Several qualifier tournaments were held this past weekend to fill more of the 44 spaces available in the four separate USA Rugby College 7s Championship brackets.
The national tournament takes place May 18-20 at Infinity Park in Glendale, CO.
Here’s where we stand:
Nevada, Arkansas, Western Washington, Arizona, Florida International, and Kutztown have qualified.
Mount St. Mary’s and South Carolina won qualifiers but will go to the CRC only (Kutztown will go to both).
Qualifiers Coming Op On April 28
Mid-Atlantic (Favorite, St. Joe’s)
Heart Of America (No real favorite, but Missouri, Kansas, and Kansas State might challenge)
Big Ten (Wisconsin and Ohio State are probably among the favorites)
Liberty (Fordham, UConn, Northeastern, and Binghamton are contenders)
There’s a possibility that the Big Ten champion might opt for the CRC only. The same goes for St. Joe’s in the MARC.
Also Of Note
Louisville won the Mid American Conference 7s, but that conference didn’t get the qualifier designation this year.
The Cardinals beat Western Michigan 33-19, Bowling Green Bs 17-10 and Miami (Ohio) 26-5 in pool play.
Bowling Green was favored to make the final, but the Falcons were victims of upsets by Cincinnati and also Dayton in pool play. Dayton beat Miami to make the final, and Louisville beat Cincinnati 22-17.
In the final, it was all Cardinals, 26-7 over Dayton.
It was an impressive showing by Louisville, and one wonders if the Cardinals could have an inside track to an at-large bid in Glendale.
Having already applied for an at-large bid are Notre Dame College, Utah, Indiana, Cal, UC Davis, San Diego State, Cal Poly, Grand Canyon, Lindenwood, Texas A&M, and AIC.
That’s at least 11 teams that have applied for a 16-team tournament, with five teams confirmed and between 2-4 left to join. So likely 12 teams (those 11 plus Louisville) could be competing (virtually) for 7-9 at-large spots.
Look for Notre Dame College, Cal, and Lindenwood to get in without much trouble. If Louisville applies, the Cardinals have a very good chance.
Principia, North Carolina State, and Bloomsburg qualified before this past weekend.
On April 22, Norwich went 6-0 in the Rugby Northeast 7s to book a place in nationals.
And in the Southern Conference, UNC-Charlotte beat Furman 29-10 in the final to book a place. Queens University of Charlotte, in its inaugural season, took third.
Furman has a good shot at an at-large, except there is only one at-large team to be accepted.
This weekend, Tri-State, New England Wide, Rocky Mountain, and Deep South play their tournaments.
A week later, it’s Lone Star and Upper Midwest.
We have two teams in the tournament field now that NIRA held its finals in Maine. Bowdoin College hosted and West Point won, beating Harvard, Northeastern, Maine, AIC, and, in the final, Harvard once more.
Harvard may have done enough to warrant an at-large bid. Dartmouth, which finished third, may have, as well.
— Army WP W. Rugby (@ArmyWP_WRugby) April 21, 2018
The only other qualifier is the Rocky Mountain, and that’s this coming Sunday.
Marist won the Tri-State and Stonehill took the Rugby Northeast title. Those two are in as the only automatic qualifiers. There are six more spots to be decided in the coming weeks.
The men’s D1 bracket at the USA Rugby College Sevens Championships will feature 16 teams. Men’s D2 will have 12 teams, and the Women’s D1 and Women’s D2 (or Open) will include eight each.
Last year, there was only one bracket for the women. Lindenwood took both the men’s D1 and women’s brackets, while Wisconsin-Whitewater took the men’s D2.