2013 Chicago Co-Ed – Playoff Preview

Updated: August 1, 2013

The Regular Season is all but a distant memory.. It’s Time!  The Playoffs are upon us!  Before we go any farther  here’s a Link for the Chicago Co-Ed All @AllSportsSeries Team and MVP Ballot.  The Wrap-Up is changing up formats this week — no more Power Rankings — instead we will dive into the Playoff matchups that are coming this Monday Night!  Quick and important note to remember — the Playoffs are Single Elimination — if you win you move on and if you lose you move out.  Also, all 10 Teams have qualified for the Playoffs and by the end of Monday Night just the final 2 will remain!  We will start off with Opening Round Volleyball Matches.  We will get from 10 Teams to 8 Teams in the First Round and then from 8 Teams to Four Teams in the Elite8 Round.  Finally, we will have Final 4 Hoops at the end of the Night which will leave us with our 2 Championship combatants.  Still with me?  No?  I can wait while you re-read some stuff.   Ok.. Now you are with me..

Here are the Final Standings:

PointsPoints Behind Leader
1. Team Lewis (Rory and Co. Gluten Free) 1070
2. Team Kirshner (Sofia Live Lovely)989
3. Team Pivar (Janice Goldblatt)9017
4. Team Lazarov (Dr. Jacob D.D.S.)8225
5. Team Apuli (Manny's Deli)7631
6. Team Mazurek (Benjamin and Shapiro Law) 7532
7. Team Bartlett (Sparkt) 5651
8. Team Bemoras (Cy Fredrics)4562
9. Team Leibow (RazorReef.com)3374
10. Team Graham (Loree's Closet)0107

Playoff Preview

We are going to go team by team and game by game highlighting the Opening Round Volleyball games and make tiny predictions as to who will be left standing by night’s end. Let’s get started!

Elite8 1. Team Lewis (Rory and Co. Gluten Free Goods) – Plays Winner of 8. v. 9. in Elite8 Volleyball

Team Lewis clinched the #1 Overall Seed by defeating 2012 Champs Team Bartlett by a staggering 12-2 margin!   Team Lewis has certainly found their groove heading into the Playoffs.  Historically, the #1 Seed has been kind to the Co-Ed League, as the only Champion the Co-Ed League has had was Seeded #1 last Summer.   Team Lewis will get the benefit of a Bye in the Opening Round and if they choose they can come and scout the Opening Round Match between #8. Team Bemoras and #9. Team Leibow.  Something to keep in mind, we have not had Volleyball since way back in Week 1 for the Co-Ed League.  Team Lewis has been rolling since the middle of the season, but I want to point out they did struggle in Volleyball getting 0 points against Team Mazurek way back in mid June.  I do think that they are a more confident and well-rounded squad now so there early season Loss is likely not an indication of what is to come on Monday Night.  Either way, anything can happen in All Sports Series — especially given the Single Elimination format.  Both Team Bemoras and Team Leibo are chomping at the bit for a chance to knock off the current top dog.  Will Team Lewis carry on the #1 Seed’s Legacy?  We’ll know on Monday Night.

Reason why Team Lewis can win it all — They’ve proven over the course of the past month that they can win any sport against any team.  That is how you make a Playoff run in All Sports Series.

Opening Round – 8. Team Bemoras (Cy Fredrics) v. 9. Team Leibow (RazorReef.com) – Winner Plays 1. Team Lewis in Elite8 Volleyball

There are certain things in life that are just meant to be…  These two squads meeting in the All Sports Series Playoffs are one of those things.  These two squads will do battle with a spot in the Elite 8 at stake.   Allow me to set the stage for this game for those unfamiliar with the 2 teams.  Most of the Players in this game (on both teams) called the University of Illinois home during their crucial formative years.  Many of the Players in this game (on both teams) lived at Sammys or Sigma Delta Tau or both.  These two teams are not just familiar with each other — they know each others’ sleeping patterns!  Team Bemoras enters as the 8 seed and the elder statesmen of the two groups.  I wanted to put in a little of the trash talk that these two Captains have been sending back and forth but this is a PG Wrap-Up and I can’t do it.  I expect the trash talk to be flying around just as much as the Volleyballs on Monday Night.  Both teams want to win this thing so badly..  Personally, I can’t wait to watch this one.  Quick Aside — I want to Congratulate Larry Milstein and Heather Rafferty of Team Bemoras on their Engagement!  Awesome news!

Reason why Team Bemoras can win it all — Cause Drew Sultan Said So!

Reason why Team Leibow can win it all — They train harder than anyone in the off-season so that they have the Stamina for a long Playoff Run!

Elite8 – 2. Team Kirshner (Sofia Live Lovely) – Plays Winner of 7. v. 10. in Elite8 Volleyball

Team Kirshner locked up an Opening Round Bye with their Softball victory over Team Bemoras last Monday Night.  They will play the winner of #7 Team Bartlett and #10 Team Graham..  That is an extremely interesting pairing that we will get to shortly, but I’m comfortably assuming Team Kirshner will be rooting for Team Graham to get their first win of the year!  Team Kirshner was in the middle of the pack much of the Summer before a late season surge saw them get into the Top 2.  More importantly than their actual seed, they avoid the PowerHouse that is Team Lazarov in a potential Final 4 Hoops Game.  Congrats to you on that!  Much like Team Lewis, Team Kirshner struggled in their first week this season — which of course was Volleyball.  I’m not sure if its just a weak spot in an otherwise strong team or if it was just Week 1 jitters. Either way, they have a potential matchup with last year’s Defending Champs and they will not have time to feel out the waters for long.  Team Bartlett will be out for blood in attempting to get to their second consecutive Final 4.   Team Kirshner certainly has the athletes to power their way into the Final 4 though.

Reason why Team Kirshner can win it all — If you come into the Playoffs as the #2 Seed you are doing something right. They just need to keep doing what they’re doing.

Opening Round – 7. Team Bartlett (Sparkt) v. 10. Team Graham (Loree’s Closet) – Winner Plays 2. Team Kirshner in Elite8 Volleyball

This might be the best storyline of the night, we have last year’s Undefeated Champions of the C0-Ed Universe – Team Bartlett, going up against a team that is still searching for their first W of the Summer in Team Graham.  Now, you are all probably thinking well this is going to be a blowout then.. Let me say this, Team Bartlett has misplaced their mojo from last Summer (at least for now) and Team Graham has gotten closer and closer to that elusive first W.   This could really be the perfect alignment of the stars for Team Graham.  Volleyball is also a perfect “upset city” sport especially with the rally scoring format.  If you told me in June that Team Bartlett wouldn’t get out of the Opening Round — I would have said, “What do you mean, they will have a bye in the Opening Round.”  So things change.  By the sound of this paragraph you probably think that I think an upset is coming… Maybe I do, and maybe I don’t.. I just think this isn’t the automatic W many might think it is for Team Bartlett.  I will say this though, I still think Team Bartlett has the best chance to repeat out of any of the 2012 All Sports Series Champions.

Reason why Team Bartlett can win it all — They are the only team in the field with Championship experience.  They came back from an 8 run deficit last Summer in the Final 4 to win. At no point in time will they EVER feel like they are out of it..

Reason why Team Graham can win it all — Umm have you seen any Sports movie ever??

Elite8 – 3. Team Pivar (Janice Goldblatt) v. 6. Team Mazurek (Benjamin & Shapiro Law) – Winner plays in Final4

Both Rookie squads finished off the Season with a W in the final week.. Very important to build momentum before the Playoffs.  Both Rookie squads were excellent in Week 1 Volleyball as well so no seemingly big advantage there.  What we know for sure is one of these Rookie squads will be in the Final 4 Hoops game at the end of the night and they luckily have avoided Team Lazarov’s PowerHouse Hoops team because of the way the Bracket broke down. That is Huge.  I can see the winner of this Game lacing up for the Championship game.  However, they’ll need to take care of business and win this first game before any of that can happen.  Both of these Rookie squads are very competitive and will be disappointed with an Elite8 Loss.  I think this should be the best played Volleyball Match of the Night.  Looking forward to it!

Reason why Team Pivar can win it all — They have the right road and certainly enough athletes to get the Championship. From there anything can happen.

Reason why Team Mazurek can win it all — Hard to know this for sure, but I feel like they might have the best Volleyball team out of anyone in the League.. They defeated eventual #1 Seed Team Lewis during week 1 6-0 and if you can win in Volleyball you are through to the Final 4, again and anything can happen from there.

Elite8 – 4. Team Lazarov (Dr. Jacob D.D.S.) v. 5. Team Apuli (Manny’s Deli) – Winner plays in Final4

When the Playoff Seeds were set I think that Teams first went to see where they were Seeded and then immediately went to see where Team Lazarov was and if they’d have to face them in Hoops.   Team Lazarov will in their Hoops Game on Monday Night — IF they get there.  While they have proved their Hoops dominance they have been shaky in other sports this Summer which is why they came in at the #4 Seed.  I think its safe to say #1 Team Lewis along with whoever wins between #8 Team Bemoras and #9 Team Leibow will be crossing their fingers for Team Apuli in this one.. Both of these squads won their Volleyball games in Week 1 of the Regular Season but neither blew the other team out.  I think this is as even of a matchup as we have in the Elite 8.  Both teams have some people who can hit the ball, and plenty of people to set those hitters up.  This is a rematch of sorts from just last week when Team Apuli won by 1 run in Softball.  Can Team Lazarov exact some revenge?  If they can, they are a virtual lock for the Championship game because Hoops is the Final 4.   I think would be great to see the other teams actually rooting for Team Apuli and see how Team Lazarov responds — my guess — they’d welcome it!

Reason why Team Lazarov can win it all — They have several players who are a part of a Dynasty in the Men’s League so they understand how to navigate through the Playoffs and they also have 2 of the best female Hoopers around.

Reason why Team Apuli can win it all — They truly are solid in every sport.  There isn’t a time they take the field where they feel out of place.  They also caught a break with getting Team Lazarov in Volleyball and not Hoops.  Thank Goodness!

That’s it for the Playoff Preview.  Have a great weekend and good luck on Monday Night to everyone!

– Holden