With all of 2013's Regional tournaments in the books, we can move our speculation from who will advance to Madison and Milwaukee to who will come out on top at the big show. Here's a look at the teams who qualified to Nationals.
May 6, 2013 by Charlie Eisenhood in Featured, News with 65 comments
Most of the field was set after last weekend’s big slate of tournaments, but the remaining teams played their way in yesterday.
With some shock upsets around the country, including #1 Minnesota falling to Iowa in the backdoor bracket and not even making it into a game-to-go, this year’s parity and unpredictability continues to shine through. Let’s take a look at the action.
Harvard showed up ready to play and, after a tough, grinding semifinal against Tufts, rolled through Dartmouth in the finals. We will have a full game story up later today, but Harvard came out so hot they forced Dartmouth to pull their starters just one point into the second half. They also had this epic layout Callahan!
Tufts, after advancing through a treacherous backdoor bracket, met Dartmouth in the game-to-go. The game was a barnburner, with multiple lead changes leading up to a high pressure universe point with hundreds of fans (almost all Dartmouth supporters) giving it a true playoff feel. In the end, Dartmouth came away with the W, beating Tufts after losing to them in the game-to-go for two straight years. The full game story will be up later today.
Tufts is simply head and shoulders above the rest of the region. They advanced to Madison with a point differential of +69, never allowing more than five points to be scored against them in a game. They beat Northeastern in the finals, 15-4.
Northeastern went on to take the second bid with an easy 15-5 win against Middlebury in the backdoor finals. Middlebury had just come off a grinding 15-14 win over Dartmouth.
Four qualifiers made it to Milwaukee out of New England. Bowdoin went undefeated and never won a game by fewer than five points. Williams, Bentley, and Smith took the final three spots.
Smith had to pull off a big upset over Wellesley — they had lost to them by six on Saturday. But they brought it on Sunday to eke out a 13-12 victory in the final game-to-go.
So let’s get this out of the way: Minnesota, the #1 ranked team in the Ultiworld Power Rankings and #3 in USA Ultimate’s rankings, did not even make it into a game-to-go. After falling 15-10 to Carleton in the semifinals, they dropped into the backdoor bracket to face Iowa, a team they had beaten on Saturday 15-6. But Sunday was not their day. They fell to Iowa 14-12 in the game before the game-to-go, watching their outstanding regular season evaporate.
Wisconsin came out on top this weekend, with a 14-11 victory over Carleton. The Regional title almost certainly earned Wisconsin the top seed at the College Championships. They will head home and get ready for teams to come to them at the end of the month. Carleton earned the second bid just by making the finals.
The backdoor game pitted two old foes — Luther and Iowa — against each other. Luther, continuing their impressive play from Conferences, lost both to Carleton and Wisconsin, but got wins over Northern Iowa and then Iowa to take the third and final bid. To the doubters who thought Eric Johnson was the sole reason for their success, they can now simply smile.
After it was all said and done, the five best teams in the region (the teams that earned the bids) will all advance to Madison. Carleton beat Iowa State for the first time this season (they were 0-3 against them before Regionals) to take the title and probably a one seed at Nationals. Iowa State took down Iowa 13-10 in the 2nd/3rd game, Wisconsin took fourth with a close loss to Iowa, and Minnesota cleaned up in the backdoor bracket to take the final bid.
This is a very strong region, and it’s going to be fun to watch these teams smash into the Northwest teams in Madison.
With an 11-10 victory over Washington, Oregon took the Northwest title and locked up the overall one seed in Madison.
British Columbia avenged their Saturday loss to Washington with a 12-11 in the 2/3 game.
Victoria, after falling to Whitman in pool play, had to win two games in the backdoor bracket just to reach the game-to-go, where they again faced the Lady Sweets. Whitman showed that they are the better team, walking away with the 15-10 win and the bid to the College Championships.
Lots of very close games and parity at the top of this region. Nationals is going to be fun.
The Central Florida Dogs of War continued to distinguish themselves as one of the nation’s best teams with an undefeated run through Regionals. On Sunday, their closest win was by six points against Georgia in the finals.
Georgia, by taking down Florida 14-11 in pool play, set up a semifinals matchup against big rival Georgia Tech, who won the pool after Florida State lost to LSU. Georgia won that game 11-9. By making it to the finals, they were one of the big surprises of the weekend, earning the second bid out of the Southeast.
We knew sparks would fly in the backdoor bracket. Florida pulled out a 13-11 win over LSU in the semis, and Florida State took down Georgia Tech. That meant it all came down to Florida v. Florida State for the final bid.
Florida State got the 15-14 universe point win, continuing their dominance over Florida this season.
Let’s take this moment to go back to Warm Up, when Florida coach Cyle van Auken, speaking about Florida State, told us, “They’ve never been a team that we’ve been afraid of.” Things are changing in the Southeast.
Georgia showed everyone why they were one of the early season favorites in the Southeast by dominating the competition, including a 13-4 win in the finals over Central Florida.
Florida advanced to face Central Florida in the backdoor game, but UCF, who had beaten Florida on Saturday and at Conferences, came away with the easy 13-5 win to grab the second bid out of the Southeast.
First of all, you’ve got to feel for San Diego State, the #8 seed, who ended up losing on double game point to Stanford for the pool win, which set them up for a disappointing crossover loss against UC San Diego.
In the semifinals, Arizona upset Stanford 15-13 after winning their pool, and would face UC Davis in the finals, who crushed UC Santa Cruz, a surprise pool winner over Las Positas.
UC Davis was the better team on Sunday, taking down Arizona 12-9 and returning to the College Championships for the second year in a row.
That set up Arizona with another game against Stanford (we had picked both of these teams to advance to Nationals). It was, as expected, a battle — and both teams were making huge plays back and forth to keep it close throughout the game. On the final point with the score 11-11, with rain coming down, turnovers both ways led to a long point and a hard cap whistle. Arizona’s offense got the disc back after a second turnover, worked it up, and scored to grab the second bid.
The top seeds handled business on the women’s side of the bracket in the Southwest, with both UC Santa Barbara and Stanford winning their pools with little resistance. Stanford took the first bid with an impressive 12-11 upset over the Burning Skirts, who easily got past UCLA 13-4 in the backdoor game to earn their spot in Madison.
THE NATIONALS TEAMS
Here are the lineups in Madison and Milwaukee, listed in order of their USA Ultimate ranking.
|D-I OPEN||D-I WOMEN'S||D-III OPEN||D-III WOMEN'S|
|North Carolina||Carleton||Puget Sound||Bowdoin|
|Oregon||Ohio State||Stevens Tech||Georgia College|
|Texas||British Columbia||Middlebury||Carleton Eclipse|
|Florida State||Washington||Harding||Truman State|
|Central Florida||Iowa State||Rice||Claremont|
|Ohio||Wisconsin||North Park||Mary Washington|
|UNC-Wilmington||UC Santa Barbara||Lehigh||Oberlin|
|UC Davis||Northeastern||Wesleyan||TBD (bid declined)|