Women’s Centex: 2012 D-III Preview

by | March 22, 2012, 2:09pm 0

After several teams dropping out, the D-III bracket has been reduced to a total of ten teams. With only three games for most teams on Saturday and four spots for advancing on to the D-II championship bracket, the stakes for each game will be high making them be both fast-paced and intense.  The developing nature of these teams will make wind conditions much more important on this bracket then the rest of Women’s Centex, so if the spring winds prevail expect lots of D’s and long points. Winners of this bracket will be determined the team that is able to capitalize on the others mistakes while keeping their own self-made errors down to a minimum. Smart and patient offense will undoubtedly be the name of the game for these emerging teams this weekend.

Pool Play

Pool I should hold seed overall. As a team, Kansas will be more experienced than the others in their pool having played in more tournaments over the year and having seen more big name teams.  They consistently win against whom they should, and will likely be looking to co-captain and past RevoLOUtion player Christy Cheung for some big plays for them if they advance to D-II. Texas State is still working on team chemistry and will be working to make smart plays this weekend. It would be unwise to underestimate Texas-B, but should be able to take control of that game. Texas-B struggled with numbers in the fall, but with a resurgence of new players coming out between semesters they are quickly getting skills down and developing as a team. With only 1 win to their name so far this spring, they’ll be hungry to prove themselves at their home tournament. However, that being said the wind conditions will likely have a huge effect on how well this team does. Northwestern-B has no games to their name yet this year, so they are the dark horse of this pool.

Pool J should be a bit more unpredictable. South Florida has been busy, with Centex being their 4th tournament of the spring season. They have lots of wins and tournaments under their belt, but if they don’t take North Texas seriously it could mean trouble. North Texas is not the same team they were in years past. With new captains and a coach, they have done a 180 since last year’s Centex when they forfeited all of Sunday’s games. This is an athletic team looking to make a name for themselves in the South Central Region and will have their targets set on taking down South Florida and advancing to the D-II bracket after the crossover.  Watch for big plays from co-captain Blake “Bam” McGlaun on both offense and defense. Arlington continues to improve and will be tweaking their offense and defense over the weekend to get primed for sectionals. This will be the fourth face-off between Arlington and North Texas this spring, and with a couple narrow losses fueling Arlington’s fire, they’re sure to keep their friendly rivals on their toes.

Pool K will be a battle between for the top spot going into the crossover. Oklahoma is under ranked as a result of losing several close games at Music City Mash-up. They have an advantage in having seen some tough competition last fall at MLC, and if their top players perform well this weekend, they should be able to redeem themselves and their ranking. It also won’t hurt if the spring winds pick up over the weekend, as they excel in zone defense. Pacific Lutheran was of course the first women’s team to win D-III nationals back in 2010. This is a high reputation to live up to as they compete travel to Austin for their very first Centex. This team has also played some high rollers so far this year separating it from much of the D-III pack. Expect a close game between Oklahoma and Pacific Lutheran, with Oklahoma coming out on top. Sam Houston is the underdog team in this pool as this is their first game of the year.

Crossovers… Who will move on to the D-II Bracket

The odd setup of the D-III pools allows the top two teams from pool I a guaranteed spot into the D-II bracket play without any crossover games. That being said, it’s a safe bet that both Kansas and Texas State will be advancing to D-II.

If seeds hold true for pools J and K, then South Florida and Pacific Lutheran will meet for a close game Saturday afternoon. The two teams have never faced each other before, and this game will be determined by wind conditions and who is most fired up at the beginning of the game. Oklahoma has already seen North Texas this spring at Houston Antifreeze, beating them easily 13-5. Based on that game’s performance, winning their pool almost guarantees Oklahoma to move up to the D-II bracket play. North Texas will really have to step it up in their crossover game if they expect to upset Oklahoma and take their spot at the main fields on Sunday. The more experienced Arlington team will likely have their crossover with Sam Houston, and should win that game easily.

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