Stanford Invite Recap: Results and Consequences (part 3 of 3)

by | March 9, 2011, 10:31pm 0

Okay, with the actual recap out of the way, lets take a look at how each region fared at the tournament, how teams stack up within their region, and how I think team will fare in the future.

First, here are the teams that each region sent to the tournament, along with their in tournament record (the numbers in parentheses don’t take into account forfeits):

These records bode well for the Northwest, Ohio Valley, South Central, and somewhat for the Southwest.

The Northwest has both two teams with strong performances, leading toward a team strength bid, and an overall strong regional performance, possibly leading to a regional strength bid. Whitman’s upset of Harvard is of particular importance for the NW.  While the loss did not come back to haunt Harvard in terms of tournament finish, and probably won’t hurt their chances of getting to nationals as they are the frontrunner in the NE, all of Harvard’s success reflects well on Whitman and the NW. Earning a third bid for the NW is key for both Whitman and Washington and may very well determine the D-III National Championship.

Pitt’s strong performance is key for Ohio and Ohio State. There was a chance that Pitt would come out slow in their first tournament and this not do their part to earn extra bids for the Ohio Valley. If that were the case, they still would likely be taking a bid at regionals. Point being, it is important for both Ohio and OSU that Pitt plays well in the regular season, and, so far so good.

Like the Ohio Valley, the South Central is a region with a clear devide between the best team in the region, and the rest of the region. As such, it is important for Texas to do everything they can to earn a second bid for their region. While a 3-3 record is not stellar, and their loss to Tufts hurts, Texas rebounded well on Sunday winning both of their games. Mix that with a strong showing at Presidents Day by both Tuff and Colorado College and the South Central is well on their way to securing a second bid.

The Southwest had a shotgun approach towards sending teams to this tournament. Teams that Stanford would have previously sent to the qualifier were actually invited this year, and, for the most part, these teams made up the bottom half of the tournament field. Still, the performances handed in by San Diego State, Stanford, and UCSC, will go a long way towards securing a second bid for the southwest. Unfortunately for the teams in California (but fortunately for fans of college ultimate), there is a lot of parity in the region, and there is no way to say who the top two teams in the region will be come May. The SW is left to hope that Stanford and Cal perform well during their trips east later in March.

While the NW, OV, SC, and SW can be happy with how their team performed at Stanford, things don’t look very good for New England or the North Central. Both the NE and the NC had strong showings from their top team attending the tournament, but unfortunately for both regions their second team did not fare very well. Still, we’re early in the season, and the bid allocation outlook won’t be clear until April.

One last quick thought: A lot of the tournament didn’t go to seed, but I wouldn’t call all of the victories by lower seeds upsets. The results I would categorize as upsets are, Whitman over Harvard, Cal over Wisconsin, Harvard over Oregon, and Tufts over Texas. Do any other games belong on this list? Do you think any of these games were actually coin-flip games instead of upsets? Let us know. Word.

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