A solid field will navigate Centex's bracket-heavy format.
March 17, 2023 by Chris Cassella in Preview with 0 comments
Ultiworld’s coverage of the 2023 college ultimate season are presented by Spin Ultimate; all opinions are those of the author(s). Find out how Spin can get you, and your team, looking your best this season.
Deep in the heart of Texas, Centex is back with a much more competitive field than 2022. The tournament format is unconventional, but gives lots of opportunities for out of region games. It’s truly March Madness down at Round Rock. Here are the storylines for Centex 2023.
- Date: March 17-19
- Location: Austin, TX
- Weather: Highs in mid-50s, 11 mph wind, cloudy with small chance of rain
- Top 25 teams: #2 BYU, #5 Colorado, #7 Texas, #13 Carleton, #17 Tufts, #23 Wisconsin
- Schedule and Results
All times Central. Schedule subject to change. These games feature natural sound only, no commentary. Available for Full & Plus subscribers and those with 2023 College Team Packs.
All games can be found on our Centex event page and will be available both live and immediately following the games on-demand.
Friday, March 17
- 5:30 PM: BYU vs. Carleton
- 7:00 PM: BYU vs. Wisconsin
- 8:30 PM: BYU vs. Texas
Saturday, March 18
- 8:20 AM: Middlebury vs. Tulane
- 10:00 AM: Georgia Tech vs. Colorado College
- 11:40 AM: Double Loss 16/17
- 1:20 PM: Boulder Bracket 1st Place
- 3:00 PM: Winner of Austin 1st vs. Boston 1st
Sunday, March __
- 8:10 AM: First Four TBD
- 10:10 AM: Elite Eight TBD
- 12:10 PM: Final Four TBD
- 2:10 PM: Championship TBD
Will BYU Stay Undefeated?
“Can BYU Stay Undefeated?” was the first title of this storyline. But after further review, there’s no reason to think an undefeated season is outside the scope of possibility for one of the best teams in the country. CHI is second in our March 8 power rankings. They are undefeated this season, and have distanced themselves from the pack of other top teams. CHI has dominated every game since the start of the 2023 season; they have only had three “close” games. One of their close games was against Carleton College CUT, where they edged out a victory 13-11 at Florida Warm Up this February. CHI will be on display for three games on Friday night, including the event opener against CUT. This rematch will be an indicator of whether their close games were just early season jitters, or if CHI is just as dominant as we would all expect.
Since university rules do not allow BYU to play on Sundays, CHI has their own pool for Centex. All of their games are against Top 25 teams, the toughest schedule at the tournament. Four of these five games are against new opponents, so CHI will be going off of film and fable Friday and Saturday. For players to watch, look for their big Florida Warm Up contributors to be active this weekend in Round Rock. Luke Yorgason has been CHI’s O-line anchor, and will connect with cutters Jacob Miller and Jensen Wells downfield. On defense, Chad Yorgason and Porter Oyler are the block-getters, but are supported by the cast of fresh faces including Fischer Dastrup, Simon Dastrup, and Evan Miller. It’s clear there is no shortage of talent on this CHI team, so it’s slated to be a fun weekend to watch one of the best teams in the country square off against other top teams.
Is Texas Back?
Texas TUFF sit at #7 in our D-I Power Rankings, and have an 11-4 record this season. They had an impressive fifth place finish at Smoky Mountain Invite, and are the top ranked team in the South Central according to the Mills’ algorithm. The question now is can TUFF keep up their hot streak against more top competition at their home tournament. While they are the reigning champions of Centex, the field in 2022 was nowhere near as competitive as it is this season. They are also one of four teams playing three days this weekend, as they play BYU CHI Friday night.
TUFF have one of the most talented rosters in the country. Matt Chambers, Zach Slayton, Xavier Fuzat, and Jake Worthington round out a very strong offensive line. Gavin Babbit, Kolbe Bauer, and John Clyde are anchors for the feisty TUFF defense. These players are supported by a cast of impressive role players including Cade White, Peter Ngo, Alex Janelle, and Saaketh Palchuru, which could be the difference in Texas competing in games deep into Sunday. Their weakness is their inflexibility. In the past they have failed to adapt to offenses and defenses throughout games. When they do make key changes, they come too late in the game to affect the outcome. The real interesting storyline for TUFF will be if they can beat Colorado Mamabird in a game late Saturday or Sunday. The games between these two programs have toggled between close matches and blowouts. But TUFF is on the upswing and Mamabird is sitting still, so we’ll get a great idea as to what to expect in the South Central regional final.
A Tale of
Two Three Colorados
Three Colorado teams are in competition this weekend at Centex: Colorado Mamabird, Colorado State Hibida, and Colorado College Wasabi. Each of these teams have different ceilings entering this tournament. For Mamabird, they have a chance to win this tournament outright and cement themselves as the first team out of the South Central. They have tight losses this season to Oregon Ego, and Vermont Chill. Their two losses to Chill occurred at Smoky Mountain Invite, the second of which prevented them from holding seed in Knoxville. The standouts for Mamabird are still Danny Landesman and Calvin Stoughton. The extent to which teams can deal with this duo will be the determining factor in an upset. Mamabird won’t face a serious challenge until their game against, if all goes to seed, Carleton CUT in the finals of their makeshift pool.
Colorado State Hibida is also in a “prove it” mindset, but for another reason. Last season, Hibida fell short of making Nationals in the three bid South Central with a loss to WashU Contra in the third place game. This season, they’ll look to contribute to earning a third bid for the region. They’re still the clear third or fourth team out of the South Central, and have a 4-9 record so far in 2023. They’ve been unable to secure wins against top programs, save a 13-12 win against the Washington Sundodgers at Stanford Invite. Their full schedule is still uncertain, but if all goes to seed their hardest game of the weekend will be against BYU CHI. This should be a great test for an inconsistent Hibida team with a few bright moments to get excited about..
Colorado College Wasabi is one of three D-III teams competing this weekend in Round Rock. They currently sit at #2 in our D-III power rankings, and have a 9-1 record so far in 2023. Their single loss was in a universe point game against D-I WashU Contra at Midwest Throwdown, which isn’t the worst thing for a program like Wasabi. The goal for Wasabi this weekend is to punch up. Their first game is against Georgia Tech, a D-I program who they should be able to compete with, if not beat. So a success this weekend for Wasabi will not be determined by a winning record. It will be how well they can play against high-level, D-I talent.
CUT on a Comeback?
Carleton CUT missed Nationals last postseason after an underwhelming regular season, lending further credence to the negative reputation the club has for playing well at Regionals. This year, they look like one of the CUT teams of the past. They have a 9-6 record this season, with all six of their losses against other top-25 D-I programs. Carleton’s defense was the talk of day one at Smoky Mountain Invite with standouts Sawyer Blair, Leo Xiao, and Leo Jordan. They have the honor of playing the first game of Centex Friday against BYU CHI. Recall that at Florida Warm Up, they only lost to CHI by two points. The pool of high-level teams for CUT to play is a little lower than it was at past tournaments. This is a good thing for CUT, though, since they can focus all their energy into winning the games that count. Right now, they look to be the second team out of the North Central behind Minnesota Grey Duck. With Wisconsin also at this tournament, we’ll see how they stack up against their in-region rivals.
Speaking of, the Wisconsin Hodags round out the list of top teams competing at Centex, and enter Round Rock with an 8-6 record. Their wins and losses so far this season are a mixed bag. Their wins against Texas TUFF and Michigan Magnum are praiseworthy, but losses to British Columbia and Victoria at Stanford Invite raise some consistency questions. The North Central is slated to be a two-bid region, with Minnesota and CUT being the bid earners. Right now they’re in the fight for second, and given the wackiness of this bracket, a preview of the potential game-to-go in the North Central.
The Rest of the Field at the Dance
The list of teams in this preview is not to say that other teams can’t make some noise this weekend. Virginia Night Train put together some decent results at Queen City Tune Up and Eastern’s Qualifier. Georgia Tech Tribe is in a similar position, and enters the weekend with a 10-5 record. Both of these teams have been inactive in sanctioned play since late February, so the few weeks off could give them the extra boost needed to upset some of the top seeds this weekend.
There are also three D-III teams participating at Centex this weekend. The Oklahoma Christian Eagles are the reigning, back-to-back, D-III National Champions, and are undefeated this season. The Middlebury Pranksters are also taking the long trip down to Round Rock, and should face some very competitive teams on Saturday and Sunday. The goal for D-III at these tournaments is to sharpen their claws against much better competition than the average D-III team. These two teams, along with Colorado College Wasabi, will be an interesting glimpse into how the upper-echelon of D-III frisbee can compete with the middle tier of D-I college ultimate.