2016 Ann Arbor – Playoff Preview (Mar. 16)

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Updated: March 18, 2016

Best couple of weeks of the year.  Right now. March Madness in more than ways than one.. We have officially reached our second season – the Playoffs! In just a couple short weeks we will crown the first ever Ann Arbor League Champions! The Playoffs will begin on THIS Wednesday – March 23 and conclude on March 30! The Schedule has been posted.   Here’s a glance at the Playoff Bracket. The Format will be explained below. 

Now, here’s a Link to the Weekly Highlight Video (with extra Ann Arbor League Highlights from this past week with 2 sets of Games!) Quickly, before we get to the Power Rankings… Our MVP Sponsor for each and every Campus League, StudentCity is THE provider for Spring Break trips! It’s never too early to get a jump on Next Year! Also, if you want to learn more about that or any of our other Sponsors (like cea Study Abroad who are giving away big $$ in grants for Summer and Fall 2016 Abroad programs..) just fill out the contact form on the website above..

This week, the Power Rankings will shift into a Playoff Preview piece as we go down the line highlighting each Matchup!

 

Playoff Format: Want to provide a quick summary of how the Playoffs will work.  First and foremost, the Playoffs are single elimination. Win or Go Home!  All 12 Teams qualified for the Playoffs..  In the Opening Round (played on Wed. March 23) the sport will be Hoops.  The Teams will be matched-up 1/12, 2/11, 3/10, 4/9, 5/8, 6/7.  Essentially high/low for all 12 Teams.   Following those 6 Games next Wednesday, only 6 Teams will remain.

Those 6 Teams will make it to the final night of the Playoffs on Wednesday March 30 where the sport will be Flag Football.  Those 6 Teams will be Reseeded.  So, the Top 2 Teams (of the final 6) will get a BYE to the Final4.  The other 4 Teams will compete in the Quarterfinals.  The Winners of those 2 Quarterfinal Games will meet the 2 Teams that received BYEs to the Final4.  Those last 4 Teams will play out the Final4 and the Winners compete for the Championship!

OK Let’s Preview!

Playoff Preview – Opening Round Hoops

1. Team ZBT (Schweitzer Title Gray) v. 12. Team AEPi SO (Schweitzer Title Blue)

Team ZBT just ran right through the Regular Season.  Not only did they win the Regular Season and claim the #1 overall seed but they basically went Undefeated in doing so.. Their only blemish was a 2nd place finish in Volleyball back in Week 3.  Otherwise, they have been dominant.  Captain Marc Godlis and co. have their sights set on the first Ann Arbor League Crown and have established themselves as overwhelming favorites.. Turning to the Underdogs #12 AEPi SO..  They obviously haven’t had the success that ZBT experienced during the Regular Season but they are much more talented than your typical 12 seed.. It is March after all and we certainly are aware of the magic surrounding 12s..  Crazier things have happened.  It’ll be Win or Go Home in this David v. Goliath matchup..  For Team ZBT, a Win means that they are locked into the Final4 on March 30 while AEPi SO’s journey would be a bit longer.. Can’t wait!

 

6. Team Theta Chi SR (Schweitzer Title White) v. 7. Team Theta Chi SO (StudentCity)

Changing gears from the previous preview between ZBT/AEPi SO where there is a clear cut favorite, here with the 6/7 Game we have the exact opposite..  What’s bringing even more intrigue here is how well these two Teams know each other.. Both 6. Theta Chi SR and 7. Theta Chi SO both had a ton of highlights during the Regular Season which is evidenced with their Top 7 finishes.  The Seniors finished just 2 points back of 5th.. Looking back at Hoops this season, the Seniors went 2-1 and the Sophs went 1-2, so maybe a slight edge there.. Both have more than enough to get on a roll and win the whole thing!  Only one can advance to the Quarterfinals however.  Which Theta Chi Team will represent in the Top 6?

 

3. Team DKE SO1 (Ella Designs Jewelry Navy) v. 10. Team AEPi FR (cea Study Abroad)

This is an interesting match-up as we ahead to the Opening Round..  3. Team DKE SO1 led by Nate Wellek has had a fantastic year that started back in Week 1 with Hoops W.  The #10 seeded AEPi FR didn’t have nearly the amount of success throughout the year BUT do come into the Playoffs with momentum. They pulled an “upset” over Theta Chi SR in Flag Football to close the Season and with it came a new sense of confidence.. There’s always at least one Opening Round stunner in the All Sports Series Playoffs and maybe this could be it?  We want to wish Joey Epstein of DKE SO1 a Get Well soon as he was banged up last week. 3. DKE SO1 went 2-1 in Hoops on the year and will definitely feel right at home on the hardwood.. Should they get a W in the Opening Round, they will be scoreboard watching.. A Win from them and a Loss from either 1. ZBT or 2. Sammy means that DKE SO1 will get a BYE to the Final4.  If both top seeds advance then DKE SO1 will have to play an extra Game in the Quarterfinals… Unless, of course, the AEPi FR shock the world.

 

4. Team DKE FR (Ella Designs Jewelry Red) v. 9. Team Delta Sig (Mezes Green)

Man oh man have the stars aligned.. Allow us to refresh everyone with an excerpt from the Week 1 Power Rankings…

“6. Team Delta Sig (Mezes Green) – Currently tied for 1st with 15 points

…To close the night, Captain Ethan made a runner with 2 seconds left to put his Team ahead by 1 point and get the W over Team DKE FR… They’d need every single one of those points to outlast the DKE FR..  We’d love to see a post-season rematch should the stars align that way at the end of March..

7. Team DKE FR (Ella Designs Jewelry Red) – Currently tied for 7th with 0 points

As mentioned just above, the DKE FR suffered a heartbreaking Loss to begin the season.. Captain Ethan Lutz for Team Delta Sig hit a Game-Winning runner with just seconds left.. That being said, this group has many Wins ahead of them this Season. Josh Bender and Zachary Blitz combined for 46 points in Week 1. Players that have participated in All Sports Series know that we always like to highlight the Team/s that suffer Losses in the best Games of Week 1.. The reason being is, most Teams will grow and learn much more from an early season Loss than a Win.. This group is clearly talented and now have an early Loss to help fuel them as the season moves along.. That on top of the fact that they are one of the youngest Teams in the field bodes extremely well for their prospective Playoff run later in the Spring. Just something to keep in mind.”

Back to the NOW.. Isn’t it funny how things can work out? Not only will DKE FR and Delta Sig meet in a Rematch but they will return to the Hoops Court with everything on the line.  As predicted DKE FR grew from the experience and went on to have a phenomenal Regular Season as they finished 4th.  Delta Sig has had much of their success on the Hoops court and as we’ve seen already.. These two are extremely even when it comes to basketball.. This could and should go down as the Game of the Night.  Who will advance to the final night!?

 

5. Team AEPi SR (Mezes Gold) v. 8. Team DKE SO2 (Spikeball)

It will be the first time these two Teams see each other this Season which always makes for an interesting Playoff matchup.. 5. Team AEPi SR managed to go 2-1 in Hoops on the year while 8. Team DKE SO2 was 1-2.  Both Teams have shown that they have what it takes to compete with the very best in the League.. For the Seniors of AEPi, they know that they only get one real shot at this thing.. For their Legacy to be left as the first ever Champs, they’ll need to get past DKE SO2.   On the other end of the spectrum we have the young DKE SO2 squad who will have a few cracks at the Ann Arbor League crown but they don’t want to waste any opportunity..  These two Teams were separated by just 18 points in the Regular Season and on paper this is shaping up to be one of if not THE Opening Round Game to keep an eye on. Good Luck!

 

2. Team Sammy (Schweitzer Title Gold) v. 11. Team SIG SR (Mezes Orange)

This matchup is really a tale of two second halves… 2. Team Sammy has been a force all season long as they have been on the heels of ZBT for the #1 overall seed throughout the Spring.  With their strong performance in the Regular Season they earned the #2 seed and with that comes perks.. If they can get past 11. SIG SR on Wednesday Night, they will get a BYE to Final4 on March 30.  Of course, 11. SIG SR has other plans.. It was not too long ago, just before Spring Break actually, that SIG SR trailed Sammy in the Power Rankings by just a spot as both Teams sat in the Top 5.  Since then however, SIG SR’s schedule has been brutal and they’ve gone on a slide to end the Regular Season.  With the middle of the Standings so jammed, losing a few Games was all it took to finish in 11th.  This is no ordinary 11 seed. They aren’t Cinderellas.  This is a Team that can win the whole thing.. Double Digit seeds have won All Sports Series before.. They have what it takes.. Just need to get out of their funk..  This Game has tremendous seeding implications for many Teams as well.. All eyes will be on this Game for sure.  Only one journey can continue…

 

That’s it for the Regular Season. Good Luck to everyone in the Playoffs!!

-Holden