2016 Chicago Men’s – Playoff Preview (July 25)

Updated: July 30, 2016

This season has a had several twists and turns but we have finally arrived at the greatest part of the Summer. It’s Playoff time gentlemen.. In just a short couple of weeks, we will crown the Chicago Men’s League Champs for the 6th time.   There are so many potential storylines as the second season begins and the Bracket has provided very extremely match-ups and potential match-ups down the line.. Can Defending Champs and #9 seeded Team Zimmmerman be the first ever Back2Back Champs of this League? Can the Undefeated #1 overall seed Team Kornblatt finally break on through to the Crown? Same can be asked about the #5 seeded and VBall Tourney Champs, Team Fallows.  Will #3 Team Hakimian grab their first All Sports Series Championship since the Spring of 2015, and their 2nd overall Chicago Men’s League Crown?  What double digit seed will make a run to the Final4?  It happens every year.  What Team will be second-guessed for their choice of Hoops/Hockey on Night 1? We’re going to find out all of this real, real soon…

Here’s a Link to the Weekly Highlight Video! 

Here’s a Link to the Playoff Bracket!

One more thing before we get to the Power Rankings, our MVP Sponsor for the Chicago Summer Leagues is none other than Live Clean Chicago! They are the best Cleaning Service in Chicago bar none and more importantly you can trust them to clean your place (even if you aren’t home). Myself and my family (Holden) use them frequently!  One more brief mention as it’s likely you will want to know..   The Cubs are officially BACK and  Wrigley View Rooftop has you covered! There is no better experience for getting Cubs action while enjoying the perks of all you can eat/drink!

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Playoff Format:

1. 16 of the 18 Teams will make the single-elimination Playoffs and be seeded based on points accrued during the regular season.

2. The Sweet16 and Elite8 Rounds of the Playoffs will be a combination of Hoops and Floor Hockey in Week 8 of All Sports Series.

2a. In the Sweet 16, 5 of 8 Games, will be Hoops Games and the remaining 3 Games will be Floor Hockey. Teams will get to choose their Sport in order based on Seed until no more choices remain.

2b. In the Elite8, 3 of 4 Games, will be Hoops Games and the remaining Game will be Floor Hockey. Teams will get to choose their Sport in order based on Seed until no more choices remain.

3. The Final4 and Championship will be a combination of 16″ Softball and Flag Football in week 9 of All Sports Series.


Playoff Preview:

Sweet 16

1. Team Kornblatt (Camp Ojibwa) v. 16. Team Hagari (Pork & Mindy’s) – Hockey

The #1 overall seed is Team Kornblatt and they took it in extremely impressive fashion. They went through the first six weeks 6-0 and then took 2nd place in the Volleyball Tourney in the Regular Season Finale.  They ended up ahead of 2nd by 26 points which is a huge margin.  Only team to eclipse 100 and did so by a lot.. A truly great Regular Season.  However, everything changes Monday Night.  They have been taking it one Game at a time all season and they need to continue to do so. They chose Hockey against #16 Team Hagari. These two Teams locked up in Hoops earlier in the Summer in a Game that was closer than the score would indicate.  Team Hagari is a sneaky good team that had a tough schedule and as a result come in with a lower seed than they likely deserve. Not an easy test for the #1 seed.. That’s just the way that it goes.. The Winner here could have a potential date in the Elite8 with Defending Champs Team Zimmerman as well.. Can Team Kornblatt keep this amazing run going?


8. Team Liss (Sandusky Lee) v. 9. Team Zimmerman (STATE) – Hoops

One of the most intriguing Sweet16 Games is the 8/9 matchup. At #8 you have Team Liss who has looked extremely good on the Hoops court for most of the Summer.  They have a couple of guys who can really fill it up.. If co-Captain Jordan Liss and Zach Hilgendorf are on.. They are tough to beat.. They have to feel good about finishing in #8 in a very tough League but their draw is certainly less than ideal as the Defending Champs await in the #9 spot.. It has been a somewhat challenging Regular Season for Team Zimmerman. The bullseye on their backs has never been larger and they get their opponent’s best each and every week.. The thing about them is that they are going to be confident against every group they face the rest of the way.. This is a Team that has been to two straight Championship Games in this League.. Meaning, they haven’t lost a non-Championship Elimination Game dating back to 2013.  They are built for the Playoffs.  Team Liss has enough talent though to send the Defending Champs home early.. Should be a great Game.. Winner here is looking at a potential Elite8 Game later in the night with #1 Team Kornblatt.


4. Team Valvassori (StudentCity) v. 13. Team Watts (SLA Insurance) – Hockey

Team Valvassori clinched the #4 seed by the slimmest of margins late Monday Night when they took 3rd place in the VBall tourney.. With that W they stayed in fourth and kept Team Fallows in fifth.. If not, it would likely be Team Fallows sitting her in the #4 spot with a Hockey Game looming with #13 Team Watts. Everyone is well aware of how good Team Watts is on the Hoops court as they went 3-0 in dominating fashion this Summer. It was a wise choice by Veteran Captain Chris Valvassori to go Hockey in the Sweet16.  The truth is this Game is still going to be very competitive as Team Watts is still talented in everything.. This actually could be a sleeper for the best Hockey Game of the Night.  Both Teams have what it takes to advance in the next round as well as the Winner here will take on the Winner of 5. Fallows v. 12. Apuli.. Obviously, they have to take it 1 Game at a time but an extended run may await the victor here.


5. Team Fallows (Al’s Beef) v. 12. Team Apuli (Chipotle) – Hoops

Two of the League’s staples are going to battle it out for a spot in the Elite8. Does it get any better than this?  The 5/12 match-up has provided some of the League’s best Playoff Games ever which is a perfect scenario for these two Rivals. These groups know each other very well as many have been teammates in All Sports Series in one form or another over the years.. They have also met countless times in various All Sports Series Leagues.. There’s a ton of history here and both Teams know they are capable of making a run at the whole thing.. There are only so many legitimate chances that you get a Crown and both Team Fallows and Team Apuli are in a spot where getting to the Final4 is a real possibility.  From there, as we’ve seen, anything can happen.. Expect this Game to be fiery from start to finish. Good Luck to both squads.


2. Team Sternberg (Biaggi’s) v. 15. Team Cohen (Crystal Lake CDJ) – Hockey

One of the biggest decision in terms of Hoops/Hockey came here at the #2 spot and Team Sternberg.. Realistically many assumed that #1 Kornblatt would go Hockey and that #4 Valvassori would as well.. So if Team Sternberg elected Hoops there would be another Hockey Game out there for someone to grab.. However, they elected to battle it out in Floor Hockey. As is their right as the #2 seed.. Team Sternberg deserves some real credit by the way.. A year ago they were the #1 overall seed and some said it was a soft schedule that led to that.. Then they ended up a play or two away from winning the whole thing.. This year, they backed that up with finishing #2 in the Standings.. Heck of a two-year run they’ve put together.. Think it’s safe to say they are sick of finishing 2nd though and have their sights set on the Crown.  Standing in their way is a very large first obstacle. Team Cohen is a very, very good Floor Hockey Team. They took part in the best Hockey Game of the Summer with Team Apuli back in Week 1. Team Cohen has been on the wrong side of some Playoff upsets in years past and they are due for some karma to break their way.. Is this the year?


7. Team Kaplan (Wrigley View Rooftop) v. 10. Team Palmer (Chicago Trolley) – Hoops

Both Team Kaplan and Team Palmer have had great Regular Seasons.. They’ve gotten here in different ways though.. The Hoops Game would tend to favor the #7 seeded Team Kaplan who definitely had more success in basketball than Team Palmer this season.. That being said, Team Palmer can match Team Kaplan’s presence in the paint and that is a big reason why they’ve been so good this Summer.. It’s an extremely interesting pairing and one where you can easily see the Winner roll off a few wins and make it all the way to the Championship based on how the Bracket has been configured.  Several eyes will be on this Game. Good Luck!


3. Team Hakimian (Hakimian Imports) v. 14. Team Rubin (Dr. Jacob D.D.S.) – Hoops

To the surprise of many Team Hakimian did not make it out of the Group stage of the Volleyball Tourney for the first time in 7 years. In reality, it did not affect their seed a great deal as they wound up in #3 instead of #2 but still got to choose Hoops which is where they wanted to be.. These guys don’t care about seeds.. They’ve won too many Championships to care about seeds. They believe they are the best Hoops Team in the League and at #3 there’s a good chance that they are two Hoops Ws away from getting back to the Final4.  Their first hurdle though is a larger one than many would think at first glance. #14 Team Rubin is better than their seed indicates and we’ve said it all year. They have a few guys who can win a basketball Game for you including Captain Alex who we have seen perform Playoff heroics before. This could be the best Hoops Game of the Night.. Only one spot in the Elite8 for these two.  Buckle up.


6. Team Shlofrock (ShopHouse) v. 11. Team McNichols (Fontanini Foods) – Hoops

On paper, this is THE matchup of the Sweet16. There are a lot of fun Games above but both of these Teams are going to bring it on the Hoops court as they have all Summer long. Both Teams are capable of defeating any group in Hoops and with their Playoff lives on the line it’s going to be very fun. We haven’t gotten to see Team McNichols in the Playoffs before as this is their Rookie campaign and they have surely got their work cut out for them. Team Shlofrock has had a ton of success the past few Summers but they are longing for their first extended run at the Crown.. This could be it.  Winner here looking at a possible Elite8 Game with multiple-time Champs Team Hakimian.



The 8 Winners of the Sweet16 Games will advance to the Elite8 round at 9:30pm on Monday Night. There will be 4 Games that make up the Elite8. 3 Hoops & 1 Hockey.  The top remaining seed will choose which sport they and their opponent will play and so on, until there are no decisions left to make.


By night’s end we will have a Final4!


That’s it for the Preview. Rest up! Good Luck! Thanks to those who are finished for the season!