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Everyone in the list has committed DIII. Hooray!
First, some general notes: the amount of parity here is astonishing. If you told me any of the top 8 teams here were to win nationals, none would surprise me. Harding is the clear first seed, and I think St. John’s win against Vermont gets them #2, but the parity among the next 5 is too close to call. And like I said, anyone in this top 8 could beat anyone else in any given game. DIII Championships should be extremely exciting, and by far the most competitive it has been in it’s history. I can’t wait! Now, some more specific notes.
St. Olaf – This one is more just an omission from the last ranking set. They had commanding D-3 wins against Georgia College & State and Missouri S&T, some quality DI wins against Northern Iowa, Indiana, and St. Louis, as well as a relatively close loss to our number 1 ranked team, Harding. Definitely a top 5 contender.
Bowdoin – Won another tournament this weekend, but against all ME and NE teams, and some B teams. Undefeated is good to have, and they do move up, but I can’t put them any higher without seeing a result against a top 100 (D1 or D3) team.
North Park – They are still probably 11 or 12, but they gotten beaten by Truman State again, lost a not very close game to Western Michigan, and lost even to Michigan-B. We’ll see if they can bring the good North Park that beats Wash U and Cal State-Long Beach come regionals and nationals, but for now they’re out of top 10.
What to Watch:
This weekend we’re into Conference Championships! Because some regions don’t have enough teams to support more than one conference, some will give bids straight to nationals. I will be getting up CC previews in the next two weeks, but here’s a real quick rundown of the most significant conferences.
- Northwoods CC on April 14-15 is by far the most interesting. St. John’s, St. Olaf and Carleton GoP (3 in the top 10) all battle here (and likely regionals and nationals) for supremacy. We’ll be getting a preview for this one.
- Southwest CC on April 14-15 sends 1 bid straight to nationals. Claremont is the favorite here. We’ll be getting a preview for this one.
- Carolina CC on April 14-15. Wake Forest and Davidson battle it out to establish themselves for a likely rematch at regionals.
- Northwest CC on April 21-22 sends
23 bids straight to nationals. Puget Sound is expected to take the first bid, but Reed, Pacific Lutheran and Lewis & Clark will battle it out for the third bid. We’ll be getting a preview for this one.
- South Central CC on April 21-22 sends 1 bid to nationals. Harding is the clear favorite, but there are a lot of teams to beat and only 1 bid, so they can’t let down their guards down. We’ll be getting a preview for this one.
Feature photo by Christina Schmidt (UltiPhotos.com)