2008 College Series - Regionals

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Well, here we are at the show-before-the-show.

The 16 Open teams voted to use a complete bracket format, rather than the more normally used pool play then bracket format, in order to figure out which 2 teams get to go to Boulder in late-May. Double-elimination (you're still in the running until you lose two games), and no chance that you're on the losing end of a 3-way tie, which is one of the contributing factors that knocked Furious down to the consolation bracket last fall in Florida. i can see the value.

With being awarded top seed in the region following a strong season, our guys were sitting at the top of the bracket, with most of the stronger regional rivals battlilng it out in the lower half of the bracket. Of particular note, 3rd seed Stanford (last year's Regional winner), 6th seed Oregon (often last-minute strong), and 2nd seed Santa Cruz (newly strong after a difficult season) are all in the lower half of the bracket.

All of the first 3 rounds (pre-quarters, quarters and semis) all went to seed, except for the 4 and 5 seeds swapping spots... certainly no upsets. Through the day, Oregon were knocked down to the back-door bracket in a close 13-12 capped game, and then Santa Cruz returned the favour by humbling Stanford by keeping them to single digits and closing out the semi at 13-9.

In the back-door bracket, Whitman started battling through in the early levels (being put there by our guys in a quarter-final loss) and have made it all the way through to the semi, which they're now playing against Stanford. And mirroring Whitman, Oregon have also battled through and are meeting California in the back-door semi. My bet is on Stanford and Oregon both making it through the back-door semi-finals and then re-playing their earlier quarter-final game in the back-door pre-final, which will give one of them the right to play the front-door final loser for the 2nd and final spot out of the Region to 'Nationals' at the end of May.

And at the same time that the Stanford / Oregon (?) game is happening, our guys will be trying to both start and end their day by taking down Santa Cruz in the Final, with the winner taking the top spot out of the Region and making the loser play the back-door final for the second spot.

And hence comes the arguable strategy... does Santa Cruz go balls-out to try to take the top spot from UBC, and risk completely tiring out their top players and becoming a no-show in the back-door final?... Or do they let UBC take it quickly, giving them lots of rest and having a much higher chance of taking command in the back-door final against a team that will most definitely have already battled hard in their pre-final? Either way... personally, I don't think Santa Cruz will make it out of the region regardless of the strategy they choose... there are too many other teams with "big game" experience to show them the real value that this experience brings.

Women below...

Our ladies went in to the tournament with a strong 2nd seed, with Washington ahead of them, and Oregon and Stanford behind. I'd originally thought they wouldn't give 1 and 2 seeds to the same section and that Oregon would be given 2nd seed, but I should've known better ... Oregon clearly hadn't earned it. With the more familiar pool play format, all four started the day at the top of their respective pools.

Our Vancouver lovelies must've skipped breakfast before the games, opting instead for donuts on the field... first game 15-0. Still not full after the first game, donuts for the second game as well... 15-0. Of course, these games were against lower seeds, and when challenged with a higher seeded team, took the last pool play game of the day with a score of 13-4. Adding insult to injury, the first two games were supposed to have been played to 13, rather than 15... there's nothing quite like giving your opponents two additional chances to score and them still not being able to do it.

The top 12 teams then played crossover games (1v1's and 2v3's) to help make sure bracket placements are accurate. In our B1vD1 crossover with Stanford (who won Nationals last year), our ladies were convincingly showing Stanford that this isn't their year... Stanford argued a bit with a late-game 4-point run, but we closed the door and took the game 12-9.

In fact, after pool and crossover games, all teams went to seed, with the minor exception of 12 and 13 switching spots, and 11 and 14 doing the same.

So in quarters this morning, we start off again by warming up in a quarter-final game against Humboldt, who Washington took down in yesterday's pool game 13-4. We should then meet Oregon in the semi at 11:30, who lost their 1v1 crossover with Washington with a close(?) score of 8-6 (short game or long and contested battle... I'm not sure which).

Whichever two teams make it out of the Washington / Stanford and UBC / Oregon semi-finals automatically get to go to Boulder for 'Nationals' at the end of May. The other two are knocked down to the 3rd place back-door bracket, where they should ultimately (pun intended) meet for the 3rd spot.

News at 11...

... it must be 11 somewhere... Hawaii?

Of course, we're still waiting for the guys' front door final to begin... presumably they're warming up for the game start as I pen this. UBC vs Santa Cruz, 1:15 game start...

The open back-door pre-final (/semi / game-to-the-game-to-go) is about to start as well. Oregon did NOT make it through as California took them out 14-12, so it's Stanford vs California.

And on the ladies side, the front door final is also about to start. I don't have totally current info, but at half-time of the semis, it was Washington over California 8-1 and UBC over Oregon 8-1, so we can be very sure it's Washington and UBC in the final. And regardless of the result, they're both going to Nationals! And yes, I said Washington over California... California took down Stanford 13-8 in the quarter-final.

Incoming... UBC took the Semi over Oregon 15-2... final point: Tory to Mo for the spot to Nationals!!! ["Go ICEMAN!!!"]

Well, the ladies have done it, and very convincingly too. 15-5 UBC over Washington. They're both off to the show, and my guess is that with the Pre-series ICultimate prize and taking the #1 seed out of the NW, our ladies will be awarded the #1 seed going into Nationals in Boulder.

Unfortunately, Santa Cruz took down UBC in the final... not sure the final score yet... last I heard was 13-10 against.

Back door final against either Stanford or California. Probably Stanford - the last score update I know is Stanford leading 11-6.

C'mon guys... the girls need chapperones.

Well, it looks like the ladies are heading out stag...

The guys fought a long game (over 2 hours) and trailed by one the whole game, with Stanford taking the second NW spot to Nationals with a 15-13 score.

This makes the third year in-a-row that we've been denied a spot at Nationals... Santa Cruz and Stanford better do whatever they can to bring a third spot to the region, or they won't be going next year... cuz we're taking the '09 top seed out of the region.

mO By mO

Hey guys - thanks for the updates and the support! Ladies will be going to Nationals in May --
get excited!!!