Conference Championships (still commonly called Sectionals) means different things to different teams. For some, their whole season comes down to all their hard work paying off and earning them a Regionals bid. For others, the weekend’s merely a tune up, a series of scrimmages to get them ready for bigger things. For others even still, it is a chance to start the battle against foes who will stand in their way on the road to the College Championships.
Here’s your winners, losers, and thoughts on what it means:
Atlantic Coast Region
Open: North Carolina didn’t struggle against rival UNC-Wilmington 15-9 in the Final, but who knows who was showing what (a common theme from Conference Championships). The top six each finished there and took bids.
Tickets Punched: North Carolina, UNC-Wilmington, Appalachian State, Clemson, South Carolina, NC State
Women’s: Postponed (and they are very sad about that).
Open: Maryland reigns supreme, beating Georgetown in the Final. Johns Hopkins makes a strong move to beat out Towson for the final spot, including a win over Delaware.
Tickets Punched: Maryland, Georgetown, George Washington, John Hopkins, Delaware
Women’s: Maryland goes unchallenged in Conference, as is typical, while Georgetown and George Washington struggle and finish 5th and 6th, almost missing Regionals. American is making trips to Regionals a habit.
Tickets Punched: Maryland, Towson, American, Delaware, Georgetown, George Washington
Open: The top five stay the top five, but Virginia comes in when it counts, beating JMU to take the title. George Mason makes their first Regionals ever.
Tickets Punched: Virginia, James Madison, Virginia Tech, William & Mary, George Mason
Women’s: The favorite, Virginia, dominates. James Madison has triple the losses they had coming into the weekend, but they’ll still go. VCU jumps William & Mary behind an end-of-Saturday win that will get them a bid.
Tickets Punched: Virginia, Virginia Tech, James Madison, VCU
Great Lakes Region
Eastern Great Lakes
Women’s: Powerhouse program Michigan Flywheel still has a shot at Nationals in the one bid Region, but they failed to win their Conference. Notre Dame upsets for the tourney title.
Tickets Punched: Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan-B
Open: Notre Dame gets their revenge from an earlier loss to #1 seed Indiana, 13-12, and are the East Plains champs. Kentucky played well enough Sunday to take the fourth bid.
Tickets Punched: Notre Dame, Indiana, Purdue, Kentucky
Open: Almost everything went as expected, but Southern Illinois was able to play their way past DePaul to take the seventh bid.
Tickets Punched: Illinois, Illinois State, Eastern Illinois, Loyola-Chicago, Chicago, Northwestern, Southern Illinois
Women’s: Northwestern and Illinois made the Final, but Illinois State beat Illinois in the backdoor game to take the 2nd place spot.
Tickets Punched: Northwestern, Illinois State, Illinois, Chicago, Loyola-Chicago, Northwestern-B
Open: Michigan fell to Michigan State by a point on Saturday, but couldn’t repeat the feat on Sunday. Eastern Michigan wins the final bid, 15-11, over Western Michigan.
Tickets Punched: Michigan, Michigan State, Eastern Michigan
Metro New York
Open: NYU rises from the #3 seed to take the Conference, 15-10 over #1 seed Princeton. The top four stayed competitive with one another all weekend. It’ll be interesting to see who brings what to Regionals.
Tickets Punched: NYU, Princeton, Columbia, Rutgers, SUNY-Stonybrook, Hofstra
Eastern Metro East
Women’s: NYU left no doubts while Princeton has to be a little disappointed, falling from #1 seed to the 5th bid. Yale comes from #7 seed to nab second place and Hofstra came from #8 seed to take 4th. #3 seed Rutgers nearly misses out. Can Yale challenge at Regionals?
Tickets Punched: NYU, Yale, Columbia, Hofstra, Princeton, Central Connecticut St., Rutgers
Western New York
Women’s: Weather postponement.
Open: Tufts dominated Harvard in the Final, for whatever that is worth. The final game to go went down to the wire, with UMass-Dartmouth beating MIT 14-13.
Tickets Punched: Tufts, Harvard, Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern, Massachusetts-Dartmouth
Women’s: Everybody qualifies, all to seed, except for Boston College beating out a Harvard team on the rise. Even with two bids to Nationals, I won’t be surprised if Tufts destroys their competition at Regionals.
Tickets Punched: Tufts, Northeastern, MIT, Boston College, Harvard, Boston University
North New England
Open: Vermont goes unchallenged in the win while Salem State wins the game to go.
Tickets Punched: Vermont, New Hampshire, Salem State
South New England
Open: Chalk, so Brown wins.
Tickets Punched: Brown, UMass, Williams, Rhode Island
Open: More or less expected results. My question is could UW-Milwaukee give Wisconsin a run, and they succeeded in an 11-13 loss to the Hodags in the Final. Northern Iowa has been the talk of North Central, but these guys and Luther are eager to try and steal a bid at Regionals.
Tickets Punched: Wisconsin, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Eau Claire, Marquette
Women’s: The top five seeds all take the five bids. Wisconsin beats Eau Claire 10-5 in the Final.
Tickets Punched: Wisconsin, UW-Eau Claire, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Stevens Point, Marquette
Open: Luther pushes up from the #2 seed, putting on a very strong performance on the way to an undefeated Conference Championship. Iowa State upsets Northern Iowa on Saturday, but AmmUNItion gives them a whipping in return on Sunday. Iowa all the way down at the 5th spot, man.
Tickets Punched: Luther, Northern Iowa, Iowa State, Nebraska, Iowa, Nebraska-Omaha
West North Central
Women’s: Everyone we thought would take bids did and the top four in the toughest Conference in the country, Open or Women’s, went to seed, but in very close games. No surprise there. Regionals could look very familiar.
Tickets Punched: Iowa State, Iowa, Carleton, Minnesota, Northern Iowa, Nebrasks
Open: As expected, Whitman took the Conference, and after that, things didn’t go to seed. Montana has a great weekend to take second, while Gonzaga struggles. BYU does their Saturday thing, and everyone continues to wonder what would happen if they could play Sundays.
Tickets Punched: Whitman, Montana, Washington State, Boise State, Montana St.
Open: Ohio remains on top, beating second place Cincinnati twice (by 4 and by 5) on the weekend. Case Western delivers on my hype by taking 4th, beating out Dayton.
Tickets Punched: Ohio, Cincinnati, Ohio State, Case Western, Dayton, Wright State, Kent State
Women’s: Total chalk here. Ohio State gives up seven points total.
Tickets Punched: Ohio State, Case Western, Ohio, Toledo, Miami (OH)
Women’s: Maybe it was because everyone had a bid, but some pretty surprising results here. Pittsburgh loss to CMU 5-11 in pool play and then to Penn 11-12 in bracket play. Penn State struggled to a 4th place finish. We will see who is for real at Regionals.
Tickets Punched: Penn, Carnegie-Melon, Pittsburgh, Penn State, Edinoboro, West Virginia, West Cheater, Shippensburg
Open: The weekend wins up chalk here too, with Pittsburgh going through their weekend without trouble. PSU beats CMU on Saturday, but not on Sunday. Shippensburg beats West Virginia in the game to go.
Tickets Punched: Pittsburgh, Penn State, Carnegie-Melon, Shippensburg
Open: 5th seed TCU gave it a real run, finishing third in pool play and making the game to go, but couldn’t overcome Baylor, falling 6-13. North Texas and Baylor go out on top.
Tickets Punched: North Texas, Baylor
Open: Missouri makes the Final but loses that and the backdoor to Kansas. Oklahoma – a team I think is a little slept on – wins the Conference. Many qualify.
Tickets Punched: Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Wash U, Kansas St., St. Louis, Central Arkansas
Women’s: A bit of a surprise to see #2 seed Kansas struggle Saturday, but they wind up second. Missouri State has only lost to Illinois this season, and they went undefeated to continue that. Wash U takes third. I really thought Truman State would take the last bid, but they couldn’t beat out St. Louis in a backdoor game. Tsunami has young talent and will be back next season, I think.
Tickets Punched: Missouri State, Kansas, Wash U, St. Louis
Women’s: Texas A&M Stacked upsets power program Texas in the Final. Texas has played much better since starting the season poorly, and this may be nothing but a blip, but it could be cause for concern.
Tickets Punched: Texas A&M, Texas, TCU, Rice, North Texas
Open: Texas takes down A&M 15-12 in the Final. All chalk.
Tickets Punched: Texas, Texas A&M, Texas State, Texas-B
Open: Another chalk weekend, though it is worth noting that Colorado College Wasabi’s 12-15 loss to Colorado in the 1/2 game is a good sign for them.
Tickets Punched: Colorado, Colorado College, Colorado State
Open: Tastes real chalky! Bama dominates the weekend, their only remotely close game an 13-11 win over Vandy. Even the backdoor game to go wasn’t close. Earlier in the season, Alabama looked like a team that could maybe challenge for a bid to the show. They may still have that chance with three bids, but they will need to be on their A game for the whole weekend.
Tickets Punched: Alabama, LSU, Tulane, Auburn, Southern Miss, Mississippi St.
Women’s: See our full Southeast Conferences Recap
Open: Central Florida asserts themselves over a very tough Conference, dominating their way to the title. Florida State and Florida do as expected, 2nd and 3rd. Someone asked me this weekend how I thought this Region would shake out, and I revealed that I’m not a believer in FSU’s ability to win big games. Their showing this weekend points to me being an idiot – I’m not saying it is certain, but it definitely doesn’t look good for me.
Tickets Punched: Central Florida, Florida State, Florida, South Florida
Women’s: See our full Southeast Conferences Recap
Open: Georgia beats a Jay Clark-less Tech in the Final, 15-12, to win the Conference. Both teams seemed to be in cruise control all weekend, resting up for the challenges of Regioals, where they are in bid contention but have a tough road to hoe. Tennessee and Kennesaw both look Regionally competitive. Georgia Southern had a fight on their hands with Emory in the game to go, but pulled away late to win 14-10.
Tickets Punched: Georgia, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Kennesaw State, Georgia Southern
Women’s: See our full Southeast Conferences Recap
Open: Arizona State upsets Arizona, Northern Arizona misses out.
Tickets Punched: Arizona State, Arizona
Open: Stanford went undefeated, but did not make it easy. Sunday, they beat UC-Davis by a point in Semis and LPC by a pair in the Final.
Tickets Punched: Stanford, Las Positas, UC-Davis, California, UC-Santa Cruz, Chico State
Women’s: Stanford took care of business from beginning to end, while Cal and Sonoma State battled it out. UC-Davis’s big win over Santa Cruz was the de facto game to go.
Tickets Punched: Stanford, Sonoma State, California, Humboldt, UC-Davis
Women’s: Cal-Poly SLO’s losses to Claremont in pool play and Southern California in the game to go. UC-Santa Barbara almost falls to San Diego State in the Semis, but scrapes by on double game.
Tickets Punched: UC-Santa Barbara, UC-San Diego, UCLA, San Diego State, Clairmont, Southern California
More in store this coming weekend. Regionals is around the corner, where all the drama really builds.