After this weekend, six of the remaining 11 seeds to the DII Men's college Sweet 16 will be handed out, as three territories are set to crown their champions. The South, West and Mid-Atlantic have their semifinals and finals on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, and 10 of RUGBYMag.com's Top 25 are in action.
In the West, SLU and Arkansas meet in one semifinal that's a rematch of a 2010 challenge match that led to SLU's bid to the West semis and eventually the National Sweet 16. This time, SLU bypassed the challenge match and enters the semifinal round as the top seed.
In the other semifinal, Rice and Colorado College bring new blood to the West, both trying to show they aren't there just because the restructure paved the way.
WEST (Norman, Okla.)
#4 Saint Louis University vs. #6 Arkansas
#11 Rice vs. #20 Colorado College
In the Mid-Atlantic, all the semifinalists are in our top 12, but only two will advance beyond the weekend. Salisbury has been a stalwart in the DII Sweet 16 the last decade, while Mary Washington and Towson haven't reached Nationals since at least 2001. In that time, St. Joe's has only been once, so at least one team will reach or return to relatively uncharted waters with a win Saturday.
MARFU (Longwood University)
#5 St. Joe's vs. #10 Towson
#3 Salisbury vs. #12 Mary Washington
In the South, ECU reaches the semis by the skin of their teeth, having lost to Appalachian State 24-17 in their final league tilt. ECU, UNC-Wilmington and Appalachian State ended the season in a three-way tie broken by point differential. Had App. State beaten ECU by just one more point, they'd be dancing instead of the Pirates.
As it is, ECU draws Vanderbilt, champs of the Southeast, who reach the semis by downing Auburn in the Southeast final, a team they'd lost to just a couple weeks prior. The other semifinal features South Florida, who reamed the Florida competition, and Middle Tennessee State, a relative unknown.
SOUTH (Mobile, Alabama)
#16 ECU vs. Vanderbilt
#7 USF vs. Middle Tennessee State
To see where each seed enters the National tournament, go here