Tuesday, February 6, 2018

LVI Brackets Taking Shape

The LVI is now less than a month away. For close to the last decade it has been the premier event for clubs of all levels. The Men's Elite (now know as the America's Cup), the LVI qualifier, the Boys and Girls Elite divisions, and Women's Elite have long offered some of the best competition in America. It's the one place where teams from all over the country can get together and get high-level competition. This year promises to deliver much of the same with stacked divisions once again.

America's Cup

Like in year's past this is the premier division in the LVI. It has been a draw for many developing teams or development sides from core Series nations. So far a U.S. Selects side playing under the banner of Samurai, France development, and Japan SDS will represent national team sides. In addition top domestic select and club sides Denver, Chicago Lions, Northeast Academy, Florida, Tiger Rugby, and the Stars will all play. Denver has traditionally been a major threat and should be once again. Lastly, international select side Froggies Midol will be a side to contend for the title. 

Teams: Denver Select 7s, Chicago Lions, France Development, Samurai US Selects, Northeast Academy, Japan SDS, Misfits, Froggies Midol, Florida RDA, Tiger Rugby, Tiger 1823, Stars

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CRC Qualifier

With more teams being invited to the CRC the LVI qualifier doesn't have the same depth of competition as the early years but it is easily one of the best college 7s tournaments in the country. Early favorites include Utah, Lindenwood-Belleville, and Kutztown. At the same time it would be foolish to sleep on a team like Utah Valley. They will be playing fairly close to home and have a lot of emerging talent. 

Teams: Colorado, Tulane, Pittsburgh State, Fordham, UW-Milwaukee, Montana State, Colorado State, Air Force, Utah, UNLV, Southern Utah, St. Joe's, Western Michigan, Idaho State, Buffalo, Northeastern, Miami of Ohio, Lindenwood-Belleville, Utah State, Kutztown, New Mexico, Utah Valley, Michigan State, Colorado St.-Pueblo

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Women's Elite

Noticeably absent so far (as always things can change) from the Women's Elite are national sides. Top domestic teams like Scion and the Northeast Academy are there but no U.S. team despite Vegas not being a stop on the Series anymore. Also no Canada in either the women's or the men's brackets. This is the year that everything in most division could be farmed out to invitational sides. 

Teams: Scion Elite Green, BC Rugby, Chicago Lions, Team Quebec, Lady Vipers, Northeast Academy, Misfits, Tiger Rugby, Stars, Scion Elite Orange

Men's Aces

Traditionally the Aces division has been the most open with a lot of exciting rugby. Past winners Humless will be one of the favorites along with the likes of BC Rugby and Upright Rugby. 

Teams: Denver Select 7s, Cowrie RFC, US Army, BC Rugby, US Navy, Lomaviti, The Selects, PNRFU Loggers, Upright Rugby Red, Atlantis U-23, Landshark Rugby Academy, RCC, Mystic River, Upright Rugby Blue, US Air Force, Humless, Optimus, Waterloo Warriors

Boy's U-18 Elite

Like in the Women's Elite division there are no national teams but a lot of regional development sides. The EIRA Red and EIRA Blue are the closest thing to it. Other than that you have some very heavy hitters from Atavus, two Utah sides, and BC Rugby. 

Teams: Cobra, Utah Cannibals, Rhino Rugby Academy, BC Rugby, Arizona Bobcats, Utah Lions, Team Wisconsin, Atavus, EIRA Red, EIRA Blue, Upright Rugby, DMV United, South Panthers, Atlantis, Kahuku, Celtic Barbarians

Girl's U-18 Elite

Of any division at the LVI were expect this one to be the most tight. There are no clear favorites and every match should be challenging. 

Teams: Utah Cannibals, BC Rugby, Atavus, Utah Lions, South Panthers, Atlantis, Rocky Mountain Rebels, Rugby Oregon

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