With BYU and Lindenwood already advancing from the first round of the DI-A playoffs that leaves only two matches on tap this weekend to finish out the quarter-finalists. Utah will make the trip to San Diego State and Arizona will travel to Air Force.
The Utah vs. San Diego State match has a lot of intrigue. Both teams have put together very challenging schedules this year and it has paid dividends. San Diego State is our College Top Ten Power Rankings and we think that they can be a darkhorse in the playoffs. They just came off a big win over Cal Poly and their tour of Georgia (the country) really seems to have them together as a team. They are going to be tough to beat but so will Utah. Unfortunately for the Utes they have had several weeks off due to cancellations. Whether they'll be rusty is a big question. The Utes can pull off the upset but San Diego State will be favored.
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The Arizona-Air Force match is similarly interesting. Arizona has had several weeks off after their loss to Utah. The Wildcats have had some successes this year but have also had some results they would like back. The same could be said for Air Force. Both have tested themselves against tough opponents, including each other. Arizona beat Air Force 30-28 in Las Vegas on a late score. If that is any indicator of how this weekend will go it could be the closest match of the first round. You can expect Air Force to be fit and with the weather improving on the Front Range they will have had more of an opportunity to get out on to a pitch.
The winner of the Utah-San Diego State match will move on to play St. Mary's in Moraga. That is going to be a tough test for either team. The winner of the Arizona-Air Force match will play Baylor in the quarterfinals. Any of those teams have a good opportunity to make it to the semi-finals.