2017-18 Chicago Hoops – Week 18 – Playoff Preview (Mar. 11)

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Updated: March 14, 2018

We wrapped up the regular season on Sunday night and what a long road it has been. We had several players come up with huge performances to close out the 2017-18 regular season slate. Adam Jones of Team Purimetla went off for 36 to lead all scorers in Week 18. Jesse Pollans of Team Max went for 33 as did Mike Kennedy of Team McNichols. Scott Campbell of Team Lalez dropped 31 while Joe Kozak, also of Team McNichols, rounded off this week’s top scorers with 30 points of his own. The question now becomes, will any, some or all these guys be named 2017-18 All Stars? We only have 2 days remaining before All-Star voting officially ends so get those VOTES in before the deadline this Friday, March 15th! League MVP and All-Stars will be announced in next week’s Playoff Preview!

REMINDER – The 4 Division Winners were guaranteed a Top-4 Seed in the Playoffs with one exception; If a team finished 2nd in their Division and finished with the 2nd or 3rd best overall record, then they will be seeded above all Division Winners with worse records. Based on this format, your Top-5 overall seeds for the 2017-18 Playoffs are;

#1 Team McNichols (South Winners)
#2 Team Harlander (as explained above)
#3 Team Hanessian (East Winner)
#4 Team Massie (West Winner)
#5 Team Reisner (North Winner)

The Playoffs are a Triple Elimination Tournament with the #11 thru #16 Seeds starting the Playoffs with 1-loss already assigned to them. Here’s a Link to the PLAYOFF BRACKET. For Players to gain Playoff eligibility, they must have played in SIX Regular Season Games. NO exceptions.

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Playoff Preview

 

Top-Half (zero loss teams)

 

#8 Team Schwartz (StudentCity) vs. #9 Team Maione (The Bucket List)

Losing team plays #16 Team James (Stanley’s Kitchen)

Team Schwartz closed out their 2017-18 regular season campaign with a very important victory on Sunday night, beating Team Malvin by a final score of 82-77. The win locked up the overall #8 seed and sees them start their Playoff journey with a match-up against #9 Team Maione. All-Star candidate Jermaine Johnson did most of the damage for Team Schwartz on Sunday night, pouring in a team and game high of 28 points. Austin Brown also had a nice evening, dropping 20 points to go along with 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Team Schwartz will need more performances like this from these two, starting on Sunday, if they plan on getting past a very tough Team Maione squad that dropped their regular season finale on Sunday night.

Team Maione were without some key players on Sunday night, most notably potential All-Stars Chris Wroblewski and Dylan Richter. Team Maione also came into Week 18 as one of the hottest teams in the league but will now enter the Playoffs with a disappointing loss on their minds. These two squads paired up all the way back in Week 5 and Team Schwartz walked out of FFC with a 90-81 victory. Winner moves on to play #1 Team McNichols in round 2 next week, while the loser will get a little rest to try and regroup before they face off against #16 Team James. Two losses in a row can be devastating to both squad’s title chances.

 

#7 Team Lalez (Hakimian Imports) vs. #10 Team Purimetla (Biaggi’s)

Losing team plays #15 Team Harris (Schweitzer Title)

3x Champs Team Lalez enter the 2017-18 postseason as the #7 seed with an overall 11-7 record. They were probably expecting a little better coming into this season as defending Champs, but with the way this season has gone and the caliber of teams that we have this year, #7 is not something to be too disappointed about. They ended their regular season on Sunday night with a very tough loss to Team Hanessian, 91-81. All-Star and MVP candidate Scott Campbell carried the load once again for Team Lalez, dropping a massive 31 point and 10 rebound performance. Scott finishes 2nd in the leagues regular season scoring race, averaging 29 PPG. Defenses are going to have a very tough time stopping this guy which makes this team a very scary #7 seed. They start their Back-To-Back title hopes with a match-up against #10 Team Purimetla on Sunday night.

Team Purimetla is led by their floor general and potential All-Star, Adam Jones. Mr. Jones led all scorers in Week 18, pouring in 36 huge points to carry his guys to a 19-point victory to close out their regular season campaign. Adam was also the only player this season to play in all 18 games, well done sir! In their previous meeting back in Week 6, Team Lalez secured a 94-73 victory and will look for a repeat performance out of Scott Campbell as he scored 33 that night to lead Team Lalez to the victory. Winner moves on to play #2 Team Harlander in round 2 next week, while the loser will get a little rest to try and regroup before they face off against #15 Team Harris. Two losses in a row can be devastating to both squad’s title chances.

 

#4 Team Massie (Theory) vs. #5 Team Reisner (Chicago Trolley)

Winners of the West division and an overall regular season record of 12-6, Team Massie enter our 2017-18 postseason as the #4 overall seed. Team Massie closed out their regular season schedule on Sunday night with a very tight 88-84 victory over Team Maione. The win makes it 8 wins in a row for Team Massie as they will enter the Playoffs as the hottest team in the league. Congratulations to our 2017-18 regular season scoring champ, All-Star and MVP candidate, Dylan Kremer who finishes the regular season just shy of 31 PPG! Amazing! He dropped 24 points on Sunday night to lead his guys to their eighth straight victory and will look to keep his hot scoring hand rolling when he and his squad start their postseason campaign against #5 Team Reisner.

Team Reisner already had the North division wrapped up heading into Week 18 but still ended their regular season on Sunday night on a high note with a win against Team Harris, 58-52. The win gets their overall record back to .500 at 9-9 and they enter the 2017-18 postseason with a favorable #5 seed. They were without their leading scorer and All-Star candidate Andrew Marks in this one, and it showed as they were only able to muster up 58 total points, their lowest scoring output since Week 10. In their only match-up during the regular season back in Week 12, Team Reiner lost to Team Massie by a final score of 79-64. They’ll need the full services of Andrew and co. on Sunday night if they plan on besting #4 Team Massie this time around.

 

#3 Team Hanessian (CEA Study Abroad) vs. #6 Team Hampton (Crystal Lake CDJ)

East Division Champs, winners of 3-straight, overall record of 15-3. Not a bad resume if you ask me. Team Hanessian comes rolling into the 2017-18 postseason as the #3 overall seed and will be one of the favorites to bring home THE CHI Hoops crown. With a win of 91-81 over defending Champs Team Lalez on Sunday night, Team Hanessian made a huge statement in terms of where they want to be at the end of April. MVP and All-Star candidate Sterling Williams did what he has been doing all season for Team Hanessian, leading them in scoring by dropping a massive 28-point performance to down the defending Champs for the second time this season. They get a brutal match-up however to start their postseason run with a date against a 14-4 Team Hampton Squad on Sunday night.

The 4 division winners received the #1-#4 seeds with the only exception being that if a team finished second in their division and finished with the 2nd or 3rd best overall record, they would be seeded above the division winners with worse records (as was the case with #2 Team Harlander). Thus, Team Hampton who finished third in their division but with the fourth best overall record, gets seeded as a #6. First time in THE CHI Hoops history that we had 3 out of the 4 top teams in the league in the same division. I guess there is a first time for everything…crazy! I don’t think these guys really care where they are seeded though, they will be ready to roll on Sunday night and will ride the back of floor general, All-Star candidate and Captain, Randall Hampton through these playoffs.

 

Consolation (1-loss teams)

#16 Team James (Stanley’s Kitchen) vs. Loser of #8 vs. #9 Game

Team James came into Week 18 locked into the #16 seed but were looking to gain some positive momentum heading into the postseason. Unfortunately for Team James, they took their 16th consecutive loss by falling to Team Purimetla, 71-52. These guys have the talent to compete with anyone in this league and the good news is that they get to hit the reset button and start a completely new season on Sunday night. They were led by All-Star candidates Dave Altman and Corey Davis during the regular season and will look to them to provide the much-needed offense that they will need to get some W’s during their postseason expedition. They start their Playoffs on Sunday night with a match-up against the losing team of the #8/#9 match-up between Team Schwartz and Team Maione.

 

#12 Team Malvin (Dr. Jacob D.D.S.) vs. #13 Team Max (Southview Athletics)

Team Malvin will enter the 2017-18 postseason on a 3-game losing streak as they fell on Sunday night to Team Schwartz by a final score of 82-77. They were fortunate in the sense that they could have entered the postseason as low as the #14 seed but held the tiebreaker (2-0) against Team Max and Team Jones to finish as the #12. All-Star candidate Rodney Clark had a huge game on Sunday night to help keep his guys in the game dropping 28 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists but it just wasn’t enough to get his guys their sixth win on the season. They’ll need big performances from Rodney and everyone else if they plan on getting by a very good #13 Team Max squad.

Team Max will enter the 2017-18 postseason as the #13 seed after suffering their 8th straight loss on Sunday night to Team McNichols, 112-92. The loss pushes their record to 5-13 on the season and will need to find some answers very soon if they plan on making any sort of Playoff push. All-Star candidate Max Shulruff and Jesse Pollans had fantastic games on Sunday night, scoring 61 of the teams 92 points. Team Max have struggled mightily on the defensive end of the court recently and those woes continued Sunday night as they allowed 100 + points for the fourth time this season. They’ll need to fix these issues quickly if they plan on starting their 2017-18 Playoffs with a W.

 

#11 Team Dean (Live Clean CHI) vs. #14 Team Jones (Rockin’ Refuel)

Team Dean has been carried by All-Star candidates Wole Aregbesola and Brandon Williams all season and the same held true on Sunday night in their regular season finale as they combined for 35 of their teams 60 points. Unfortunately for Team Dean, they were not able to find much offense anywhere else and dropped their second straight game by a final score of 74-60 to Team Jones. They could not finish any better than the #11 seed entering Week 14 and were very fortunate to leave Week 18 as the #11. They’ll get their shot at redemption on Sunday night as they get to open their 2017-18 postseason campaign with a rematch against this very same Team Jones squad.

Team Jones will enter Sunday’s postseason action with a whole lot of confidence and momentum on their side. All-Star candidate and Captain Gilles Jones returned from a brief one-game absence and led his squad once again with a huge 25-point performance. The win brings Team Jones regular season record up to 5-13 and locked into the #14 seed. These guys will get back on the court on Sunday night and tip-off against this same Team Dean squad that they just beat by 14 points a few nights ago. These two teams know each other very well at this point which should prove to be a great game coming up with so much on the line!

 

#15 Team Harris (Schweitzer Title) vs. Loser of #7 vs. #10 Game

All-Star candidates Michael Goldstein and Brad Tivin continue to have fantastic seasons for Team Harris, regrettably they just can’t seem to turn their good performances into team victories. Team Harris dropped their 5th straight game on Sunday night, falling to Team Reisner in a tight defensive battle, 58-52. Goldstein and Tivin once again led this squad in scoring, posting 21 and 15 points respectively. They have proven that they can compete with anyone in this league and they’ll have the opportunity to start fresh and new on Sunday night as they kick off their 2017-18 postseason campaign. They begin their Playoff run on Sunday night with a match-up against the losing team of the #7/#10 match-up between defending champs Team Lalez and Team Purimetla.

 

BYES this Week:

#1 Team McNichols (Chipotle)

#2 Team Harlander (SLA Insurance)

 

That’s it for the Playoff Preview! Good luck to everyone on Sunday! Please don’t forget to get in your All-Star VOTES by this Friday!

-Marko