College Update: The Regular Season Curtain Closes

Now we look to the Series!

Minnesota's Ben Jagt with last year's jersey but this year's hat. Photo: William Brotman -- UltiPhotos.com
Minnesota’s Ben Jagt with last year’s jersey but this year’s hat. Photo: William Brotman — UltiPhotos.com

This year, we are hosting a new feature on Ultiworld: a bite-sized weekly recap of the action across the College Division. This will serve as a supplement to our standard tournament reporting and will offer a high-level look at the latest happenings and the biggest stories of the week.

Men’s

Minnesota Thrashes Huck Finn Field

#3 Minnesota easily defeated all comers at Huck Finn in St. Louis, MO, taking the title with a 15-5 win over Missouri in the final. Minnesota didn’t have much left to prove this weekend, but their dominance over mid-level teams in the wind again shows just how strong they can be this season. Minnesota took just three losses in this regular season, to #1 Massachusetts, #8 Georgia, and #10 Florida.

Grey Duck now turns to preparation for North Central Regionals, where they will be expected to have a barn-burning matchup against #2 Wisconsin in the final. Of course, teams like #13 Carleton hope to mix things up. It will be interesting to watch the seeding at NC Regionals. Currently, Minnesota is behind Wisconsin in the USA Ultimate rankings, but that could change this week after their strong performance at Huck Finn. Minnesota is also the reigning Regional champion. Getting the one seed could mean dodging a tough semis game against Carleton.

Final Bid Up For Grabs

Many teams entered Huck Finn looking for a chance to lock up the last strength bid in the Division. Ultimately, no team made a convincing performance. Bubble teams like Cincinnati, Cal Poly SLO, and TCU took big losses and left their fate to the intricacies of the USAU algorithm. Regardless of what the bid picture looks like today, there is a good chance that late changes to the rankings — through disqualifications, dropped results, changed scores, etc. — will affect the final outcome for bid allocation.

We will have a fresh set of predicted rankings out later today, but it seems unwise to place much faith in them when we know changes will be coming down the pike.

BYU Bid To Stay With Northwest

BYU is almost certainly going to earn a strength bid for the Northwest after their strong performance at the Northwest Challenge last weekend. We also know that BYU will not be able to compete at Regionals and that their bid will stay with the Northwest. That’s a major boon for a region that is a bit thin past the top two or three teams.

What we are waiting to hear from USA Ultimate is why the Northwest will keep BYU’s bid when Toronto Union, a mixed club team, lost a bid for the Northeast when they declined to participate in the USAU series last year.

Franciscan Reasserts Themselves With DIII Easterns Win

It’s been a bumpy regular season for the defending DIII Men’s national champion, Franciscan Fatal. Ranked at #17 in the Power Rankings heading into the weekend, Franciscan let the DIII world know they still mean business with a win over a stacked field at DIII Easterns down in Myrtle Beach. They went a spotless 7-0 with only one truly close game (14-13 win over Oberlin in quarters) and defeated #3 ranked Brandeis 13-10 in the final.

Elsewhere

Texas A&M still looks like the class of the South Central with a 15-10 win over Texas in the lone game at the Centex Invite…2 seed William & Mary wins Garden State with a 13-7 victory over George Washington in the final…Valparaiso gets a nice 13-10 win over Colorado College in the final of the Illinois Invite…The New England Open got cut short due to a sudden splash of winter on the east coast which canceled Sunday play. Connecticut, New Hampshire, NYU, and Bates won their pools on Saturday…Top-seeded Luther beat St. Johns 7-2 in a windy final at the Old Capitol Open

Power Rankings

There may be some movement at the bottom of the rankings after Huck Finn as Cal Poly SLO is likely to drop from #24 to unranked, but little will change as we head into the postseason.

Looking Ahead

This Weekend: Teams are healing injuries, refining strategies, and getting their heads right for the postseason. For many teams, this is their last practice weekend of the season…

Next Weekend: Conference Championship weekend! The postseason arrives and midtier drama will be rife. Don’t forget how much it means to so many teams.

Women’s

The Weather Wins at New England Open, Garden State

Sunday play was canceled at the NEO due to an oncoming snowstorm, a key tournament for NE teams looking to 10 games to support their Regionals aspirations and sharpen up for what’s sure to be a wild series. On a wet Saturday, Northeastern and Middlebury went undefeated from power pools; the Valkyries were particularly dominant.

In DIII news, #4 Mount Holyoke and #23 Wellesley also went undefeated prior to cancellations. Holyoke obliterated #1 ranked Bowdoin 13-0, handling Bowdoin their second straight bagel and sending them to 0-4.

Over in New Jersey at Garden State, teams suffered through Saturday’s conditions before submitting part way through Sunday. #23 Vermont was the lone undefeated team; Maryland and Princeton were upset victims. What does it mean in those conditions?

Elsewhere

Everybody who attempted to play ultimate at Old Capitol Open deserves a pretty big hug after powerful winds launched everything into chaos, but host Iowa State was felled in the final by Northern Iowa…Alabama hosted and won T-Town Throwdown to wrap up Southeast action…Few games reached double digits, but fifth seeded Knox made it all the way to the Illinois Invite final before getting knocked off by Valparaiso…The #16 D3 team, Bates, took home the crown at Uprising…In state rivals Indiana & Purdue fought it out at Indy Invite and IU took home the prize…

Power Rankings

Not much movement after a weekend where little definition was achieved. Welcome to the postseason.

Looking Ahead

This Weekend: Teams are healing injuries, refining strategies, and getting their heads right for the postseason. For many teams, this is their last practice weekend of the season…

Next Weekend: Conference Championship weekend! The postseason arrives and midtier drama will be rife. Don’t forget how much it means to so many teams.

  1. Keith Raynor
    Keith Raynor

    Keith Raynor is a Senior Editor and the Business Development Manager at Ultiworld. He co-hosts our Deep Look podcast and does play-by-play and color commentary. He coaches UConn Rise, the college's women's team. You can reach him by email (keith@ultiworld.com) or on Twitter (@FullFieldHammer).

  2. Charlie Eisenhood
    Charlie Eisenhood

    Charlie Eisenhood is the editor-in-chief of Ultiworld. You can reach him by email (charlie@ultiworld.com) or on Twitter (@ceisenhood).

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