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Lindenwood Still On Top as D1 Elite Enters Key Month

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Lindenwood Still On Top as D1 Elite Enters Key Month

Freda Tafuna causing problems for BYU. Todd Lunow photo.

BYU beat Grand Canyon last week and the week before Lindenwood beat BYU in this year's first forays in D1 Elite.

With 13 games finished up the league had just five more matchups left, and they are important ones. The key player here will be Central Washington, which has three games, against Life, Lindenwood, and BYU, and how those games go will settle how the seeds fall out for the semifinals.

Probably, the winner of Central vs BYU on March 16 will take the #3 seed and that will set up a semifinal at, mostly likely, Life. The #4 team will take on Lindenwood.

For their part, Lindenwood leads the pack by a significant margin. The Lions are 5-0 with three wins by more than 50 points. The closest two matches were against CWU and Life.

Led by the teeth-rattling tackles of Freda Tafuna, the smart ball distribution and space exploitation of Amy Brice, and the skills of Demi Allen Taina Tukuafu, Lindenwood has been pretty dominant, but they do remember being tested by the Wildcats 25-12 in Ellensburg.

"They caught us off-guard a bit," said Lindenwood Head Coach Trevor Locke. "They were definitely up for it and that's what you want. All of the teams are a little bit different. They test us in different ways. BYU came right at us and were very aggressive. That was a good challenge for us."

Still, Lindenwood is on top and probably favored to win it all. But, yes, they have to actually get the job done, and to do that they have to avoid looking past anyone.

Likely what we'll see, then, is a March 30 semifinal final group of Lindenwood, Life, Central Washington, and BYU. While Penn State and Grand Canyon have not found wins, they have not been poor—they just have some more mountain to climb. 

Central Washington has three games left but they will be on the road against Life and Lindenwood, and that's not easy. March 16, as we said, should decide the 3rd-4th seed between BYU and CWU, and probably the 1st-2nd seed between Lindenwood and Life. March 30 we'll see the semifinals and then teams will have a month to get ready for the final in Houston May 4.

2/25 Penn State at Life University
3/2 Central Washington at Life University
3/9 Central Washington at Lindenwood
3/16 Lindenwood at Life University
3/16 BYU at Central Washington
3/23 Life University at BYU
3/30 D1 Elite Semis at D1 Elite Semis
5/4 D1 Elite Finals at Houston

Unofficial D1E Standings

D1 Elite W L T PF PA PD BT BL Pts
Lindenwood 5 0 0 248 23 225 5 0 25
Life 4 1 0 227 45 182 4 0 20
Central Washington 2 2 0 118 88 30 2 0 10
BYU 2 4 0 130 194 -64 2 0 10
Penn State 0 2 0 16 143 -127 0 0 0
Grand Canyon 0 4 0 13 289 -276 0 0 0