2016 Ann Arbor – PLAYOFFS – OPENING ROUND (Mar. 23)

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Updated: March 24, 2016

On Wednesday Night, 12 Teams entered the Ann Arbor League Playoffs, all with hopes that they could claim the honor of being the first ever Ann Arbor League Champs.  By night’s end, only 6 Teams survived.   In this Win or Go home atmosphere, truly anything can happen and it certainly did.. We even had 2 Games go to Overtime! More on that shortly.. The Schedule for the League’s final night (Wed. March 30) has been posted.   Here’s a glance at the updated Playoff Bracket.

Now, here’s a Link to the Weekly Highlight Video (with extra Playoff Highlights)! Quickly, before we get to Wednesday Night’s action… 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, we’ll go chronologically and recap everything that happened in Wednesday Night’s Opening Round.. Then we’ll Preview what’s in store for Championship Wednesday.

 

PLAYOFFS – Opening Round Hoops Review

 

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

1. Team ZBT Win

#1 ZBT entered the Playoffs as the overwhelming favorite.. They tore through the Regular Season and have looked virtually unstoppable, especially on the Hoops court.  There’s always that chance for the Team to dominate during the Regular Season but then have a rough opening to their initial Playoff Game.. ZBT didn’t let that even become a possibility.. They controlled the Game from the opening tip and Captain Marc Godlis was a big reason why.. He led the entire League on Wednesday Night with 36 points! Peiman Rafiezadeh had 19 of his own.  They’ll move on to the Final4 now.. More on that below.. As for Team AEPi SO, it was a tough assignment drawing #1 ZBT in the Opening Round.  This is a Team with a lot of potential and as a young group they will get another crack at the Ann Arbor League crown in the future. Tyler Eilenberg had 25 points in this one and if they can get future performances like that, they will be just fine! Thanks for playing!

 

 

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

3. Team DKE SO1 Win

#3 DKE SO1 was another one of the dominant Teams during the Regular Season and as we progressed it was an expectation of them to be apart of the League’s final night.. Only the #10 seeded AEPi FR stood in their way.. Dylan Deitch had an impact as he so often has throughout the season for DKE SO1 as he led the way with 16 big points.. When the final seconds ticked away it was the #3 DKE SO1 club moving on with an impressive 20 point victory.. They would be moving on and turn to the scoreboards, crossing their fingers for a miracle.. They were in line to possibly get a BYE to the Final4 depending on what #2 Sammy did later in the night.. More on that later.. For the AEPi FR.  They were among the youngest groups in the League and while they didn’t come away with a Playoff W, they did show glimpses of what it takes to become Champions.. This is a group that has SO much time to come back stronger and make a real run at the Crown.. Thanks for playing!

 

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

4. DKE FR Win

We highlighted this Game last week as a potential “show stealer” based on their epic Week 1 matchup where Delta Sig Captain Ethan Lutz hit a runner to win it for the green squad..  The anticipation might have given #4 DKE FR a bit of a chip on their shoulders.. Since Week 1, they have been extremely impressive all over the map and they took that momentum and rode into the Opening Round on Wednesday Night… When all was said and done it was #4 DKE FR moving on with a 20pt victory.. Josh Bender led them in scoring with 18 points.  For #9 Delta Sig, they have plenty to be proud of as they exit.. Jordan Camina had 19 on Wednesday Night. As a unit, they will have more runs at the Crown as well. Captain Ethan is just a Sophomore and they will be back, and stronger in future Ann Arbor Leagues. Thanks for playing guys!

 

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

5. Team AEPi SR Win

#5 AEPi SR came in to their Opening Round contest as the favorites for more reason than one.. They were obviously the higher seed, but also had a better Hoops record than 8. DKE SO2 during the Season. Finally, you can’t really account for the desperation that Senior Teams will exude in the Playoffs but there’s an intangible there.. Knowing it is your last run as a unit matters. It just does.   So when they took the court on Wednesday Night, they knew “Win or Go Home” meant even more to them.. Jordan Liss had 23 of their 56 points — they’d defeat DKE SO2 56-43 and move on to the League’s final night.. For #8 DKE SO2, like many of the underclassman Teams, will have to wait til next year for an opportunity to grasp the Crown. This Team has a TON of talent and with an addition or two can be among the favorites down the road.. Thanks for playing!

 

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

6. Team Theta Chi SR Win

As we entered the final Hour of the Opening Round, most Games had seen decisive victories.. That usually means we are in store for a couple close finishes to end the night.. Smart money would have had this 6/7 Game between Theta Chi Seniors and Sophs as a close contest anyways.. They were so evenly matched in a ton of ways and obviously know each other extremely well.. As the Game progressed it was evident that neither Team was going to be able to pull away from the other.. We were going to be in store for a tight finish.. Kristopher Urrea was the high scorer for the Sophs with 18 and Reid Marks led for the Seniors with 15.  When the final seconds ticked away in Regulation, there was nothing that could separate these Two Teams and we would actually require Overtime!  Finally, it was the Seniors who would get a 1pt W and move on to Championship Wednesday.  It was of course a heartbreaker for the Theta Chi SOs who had such a great season.. These type of close Playoff Losses usually have a way of fueling future Championship runs.. With this experience and another season in the Ann Arbor League under their belts, we could be looking at the Champs of the 2017 Ann Arbor League. Thanks for playing!

 

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

11. Team SIG SR Win

As we came to the final Game of the Night.. It had been pretty chalky to this point.. The Top seeds had advanced in all of the other 5 Opening Round Games.. There’s always one upset in the early stages of the All Sports Series Playoffs. Always.  #2 Sammy did everything they could to buck that trend.. They were fantastic all season long and didn’t get any favors with drawing the better than their seed #11 SIG SR squad in Hoops during the Opening Round.. On this night, Adam Feldman would score 24 for the SIG SR crew while Jason Wolpov led the way for Sammy with 15 of his own.. It was a fairly low-scoring Game as neither Team gave up any free baskets.. This one was also neck and neck for the Duration of the Game.. Just as the other court was heading to OT in the Theta Chi battle, this contest would need an extra session as well.. To Overtime we went!  In OT, Cinderella would get the extra bounce or two that they needed and it was #11 SIG SRs who would be moving on to Championship Wednesday.  For #2 Team Sammy, this is a mix of Seniors and Sophs, for everyone it will be one that they think about for a bit and it’s a tough way for the Seniors to wrap up their Ann Arbor League careers.. However, the Sophs have a real base here with this Sammy Team that should net a Championship in the future.  They are among the elite groups and they will make up for this in the future. 100%.  Thanks for playing!

 

Championship Wednesday – Flag Football Preview

When the dust settled we were left with:

1.ZBT

3.DKE SO1

4.DKE FR

5.AEPi SR

6.Theta Chi SR

11. SIG SR

 

#1 ZBT and #3 DKE SO1 will get BYES to the Final4 Round as the Top 2 Seeds Remaining..

Then, the other 4 Teams will compete in the QuarterFinal Round —

#4 DKE FR v. #11 SIG SR

#5 AEPi SR v. #6. Theta Chi SR

 

The Winners of the QuarterFinal Games will compete in the Final4 with ZBT and DKE SO1..

#1 ZBT v. Lower Seed

#3 DKE SO1 v. Higher Seed

 

Finally, the Two Teams left standing after the Final4 will compete for the first ever Ann Arbor League Championship!

 

Congrats to all that advanced and thank you again for playing to those who didn’t! Biggest Night of the Year is just around the corner!

-Holden