College Regionals is one of the most watched groups of tournaments in the ultimate world. Similar to those first four days of March Madness, the sense of urgency brought on by competitive elimination play is so compelling. I’m kind of bummed it’s over…
Not sure why I didn’t do this last weekend, but oh well. Let’s take a look at who got in today:
Northwest: British Columbia, Oregon, Washington, Whitman
- I’m so excited to see UBC play at Nationals. Even with people all over the country putting more effort into team websites, videos, tournament write-ups, and other ultimate media, we really don’t know a lot about these guys. Their 15-9 win over Oregon today makes them 2-1 against Ego on the season, and their only other losses are to Pittsburgh at Stanford (15-16 in the semi) and Colorado College at Centex (8-13 in the final).
- Unfortunately, I read on Skyd’s liveblog that John Norris, UBC’s primary handler and a player that stood out to me at Club Nationals, broke his arm while practicing with Furious. That sucks.
- 15-9 is not close. According to UBC’s Twitter, the Thunderbirds owned the first half, 8-3, but Oregon got it together and kept it closer, 7-6, in the second. Too little, too late and all that jazz…
- Good for Washington and Whitman for getting in. It’s cool to see two teams that earned their regions more bids to Nationals go out and make the most of it.
- When I first looked at the Northwest’s Score Reporter page on my friend’s Droid, I could only see Oregon State beating Victoria in the 4th-place bracket, so I thought OSU was going. That would have been a crazy upset.
Southwest: UC-Santa Cruz and Stanford
- Santa Cruz beat San Diego State in the final, 15-14, and Stanford then beat SDSU in the back door final, 15-8.
- This is Joaq’s territory, so I want to let him tell most of the story of the final. But if you haven’t heard, the Slugs went down 0-5, were down 5-8 at half, and then went on a 10-6 run to win it.
- Losing in the back door final sucks. Think about the emotional difference between San Diego State, who lost that game, and Stanford, who had just taken down their rival, California, 11-10. Does anyone have a stat on how often the final loser goes on to lose in the back door final?
- Stanford is back at Nationals. After rough Santa Barbara and Stanford Invites, it looked like last year’s absence may have been more than an aberration for a team that has been one of this decade’s best. But down the back stretch of their season, Stanford went 14-3. Peaking at Regionals is the mark of a top program, and you’ve got to respect what Stanford did this season.
- I’d say that San Diego State is pretty high up on the list of best teams not to make Nationals in 2011.
South Central: Colorado, Colorado College, Texas
- I think a lot of people expected Colorado and Colorado College to make the South Central final, and I think that they also expected Colorado to win. But did anyone expect 15-13? OzarkUltimate says that they traded points to end the game, which means that it wasn’t just Colorado College putting up cheap points at the end. Like UBC, this is a team that I’m stoked to see in Boulder.
- Texas, like Stanford, is back at Nationals. Sounds like they got some early breaks in the game-to-go against Oklahoma and kept a healthy distance from there. 8-4 half, 15-6 game.
New England: Harvard and Tufts
- Harvard has played at a very high level virtually all season, and while Dartmouth and Middlebury were threats, Tufts was the region’s second-most complete team.
- The final looks like it was exciting. Harvard’s Twitter says that it went to 4-4 before Tufts went up 7-4. Red Line put a few back on the board before Tufts took half, 8-6. From there, Harvard got it to 8-8, and with the cap on, won 11-8.
- Tufts’ Twitter says they went up 6-1 in the back door final, took half at 8-3, and basically cruised from there.
- If Brooke Martin is staying around to coach, I think Dartmouth is the early favorite to win New England next year. Spencer Diamond is a real standout, and Harvard, Tufts, and Middlebury are all graduating quite a few players.
- From what I hear, Vermont should be pretty good too.
It’s pretty exciting that the Nationals field is set. Stay tuned…
Photo by Andrew Davis