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2021 Regionals Analysis Week 1 Empty 2021 Regionals Analysis Week 1

Sun Jan 31, 2021 6:57 pm
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
Please share your own thoughts below. This is intended to start a discussion, if you have seen a team and you think we are over or under valuing them let us know! Good luck with regionals! If you aren't on here, then prove us wrong! If you made our list, then prove us right! - MockAnalysisIsMyDrug

Regional 1-A: (19 Teams, 5 bids) ‘Tennessee Top' (MAIMD Ranking 30/32)
- 1 team in top 50, 2 teams in top 100, 4 in top 200

First in:
Rhodes A
Tennessee Chattanooga A

Oregon A
Rutgers B
Hillsdale C
UC Riverside A
Portland C
North Carolina C
Texas B

Initial Thoughts:
For a “geographically balanced” regional, the top of this one is pretty geographically specific. The two NCT contenders in this field not only hail from the same usual ORCS pool, they hail from the same state. Add in the fact that the host is UT Arlington, so the judges are likely to be from the Texas area, and the fact that a handful of other southern schools are competing, and this regional will have a distinctly southern feel. That will be an interesting advantage for the top teams here, both of whom should be used to that pool based on their past experiences, and it may be disruptive for schools like Rutgers coming in from New Jersey or Oregon and Portland coming in from the West coast where the norms of mock trial tend to be rather different.

Of course, at the top of this field we have Rhodes College, still ranked number one in the nation despite coming off a remarkably (for Rhodes) patchy invitational season. Rhodes’s biggest competition will come from Tennessee Chattanooga who earned a bid back to NCT last year after a one year dry spell, as well as from Oregon, who are a consistent mid level presence at ORCS. After that group, there is a smattering of B and C teams from consistently strong programs. There is also an unusually strong presence of west coast teams on the bubble this year for this region which may make for a stylistic clash. In particular, we have two teams coming in from the routinely unusual Pacific Northwest regional.  

Good luck to the new school in this region, the Eagles of Central Methodist University!

Team to watch: Tennessee Chattanooga A
Tennessee Chattanooga has been just on the cusp of NCT for the last few years. They make it on and off. When they do, they rarely make a splash in the national field—but they are consistently in contention to attend. They missed the NCT in 2019 and it looked like they might be on a downward trajectory after the loss of 2018 TBC competitor Zeke Starr, but they seem to have picked themselves up in 2020 and qualified again for NCT, squeaking in in the last spot of the fiendishly competitive Cincinnati ORCS. This year, they have had a number of performances at about the level we saw from them at ORCS last year, never outright winning the tournament but finishing in the low placement range (with records around 5-3) in some very strong fields including GOT, Scarlet and Grey, and ToRo. They also seem to have found a new standout attorney in Taylor Patton who awarded at all three of those tournaments with high ranks on the P side as well as a smattering of other awards for other competitors. We expect Tennessee to have no difficulty with this relatively easy ORCS field and expect them to continue to be in strong contention for NCT come ORCS time.

Regional 1-B: (19 Teams, 5 bids) ‘Where’s the power?' (MAIMD Ranking 32/32)
- 1 team in top 50, 2 teams in top 100, 4 in top 200

First in:
George Washington A
Harvard A

Loyola Chicago A
Pittsburgh A
American B
Cal Poly SLO A
Rice C

Initial Thoughts:
Welcome to (statistically) the easiest regional! What makes this the easiest regionals? Well to start, none of these teams competed at the 2019 Nationals. In fact, only four of these teams competed at the 2019 ORCS and they averaged 3.4 wins there. Now, that’s not to say there aren’t any good teams here. George Washington, Harvard and Loyola-Chicago are teams that consistently advance and are competitive to get to nationals. In addition, a few teams got to compete at ORCS in 2020 and did better than in previous years! Harvard earned a bid out of Lancaster after missing out in 2019, George Washington earned 6 wins and an honorable mention, Loyola-Chicago earned 5 wins, an honorable mention and would have competed at Nationals anyway since they were hosting, and Cal Poly SLO A earned 4.5 wins. So there are some quality teams here for sure, but the facts are that there are only 4 teams in the top 200 and 5 bids, meanwhile most regionals have at least 6 teams in the top 200.

Team to watch: Cal Poly SLO A
Cal Poly SLO is coming off of its most successful seasons in recent memory. After competing at the 2017 nationals, they hit a rough patch, failing to advance any of their teams to ORCS two years in a row. Last year, that changed. Three of their four teams earned bids to ORCS and their A team ended up with a winning record at ORCS, narrowly missing out on a bid to the Nationals that never was. The interesting thing about that stat is that the one team that failed to advance last year was their A team only earning 4 wins. This year, they’re hoping to show that their A team failing to advance was the fluke and not the ¾ teams bidding. Given their UCLASSIC performance earning third place with a 7-1 record, as well as being part of the easiest regional, signs are pointing up for the Mustangs, but being one of two west coast teams will either work in their favor or could cause an untimely end to their season.

Regional 1-C: (20 Teams, 6 bids) ‘Deep in the heart of… Boston' (MAIMD Ranking 11/32)
- 1 team in top 50, 3 teams in top 100, 6 in top 200

First in:
Boston A
Texas A

Florida B
Chicago C
Kansas B
Maryland A

Initial Thoughts:
This is a deceptively tough regional. At the top, we’ve got Boston University—and while BU hasn’t exactly been lighting it up throughout the invitational season, they’ve got experienced leadership in Sam Macriss and Monae Duplessis, and we expect them to bid from 1-C. We’d also be surprised not to see UT Austin A through as well, as they’ve had a fantastic time at invitationals this season—the highlight being a 7-1 finish at UCLASSIC. After those two, the field remains strong: Florida B and Chicago C are perennially successful teams from deep, entrenched power programs, and that’s not to mention Maryland A, who are dangerous in their own right. Throw in South Dakota A looking to get back to ORCS after failing to qualify last year and Hamilton B, who took the top spot in Buffalo last year with 8 wins—and then took a ballot off of Fordham LC A—and this ORCS suddenly feels a lot tougher than its 11th place difficulty rating in our rankings.

Ultimately, as is the case at every single regional this year, the wild card at play here is the judging pool. Boston University plays a completely different style of mock trial than, say, Chicago—or Furman—or Gonzaga. This one is hosted by AMTA itself, so expect a mix of judges from all around the country. Ultimately, when some of these bubble teams inevitably play each other, the outcome may come down to the stylistic preferences of the people calling balls and strikes—something we’re used to seeing at ORCS and the NCT, but less so at Regionals. Be prepared for some surprising results at Regional 1-C.

Team to watch: Maryland A
Still the best team in AMTA history with 5 NCT Championship titles—Maryland A has been overshadowed in recent years by its cousin a half-hour up the I-95, UMBC. Still, Maryland packs a punch. Last year, at ORCS in Cincinnati, Maryland took both ballots from a Virginia A team fresh off their Great Chicago Fire victory—denying arguably the nation’s top team a bid and bringing the Terrapins a CS point away from their own bid to the NCT in a Round 1 upset oddly reminiscent of UMBC’s infamous victory over 1-seed Virginia at the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. Despite losing a strong player in OLT competitor Deeksha Walia, who helped lead her team to a 5th place finish, we believe Maryland has the talent to make it back to ORCS this year. And as they demonstrated last year, once you’re at ORCS, anything can happen.

Regional 1-D: (19 Teams, 5 bids) ‘Invite Success' (MAIMD Ranking 6/32)
- 2 teams in top 50, 4 teams in top 100, 7 in top 200

First in:
Wheaton A

Hillsdale A
Alabama B
Richmond B
Rice A
Boston C
Chicago D

Initial Thoughts:
This regional comes in at 6th on our difficulty list. Though it’s not the most difficult, there’s definitely some standout programs here that could make this regional a tough one. At the top of this regional we have NYU A. NYU has had a remarkably successful season this year—as a program, they haven’t had a single losing record this season. With top performers like Alberto Arevalo and Anthony Delgado, we anticipate that NYU will do very well at this regional.

Beyond NYU, this regional has a number of programs that could do very well, depending on program depth. Even after graduating star player Mary Preston-Austin, Wheaton was able to snag a bid out of the Wheaton regionals last year. Of course, Boston and Chicago’s A teams have had quite a bit of success at NCT, and if their programs can hold up in terms of depth, their D and C teams could be successful at this regional as well. Alabama B is in a similar situation, with their A team being a pretty consistent ORCS qualifier. Most of the other teams in the bubble are in a similar place of either being consistently represented at ORCS and failing to break through to NCT. Since they’re all at the same regional this year, that means that strength of schedule is going to be particularly important at this regional.

Team to watch: Hillsdale A
Coming into this regional, Hillsdale is finishing a remarkably successful invite season. Across nine invite showings, Hillsdale has only had one losing record. On top of that, they’ve had strong performances at competitive invites like Habeas Hippopotamus, where they went 7-1, and Soda City, where they also went 7-1, earlier this year. This definitely places them in a good spot heading into regionals. Last year at the Indianapolis ORCS, their B team outplaced their A team with 5.5 wins to snag a bid to the Geneva ORCS, and their A team only finished with a 5-3 record. This definitely calls into question whether or not Hillsdale can bring the same level of success they’ve been having this year to a regional that could be tighter than what they’ve faced in previous years. Either way, we look forward to seeing if Hillsdale can keep up their consistency this season to get them through to ORCS.

Regional 1-E: (19 Teams, 5 bids) ‘Returners' (MAIMD Ranking 12/32)
- 1 team in top 50, 2 teams in top 100, 7 in top 200

First in:
Yale A
Brown A

Northern Illinois A
Penn State B
Central Florida A
Michigan C
Tennessee B
Scripps A

Initial Thoughts:
This regional checks in as the 12th hardest on our list–largely as a result of the teams in our “bubble” category. With only two teams in the top 100 of TPR, it’s the dense concentration of teams in the 100-175 range that gives this regional its strength. At the top, Yale A is a clear favorite: coming off a down-year where they hardly escaped regionals, the program has put together two fine showings at GAMTI and GCF, and the side has shown they’re ready to get back to winning ways. We also expect Brown A to make a strong showing at this regional: Brown was competing at a very high level at the end of last season, and we expect them to carry that momentum into this year. They’ve been a regular fixture at ORCS for years now and a near miss for nationals several terms in recent years although its been a while since they’ve actually made it. Though their 3-5 finish at GCF doesn’t immediately catch the eye, their record did include the highest CS in their division and an impressive split with Tufts A in round 4.

After Yale and Brown, things get a lot less clear. All the teams in our “bubble” rank within 91 TPR places of each other, and with only 5 bids now available out of 1-E, it’ll be a tough fight to escape this regional. NIU are coming off a good year too, having secured a bid to nationals, and they’ve been consistently successful in escaping regionals in past years. After them, Penn State B and Central Florida A have also been frequent ORCS competitors lately; Michigan C of course comes from a strong program that knows how to make deep runs in the competitive season; and Tennessee B and Scripps A both loom very close behind the pack. With only a few bids available and a number of teams packed very closely to one another, look for this regional to be very competitive for its last few bids to ORCS.

Team to watch: Brown A
Brown has been a tough program to read over the past couple years. They’ve put up strong showings at difficult east-coast ORCS in recent years, but still haven’t secured a nationals bid since the 2017 season. Last year seemed promising for the program, with strong regionals performances from both their A and B teams. However, with both sides securing bids to Princeton ORCS, they missed out on the chance to prove themselves against tougher opposition in March. With a number of promising young members and a great deal of experience at high-level tournaments, this could be the year that Brown makes their return to nats. If this is the year for the program, look for them to start very strong at this regional and establish themselves as a nationals-level program. Their performance next weekend could be very telling about this team’s future.

Regional 1-F: (20 Teams, 6 bids) ‘Cross Country Showdown' (MAIMD Ranking 3/32)
- 2 teams in top 50, 4 teams in top 100, 6 in top 200

First in:
Baylor A
Stanford A

Cornell B
George Washington C
Cal Poly Pomona A
Michigan B
Florida International A
Arkansas B

Initial Thoughts:
This regional follows the prototypical mold that AMTA has seemed to follow with these non-regional Regionals, from a composition standpoint. Starting at the top, Stanford A is the obvious front runner. After being Josie Bianchi’s second chair at Trial by Combat, Elizabeth Grant has been racking up the awards this year, enough so to be noted as one of the most awarded competitors in the country at the moment. And Thom Scher is still around as the head coach, leading the Cardinal into Regionals.

Beyond Stanford, this regionals has a number of teams that are certainly capable of breaking not only to ORCS but also to Nats. Baylor A has been to Nationals in the past few years, as has Cornell B (Cornell even earned a few All-Americans in 2018, including future TBC competitor Steven Torres). GW C, Michigan B, and Arkansas B are all lower teams within programs which have had success recently as well, so the depth of those programs will be on display here.

Team to watch: Florida International A
FIU is a very recently formed program, who burst onto the scene by breaking to ORCS consistently from the very inception of their program. And for the first time, that strength was shown nationally this summer, when Bruno Paes-Leme, Gabriella Pinzon, and Giselle Landrian competed at OLT, including against TBC people like Matt Besman and Dan Peale. And so now, there are sort of two paths FIU can go down. Sometimes, newer programs depend a lot on the work and skill of a few specific student leaders. Then when those students graduate, the team sort of fades away from the national scene. The other path is that there is actually sustainable success—where other students are prepared to step into those roles. That second path is how national powers are created. And we are excited to see which way FIU goes.

Regional 1-G: (19 Teams, 5 bids) ‘Harder than Usual' (MAIMD Ranking 10/32)
- 1 team in top 50, 4 teams in top 100, 8 in top 200

First in:
Duke A
Tufts B

Emory B
Kansas A
Yale C
Missouri A
Eastern Michigan A
Princeton C

Initial Thoughts:
This regional is in the top third of our rankings on the difficulty metric. It boasts a premier A team, a couple of B/C teams from top programs nationally, as well as a number of other mid-level A teams. All of those teams, as well as a number of others, are capable of bidding out of Regionals. We expect Duke A to tear through the field. Obviously losing players like TBC champion Sonali Mehta, OLT champion Georgia Lala, and All-American Tristan Malhotra will affect this team’s ceiling. But so far this year they’ve still shown an ability to have top performers and win as a team. Strong competitors like AG Chancellor, Emil Zakarian, and TBC second chair Seva Castleberry, as well as head coach Eric Roytman lead this team out of Great Chicago Fire and into Regionals.

Beyond Duke, teams like Tufts B and Emory B come in looking to repeat success from recent years. Tufts B earned a 6-2 record at ORCS last year, and despite losing players like All-National witness Ilana Goldberg, we feel confident they will be able to put up a strong showing again. Emory had two teams at Nationals in 2019, so we know they are a program capable of doing that. Kansas, Eastern Michigan, and Missouri are all strong A teams who have qualified to ORCS before (as recently as last year). And Yale C will be an interesting case, given that in 2 of the past 3 years Yale C has earned a bid out of Regionals while their A or B team didn’t. All in all, this Regional has a lot of uncertainty attached.

Team to watch: Emory B
Emory B is the team we want to highlight here. This team is the best microcosm for this particular Regional, given the wide range of quality it could produce. At the most recent Nationals in 2019, Emory had two teams qualify. This happened after Emory C earned a bid over Emory B earlier that season. Then last year, Emory A failed to earn a bid out of Regionals, leading to a restack within the program. Last summer, Emory’s graduating seniors showed their talent, with Elias Neibart taking John Merle as his coach to TBC, and then Neibart closing in the OLT final for the winning team. Neibart and Merle were Emory’s A team captains last year. And obviously, other people have now stepped into leadership roles like Sara DeLacey, Catherine Cole, and Riya Lakkaraju. All of this is to say, Emory is a program that in recent years has exhibited a lot of depth and talent, but also a lot of variability early on in the AMTA elimination tournaments. So we are excited to see which version of Emory B shows up come Regionals weekend.

Regional 1-H: (18 Teams, 5 bids) ‘Easy A' (MAIMD Ranking 28/32)
- 1 team in top 50, 3 teams in top 100, 6 in top 200

First in:
Washington-St. Louis A
Princeton A

Xavier A
Fresno State A
Creighton A
Belmont A
Texas, Dallas A
Patrick Henry E

Initial Thoughts:
This regional is unique for a few reasons. First, it’s the smallest regional with only 18 teams. Second, it’s one of only a few regionals with 5 bids. But despite the low numbers, it also has an insane number of A teams. 13 out of the 18 teams competing represent the school’s top team which is sure to keep things interesting. Sitting at the top of this tournament are Princeton A and Washington St. Louis A. Both of these teams consistently advance to ORCS and occasionally advance to nationals. We expect both of these teams to have an easy time here. Next is Xavier A who would normally fall into the same category as Princeton and Washington St. Louis, but last year Xavier failed to earn a bid. Given the field, this might be the year where they bounce back and maybe even get to Nationals again, like they did in 2018. There are also a few programs like Fresno, Creighton, Belmont and Texas, Dallas that have competed at ORCS over the past few years, but they aren’t consistent in getting there. We wouldn’t be shocked if any of these teams earned their way back to ORCS again, but we also wouldn’t be shocked if any of them fail to break. The last team worth mentioning is Patrick Henry E. Patrick Henry is one of the strongest programs in the country with all 4 teams earning 6 wins or higher at last year’s regionals. However, this is the first time Patrick Henry has expanded to an E team. As one of five non-A teams at this regionals and overall one of eight E teams competing, we expect Patrick Henry’s E team to be competitive, but just how competitive is something we will be awaiting to see!

Team to watch: Texas, Dallas A
Texas, Dallas has been an on again off again ORCS team for several years now.  Last year looked to be an up-year for this team.  After hitting two Rhodes teams (on the same side of the case), along with a hard fought split with UT-System rival Texas, Austin A in the fourth round; UT Dallas found themselves with a disappointing four wins.  The program, however, appeared to be stocked with plenty of talent.  The B team earned the program a bid with a commanding 6-2, 19.5 CS performance, including a third round sweep of a strong Alabama A team.  The C team also put up a nearly bid-worthy 5-3 performance in its own right.  We know that Texas, Dallas has lost their Regionals award winning witness in Jocelyn Guerrero, but they return the leader of that strong B team, award winning senior attorney Allison Clay. The case for this team becomes even more interesting given their performances this year.  We’ve only seen them earlier in the Fall at Baylor and Fordham’s tournaments, where they had lackluster performances, with no award winners.  With plenty of time and potential to get the ball rolling since then, we’ll be keeping an eye on whether or not Texas, Dallas can break out of an upper middle class of Regional 1-H that’s full of unknowns.

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2021 Regionals Analysis Week 1 Empty Re: 2021 Regionals Analysis Week 1

Mon Feb 01, 2021 12:37 pm
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
A few teams I think are worth adding to the bubble: For 1-C, I'd add Gonzaga B, seeing as they were an ORCS team last year, bidding out of the brutal Seattle regional. Gonzaga seems to have enough depth that their B team could still be a threat/ For 1-D, Amherst got an open bid last year and has with 5 ballots and a solid 18.5 CS, so I wouldn't count them out. In 1-E, Oklahoma A has put together some solid invitational results this year and also earned a bid last year at 7-1. In 1-F, Penn State has had their D team earn a bid in the past and they always tend to be deep. With the right schedule they can definitely make a run.

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