-place Baltimore-Chesapeake has none. Third-place PAC has one game left but can't catch the Blues. BUT, and we should have said this earlier, there's more to do. The top four play off April 26-27. Pittsburgh isn't mathematically out of it, but to all intents and purposes they are. Norfolk is the #1 seed, PAC has a shot at #2 (held by B-C), and Schuylkill River likely #4..
In the Midwest, five weekends of games remain, with most teams having four games left. Kansas City beat Palmer over the weekend and that put the Blues firmly back in the hunt for 1st. But ... it's the Metropolis Rugby Club's conference to lose. Only if the Minneapolis club really loses its form will someone Kansas City or Columbus catch them.
If they do falter, suddenly the May 3 game between Metroplis and KC in Kansas City looms as a huge contest.
See the club standings here.
Eastern DI club playoff breakdown:
Northeast: NYAC virtually assured of 1st place. The battle is for 2nd between Boston and Old Blue, with the final game of the season to decide who gets to visit Life University for a play-in game.
Mid-Atlantic: Norfolk has clinched 1st place, not a quarterfinal berth (editing error, sorry) and they go into the regional playoffs with the #1 seed with Balt.-Chesapeake, PAC, and Schuylkill River (unless something strange happens).
South: Life hosts Old Blue or Boston for a chance to make the national quarterfinals.
Midwest: Metropolis has almost clinched, but needs to keep winning to be sure.
National Quarterfinals May 17-18 in Pittsburgh, Pa.