Every Championship there are definitely the teams that come to Ft Lauderdale Florida as strong contenders : USF Bulls being the prime example having made it to the Final four in 8 out of 9 C'ships, including 4 Finals & 2 Championships, 2014 & 2016. There are others, like Ryerson (2017 Champion), UT Dallas (2015 Champion) who have won, and teams that have made the Finals once like Rutgers, Drexel, Auburn.
But every team makes the trip in with unbridled desire, and most have done well in one Championship or another, though the path to the Final has usually seemed as long and difficult as the Oregon Trail. 2017 Champion Ryerson Rams first played in American College Cricket in 2011, and always had talented teams winning the North East Regional many times.
However it took until 2017, with an important change in mental approach that got the team the Shiv Chanderpaul Trophy. Talent is not always enough.They were also fortunate to receive the Trophy from Chanderpaul himself.
For U of South Florida they didn't have trouble getting to the Finals starting with the 1st Championship in 2009, but winning it was the problem until they won in 2014 ! They then won again in 2016.
University of Texas Dallas was the opposite, started in Jan 2015 the club won the South West regional 1 month later, and then the National Championship in March 2015. Drexel in only their 2nd year made it to the Finals in 2015, and last year's Finalist Everest, made it in only their 2nd year as well just failing to conquer the mountain.
Since Rutgers won the first North East regional in 2010 they've been a contender but took a while to make it to Nationals Final in 2016. When Texas A & M came into American College Cricket they went 13 games undefeated and reached Nationals final four in their 1st attempt but since then have not performed at that level, and the team is looking for a resurgence. Northeastern fancy their chances this year, having won the North East in their 4th trip to the regional Finals ! NJIT and West Virginia have made Nationals final four before.
Most of the teams are a mix of Undergrads & grad students with a few favoring Grads but there are many that are mostly or all Undergrads and even featuring 18 & 19 year olds such as Laurier, Boston U, Drexel, UF Gators, George Washington, UMass Lowell, Penn State, South Alabama & Penn. Laurier only lost the Mid West Championship in the last over of the Finals, George Washington also got to the Final of the Mid Atlantic regional and UMass Lowell the North East Final.
Dartmouth, MIT and Laurier are competing In their first National Championship but just like Florida Tech,Toledo, Virginia Tech, Yale, Harvard,Carnegie Mellon, McGill and Iowa State who have been here before, they believe this could be their year.
Boston U and U of South Florida have played every American College Cricket National Championship having been among the 5 pioneering teams of 2009. Carnegie Mellon, one of those 5, is playing but missed a couple of years after 2009.
Matches from the American College Cricket National Championship will be Live Streamed starting March 14, at 9am Eastern time & go all day, every day until March 17. The Semis & Final will be shown on SONY Entertainment Television.