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Three Conference Champions Come to Stop Salisbury

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Three Conference Champions Come to Stop Salisbury

Salisbury has had to battle plenty to get to Greenville. So now they just do it some more. Colleen McCloskey photo.

Greenville, NC welcomes a weird men’s DII bracket because in many eye it’s three conference champions and the favorite - but we’ll see.

RPI takes on UNC-Wilmington in a clash of #24 v #10. The rankings should hold up here. While RPI has had a supremely impressive season, there’s a question whether they can travel so far and really fire. UNCW has dealt with a slightly stronger conference, and an intense playoff buildup should see them through. We profiled Tom McCrimmon from the Seahawks, and he’s the type of player who can change the profile of the game - pace and fitness and brains like the opposition, with a little extra power and intensity.

But what RPI has is the ability to explode out of nowhere, with fullback Frank Emory and some speedy wings the wild card here.

In the other Round of 16 game, Salisbury (ranked #6) takes on VMI (ranked #3), and it’s going to be close. Salisbury has been there before. They love to kick it, chase that ball down, and punish teams with their defense. So VMI will have to find a way to get out of their own end, and that may well fall to power-running No. 8 Mike Young. Young has been a scoring threat, but this weekend maybe his job is to get them to halfway.

It’s going to be a wonderful battle in the pack, and that could well be where the games are won.

In the end, who breaks through to the semis will be the question. This could be anyone’s prize to take, and while there are three proud conference champions competing, once again, don’t count out Salisbury just because they finished 2nd.