2018 D1A Rugby Playoff Bracket Announced

D1A Rugby: 2018 D1A Rugby Playoff Bracket Announced
Photo Credit: USA Rugby
LAFAYETTE, CO.- With all the dust settling from what can only be described as a whirlwind finish to the season, D1A is now able to confirm the official playoff bracket for the 2017-18 season. 

Going into the final weekend of play there were still a lot of spots up for grabs, and you can see the desperation of the teams in pursuit through the tight results that were produced. 

The biggest spot left open in the playoffs heading into the final weekend of the regular season was the #8 seed which was garunteed to the winner of the Red River Championship game between Baylor and Texas A&M. Baylor, the returning champions, brought a high powered offense into the match, and Texas A&M brought a tough defense. In the end the old adage of “defense wins championships” was proved to be true. Texas A&M walked away victorious and the 8th seed in this year’s playoffs to the tune of 29-7. 

The final spot at the table was also still available as San Diego State and Cal Poly went head to head to determine who would take their seat in the playoffs. Heading into the game San Diego was sitting in the 16th seed for the playoffs, with Cal Poly being two spots out, however, at the end of an eighty minute bout their roles would be reveresed and Cal Poly booked their tickets to the playoffs via a 29-22 victory. 

#15 Central Washington was also in action this weekend, hoping to land an upset over #4 BYU to get them into the playoffs. They did not get the upset, but they did push the fourth best team in the country to the edge, losing 38-22. The selection committee deemed that was good enough to prove that they belonged in the picture. They squeaked in as the #15th seed.

Two of the top three teams in the country went head to head in an all bay area clash as #1 Saint Mary’s hosted third ranked Cal. In a game that saw both teams enjoy the lead, it was ultimately Saint Mary’s who pulled away in the final quarter of the game to go up 21-12. While Cal may be disappointed with this result they have the potential to exact revenge over the Gaels in the Championship match, as the two teams are lined up on the opposite side of the bracket. 

Here are the full set of fixtures for the first round of playoffs: 
#1 Saint Mary’s vs. #16 Cal Poly– 5pm EST 4/14
#2 Life vs. #15 Central Washington– 2pm EST 4/14
#3 Cal vs. #14 Grand Canyon– 5pm EST 4/14
#4 BYU vs. #13 Arkansas State– 9pm EST 4/14
#5 Penn State vs. #12 Arizona– 1pm EST 4/14
#6 Indiana vs. #11 Navy– 11am EST 4/14
#7 Colorado State vs. #10 Army– 10pm EST 4/13
#8 Texas A&M vs. #9 Lindenwood– 3pm EST 4/14 

As a note, while Notre Dame College did qualify for the playoffs, but they had to withdraw. This is why they do not appear in the bracket.