FCS D-III Tune Up 2024: How to Watch, Tournament Preview

This weekend: the biggest brawl in D-III men's

Richmond’s Matthew Timoney at the 2023 D-III College Championships. Photo: Rudy Desort – UltiPhotos.com

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The People’s Division™ is officially back. FCS D-III Tune Up is second to none in terms of impact on teams’ regular season. At the end of play on Sunday, questions will be answered, the bid picture will be much clearer, and teams will come away with a better understanding of their place in the landscape. More importantly though, we get to watch. As a shootout-style tournament, each team will play seven total games, four on Saturday and three Sunday. Here’s what you need to know to tune in to all the action.

Tournament Profile

  • Date: March 2-3
  • Location: Advance, VA
  • Weather: High 50s to low 60s, with Minimal winds, clear skies.
  • Top 25 teams: 11 D-III Men’s
  • Schedules & Results
  • Event Page

Streaming Schedule

All Ultiworld Standard and All-Access subscribers will have access to watch the live broadcasts from this year’s FCS D-III Tune Up, where we will have one game in each broadcasting round featuring natural sound without commentary.

The broadcast schedule can be found below:

All times are ET.

Saturday, March 2

8:30 AM: Elon vs. Messiah [M]
10:15 AM: Christopher Newport vs. Embry-Riddle [M]
12:00 PM: Missouri S&T vs. Davidson [M]
3:30 PM: Richmond vs. Berry [M]

Sunday, March 3

8:30 AM: Xavier vs. Michigan Tech [M]
10:15 AM: Whitman vs. Kenyon [M]
12:00 PM: Oberlin vs. Union [M]
1:45 PM: Navy vs. Franciscan [M]

Tournament Preview

TOP TEN TITLE FIGHT

If you’re a fan of D-III ultimate your eyes get a little wider at the sight of the final match of the day Saturday: #3 Richmond Spidermonkeys face off against #9 Berry Bucks. Each team is at the top of the table in their regions, the Atlantic Coast and Southeast, respectively. Both teams have big dreams and big stars this year. Richmond has their eyes on the National title, falling in the semifinal game last year to eventual champions and current #2 Colorado College Wasabi. The Spidermonkeys are helmed by Ultiworld’s own Calvin Ciorba, who was a top producer with six goals and eight assists at Nationals. Other key players for Richmond will be cutter Matt Timoney and handler Alex Ertel.

As for the Bucks, keep your eyes on captain Collin Hill, a top 10 player in all of the D-III men’s division who collected a jaw-dropping 32 assists at Nationals last year. As good as Hill is in the handler space, he needs someone to come down with the disc; this year he should be looking most often to Matthew Peterson, who was second only to Donovan nominee Caleb Grant last year in team goals. Regardless of the way this game goes, we’ll learn a lot about where each team stands on a national level.

UNDERCARD UPSET ALERTS

Sources close to Ultiworld have indicated the #13 Oberlin Flying Horsecows “is gonna be 7-0 I can promise you this.” Oberlin’s first two matchups: Berry and Richmond. So either the Horsecows come out and make a big splash or someone is proven very wrong very fast. Statement wins from Oberlin aren’t just a chance for bragging rights though – Oberlin is in a prime position to earn an extra bid for the Ohio Valley, and provide themselves with an easier path to Milwaukee come May. Look for Ben Fuguet and Braque Pike to bring the heat for Oberlin.

Another couple of teams with something to prove are the #11 Lewis & Clark Bacchus and the #12 Whitman Sweets. Both teams earned a spot at Nationals last year out of the Northwest and both teams are vying for the top spot again this year. Good showings from each team could go a long way towards securing a second bid again for the region, and bad results could put it out of reach. With Puget Sound trying to push their way into the conversation, the pressure is on for these two teams to demonstrate the strength of the Northwest. In terms of the players that will get them there, all eyes will be on Nico Darringer and Elan Siegler for Whitman. On the Lewis & Clark side, Leo Farley and Max Zwerin are the two players you hope bring their A-game.

ADDITIONAL ALLITERATIVE ANECDOTES

Unranked Franciscan Fatal can make an impact and even upset the natural order of things in the Ohio Valley. They beat out the aforementioned Oberlin last year at Regionals and only lost by one to eventual Ohio Valley reps Kenyon. They also handily won Huckin’ in the Hills earlier this season.

The Southeast has two teams with plenty of questions left to be answered in unranked Embry-Riddle Dirty Birds and Union Jaxx. Both teams had decent showings in earlier tournaments, but lack connectivity with other D-III teams. Good results from them could land the Southeast a second bid.

#22 Xavier are ready to climb higher and show the rest of the already well-represented Ohio Valley that B.L.O.B. are a team to watch out for. After a surprising loss to Truman State at Dust Bowl, #17 Missouri S&T Miner Threat will have a chance to prove their trip to Nationals last season wasn’t a fluke and they deserve to be in the conversation. After missing Nationals by a single point last year, #15 Elon Big Fat Bomb are on a revenge tour and trying to make it everyone else’s problem.

Wind won’t be much of a factor, so teams that rely heavily on zone defense may have trouble this weekend. Something to keep in mind that will put an emphasis on individual matchups.1


  1. Special shout out to Mike Ball for doing as much as anyone else to promote and lift up D-III ultimate. If you see him at the tournament give him a thumbs up, but don’t get in his way. 

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