D-I College Championships 2024: Day Three Centering Pass (Men’s Div.)

After three rounds of bracket play, only Cal Poly SLO and Brown are left standing

Cal Poly SLO’s Marley Sussman is pumped at the 2024 D-I College Championships. Photo: Sam Hotaling – UltiPhotos.com

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Welcome to Centering Pass, Ultiworld’s articles covering tournament news and event stories you need to know.

VERONA, WI — Twelve teams started the day with the possibility of winning a national championship. After three rounds of bracket play, just two remain. #6 Cal Poly SLO SLOCORE scored the final five goals of their semifinal to come from behind and knock off three-time defending champion #3 UNC Darkside. Their opponent in the final will be #7 Brown Brownian Motion, who took down #8 Colorado Mamabird in a hard-fought semifinal 15-12.

SLO’s Semifinal Surprise

Cal Poly SLO started their game against UNC by giving up three goals. They finished it with five straight to advance to the first final in program history. The game started in a downpour as heavy rain and swirling wind contributed to a number of mistakes atypical of two teams with this much talent. The teams combined for 56 turnovers; the play was exciting, back-and-forth action and it truly felt like either team could win each point. SLO were able to execute at a higher level once the rain stopped and the conditions calmed down.

Brown made their run at the end of the first half, turning a 4-4 game into an 8-5 lead that held through their three point win over Colorado. In conditions built for small ball, Brown thrived. Jacques Nissen and Leo Gordon combined for 13 assists; they lead the division with 32 and 31 respectively for the tournament.

Full recaps for both semifinals are forthcoming.

Oregon’s Run Stalled Out

UNC nearly did not even make it past their quarterfinal matchup with Oregon. Mica Glass, Aaron Kaplan, and Raekwon Adkins matched wits with Darkside’s stars and put themselves in position to advance. Adkins’s universe point huck to Glass looked like a game winner, but it was called back on a contested stall after the observer declined to make a ruling. Ego later turned the disc over and Darkside ended the game on top courtesy of a Rutledge Smith walk-off hammer.

Brown took down Georgia 15-13 in their quarterfinal matchup. The windy, rainy conditions favored Brown’s small-ball approach more than Georgia’s tendency to stretch the field with deep cuts. Cal Nightingale was involved in the majority of Brown’s scores with seven goals and two assists.

Cal Poly SLO handily took down surprise quarterfinalist #16 NC State Alpha by a 15-9 score. Fresh off of an upset win over #4 UMass Zoodisc, Alpha’s top players did not have the energy left to pull off another upset. Calvin Brown led the way with seven assists.

Colorado pulled away at the finish to beat a rested #9 Minnesota Grey Duck in a solid 15-12 game. Tobias Brooks had five assists to lead the game.

Recaps of the quarterfinal games are published in the Ultiworld liveblog.

Alpha Dogs Own the Zoo

NC State notched the upset of the day in round one, coming back from 8-5 and 13-11 deficits to knock off UMass. Alpha scored three straight to win the game 14-13. Wyatt Kellman had an off game, contributing five turnovers, including one on double game point. Suhas Madiraju, Henri Lessard, and Henry Kennedy were stand-out players during Alpha’s comeback.

The other prequarter games were straightforward. Oregon played the closest game, taking down Pittsburgh in a narrow 14-12 win. Colorado and Brown advanced as expected with wins over Texas and Michigan, respectively.

Recaps of the prequarterfinal games are published in the Ultiworld liveblog.

  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).

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