D-I College Championships 2024: National Final Preview (Men’s Div.)

After drastically different semifinals, Brown and Cal Poly SLO are set to clash in the 2024 college championships, one team seeking their fourth title, and the other, their first ever

Brown’s Leo Gordon catches the swing during pool play at the 2024 D-I College Championships. Photo: Sam Hotaling – UltiPhotos.com

Ultiworld’s coverage of the 2024 college ultimate season is presented by Spin Ultimate; all opinions are those of the author(s). Find out how Spin can get you, and your team, looking your best this season.

After one of the most topsy-turvy, exciting, action-packed College Championships the men’s division has ever seen, one game remains to crown a champion. And for the first time in four years, it won’t be UNC Darkside. That’s because for the first time in six years they won’t even participate in the final.

Three-time champions (2000, 2005, 2019) #7 Brown Brownian Motion will try to add a fourth piece of hardware to the cabinet against #6 Cal Poly SLO SLOCORE, making the program’s first ever appearance in a national final. The final will be held at Breese Stevens Field in downtown Madison, Wisconsin and will be broadcast on ESPN U at 3:00 PM CT.

For a moment, the final two rounds of men’s division play seemed poised for a repeat of 2019. Then, as now, Brown confidently took down Colorado to reach the final, where they defeated UNC for a championship.

The result of 2024’s other semifinal bucked the old script: this time around, Cal Poly came back to win the high-octane matchup against UNC on universe point. SLOCORE’s monumental win set off an eruption of euphoria as fans stormed the field from the sidelines and the hill adjacent to the showcase field.

Both teams will showcase plenty of star power. B-Mo feature one of the most feared duos in the game in two-time Offensive Player of the Year Jacques Nissen and 2023 1st Team All-American Leo Gordon, currently the tournament leader and runner-up in assists with 32 and 31. Cal Poly’s own superstar handler Calvin Brown, the 2019 Rookie of the Year and a 2023 2nd Team All-American,  is right behind them on the leaderboard with 29. All three of them have represented the United States in international U24 competition

Elliott Rosenberg (15A) and Cal Nightingale (23G, the current tournament lead) have also been driving forces for B-Mo at Nationals. SLOCORE’s considerable supporting cast around Brown includes Seamus Robinson, Kyle Lew, and Anton Orme, to name a few.

Finally, the game should offer an intriguing contrast of offensive styles. Cal Poly can execute one of the division’s most polished dominator sets. With their extensive stable of runners and a few of the country’s most aggressive throwers, though, they’re likely to shoot long as often as possible. Brown, on the other hand, have become a case study in patience over the course of the tournament. They largely ditched many of their pull plays in favor of a formidable, stingy three-player weave that will score as often in 30 passes as in 10 and, critically, proved reliable in rotten weather.

SLOCORE’s style and stars won out at the teams’ only meeting this season, in March at Easterns. Tune in on Memorial Day to see which of them will etch their name in the annals of college ultimate history.

  1. Edward Stephens
    Edward Stephens

    Edward Stephens has an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. He writes and plays ultimate in Athens, Georgia.

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