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2021 Regionals Analysis Week 3 Empty 2021 Regionals Analysis Week 3

Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:31 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 3-A: (21 Teams, 6 bids) ‘Traditional Top Dog' (MAIMD Ranking 25/32)
- 1 team in top 50, 4 teams in top 100, 4 in top 200

First in:
Virginia A
Wesleyan B
Richmond A

Illinois B
Florida D
Northwood B
Case Western A

Initial Thoughts:
At first glance, this regional feels like Virginia and the rest. And it certainly isn’t far from the bottom on our difficulty list—coming in at 25th. But a closer look reveals some surprising power here. Richmond A is as good a team as they come. They’re a consistent ORCS bidder led by a top competitor in former Gladiator finalist Meghna Melkote, and while they haven’t been attending a ton of top invitationals, we expect their talent and historic success at Regionals to carry them through. Wesleyan B is another deceptively good team. They went 5-3 last year in Lancaster at ORCS, and their program has achieved remarkably high levels of success this invitational season. Look for them to qualify as well. And then, of course, there’s Virginia A. Undoubtedly one of the nation’s top squads, this is largely the same team that won Great Chicago Fire last year and then failed to bid to the NCT. They’re headlined by one of AMTA’s best one-two attorney combos in Isabelle Mayor-Mora and Raahema Durrani, and if they can make up for the loss of graduated senior captain and 5th place TBC finisher Dan Peale, the sky’s the limit for this group. We’d be very surprised to see Virginia going home without an ORCS bid here.

Northwood B are always a threat—they’re a powerful program with great coaching and fantastic talent. But their fall invite season had some shaky performances that seemed to indicate a lack of program depth this year. And given that their A team didn’t make it out of week 2 after some tough results, we’ll be watching Northwood B with interest. Florida is one of those programs that seems to have an unlimited number of teams that all earn bids every single year—Florida E earned a bid in Week 1, so we’ll be watching Florida D as well. Rounding out our bubble group are Illinois B and Case Western A, two mid-tier midwest teams that have posted solid results this year. After that, the bottom drops out at this regional pretty quickly. One interesting team that just missed our bubble group is MIT A, led by coach and Winning Objections author Brian Pilchik and senior Diego ColĂ­n. While they haven’t exactly set the world on fire at invitationals, we have no doubt that MIT A will be fighting hard to get a bid here.

Team to watch: Reed A
In 2019, Reed A shocked the Northwest with a bid out of Seattle regionals. While they went 1-6-1 at ORCS and got blown out by a UCLA A team that won every single ballot, the ORCS berth was Reed’s first opportunity to venture beyond regionals in almost a decade. But in 2020, Reed couldn’t repeat their winning performance, going 4-4-0 with an absolutely brutal schedule: a loss to UC Berkeley A and then two close splits to Oregon B and Gonzaga B. This year’s Reed team is a much different team than the 2019 and 2020 squads. But they do have some promising talent: closers Joseph Puglisi and Mia Boyer-Edwards headline a young, hungry group that we expect has the ability to surprise some people—despite a dearth of good invite season performances. Bottom line: the west coast is a tough, tough place to compete if you’re not a traditional UC power or Stanford, and this geographically diverse regional presents a real opportunity for Reed. Will they get back to ORCS and develop some staying power as a program that can really compete with the likes of Oregon and Gonzaga in the Northwest when things eventually go back to in-person? Or will it be another decade-long drought for the Griffins of Reed College? We’ll find out.

Regional 3-B: (21 Teams, 6 bids) ‘Back to Glory?' (MAIMD Ranking 15/32)
- 1 team in top 50, 3 teams in top 100, 7 in top 200

First in:
Georgia Tech A

UC Irvine B
Georgia B
Millsaps A
Case Western B
Florida C
Illinois D
Bellarmine A

Initial Thoughts:
Per our MAIMD rankings, this regional is right about the middle level of difficulty. But by the eye test, it’s probably a bit closer to the weak end. Georgia Tech A, the best team in this field, has experienced a lot of attrition over the past two years (most notably Sarah Stebbins and Harsha Sridhar). However, Tech does boast one of the best coaching staffs in the country with former AMTA president Will Warihay and Andy McNeil. We are confident that this Tech team won’t be bad by any means, but in a year that has already had multiple upsets of Nationals level teams at Regionals, the question is if Tech has enough talent to keep up their run at the top.

Beyond GT, this Regional has a lot of teams that are typically successful at Regionals in their own regions during in person mock trial. Irvine B on the west coast, Georgia B and Florida C in the southeast, and so on. This regional is one of the ones where the teams from different regions appear to be on the most similar level. So the biggest question we have going into this regional is how this clash of different styles will play out.

Team to watch: Georgia B
Georgia, as a program, has not struggled with depth at regionals over the past couple of years. In 2019, four Georgia teams (A-D) received bids to ORCS. In 2020, Georgia’s D team came in second place (only to Vanderbilt’s A team) at the Jackson regionals with a 7-1 record, proving that the previous year was no fluke. With the shift to online, however, there are still questions about whether the program is able to translate that depth online. If the team’s performance at their most recent invitational (the 6th Annual Wolverine Classic) is any indication of their potential, nonetheless, we’re excited to see how Georgia B does at 3-B.

Regional 3-C: (20 Teams, 6 bids) ‘Rising Stars' (MAIMD Ranking 5/32)
- 1 team in top 50, 5 teams in top 100, 8 in top 200

First in:
Tufts A
Boston College A

American A
Howard B
Rhodes C
Air Force A
Minnesota B
Patrick Henry D

Initial Thoughts:
We have this regional ranked as the 5th most difficult one—not because it is particularly top-heavy, but because practically every single team at Regional 3-C is capable of earning a bid to ORCS. The top power here is Tufts A, who seem to be doing just fine despite graduating a large portion of their A team last spring. Headlined by consistent award-winners in Alexander Thompson, Bennett Demsky, and Will Wilson, this group placed 3rd at Beach Party and Great Chicago Fire, and we expect them to have no problems qualifying from Regional 3-C. The second best team here after Tufts is Boston College A, who were at nationals the last time it happened in 2019. But after graduating their top attorney and captain, Josh Holtz, they’re pretty clearly in a rebuilding phase. They haven’t attended as many invitationals as usual, and their only successful finish was a 5-3-0 run at Soda City in the fall. Their 2-6-0 finish at Hilltop doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. Still, Boston College has NCT-level talent in competitors like Nick Letts, and we think they’ll get through regionals. Then there’s American A—which didn’t get out of regionals last year after drops to Tufts A and Wesleyan C—but went to ORCS because their B team earned a bid. American has a solid lineup of competitors and we expect them to carve up some of the easier competition here, but they aren’t in our first-in group here because we aren’t sure how they’ll fare against the other top competition at Regional 3-C.

After Tufts, Boston College, and American, this field is wide open. Howard B is typically a strong team from a program that routinely sends two teams to ORCS, but their invitational results this season haven’t been as strong as we’d expect. Ditto for Minnesota, who sent two teams to ORCS last year and haven’t been placing at invitationals. Still, we would be very unsurprised to see program depth and institutional power carry both Howard B and Minnesota B through regionals weekend. The field also features two lower teams from very established southern power programs in Rhodes and Patrick Henry—whose E team got a bid in Week 1. If your E team can bid, so can your D team. Nobody is going to want to play Patrick Henry D or Rhodes C here. Princeton B doesn’t make the bubble after their program’s A and C teams didn’t make it out of regionals in Week 1. Princeton has had their fair share of remarkable hot streaks and disappointing cold spells over the past decade, and while we certainly aren’t counting them out, this doesn’t seem to be their year. But like every other regional this year—and every year—anything can happen. So keep your eyes peeled for an unexpected team or two advancing from Regional 3-C.

Team to watch: American A
Although this is an overall competitive field, we think that 3-C’s team to watch ought to be American University. The program has had impressive showing across a host of fall invitationals this year, and at their most recent showing just two weeks ago at Georgetown’s Hilltop Invite, the team only dropped one ballot in a close round to the College of William and Mary, earning American a 2nd place finish. It’s also notable that the team had an impressive CS of 21.5. American University is also unique in that they doesn’t have one stand out competitor, but instead two very even counsel tables of equally strong attorneys and strong witnesses. With a TPR rank of 32 and a very consistent history of bidding to ORCS, we expect American A to do very well this upcoming weekend.

Regional 3-D: (19 Teams, 5 bids) Middle-Out Compression' (MAIMD Ranking 13/32)
- 2 team in top 50, 3 teams in top 100, 9 in top 200

First in:
Minnesota A
North Carolina A
Patrick Henry B

Johns Hopkins A
Wellesley A
Georgia Tech C
Stevenson A
William & Mary B
UC Berkeley C

Initial Thoughts:
This is an extremely middle-heavy regional. There is no truly dominant team, but we do have Minnesota and North Carolina here, both of whom are both fairly consistent when it comes to making it to Nationals. What makes things interesting is that this regional has a very high number of frequent ORCS teams. Stevenson has been on the rise recently and has shown that they are quite capable of being a consistent contender. Stevenson is a team that is certainly disadvantaged by losing ORCS last year. They are likely considerably better than their TPR would imply. Additionally, you have teams like Johns Hopkins and Wellesley that have both become extremely consistent at making an appearance to ORCS. Then just to keep things interesting, AMTA threw some C teams from Georgia Tech, UC Berkeley, and American into the mix. Berkeley in particular has shown how strong their A team can be this year, but this may be a real test of their program’s depth. We do also have a couple interesting B teams rounding out the field in Patrick Henry and William and Mary. Patrick Henry tends to be a shoe-in at almost any regional regardless of the letter following the words ‘Patrick Henry’. William and Mary is also a team to pay attention to though as they did send their B team to ORCS for just the first time last year. This regional is also at the magical number of 20 to keep them at 6 bids. This regional will be a chance for most of these regulars to return, but it also may be a chance for Berkeley or Tech to show off some depth.

Team to watch: Stevenson A
Stevenson is a very interesting case. They earned a bid to the Central Islip ORCS in 2019 and went 3-4-1, which is a remarkable result for a smaller, newer program like Stevenson. They won two of their hard-earned ballots in a narrow victory against NYU. But Stevenson was unable to replicate the feat last year. At last year’s Owings Mills regionals, this consistent SPAMTA winner went 4-4-0 after dropping some ballots to Tufts and Penn (both of whom earned bids), as well as a tough Delaware A team that earned an honorable mention. This year’s Stevenson team is a bit different. After graduating a program stalwart and OLT competitor in Norman Greenwell, the team that will be fighting to earn a bid at 3-D will be a very different group of people than the one that competed in Central Islip two years ago. This group has competed at several pretty high-caliber invites this year, Georgetown University’s Hilltop chief among them, and they’ve posted respectable results at Charm City Classic, Yale, and Scarlet Knight. The Mustangs are led by standout attorney Jaden Thornton, who can go toe-to-toe with most folks in AMTA—certainly including everyone at this regional. This team has ORCS potential, and we’ll be interested to see if they get there. If you’re at 3-D this year, underestimate Steventon A at your peril.

Regional 3-E: (21 Teams, 6 bids) ‘All Full' (MAIMD Ranking 21/32)
- 1 team in top 50, 3 teams in top 100, 6 in top 200

First in:
Ohio State A
South Carolina A

Georgetown B
Baylor B
Juniata A
Arizona State B
UC Santa Barbara B
Nebraska A

Initial Thoughts:
With only six teams ranking within the top 200 of TPR in this regional, and six bids available, 3-E checks in as the 12th easiest regional in our rankings. Of course, the team every other program will be hoping to avoid at this regional is Ohio State A. Having graduated a number of star competitors, including Matt Besman, Maddie Driscoll, and Anna Defendiefer, it’s understandable to expect OSU to regress a little bit from where they were last year. However, the programs’ returning competitors, led by Clay Owens and Michael Li, have shown that they’re ready to pick up where the team left off last year: they’ve strung together two fine showings at GAMTI–where they finished with a winning record–and GCF–where, despite going three and five, their record included a number of very closely dropped ballots against strong programs–and they’ll certainly be a strong favorite at this regional as well.

After Ohio State, South Carolina A seems the most poised to secure a bid from this regional: after making nationals in 2019, and seeming primed to return again last year, entering ORCS off the back of a strong 7-1 showing at regionals. Coming off a solid performance at Hilltop Invitational, we expect this team to fare well at regionals–especially in this easier-than-average field. After these favorites, a number of B teams from strong programs seem positioned to battle it out for the remaining bids: Georgetown B leads the pack of teams like Baylor B, Arizona State B, and UCSB B that all hail from top 100 programs. These teams may face some resistance though from Nebraska A; the program seems to be having a strong year, with their B and C already having earned bids in past weeks, and we’d reasonably expect their A team to outperform their counterparts. Though this regional does have a number of teams who haven’t made ORCS in recent years, look out for some strong competition between the above-mentioned teams for the remaining bids this regional will have to offer.

Team to watch: Baylor B
Baylor B is a team that bids to ORCS fairly often. They were there at ORCS in 2018 and 2019, fighting for an NCT bid for a program that is certainly a power player on the Texas mock trial scene, but has yet to rise to regional or national dominance in the way that Baylor Law’s trial team has. But last year was different. In Houston for regionals, Baylor B dropped two ballots to Rice and split a Millsaps A team that earned a bid in what surely was a very interesting round—the split was +17, -19. Baylor B went 3-4-1 and did not move on to a Memphis ORCS that never was. Baylor B has had a mediocre showing so far at invitationals, largely finishing in the middle of the pack at most tournaments where they’ve been competing. But given that their A team has already earned a bid and the fact that their southern style will almost certainly play well with the Mississippi College judging pool, we expect Baylor B to get back to their winning ways this year.

Regional 3-F: (22 Teams, 6 bids) ‘B Team Domination' (MAIMD Ranking 1/32)
- 3 team in top 50, 3 teams in top 100, 10 in top 200

First in:
Rhodes B
Northwestern B

Indiana A
Tennessee A
Georgia C
Juniata B
Colby A
Penn State C
Baylor C

Initial Thoughts:
The two favorites for this regional are interesting in that they are both B teams. Rhodes B has the potential to be a very very strong team and has been in past years (even qualifying to NCT the last time they could in 2019). But there is reason for concern. Rhodes has had a very up and down season and their A team almost didn’t qualify in week one. For a program that routinely qualifies all the way down to their E team this is a worry spot. We expect them to make it through but nothing is certain this year. Moving in the other direction we have another B team that is rapidly becoming a national power. Northwestern qualified two teams to nationals in both 2018 and 2019 and in 2020, although they only qualified one team it was their B team which seems from the awards to be very similar to this year’s B team. Their B team has also had a number of strong results at top tournaments this fall including helping on their way to a win at Beach Party, and taking third at the Hilltop invitational. Just by TPR the first in section should be rounded out by Indiana A, but given that team’s difficulties in the past 12 months, we are moving them down to the bubble. The bubble is filled out by a number of teams who have seen success on a small scale over the last few years including the infamous Colby College and the University of Tennessee A (a team that used to be a national power but has struggled at the ORCS level in recent years). We then have a number of C teams from strong nationals level teams and the B team from Juniata who are perennially dangerous even to the best teams at regionals.

Team to watch: Indiana A
Indiana has not been on a positive trajectory over the last few years. As of 2018 they were at Nationals and were the reason that Rhodes A didn’t make the NCT final (taking a ballot off of them in the fourth round that kept them below UC Irvine and Yale B), but they had a strong graduating class that year and in 2019 their A team suddenly dropped to a 3.5 record at ORCS (although their B managed 5-3). That could have just been a weak year, but things got worse the next year when they only got their bid to ORCS out of an open bid, and unlike some teams who seem to be able to do that year after year and still crush ORCS, they went 1-7 (although the 1 was the 1 that took out UVA A). The question this year is whether Indiana has the strength to correct course and reclaim their short lived strength from 2017 and 2018. So far the results from the invitational season have not been disastrous but have not been stand out with a 3-5 record at GCF, and in general a fall season with fewer strong appearances than usual.

Regional 3-G: (20 Teams, 6 bids) ‘Mid-Level Madness' (MAIMD Ranking 16/32)
- 1 team in top 50, 4 teams in top 100, 6 in top 200

First in:
UC Irvine A

Dayton A
William & Mary A
Washington A
Brown B
Fresno B
Iowa C

Initial Thoughts:
This regional has a large number of teams who have been all the way to NCT in the past, as well as lower teams from historical powers. None of these teams has really experienced consistent top level success recently, but this does mean that a large number of teams from this Regional have the potential to break to ORCS. Irvine A is the team that has had the most success back to the days of Rahul Hari and Justin Bernstein, and most recently at 2018 NCT when they were an OCS tiebreaker away from making the final round. They’ve lost some power recently, most notably TBC competitor Sasha Yusuf, but led by his second chair Joseph Colarian and coach Emily Shaw, we expect Irvine to be fine.

Beyond the Anteaters, Washington A was regularly appearing at Downtown and Nationals a couple of years ago, and are always a team no one wants to hit. Dayton A is consistently an ORCS team that plays a classic Midwest style, and are gradually growing a coaching staff to help build some more consistency (including former standout Raika Casey). William and Mary A is coming off of an impressive win at Florida’s Swamp Invitational, including a R4 split with the UVA B team that just went 7-1 at Regionals. W&M has been a team that breaks to Nationals about half of the time. They play a very clean and friendly style, and are as likable a team as they come, so we expect them to perform well too.

Team to watch: Washington A
One of the biggest questions in mock trial is “which region is the strongest” and this year we’re able to get a more clear answer. Having teams face those they normally wouldn’t has allowed us to see if certain regions have more power than we would think or less power. University of Washington A comes from the northwest region of mock trial which is the only region that allows more than two teams to compete. It is so far away from every other regional that large programs consistently send 3+ teams to one regional and all fight for the same spots. Washington is one of those programs and they’ve been successful with that format. Usually Berkeley or Stanford join the seattle regionals, but other than that it’s them, Oregon and Portland. With that field, they are consistent ORCS attendees and are consistently middle of the pack there. It’ll be interesting to see how competing with non-northwest schools impacts Washington’s placement. On the bright side, they’re an extremely talented team that is carrying over a lot of talent from last year’s A team. They have performed well at the invitationals they’ve attended, most notably going 7-1 at Oregon’s Frohmeyer invitational, earning second place and Alaka Rao has awarded as both an attorney and witness multiple times this year. We expect them to do well, but so far no northwest team has earned a bid so they’ll be one to watch for sure.

Regional 3-H: (20 Teams, 6 bids) ‘Welcome to Hell' (MAIMD Ranking 9/32)
- 2 team in top 50, 3 teams in top 100, 10 in top 200

First in:
Michigan A
Penn State A

UC Berkeley B
St. Thomas A
Georgetown C
Northwestern C
Duke C
Georgia State A
Liberty A

Initial Thoughts:
Don’t expect an easy round here—because while this regional isn’t THE hardest, we feel for anyone trying to earn a bid from 3-H. At the top we have Michigan A and Penn State A. Both of these teams consistently make ORCS and fight their way to nationals more often than not. Expect these two to have an easier time here. After that, there are almost 10 teams that prove year after year that they deserve a bid to ORCS. Sometimes they earn that bid and other times they don’t, but with that many teams fighting for a spot, we’re expecting some of these teams to be extremely disappointed by the end of the weekend. Let's start off with teams that are consistently in the running for ORCS bids—and that happens to be most of the lower level teams from outstanding programs. Georgetown C, Northwestern C, Duke C and UCLA E all put up fights every year and take ballots off nationals level teams. Do they always advance? No. But any of these teams are talented enough to earn a bid. It’ll come down to who they play. Next are some teams whose results are anything but consistent. St. Thomas A and Georgia State A have both been to Nationals in the past few years but also have failed to advance from regionals. These are obviously extremely talented teams but their inconsistency puts them in the bubble. Similarly, teams like Berkeley B, Liberty A and St. Norbert have earned bids, but not consistently.

Team to watch: UC Berkeley B
UC Berkeley B usually advances to ORCS but it’s often not because of their bid. In the past 3 years, Berkeley B has only advanced once while their C and D teams have earned their program’s second bid the other two times. Last year, Berkeley “B” was actually the one to earn a nationals bid out of Santa Monica, but it was actually Berkeley D who competed as the second team. We chose them as the team to watch because UC Berkeley is an amazing program that consistently advances multiple teams to ORCS and then to nationals. Given the success of Berkeley A in the invitational season (winning who knows how many tournaments while stacked in the fall and then a second place finish at GCF), we expect all Cal teams to put up a fight and potentially earn a bid, but for whatever reason, Berkeley’s B team consistently struggles to advance and we’re not sure why.

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