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2021 Regionals Analysis Week 4 Empty 2021 Regionals Analysis Week 4

Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:29 pm
Message reputation : 100% (2 votes)
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 4-A: (20 Teams, 6 bids) ‘The Big Guns' (MAIMD Ranking 17/32)
- 2 team in top 50, 4 teams in top 100, 6 in top 200

First in:
Miami A
Rhodes B

Bubble:
Alabama A
Central Missouri A
Notre Dame C
UCLA D


Initial Thoughts:
While this regional was originally ranked 17/32 (about halfway), the recent addition of Rhodes B and the recent losses of Carthage A and Southern Methodist A are sure to shake up how this regional would have been ranked. At the top we have Miami who is technically still our last nationals winner. After an impressive win at GAMTI and other solid invitational results, we expect them to have no problem advancing from 4-A. Following Miami is the highest ranking B team in Rhodes B. Rhodes B was supposed to compete in week 3 but at the last minute was moved to week 4. Adding another nationals returning team must not have been fun for anyone competing here, but with the move of two other solid teams, it created a pretty clear divide from the perceived top teams and the rest. Then we have Alabama who is as consistent as they come. They never have a huge problem advancing from regionals and have earned exactly 5 wins at ORCS every year for the past three years. Despite the loss of last year’s all-regional winners, we don’t expect Alabama to have too many problems here. After that, we have three A teams that historically have earned bids, but all failed to earn direct bids in 2020. Central Missouri A, Southern Methodist A and Carthage A all earned 5 wins and had to compete at ORCS from the open bid list to varying degrees of success. Central Missouri showed that their 5 wins at regionals was no fluke by earning 5 more at the Cincinnati ORCS, but Southern Methodist and Carthage earned 2.5 and 1 win respectively. While we think all three have the ability to earn bids here, there is some concern for all three. Last, there are Notre Dame C, Texas C, Arkansas C and UCLA D that despite being lower level teams, have the ability to take ballots off some of the best teams in the country.

Team to watch: Texas C
Even though they are a C team, this Texas team has proved it is not to be underestimated during its invitational season. Coming off a 4th place finish at UCLASSIC and placing 3rd at Scarlet & Gray, this team has the capacity to throw some curveballs at the higher-ranked teams at this regional. Texas C’s witnesses in particular have sparked discussion in the community, noted as being attention-grabbing characters. Given that Texas Mock Trial as a whole has shown strong depth of program during the 2020-21 season, all eyes should be on their C team this weekend to see just how strong the future of this program is.


Regional 4-B: (20 Teams, 6 bids) ‘Fly-Over Fury' (MAIMD Ranking 11/32)
- 2 team in top 50, 2 teams in top 100, 8 in top 200

First in:
Emory A
Cincinnati A

Bubble:
Colorado College A
Hamilton A
Miami C
Hillsdale B
Duquesne A
Howard C
Southern Methodist A


Initial Thoughts:
We’ve got this regional ranked as our 4th most difficult—and it’s high up for good reason. Emory A is the team nobody wants to hit. After an uninspiring finish at GAMTI, Emory A has seemingly turned it around, posting a solid showing at GCF and winning Georgia Tech’s Ramblin Wreck tournament with an impressive 7-1-0 showing. They’re led by two of AMTA’s best performers in Sara DeLacey and Riya Lakkaraju, and they look to be headed back to ORCS despite graduating stars in TBC competitor Elias Neibart and All-American John Merle. We expect them to get out of 4-B with relative ease. Next up is Cincinnati, another consistent nationals program. Despite losing a star in Julia Greve, the Bearcats have put up solid showings at a number of invites, and we think they’re a favorite to qualify here as well.

Colorado College A is another team to watch at 4-B. They earned a bid to the NCT last year and look strong this year again—as evidenced by their 6-2-0 finish at UCLASSIC. Hamilton is a program on the rise after tearing up the field at Buffalo regionals last year, so they’re one to watch, too. And Southern Methodist is another team that can’t be counted out—they got an open bid to ORCS last year. After those schools, the field is very midwestern: Miami C is always a threat, Duquesne A is a strong team, and Hillsdale B is from a school that’s seen a good deal of success this year. This regional will be tough and unpredictable. We’ll be excited to see who makes it out.

Team to watch: Colorado College A
Colorado College is an interesting team. As high performing AMTA teams go, they are relatively new. They were formed for the first time in 2014 where they had a flash in the pan success and made NCT, taking 8th, in their very first year. Then, like any number of programs, with the momentum of their first season worn off, they struggled to repeat their success. They ended with 3-5 at ORCS and slowly sunk from there, first with slowly dropping ORCS ballot numbers and then in 2018 they stopped making ORCS at all. This looked for all the world like a team that had seen early success with one really driven team and then fallen off hard as those members graduated and would settle into a role as a consistently high regionals/low ORCS middling team. And then 2020 happened and Colorado College made NCT again. Obviously we don’t know how they would have done if NCT had happened, but even making it is a strong sign of resurgence for this team. As a result, this year we will be very interested to see whether that was another blip, or whether Colorado College has come back to stay.


Regional 4-C: (20 Teams, 6 bids) ‘The Bottleneck' (MAIMD Ranking 22/32)
- 1 team in top 50, 3 teams in top 100, 8 in top 200

First in:
Howard A
Michigan State A

Bubble:
Stanford B
Portland A
Gonzaga A
Vanderbilt A
Western Kentucky A
Boston College B
Rochester B
Wheaton B


Initial Thoughts:
This Regional features only one elite team in Howard A, which is coming off of two consecutive NCT appearances and is from a program that already sent its B team through at 3-C. Despite the lack of other juggernauts at the top, this regional is deceptively difficult in its depth. Michigan State A, our other First-In team, earned a bid to last year’s phantom NCT, and their program is returning four (4) (FOUR !!!) outstanding 2020 ORCS performers. Vanderbilt is a program on the rise, and after their C team’s strong performance at 2-A, it is hard to imagine that this A team (featuring an eminently likable witness in Noah Frank) won’t advance. Portland A is another team that is quickly becoming a staple at ORCS, and finished with 4.5 ballots at Geneva’s last year with a CS of 20.5.

Further down in the bubble, we find Western Kentucky, which failed to earn a bid to ORCS last year but got one the year prior, and a peculiar team in Boston College B. Last year, 3 different Boston College teams went 7-1 at Regionals, including a second-place finish by BC B at New Haven. So why the low ranking? Boston College A finished an ugly 2-6 at the aforementioned 3-C Regional, while D snagged a 6-2 honorable mention at 3-B featuring a double-awarding witness in Michael Griglak who has now awarded at two consecutive Regionals. Overall, it’s tough to know what to expect with this team.

Team to watch: Stanford B
While their TPR doesn’t reflect it, last year was the first time in 3 years that Stanford failed to send two teams to ORCS, with their B team falling just short at 5-3 due to a final round sweep at the hands of the corresponding Irvine squad. Throughout the fall semester, the program remained unstacked, with both teams putting up solid performances and never posting a record below .500 at any tournament save for the gauntlet that is GAMTI. Their single spring tournament as a team doesn’t appear to shed too much light on the strength of the reformulated Stanford B. While they finished a disappointing 3-5 at UCLASSIC, it was with a strong CS of 21 and all ballots being decided by 6 or fewer points. If Stanford B does manage to win a bid outright, it won’t be as a result of any familiar names, but out of programmatic depth: All Stanford competitors who awarded at invitationals (Elizabeth Grant and Azam Jamnohamed as attorneys and Robert Castaneros as a witness), appear to have competed for the Stanford A team that advanced out of 1-F. Two years ago, Stanford B earned an outright bid to Nationals, with 6 ballots out of a bloodbath in Geneva. Their performance this year will indicate whether or not Stanford should be expected to sustain elite performance across both their A and B teams (à la UVA), or feared primarily for the starpower that is guaranteed to be present on their A team.


Regional 4-D: (20 Teams, 6 bids) ‘Basically Lancaster' (MAIMD Ranking 19/32)
- 2 team in top 50, 3 teams in top 100, 8 in top 200

First in:
Wesleyan A
Fordham Lincoln Center A

Bubble:
Boston University B
Notre Dame B
Arizona B
Carthage A
Auburn A
Louisiana State A
UC Davis C


Initial Thoughts:
The field in 4-D should be paced by two teams absolutely nobody will want to see in Wesleyan and Fordham.  Fordham, despite narrowly missing the cut at ORCS last year, has put together two straight seasons of excellent invitational success under dual threat all star Evan Donaldson.  Wesleyan, on the other hand, finished 1st overall at the Lancaster ORCS… and it wasn’t really close.  With a roster as deep as it is dynamic, and two bids already in hand, this is a team looking to have a banner year and claim a spot among AMTA’s very best.

Beyond our top two, are some very winnable bids, in a clash between the depth of bigger name programs, and the best of regional players that are annually in the mix.  Of the non-A teams, Notre Dame B is perhaps the strongest of the bunch, after a 5-3 showing at ORCS last year, and a 8-0 blitz by their A team in week 2, we expect a good showing even despite the lack of clear invitational success.  In Arizona B, we have a team whose program regularly puts out strong B-D teams, but in weeks 2 and 3, their C and D teams struggled.  And with Boston B we have a program who all year has put together good, but not great performances.  

Beyond the B teams, we have the best of Auburn, Carthage, and LSU.  Auburn and Carthage have both been on a backslide for a couple of years now, but certainly have shown an ability to put together consistently solid teams, which when mixed with an upswing in talent, can produce ORCS runs.  

Team to watch: Louisiana State A
LSU is the team we have our eye on to move upward.  LSU has improved each of the last three years at Regionals.  Last year they finished a commanding 6-2, taking ballots from the regularly strong St. Thomas (TX) A and Millsaps A teams, and finishing with a triple digit PD.  This winter invitational season they competed at atypical and Crimson Classic where they earned 2 and 0 wins respectively and that is definitely a sign for caution. The Bayou Bengals could be a dark horse in 4-D if they can return to their 6 win finish last year, but if they replicate their invitational season, it might be the end of LSU’s season.


Regional 4-E: (20 Teams, 6 bids) ‘Scrappy Valley Invitational' (MAIMD Ranking 13/32)
- 2 team in top 50, 4 teams in top 100, 6 in top 200

First in:
Chicago A
UC Santa Barbara A

Bubble:
Furman A
Ohio State C
Rhodes C
Fordham Lincoln Center B
Tenn-Chattanooga B
Santa Clara A


Initial Thoughts:
This regional is one of the ones that seems harder using the eye test than the numbers would indicate. The common rhythm these AMTA online regionals have fallen into is putting one top A team in a regional, a number of B and C teams from traditionally strong programs, some A teams from low-mid level schools, and then filling in the rest of the field. However, that’s not exactly the recipe they followed in 4-E. There is the top A team - Chicago A. Chicago graduated their multiple time All-American closer Regina Campbell last year, so they lost their big star power. But a lot of their A team from last year is returning (players like Henry Hopcraft, Sahil Nerurkar, and Davis Pessner), as well as adding some new faces in players like Anna Stoneman. We expect Chicago to be just fine here.

The place where AMTA deviated from the typical formula they’ve been following is in the second tier at this Regional. They included the lower teams from strong programs, like OSU’s  and Rhodes’ C teams, Fordham B, and UTC B. But UCSB A and Furman A are a stronger crop of A teams than a lot of other regionals have. Both have real potential to compete on the national stage, making the R2 and R3 high-high pairings between Furman, UCSB, and Chicago into can’t miss television.

Team to watch: Northeastern A
Oftentimes at the corporate offices of MAIMD we have to rely on publicly available statistics, foremost among them TPR. That can make gauging a team like Northeastern a bit difficult, as they haven’t been to ORCS since, well, ever actually. But if there is to be a non-bubble team to defy the odds and break through to ORCS at 4-E, Northeastern is our choice. Last year Northeastern sent one team to last year’s Chestnut Hill Regionals, finishing 4-4, and they are returning All-Regionals expert Shourik Choudury along with current president Angelina Leach. This year they’ve expanded to two teams (both competing week 4). The only tournament we have on record for the team is Arizona’s Cactus Classic, with the team finishing 3-4-1 with a low CS. Overall, it doesn’t appear that Northeastern has the firepower to break through if they face a rough schedule, but if not they have a real chance to break new ground for a hungry Northeastern program.


Regional 4-F: (22 Teams, 6 bids) “Wait was that a C team” (MAIMD Ranking 30/32)
- 1 team in top 50, 3 teams in top 100, 7 in top 200

First in:
UMBC A

Bubble:
Yale B
Chicago B
UCLA C
Irvine C
Oregon B
St. Olaf A
Florida State C
Lehigh A


Initial Thoughts:
This regional ought to have one top dog: UMBC, and it probably does. But UMBC is going to have a heck of a time at this regional given how many B and C teams there are that have the potential to be very good. We expect UMBC to be very strong this year despite some graduations last year. They have performed credibly at invites this spring, with a 5-3 fifth place at the National level GCF, and the same record the next weekend at Hilltop. They also recently returned for the spring Sydney Gaskins (who seemed to be taking a break last fall). Gaskins is back for her senior season after placing second at TBC and we expect her to tear up the AMTA circuit.

However, the rest of the bubble is nothing to overlook. At the top of our bubble we have Yale B. Yale B may be very good (see 2018 when they made an NCT final), but they also have struggled at invites this year and are reportedly quite young. It’s also notable that Yale has struggled at regionals over the least few years even when they are succeeding at the highest level. Just behind them we have Chicago B, who are also routinely in the mix to make the NCT, but again are reportedly quite young this year. Both of these teams should have a strong chance of making it out and even of stealing stray ballots from the top dog but are by no means a shoe in. Behind them we have two dangerous west coast C teams both of which traditionally qualify (often with flying colors) as well as B and C teams from Oregon and Florida State respectively, both of whom often make it out but are inconsistent. Finally we have Lehigh and St. Olaf who have recently had some success but are new and still relative unknowns.

Team to watch: UCLA C
UCLA’s program has a long history of producing 3-4 strong teams a year–and earning as many top-6 finishes at regionals. Last year was particularly exceptional for the program, with four of UCLA’s five teams earning bids (two, of course, turned into open bids) and their fifth team finishing one -1 ballot away from yet another bid. This year’s invitational results–most notably their 5-3 finish against a very strong field at UCLASSIC, marked by an extremely impressive +10 +10 fourth round win over UC Irvine A –would suggest that UCLA’s C team is primed to help repeat this feat yet again. Last year, they finished only behind their B team (on a CS tiebreaker) at Tempe regionals;  especially with their E team having already earned a bid this year (a sign that, if anything, the program has improved since last year), look for UCLA C to stand out as one of strongest teams at their regional. With particularly strong coaching and plenty of experience, we wouldn’t be surprised to find UCLA C sitting at the top of 4-F come Sunday.


Regional 4-G: (20 Teams, 6 bids) ‘West Coast Best Coast' (MAIMD Ranking 25/32)
- 2 team in top 50, 2 teams in top 100, 6 in top 200

First in:

UCLA B
Arizona A

Bubble:
Arkansas A
Denver A
Washington B
UMass Amherst B
Georgia D
UC Santa Cruz A
Macalester B


Initial Thoughts:
This regional is unique in that there is not one stand out, top dog team, but instead a whole host of incredibly strong teams from historically strong programs. With six top 200 teams at this regional, there’s a wide spread of highly competitive teams at Regional 4G which will certainly provide some interesting and competitive rounds.

To begin analyzing those strong teams, UCLA B has a long history of bidding to ORCS and often to Nationals as well-- and UCLA is certainly having another strong show this season. UCLA is a program with historical depth, fielding even scary D and E teams. With UCLA A winning this year’s most competitive invite (Great Chicago Fire), we expect UCLA B to do extraordinary well at this Regionals. Arizona A is also a historically very powerful team. With a TPR of 31.5 and rank of 31, Arizona has proven itself to be a strong and reliably well-performing team which is why we expect them to make it out of Regionals for another year. UC Santa Cruz A has also had a strong season going into this regional. The team got 5th and 6th place respectively at the two tournaments they attended this winter, going 5-3 at both with a CS of 20.5 and 22.5 respectively. Arkansas is also an incredibly strong program and seeing that their B team went 5-3 this past weekend (earning them an honorable mention) we expect their A to have a strong showing this upcoming weekend. Other than that, teams like UMass Amherst B, Washington B, Macalester B, and Georgia D look to add additional bids to their program who’s already secured one.

Team to watch: Arkansas A
Arkansas is a program that has shown depth so far in the regionals season. Their B team earned 5 wins and an honorable mention while their D team took ballots off teams like Princeton C and Yale C. Their showings from week 1, as well as their appearances at ORCS the past four years, would lead us to believe they have a pretty decent chance at advancing. Where we have doubts is that there are multiple teams who fit that category and Arkansas hasn’t proven they can beat teams like that. In their three ORCS appearances (since last year’s was cancelled) they’ve averaged 2.8 wins and they haven’t been to too many invitationals to show how they compete against other ORCS level teams. Their best placement was a 6-2 finish at their own tournament in December, however they sent three teams there and the other two earned 4 and 3 wins respectively. That 6-2 finish was the only one we could find where they earned more wins than they lost and that has some concern. We expect them to be in contention and maybe even earn a bid but with the amount of solid teams here, we also wouldn’t be shocked if they came up just short.


Regional 4-H: (22 Teams, 6 bids) ‘Everyone but the Northeast' (MAIMD Ranking 23/32)
- 2 team in top 50, 2 teams in top 100, 9 in top 200

First in:
Georgia A

Bubble:
UC San Diego A
USC A
Cincinnati B
Carleton A
Iowa B
Louisiana, Monroe B
Portland B
Michigan State C
Cornell College B


Initial Thoughts:
With 9 teams in the top 200 and 13 teams with any type of ranking, teams should not expect an easy round in 4-H. At the top we have nationals returning Georgia A and UC San Diego A. Both are nationals returning teams who consistently earn bids to ORCS and thrive while they’re there. UC San Diego usually would be in first in, but their drop to 3.5 wins at ORCS and barely making it out of regionals last year with 5.5 wins and a CS of 11.5 has us nervous enough to move them to the bubble. As the only two teams to have competed at the national level in the past few years, we expect them both to sail through. Following them are a plethora of teams that aren’t usually too far from that national stage. Iowa B shocked Cedar Rapids as they earned their way to Nationals last year taking a ballot off Chicago A. USC A and Carleton A are A teams that consistently send teams to ORCS and take ballots off strong teams. Following those A teams we have some strong B teams in Louisiana Monroe, Cornell College, Cincinnati and Portland who have all competed at ORCS before and are looking to return. Overall, 4-H seems to be a regional that for some teams might feel like an ORCS and will be determined by some close rounds and what might be a tough round 4 matchup.

Team to watch: Carleton A
Carleton is a strong program in a tough region that always manages to do quite well at regionals. They sent two teams to ORCS in 2019 and 2020, with their A team posting an impressive 5-win finish at regionals where their only dropped ballots came to a Northwestern B team that went 8-0-0 and went on to earn a bid to the NCT. Their program also clearly has depth, as evidenced by the fact that their B team went 6-2-0, dropping ballots narrowly to another strong Midwest power in Minnesota A. In ordinary circumstances, the Knights of Carleton College wouldn’t be flying into Regional 4-H under the radar—they’d be right alongside Georgia and UCSD as favorites to earn bids to ORCS. But these aren’t ordinary circumstances, and the chaos of this past year has affected every mock trial program in very different ways. Carleton hasn’t been a consistent presence at invitationals—in fact, they’ve attended far fewer than normal. So it’s anyone’s guess if the 2019/2020 version of Carleton College A will show up at regionals. But if it turns out that this group hasn’t lost a step, the field at 4-H should watch out.

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2021 Regionals Analysis Week 4 Empty Re: 2021 Regionals Analysis Week 4

Thu Feb 25, 2021 7:32 pm
First in:
Wesleyan A

I've had the pleasure of seeing Wesleyan twice this year - they are a solid squad, well-rounded and really cleaned up at invitationals.
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