We’re gonna skip the normal weekly roundup for this week and go straight into a preview for the National Championship tournament in Denver.
We’ll hopefully have a round by round analysis once the tourney begins on Tuesday.
#1 St. Thomas vs #16 Sam Houston State
Both teams won their conference tourney, though one game doesn’t really make for much of a tournament. Yeah, I’m looking at you Lone Star Alliance. Either way, this will be a mostly glorified practice for the Tommies. SHSU is no Southwestern, so they don’t even have a chance. Tommies by a lot.
#8 Western Oregon vs #9 Grove City
I wasn’t that happy with Grove City getting in, but they are a greatly talented team. They beat 412 in the opener and went 2-2 vs Tournament teams. Western Oregon had a strong schedule, but went 1-4 against tourney teams. I’m gonna go with Grove City.
#5 Davenport vs #12 Western Washington
The Panthers played a tough schedule. 6 games vs teams in Denver. They’ve earned their spot. Western also played 6 Denver teams. In my opinion, they played a tougher schedule and only failed to put up at least 10 goals 5 times this season. We’ll go with Davenport.
#4 Grand Valley State vs #13 Cal State Fullerton
GVSU went from losing the title game, to not making the tournament last year, then getting a #4 seed this season. Bipolar much? They lost 3 times, with the worst coming against the #6 seed, St. Johns. Fullerton is another story. 12 wins is great. 0 wins against a decent opponent, is not. Grand Valley is gonna win by a lot.
She likes my beard.
#3 Utah Valley vs #14 Briarcliffe
This game will be very similar to the #1 vs #16 matchup, except that Sam Houston has actually played at least one decent team. Briarcliffe gets bounced big time.
#6 St. Johns vs #11 SCAD
St. Johns played a hell of a schedule. 4 losses on the season, all the #1, #2, and #5 teams. The results of an early season road trip are what killed SCAD’s seed, though I personally don’t think they should be here at all. I’m gonna say St. Johns wins a close one.
#7 Elon vs #10 Westminster
Elon was SCAD’s travel partner and suffered the same fate. They haven’t played anyone of consequence since. Westminster won the title 2 years ago. This season they played a schedule against Top D2 schools, BYU, 3 other D1 schools, and 2 scrimmages vs NCAA teams. If that doesn’t get you prepared for the tournament, nothing will. It’ll probably go the other way, but I say Elon pulls the upset. Yes, I know I just said a 7 beating a 10 would be an upset. Westminster is that good.
#2 Dayton vs #15 Missouri State
Dayton decided to start their season against 5 top ranked teams. All 5 are going to Denver. They suffered their only loss at the end of this stretch, then decided to go win some more. Mo state come to Denver with a lot of momentum. They’re riding high off a GRLC championship win over a rival who they lost to in the regular season. You’ll see a flash of greatness at the start, but the Flyers will take over.
Once these games have been played, You’ll get my take on Round 2 of D2.
Also, if you haven’t yet done so, sign up for the MCLAFan.com Bracket Challenge.
About the Author: The Lax picked up his first stick when he stepped on campus at MCLA D2 school UNC Charlotte. After taking a short break, he returned to the field for independent UNCG. The Lax enjoys flowers, pictures of unicorns, long walks on the beach, and above all else, beating people with his D-Pole.
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