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

The premier men’s division regular season tournament is here.

Pittsburgh En Sabah Nur’s Will McGlynn at the 2024 Smoky Mountain Invite. Photo: William “Brody” Brotman – UltiPhotos.com

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Twenty teams of the top teams in the D-I men’s division are gathering at a new field site in Bermuda Run, NC to challenge each other in the most competitive regular season tournament of the season. With fourteen top 25 teams in attendance, over the course of the weekend we’ll see clashes between top teams as well as closing arguments from teams pushing to be part of the strength bid picture.

Tournament Profile

  • Date: March 30-31
  • Location: Bermuda Run, NC
  • Weather: High temperatures in the 70s with 5-15 mph wind
  • Top 25 teams: 14
  • 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 Easterns, where we will have two games in each broadcasting round.

The broadcast schedule can be found below:

All times are ET.

Saturday, March 30

9:00 AM: UNC Wilmington vs. Tufts [M] | Alabama-Huntsville vs. Penn State [M]
10:45 AM: UMass vs. NC State [M] | Vermont vs. Ohio State [M]
12:30 PM: Alabama-Huntsville vs. Brown [M] | Vermont vs. Minnesota [M]
4:00 PM: Georgia vs. Pittsburgh [M] | Cal Poly SLO vs. Brown [M]

Sunday, March 31

9:00 AM: Quarterfinal TBD [M] | Quarterfinal TBD [M]
11:00 AM: Semifinal TBD [M] | Semifinal TBD [M]
1:00 PM: Final TBD [M] | 3rd Place Final TBD [M]

Tournament Preview

A Tried and True Nationals Preview

The 2024 edition of Easterns is once again shaping up to be a miniature version of the D-I College Championships. Having drawn eight out of the top ten teams in the country,1 Bermuda Run, North Carolina, will likely be home to arguably the best men’s division ultimate being played on the planet this weekend. These teams have been practicing and playing together for months now, zone defenses have been drilled, pull plays have been perfected, and come Saturday we should see which teams are truly ready for a national tournament. With three of last year’s Easterns semifinalists going on to become Nationals semifinalists, it will likely again be a crystal ball for what is to come in late May.2

Last Chance

For most, if not all, of the teams in attendance, Easterns is the last tournament of the regular season. For the higher seeded teams, this tournament will be crucial for them to perform well enough to ensure a favorable seed at Nationals. The teams at the bottom of their pools have this one last chance to put the country on notice, and show that they have what it takes to go the distance in May. For all of these teams, Easterns is a final chance to affect the bid picture, a final chance to test themselves against teams from across the country, and maybe one of the final times they will play together as a team. Easterns is the beginning of the end and teams that want to succeed here will need to play each game as if it could be their last. That is what is at stake come April and May.

Bid Picture

With most of the top teams assured of their paths to Nationals, the excitement surrounding the bid picture comes towards the bottom of the pools. Carleton, Minnesota, and UNC Wilmington are all within 100 points of the bid cut off and could lose their regions bids to Nationals with particularly horrendous weekends. On the other hand, Ohio State, Northeastern, Tufts, and South Carolina are aiming to get back into the bid picture with exceptional weekends. We’ll also be keeping an eye on McGill’s performance at East Coast Invite; MUT is currently holding on to the New England region’s fourth bid to Nationals, but a bad weekend could push them out of bid earning range.3

Quick Hits

  • Two teams, Carleton and SLO are making back to back tournament appearances. Both made the semifinals last weekend at Northwest Challenge and are expected to make the bracket at Easterns as well. Let’s hope that CUT booked their flights well into the evening this time so they don’t miss any more bracket games.
  • Ohio State Leadbelly and Michigan MagnUM may not be regional rivals in ultimate, but Big Ten fans are certainly excited for their pool play matchup. Ohio State is less than 100 points outside the strength bid picture, and a good weekend for them will help dispel some of the hurt from this past NCAA football season. These two teams have met at Easterns each of the past two seasons, splitting the series 1-1.
  • Unlike Nationals which has a prequarter round, Easterns goes straight to the quarterfinals, so teams need to finish first or second in their pool to make the championship bracket. In other words, a slip up on Saturday could be costly.

  1. Colorado Mamabird and Oregon Ego not in attendance 

  2. Cal Poly SLO, UNC, and Vermont all made it to the semis at Easterns and Nationals in 2023 

  3. And second order effects might drag UNC Wilmington down with them. 

  1. Alex Rubin
    Alex Rubin

    Alex Rubin started writing for Ultiworld in 2018. He is a graduate of Northwestern University where he played for four years. After a stint in Los Angeles coaching high school and college teams, they moved to Chicago to experience real seasons and eat deep dish pizza. You can reach Alex through e-mail ([email protected]) or Twitter (@arubes14).

  2. Matt Fazzalaro
    Matt Fazzalaro

    Matt began playing ultimate in 2017 at Lambert High school in Forsyth County, Georgia. In his college career he played one year with the Samford Dogma and three years with the Georgia Jojah. Matt cites the Athens, GA ultimate community as the best he has ever experienced and also fell in love with goalty there. Matt now lives, works, and plays ultimate in Atlanta, GA.

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