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Friday, April 22, 2016

DI-A, DI-AA Quarterfinal Preview & Predictions


Both the DI-A and DI-Aa playoffs are down to the quarterfinals. In both divisions there is the potential for some runaway wins but at the same time there will be a couple of matches that will be close.

DI-A

Davenport vs. Life

Heading into the playoffs Life were the favorites to make the final out of the East. That's still the case even though they haven't played a match in the playoffs yet. Davenport, coming off their win over San Diego State in San Diego last week, will head to the other coast and Atlanta this weekend to take on the Running Eagles. That's a lot of traveling to do in the span of a few weeks and good lead to exhaustion. Couple that with the fact that Life have had big results over Davenport this year and it has all the makings of a big Life win. However, if there is a worry for Life it's that they haven't played for awhile.

Take the jump to read more.
Lindenwood vs. Indiana

Lindenwood have been one of the most well known teams in college rugby for a while but they will be missing some key players to the Junior All-Americans. That said they have enough depth to do very well in the competition and all signs are pointing to a win for the Lions. However, don't count Indiana out. The Hoosiers have had a strong season themselves and have flown under the radar. It will be interesting to see how they do against tougher competition. If they can hold firm for the first half who knows what will happen.

Air Force/Cal Poly vs. St. Mary's

With the snow canceling last week's Air Force/Cal Poly match the two teams will play on Saturday to determine who plays St. Mary's on Sunday. Last week we gave the edge to Air Force but this week the table's have been flipped to a certain extent. Now it's Air Force that is going to have to do more travel while Cal Poly will feel more at home. Still, with a week's rest Air Force may be more fresh than they would have last week. Advantage to them.

Whoever the Gaels face on Sunday they will have a big advantage. St. Mary's are heavy favorites to make the final once again and will likely roll over either Cal Poly or Air Force.

Arizona vs. Utah

This should be the closest and arguably the most intense match of the round. Utah already won a Varsity Cup match and then lost to a strong Central Washington team. They have played a lot of rugby this year against some good teams, including Arizona who they beat 39-31 earlier in the season. We think that Utah has gotten better since then while Arizona is missing some players to the Junior All-Americans. Advantage Utah.

So here's who we have in DI-A:

Life over Davenport
Lindenwood over Indiana
St. Mary's over Air Force
Utah over Arizona

DI-AA

James Madison vs. AIC
Notre Dame College vs. Middle Tennessee State

James Madison beat Harvard and AIC beat Delaware to reach the final eight. All indications are that AIC should win this one handily. In fact, you'd have to like AIC's chances against all but Life, St. Mary's, and maybe Lindenwood in DI-A as well. They are our favorites to win the whole tournament.

Notre Dame College are the favorites in this match. MTSU could surprise a few people but Notre Dame College have more depth on paper. If Sunday's semi-final is AIC and Notre Dame College as we expect then we'll take AIC.

UC-Davis vs. Sacramento State
Arkansas vs. Utah State

UC-Davis and Sacramento State will meet for what seems like the millionth time this season. UC-Davis have won those meetings handily and we expect that to happen again. UC-Davis would then play the winner of Arkansas vs. Utah State on Sunday. Arkansas had a bye in the first round while Utah State beat Washington. Our money is on the Aggies here. They weren't perfect against Washington but they played solid rugby and have a lot of players that have played since they were kids. We favor UC-Davis over Utah State.

So here's who we have in DI-AA:

AIC over James Madison
Notre Dame College over Middle Tennessee State
UC-Davis over Sacramento State
Utah State over Arkansas

AIC over Notre Dame College
UC-Davis over Utah State

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