12 Days of College Ultimate 2024: Pat’s Magic 8 Ball

On the eighth day of Christmas Ultiworld gave to me...a magic 8 ball's take on wild predictions!

Ultiworld’s coverage of the 2024 college season is 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.

It’s time to unwrap some presents as we introduce the 12 Days of College Ultimate. For the next 12 days, we will be releasing one gift per day, though don’t count on getting any holiday fowl: it’s all college ultimate. From highlight videos to player chatter to a season predictions, we’ve got a little something for everyone. On the eighth day of the 12 Days of College Ultimate, Patrick Stegemoeller consults his Magic 8 Ball to see if some of your hot takes are certain or whether you should ask again next year.

We’re all just looking for comfort this time of year. Yearning to curl up by a yule log in a warm sweater, drinking hot chocolate and listening to the songs we hear ever year, a pleasing reminder of the permanence of some things. An oasis amidst the blustery frost and darkness of an absentee December sun.

The cyclical nature of college sports can bring us some of that comfort, the coming sunrise of the season is a beacon of warmer, lighter times to come, and a reinforcement of the cycles that define all life. Every year the world turns, the sun goes up, the sun goes down, and come spring a bunch of freshman will play in their first real college tournament and a bunch of seniors will play in their last. Everything changes, everything stays the same.

But it’s a weird time out here in college ultimate. Three of the divisions are in the chokehold of dynasties that emerged from the pandemic to basically not lose a game for like three years. Eligibility wackiness has a bunch of 35 year olds (more or less) lining up against kids who don’t know a world where Kurt Gibson was something other than a guy making weird vlogs about the evils of his porn addiction. Unprecedented times indeed.

Into this weirdness, many of you sent over predictions about how the 2024 season is going to turn out, ranging in scale from the highest stakes (team X is going to win Nationals) to the most minute (player Y is going to remember to fill the rental car up with gas and not strand four players on the highway again this year).

Are these predictions going to come true? I have no idea. It’s a crazy world out there. But you know who can tell you? This Magic 8 Ball.

Why hello there

In the ocean of anxieties about our weird present, let this hunk of plastic and whatever mystic liquid dwells inside, bobbing along with the tides of life out to sea, be a life raft. Let its answers – whether they’re what you want to hear or not – bring you some comfort in the conviction from which they arise.

Let’s see what the future has in store.

South Central D-III Men’s Gets Four Bids

Yes definitely

Taking four bids in the 16 bid D-III Nationals format is a scandalous form of greed. Just rapacious gluttony.

Sorry to the other nine regions splitting the remaining 12 bids. You should have been more proactive about colluding to get an extra bid for some mediocre team that only plays in-region games and is scaring absolutely no one during the Series. The subsequent investigation into this is going to reveal some scandalous WhatsApp messages. (Just kidding. USAU doesn’t have the will or resources to investigate this type of behavior. Collude away!)


North Central Series Goes Smoothly Without Any Major Weather Issues

You may rely on it

Something so improbable that Nora’s cognitive dissonance wouldn’t even allow her to type it out correctly, the North Central is going to have not-insane weather during the series this year. Is it even the North Central if sectionals isn’t played in snow and Regionals isn’t in two feet of standing muck and rain, both teams wearing trash bags as ponchos, bumbling around the field looking like a bunch of miserable Grimaces?

If that’s the case, we are entering a timeline where everything we think we know about North Central Regionals could be radically different. Neither of the D-III Carleton teams make Nationals. One of the non-Madison Wisconsin teams ends up winning D-I Mens (Wisconsin-Milwaukee? Wisconsin-Eau Claire? Wisconsin-Whitewater??? Is that last one even real?????)

Fire and brimstone. Cats and dogs living together. Minnesota Matrix finally beating Syzygy.


@BMoUltimate Fires Their Coach

Concentrate and ask again

Okay wow, big stakes on this one. Even the 8 Ball needs some time to weight the cosmic forces at play here…

My sources say no

Phew. Big sigh of relief for Jake Smart and co. Especially because it’s unlikely Brown is going to fire the returning runner-up COTY for performance reasons, and more likely that it would involve some sort of deranged anonymous texting type situation. (Although, that did lead to UNCW beating UNC and making the final, so something to consider…)

Mississippi State Men’s Wins Easterns Qualifiers and Shocks the World at Easterns

Yes, definitely

Okay, so the concrete takeaway we have here is that Mississippi State is going to win EQ. Congrats.

Less certain is what they will do to shock the world at Easterns. Could that mean they win the tournament? Technically, yes. It could mean that. Seems unlikely though for a team that went 1-3 with a -16 point diff on Saturday of Regionals last year. Of course, that also means it’s unlikely Miss St. would shock the world by just doing poorly at Easterns, because seeing them get pummeled round after round is about what you would expect.

So what are they going to do to shock the world? Maybe one of their players sets the new world record for number of hard boiled eggs eaten in five minutes during halftime of one of their games. Maybe one of their coaches commits a crime so heinously spectacular – I’m talking “lady astronaut drives 950 miles while wearing space diapers to assault a romantic rival in an airport parking lot” levels – that we collectively, as the world, are indeed shocked. Maybe the team reveals that an ancient Templar treasure is hidden in North Myrtle Beach and they used clues pieced together from one of Benjamin Franklin’s old cookbooks. It’s all on the table.


Lehigh Men’s Will Beat Temple

It is certain

I actually have no idea how bold of a prediction this is, what the history or stakes are for this matchup, or really anything about either team. And yet clearly you do Carl. For reasons that probably have very little to do with the rest of the world at large, and more to do with some bad travel call that sent back a game-tying huck at a fall tournament last year.

So good news Carl, Lehigh is indeed going to beat those rat bastards on Temple in 2024. Never let the hate die.



UMass ZooDisc Brings it Home This Year

Better not tell you now

Okay okay so there are a few ways to interpret this.

1) UMass is going to win Nationals, heroically putting an end to Darkside’s reign of terror. It will be dramatic, climactic, and such a tremendous spectacle that the 8 Ball doesn’t want to ruin the moment by removing the stakes and making it inevitable. Sucking the marrow out of the thrill and risk that we all collectively stand to experience while yearning to be free of UNC’s cruel yoke. So UMass gets redemption in 2024, we’re all along for the ride, and it’s going to be gripping.

2) UNC is gonna do it again 🙁

3) I suppose some other non-UMass or UNC team could win Nationals as well. Maybe UMass beats UNC in semis and then gets punked the next day in the final by Colorado or something? Actually, given the ambiguous nature of this response, that seems likely.


Penn State (W) will Rise from the Ashes of Year In and Year Out Regionals Disappointments for a Spectacular Climb to the Top

Cannot predict now

Somethings are unknowable, even for the mighty 8 Ball. Absolute knowledge is an impossibility, “truth” is farce, and we are ultimately all scrambling for meaning and guardrails in a world of unknowable chaos (shout out Anatomy of a Fall).

Gonna have to go play some friz and make your own truth.

  1. Patrick Stegemoeller

    Patrick Stegemoeller is a Senior Staff Writer for Ultiworld, co-host of the Sin The Fields podcast, and also a lawyer who lives in Brooklyn.

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