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The Men's D2 College Round of 16 is Out

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The Men's D2 College Round of 16 is Out

Memphis punched their ticket with a not unexpected win over Tennessee Tech. Will Fagan photo.

The NCR D2 Men's Round of 16 bracket is set after this past weekend's play-ins.

Get the news on the play-in results here>>

In addition to those play-ins, Memphis won the SCRC, although it was basically a foregone conclusion because the Tigers had been comfortably ahead of everyone in their conference. Memphis beat Tennessee Tech 90-12 in the SCRC final.

So here's the Round of 16 matchups:

Georgetown (MARC Champion) vs Grand Valley State (Great Lakes Champion, Play-in Winner)
UW-Whitewater (Great Midwest Runner-up) vs Memphis (SCRC Champion)

Northern Iowa (Great Midwest Champion) vs St. Louis University (Gateway Top D2 Finisher)
Montana State (High Peaks Champion) vs Loyola Chicago (Great Midwest #3, Play-in Winner)

Maine (NEWCRC Champion) vs Villanova (MARC #2, Play-in Winner)
Vermont (NEWCRC #3, Play-in Winner) vs Marist (Liberty Champion)

IUP (Allegheny Champion) vs Scranton (MARC #3, Play-in Winner)
Norwich (NEWCRC #2) vs UNC-Wilmington (Southern Champion)

While it's a worthwhile discussion to explore whether a team that finished 3rd in a conference should be in the national playoffs at all, it's worth noting that three #3 teams won play-ins and as a result the Great Midwest, MARC, and NEWCRC all have three teams in the Round of 16.

Only one team in the Round of 16 has ever won a D2 15s National Championship, and that would be UW-Whitewater, which won USA Rugby's championship in 2011, 2016, and 2017. Since 2017 the champions have been school-supported teams or large schools: NC State, Queens, Thomas More, and Principia. All of those teams have moved up a division.

Only six teams in the Round of 16 have made the national top four: Whitewater (who, aside from the three wins finished 3rd in 2013 and runner-up in 2014, 2015, 2018, and 2019), IUP (runner-up in 2022 and 3rd in 2013), Loyola (4th in 2022), Northern Iowa (4th in 2021 and 2nd in 2002), Norwich (3rd in 2019 and 2021), and Georgetown (3rd in 2005 and 2009.

Fun fact. Of the 102 semifinalists and finalists we have in our historical list of the D2 championship here>>, only 36 are taken up by teams still in D2. About 25 are taken up by teams now in small college, and about 40 are taken up by teams now in DIAA, NCR D1, or D1A.

Of the 36 longtime D2 teams that have appeared in the final four, Whitewater (8), Minnesota-Duluth (5), and the US Coast Guard Academy (5), have appeared the most.