D-III College Championships 2021: #TheGame Winners and Breakdown

Who took home the prizes and which picks were most popular?

Truman State's Anna Sullivan lines up a potential block against Puget Sound at the 2021 D-III College Championships.
Truman State’s Anna Sullivan lines up a potential block against Puget Sound at the 2021 D-III College Championships. Photo: Isaac Wasserman — UltiPhotos.com

With the out-of-season College Championships, #TheGame returned, this time with our first ever D-III competition! Without the constraints of selection, it was all about finding the right winners. The tournament results and the selection rates were both top-heavy and crowded, meaning avoiding the duds was crucial. Let’s dive in!

Here are the full final standings.

The Winners

Adrienne G scored 500 points to take the top spot, followed by Alex M at 475.

Simply put, with the top four seeds winning their pools and quarterfinals, loading your lineup with those squads and making sure to get enough finalists and champions in was the ballgame. Only two teams outside of that top layer offered you great value, but you have to go all the way to eight place to find someone who picked one.

Adrienne G went with double Middlebury, picking them in both and women’s and men’s divisions. They’re overall lineup finished with both champions (Middlebury women’s and Oklahoma Christian men’s) along with another finalist (Middlebury men’s) and two more semifinalists (Carleton women’s and Richmond men’s).

Alex M picked the exact same lineup as Adrienne, only taking Portland women’s over Oklahoma Christian men’s. Close, but not quite.

Adrienne G and Alex M both win a free month of Full Subscription from Ultiworld, though Adrienne’s will be slightly cooler since they won.

Selection Stats

Top 5 Women’s Teams

  1. No.2 Carleton (70.4%)
  2. No.4 Middlebury (28.6%)
  3. No.5 Lehigh (20.9%)
  4. No.1 Truman State (19.8%)
  5. No.12 Puget Sound (15.5%)

Maybe I’m not plugged in enough to the D-III prognosticator’s circuit, but 70% seems very high. That’s the highest I think we’ve ever seen, and I’m not entirely clear on why. Portland, a finalist and top seed, just missed this top five, with 15.4%, which is a bit surprising given that they have some notable names and pedigree. With less than 100 entries, a few picks here or there really could sway things, however. Puget Sound was the most popular value pick, but wound up being one of six teams that failed to score any points.

Top 5 Men’s Teams

  1. No.1 Richmond (41.85)
  2. No.9 Carleton (34.1%)
  3. No.3 Middlebury (30.8%)
  4. No.7 Colorado College (27.5%)
  5. No.2 St. Olaf (26.4%)

Just missing the list was champion No.4 Oklahoma Christian (23.1%), which made for a cushy top six. Obviously Richmond had a sizable lead over the rest, and despite falling well below expected value, still were one of the most point-rich selections. However, Carleton outscored them as the second most popular pick, hitting 90 points overall. As was the case in women’s, the optimal strategy was mostly picking from the top four and finding the right combination of them, although augmented by the popularity of Carleton.

The Perfect Lineup

Two champions: Oklahoma Christian men’s and Middlebury women’s. Two finalists: Portland women’s and Middlebury men’s. Finally, add either of the 90-point teams from the three-line: Occidental women’s or Carleton men’s. Total points for that would have been 540.

The Tiebreakers

The first: how many players would score goals in the either of the finals? The answer was 26, despite just four players on Middlebury men’s finding the end zone. Talia Q and Leon V both hit that one on the head, while 16 was the average and 10 was the mode.

The second: how many goals against would the two Richmond teams allow in pool play? The duo surrendered 40 goals. The average guess was a 46, so not too far off. Five different players picked 40, which was tied as the most popular selection.

The third: how many goals would the losing teams in the semifinals scored, combined? All in all, they managed 44 goals. The crowd wasn’t too far off, with 40 and 42 as the most popular answers, but 44 was third with seven entrants getting it right. Some outliers dragged the average all the way down to 34 though.

Feedback Welcome!

Did you play? Did you not play? Why or why not? What rules would be fun to play with? What tweaks can be made?

We want #thegame to be fun and have different strategies be viable without being too complicated for lots of people to enter. You contact me by emailing Editor@Ultiworld.com or on Twitter @FullFieldHammer.

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