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Favorites Win and a Few Don't in Intriguing CRC

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Favorites Win and a Few Don't in Intriguing CRC

Jack Byszio leads Babson to heights. Alex Goff photo.

Well the big surprise in the CRC 7s is Maryland, which was not expected by ... really anyone ... to do much and the Terps won close games over Brown and Southern Virginia to make the Men's Premier quarterfinals.

Iowa Central torched Iona and edged Belmont Abbey to join them. That was certainly less of a surprise, and they ended Maryland's storybook run 30-8. 

As expected, Wheeling unleashed their pace and power to win comfortably over Fordham and defending champs Mount St. Mary's. In the quarters, led by Aaron Juma once more, the Cardinals beat Indiana to make the final four.

Babson, a small college team, looked as good as expected in running through Harvard, Siena, and, in the quarters, beat Mary Washington to make the semifinal. Led by the elusiveness of Jack Byszio and big guys who can run, the Beavers are not to be taken lightly. Kutztown joins them. The 2022 CRC winners showcased an impressive defense in holding Michigan and Southern Nazarene to just the one try. Dartmouth scored two, but the Bears were still in control.

So the semis are:

Kutztown vs Iowa Central
Wheeling vs Babson

In Men's D1 Club, it's NC State vs Florida and Louisville vs Tennessee. 

That's not a shocker, really. Florida is having an excellent season in 15s and 7s and really their #7 seed was a bit of a head-scratcher. NC State's win over San Diego was a big result, but with USD having just wrapped up their regional playoffs with two 15s games in two days less than a week ago, in a way it seemed inevitable. The path for Louisville was paved smoothly and they had no trouble getting to the semis, while UNC put up a good fight before the Tennessee Vols edged them. 


In Men D2 we at GRR World Headquarters were shocked to see Memphis lose in the first round. Shows you what we know. We thought the Tigers would roll to the final. Instead a tenacious Scranton side is eyeing a clash with the smooth Maine side who has been enjoying an excellent 2023-24. 

Georgetown over Norwich in the quarters looked to be a tight one, but the Hoyas won well. IUP is there, too, and we expected that. They were pushed very hard though by both Coastal Carolina (20-14) and Montana State (22-17). Getting conversions over is an issue for the Crimson hawks.

We were 3-for-4 in our predictions in Small College, with Christendom, St. Thomas, and Endicott all making the semis. We figured Loyola might be the fourth, but it was Slippery Rock, holding Richmond and then Providence to just one try apiece.