Centex 2024: How to Watch, Tournament Preview (Men’s Div.)

A few hot bid-picture and regional storylines spice up this year's Centex. Plus: a couple of D-III heavyweights toe the line.

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Men’s Tier 1 Centex returns this year to the legendary Round Rock Multipurpose Complex. The field this year looks different than seasons’ past, but there is still a lot in store for an otherwise gloomy weekend in the South Central. Without much in the way of elite-level competition, the 2024 edition is primed to give a deeper glimpse into the meat of the division.

Tournament Profile

  • Date: March 15-17
  • Location: Round Rock, TX
  • Weather: Thunderstorms, with upper 60s to low 70s temperatures
  • Top 25 teams: 3 D-I men’s division, 3 D-III men’s division
  • 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 Centex (Men’s Div.), where we will have one game in each broadcasting round.

The broadcast schedule can be found below:

All times are CT.

Friday, March 15

5:30 PM: Texas A&M vs. BYU [M]
7:00 PM: Colorado State vs. BYU [M]
8:30 PM: Texas vs. BYU [M]

Saturday, March 16

8:00 AM: Illinois vs. Iowa State [M]
11:20 AM: Tulane vs. Colorado State [M]
1:00 PM: Northeastern vs. Florida [M]
2:40 PM: Middlebury vs. 3A [M]

Sunday, March 17

10:00 AM: Quarterfinal TBD [M]
12:00 PM: Semifinal TBD [M]
2:00 PM: Final TBD [M]

Tournament Preview

Texas TUFF’s Jake Worthington and Owen Smith at the 2023 D-I College Championships. Photo: Kevin Leclaire – UltiPhotos.com

What is at Risk for Texas?

#15 Texas TUFF enter their home tournament as the favorites – no surprise there, especially without their chief South Central rivals #6 Colorado Mamabird in the field. However, TUFF do have a lot to lose if they drop a game or squeak out a close win. At other tournaments this season, the story for TUFF has been a string of good performances soured by an unfortunate loss. They left Smoky Mountain Invite with a 3-4 record after close losses to California and Minnesota, and not-so-close losses to Brown and Vermont. They’re on the lower end of the bid-earning picture at the moment, and another couple of sour moments could drop them into the danger zone.  But Texas have the ability to set the record straight with a dominant performance this weekend. Xavier Fuzat holds the title of Secretly One of the Best Cutters in the Division. On defense, Gavin Babbitt is a strong all-around defender that takes the toughest matchups. Also, keep an eye out for new strategy changes for TUFF, as they’ve added UFA and Doublewide captains Matthew Armour and Reese Bowman to their coaching staff.

Life on the Bubble

Just like a friend of a friend who got invited to your birthday party without you knowing, #18 Northeastern Huskies are the team most likely to ruin TUFF’s weekend. The Huskies have been idle since Florida Warm Up, where they impressed some members of the reporting team with two universe point losses to #8 Brown Brownian Motion and #9 Carleton CUT, as well as a three-point loss to #4 Georgia Jojah. Northeastern have been knocking on the door of a Nationals berth for two seasons now without managing to open it. As it stands they look like the favorite to take the last bid out of New England. A dominant run to the Centex final would continue to tip the scales in their favor.

#22 BYU CHI will also be in attendance this weekend. Though they are not off to the kick-down-the-door start that we have seen in seasons’ past, they still have recorded a few tight games against good teams. CHI will be featured in three showcase games against Texas A&M, Colorado State, and Texas. Last year, CHI ran the gauntlet until losing on universe point to TUFF. Both teams return to the final showcase game with significantly different rosters than last year, so it should be an entertaining showdown late Friday night.

How good is The People’s Division?

This weekend we’ll also see three of the top D-III Men’s teams in action. Reigning D-III champions #12 Colorado College Wasabi, #4 Middlebury Pranksters, and #1 Oklahoma Christian Eagles return to Round Rock this year with have serious potential to frustrate D-I teams and string together a good performance. Hopefully, we’ll see a D-III matchup that will help us gauge the potential for the postseason, as each of these teams has been in the conversation to win the 2024 D-III Men’s Championship.

  1. Chris Cassella
    Chris Cassella

    Chris Cassella is from Orange, Connecticut, and started playing pick-up at the age of 11. He is a graduate of the University of Richmond, where he played four years with the Richmond Spidermonkeys. While at Richmond, Chris won a national championship (2017), two High Tide titles (2019, 2020), and the “worst decisions award” four years in a row. He is a current graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin, where he will play his fifth year with TUFF. You can follow him on Twitter (@nerdyboypolis) to see his daily takes about zone defense, political science, and I-35 traffic jams.

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