This past weekend was the best in the history of MCLA Division I during the regular season. Not only did it feature three Top 9 matchups, but every single one of them went to overtime. Having a bunch of quality games on the same weekend is nothing new in the association — there are high-end contests pretty much every weekend — but having them all require extra time puts this weekend over the top.
It started on Friday night with No. 9 Chapman’s win over No. 2 Arizona State, and was followed on Saturday when a couple of higher-ranked teams need to rally in regulation before winning in overtime. No. 5 Colorado trailed No. 8 Oregon in the fourth before winning, 7-6, while No. 1 Colorado State was down by as many as four goals to No. 7 UC Santa Barbara before staging a miraculous comeback for the 11-10 triumph in extra time.
Did the MCLA just catch lightning in a bottle this weekend, or is this a preview of what we can expect in Greenville? Maybe a little of both, if that makes sense. Colorado State will be the clear favorite all season, even though Rams coach Alex Smith admits that he doesn’t view his team in the same way as we viewed Michigan during the Wolverines’ reign. It just means that there are more teams in the elite category than in the past. Whether that produces a new national champion is one thing, but the tournament field will be stacked with at least 10 outfits who could beat anyone on any given Saturday.