Friday, April 29, 2016

DI-A Semi-finals Preview & Predictions

The DI-A playoff field will be narrowed down to two this weekend after two big semi-finals between St. Mary's and Utah and Life and Lindenwood. Life and St. Mary's are the favorites but as we've seen in the playoffs this year, especially with Central Washington nearly beating Cal, there has been the opportunity for upsets.

Life vs. Lindenwood (Marietta; 1:00 p.m. et; live here)

Life will be looking to advance to their fourth straight DI-A final but they are going to have to go through rivals Lindenwood to do it. Life have been on a roll recently beating opponents by strong margins. Their latest win was an impressive defeat over Davenport. Outside of BYU the Running Eagles may be the hottest team in the country led by the likes of Cody Melphy, Blane McIlroy, and Zach Warren. They have a lot of depth on their squad as well as experience. Plus, they are incredibly hard to beat at home.
If there is anything that gives Lindenwood hope it's that they have also beaten opponents by strong margins, even if their win over Indiana wasn't as large as Life's over Davenport. Additionally, they only narrowly lost to Life back in March when they played to a 23-21 result in Missouri. However, back in February Life beat Lindenwood 45-15.

The smart money would be on Life. They now have several matches under their belts and are only missing Duncan Val Schalkwyk to the Junior All-Americans. Lindenwood are missing more players and their coach to international duty. Still, anything can happen and when two teams face each other as much as these two do it can cause an upset.

St. Mary's vs. Utah (Moraga; 1:00 p.m. pt; live here)

While Utah could cause an upset this match is much more straightforward as St. Mary's should win by a big margin. The teams did play to a close 57-50 match back in March but in fairness to St. Mary's they had arrived in Salt Lake City late and as a result played the game late. They also had an eye on BYU on Saturday. The two were set to play earlier but a snow storm prevented Utah from making the trip.

St. Mary's are simply too strong and too deep for the Utes. They have a lot of great players, including Dylan Audsley, who have championship experience and want to get back to the DI-A final. We suspect a big St. Mary's win.

1 comment:

  1. Your St Marys vs Utah streaming link directs to SF vs Ohio on AOL