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

This year's Centex features an interdivisional clash as the cream of D-III test their mettle against a hungry pack of D-I bubble teams.

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Centex Tier I gives us our first look at the top of the People’s Division as the back-to-back-to-back National champions embark on a quest to add a fourth to their collection of backs. Can they hold their ground against several D-I schools from the Ohio Valley, South Central, and Northwest desperate to keep or earn regional strength bids? Read on for a rundown of the action in Austin.

Tournament Profile

  • Date: March 16-17
  • Location: Austin, TX
  • Weather: Thunderstorms, with temperatures in the upper 60s and low 70s
  • Top 25 teams: 3 D-I women’s division, 4 D-III women’s division
  • Schedules & Results
  • Event Page

Streaming Schedule

Live broadcasts from this year’s Centex (Women’s Div.) are all available for free on the Ultiworld YouTube channel, where we will have one game in each broadcasting round.

The broadcast schedule can be found below:

All times are CT.

Saturday, March 16

9:00 AM: Ohio State vs. Washington University [W]
12:30 PM: UT Dallas vs. Utah [W]
2:15 PM: Colorado State vs. Texas [W]

Sunday, March 17

9:00 AM: Middlebury vs. Colorado State [W]
10:45 AM: Quarterfinal TBD [W]
12:40 PM: Semifinal TBD [W]
2:35 PM: Final TBD [W]

Tournament Preview

Colorado State’s Genevieve Reyland-Slawson at the 2023 D-I College Championships. Photo: William “Brody” Brotman – UltiPhotos.com

Four for D-III?

The road to the fourpeat begins in Round Rock. No, not that fourpeat. Not that one either. We’re talking D-III, with the threepeat-certified  #1 Middlebury Pranksters making their 2024 debut – the first stop on their quest to continue the title streak. And the win streak. No, not that win streak, but one almost as impressive. The Pranksters haven’t dropped a game since March of 2022. However, contrary to last year’s Centex appearance, they will be competing in the Tier 1 section of the tournament, where they’ll square off against some of the best competition D-I has to offer. It’ll be a true test for the Pranksters to keep their win streak alive, but certainly not out of the question. And it could sharpen them for even more unprecedented postseason success.

Lower down the D-III pecking order, #7 Colorado College Zenith, #12 Rice Torque, and #14 Trinity Altitude will give us a great preview into how that region will shake out in the series.

The Big Bid Scramble

The top end of D-I at Centex this year is a little empty, but the fringes of the bid picture have ghost pepper-levels of spice. The odds that we see strength bids change hands Saturday and Sunday are highly bettable.

As of this writing, Ohio State Fever are one of two unlikely strength bid earners for the Ohio Valley1. They’ve had a rollercoaster of a season to date, with wins against top-25 teams and losses to those very same teams. Their position is precarious, though, only a few rankings points above the cutoff. Centex will be the chance for Fever to add a dose of consistency and secure a second bid for the OV.

That is, if they don’t lose it at the hands of the South Central. After a smashing three-bid 2023, the region’s potential has ebbed to a lone bid midway through 2024. The time to claw one or two of them back is now. Both #15 Colorado State Hell’s Belles and #16 UT Dallas Whiplash can roar back into range with a tournament win — especially if they both reach the final, which is not out of the question. With the regional title squarely in the hands of #8 Colorado Quandary (in action this weekend at Northwest Challenge), they’ll both be rooting for each other to earn at least one in order to give themselves any kind of hope for Memorial Day.

  1. #18 UPenn Venus are the other 

  1. Zack Davis
    Zack Davis

    Former D-III player for Spring Hill College, poached on the breakside.

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