Impeachments
Would you like to react to this message? Create an account in a few clicks or log in to continue.

Go down
avatar
Posts : 96
Reputation : 185
Join date : 2019-11-19
View user profile

2021 ORCS Analysis Empty 2021 ORCS Analysis

Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:38 pm
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 ORCS! If you aren't on here, then prove us wrong! If you made our list, then prove us right!
- MockAnalysisIsMyDrug

New Structural Dynamics at ORCS:

We saw a partial roll out of the new ORCS pairing system last year (partial because we never finished the ORCS season), but a couple of things became clear last year. First, (with our highly limited sample size) the top of B bracket seemed to be doing better than the bottom of A bracket in terms of getting bids. This may be because of the CS advantage that comes with being in the top of the bracket, or it may simply be that the B bracket teams felt the psychological effect of having more to prove. In either case, it will be interesting to see whether that trend continues this year when we have more data.

Second, our prediction that the New ORCS system would produce some 6-2 teams that didn’t qualify proved correct. Even with only 5 out of 8 ORCS complete there were going to be 6-2 teams that didn’t qualify and not enough open bids (even accounting for the open bid they would add to balance out the the host bid created by Loyola) to cover them all. In particular, the more predictable the ORCS (i.e. the closer TPR came to matching the final outcomes), the more likely it was that there would be 6-2 teams that didn’t qualify. This means that we should be braced for there to be some teams with very high records that don’t qualify this year as well. That said, the fact that our TPR is all a year out of date, may make the ORCS more unpredictable and less likely to see high record teams fail to get bids.

This year we may also be seeing three ballot ORCS (although at the time of posting, AMTA is still not 100% sure if this will happen). Overall, this will be a positive thing for ORCS if it actually happens because more judges generally protects you from the effects of one weird judge. However, they may have an interesting effect on the percentage of ballots you need to win to qualify. 3+ ballot rounds really only happen at select invitationals or nationals, but historically, they tend to cause more splits. This has a few different impacts. First, the number of wins to place becomes lower. Because more teams are splitting, there are less teams at the equivalent of 6-2, and the equivalent of 5-3 could very well earn a bid (the sixth place teams at invites or nationals with 3 ballots has often won a lower percentage of their ballots than sixth place teams at tournaments with just 2 per round). Second, it makes matchups more important. Being able to take 3 ballots off of a team is much more important now when you could end up splitting in rounds you'd normally take two close ballots. It’s difficult to tell if those patterns will translate to ORCS as we've mainly seen them at nationals and high level invites where splits can be more common due to increased parity. We suspect, however, that it will at least in part. For one thing, with more judges means it's more likely to get at least one crazy judge or judge that just doesn't like your style and drops you a ballot.

All of this means that the precise number of ballots required to get a bid is going to be highly variable this year. Ordinarily, going into ORCS you know roughly how many ballots it will take to qualify: somewhere between 5 and 6. This year we could see it being as low as 7 ballots (the number of ballots needed to place above 6th at several invites with 3 ballots per round in the last few years) which proportionally is 4.6 ballots (which would never qualify from ORCS in a 2 ballot world). But we could also see it getting so high that there are teams at 9 ballots who don’t qualify (the equivalent of the 6-2 teams that didn’t qualify last year). Even more interestingly, this may well play out differently at different ORCS. Just like last year we had 5 win teams bidding out of some ORCS while 6 win teams were stuck on the open bid list at others, we may see cases where 7 win teams get bids at some ORCS and 8 or 9 win teams don’t at others.

As a final note, as with regionals, some of these ORCS are going to be hosted by specific schools and some will be hosted nationally. At regionals this didn’t seem to make a huge difference, with AMTA still assigning judges from the national pool. Therefore, we don’t expect a huge amount of geographic preference from the judging pool to play a role.


By The Numbers:
We begin by breaking down these fields by a couple of statistical categories. As usual we have given you the average TPR points and the average rank of the teams in each ORCS. This should give a sense of what the average difficulty of any round might be. We have also taken a look at the top 6 teams in each ORCS to see what the difficulty of the top rounds will look like and how much strength will have to be displaced in order for teams to get bids. As an added metric this year we have looked at the average ballots each team won at regionals this year. We think this last statistic is particularly important because all of our TPR data is a year out of date. Thus teams that improved significantly since the end of the 2019 season or have had heavy attrition may not be as well represented this year by TPR

2021 ORCS Analysis Screen15


We want to start by saying that no ORCS is easy. ORCS are hard. Everyone who gets a bid should be immensely proud of that bid wherever it comes from. All of what we are about to say has to do with the relative strength of the ORCS.

One thing to think about at ORCS is also that you will only have to play one team in each grouping. So a super hard top of the field is frightening because it means you will almost certainly have to play one really hard round you could drop in. But unlike in the regionals system, you don’t have to play everyone in that top sector. An ORCS that had power more spread out might give more of a chance to slip through on an easy schedule, but it also runs more of a risk of having to play multiple killer teams at the same tournament (one in each bracket).

This year has presented us with a set of ORCS with very different stand out profiles.

To start out with, we have ORCS 1-A and 2-A. Both of these ORCS have relatively medium strength packs on average by the numbers. Their fear factor is the top. These two ORCS both have incredibly strong A brackets relative to the rest of the field, meaning we expect some showdowns in round three that could keep a team that usually qualifies out.

Meanwhile 2-B and 2-D show opposite patterns. 2-B looks very difficult across the historical data, particularly keeping the full field in mind. But the teams present didn’t do so well at regionals, suggesting that they may have fallen off since 2019 and this may be an easier ORCS than the historical numbers suggest. 2-D on the other hand looks extremely easy across the historical data but teams in that region crushed it at regionals, winning on average almost a ballot more per team than those at ORCS 2-B. It will be interesting to see which ORCS turns out to be harder and whether the historical or current data is more useful.


1-A: ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31g0YE61PLQ'
- 3 teams in the top 25, 6 teams in top 50, 11 teams in top 100, 17 in top 200

First in:
Northwestern A
Tufts A


Bubble:
Rhodes A
Fordham Lincoln Center A
UC Davis A
Virginia B
Hillsdale A
Notre Dame A
Colorado College

Initial Thoughts:
We don't care what the numbers say, 1-A is an extraordinarily difficult ORCS - in part precisely because there are a number of teams here that have recently been performing well beyond what their TPR would suggest. At the top end, we have Northwestern and Tufts, both of whom have been having standout years so far (Northwestern won Beach Party, placed 2nd in their division at GCF, and went 8-0 at regionals, while Tufts placed 3rd at Beach Party, 3rd in their division at GCF, and went 8-0 at regionals). Both teams have had several different members earn individual awards throughout the year, and between them have three of the eight remaining All-American competitors in AMTA.

But every ORCS has strong teams in the A bracket, and it's instead the serious contenders hiding in the B, C, and D brackets that make this one particularly dangerous. UVA's B team should never be discounted--last year, they were the ones to earn the NCT bid for their program, and this year they were a major factor in UVA's second place finish at Beach Party (where A and B teams from a program compete together). In the C bracket, we have the A team from Notre Dame, a program who notably had all three of their teams go 8-0 at regionals, and look to be making a serious push to get back to NCT this year. Rounding out the bubble teams is Colorado College, a team that last year was the only D-bracket team to break from ORCS, and whose out-of-date TPR thus feels particularly off the mark. Any other year, a returning nationals-qualifying team in the D bracket would be unthinkable.

On the upside, for teams that can avoid these standout difficult draws in their respective brackets, the average rank and TPR of the overall field at 1-A aren't particularly alarming. We've also made one prediction that may come as a surprise in that we have Rhodes--not only the top-ranked team at this ORCS, but the #1 TPR team in the country--listed as a bubble team. Rhodes has been somewhat underperforming this year: not necessarily by an objective standard, but certainly in comparison to what we've come to expect from their program. While we anticipate they'll still be a force to be reckoned with at this ORCS, we'll be curious to see how they fare against the other top teams.

The last team worth noting is Rochester A. Now as a team ranked A4 and 30th overall, some might be wondering why they aren’t even in our bubble. Well this is a product of the old TPR. See, Rochester A did compete at nationals from 2017-2019, meaning their TPR is the level of a consistent nationals team similar to Florida or NYU. However, unlike those programs, they’ve declined significantly over the past two years. They didn’t earn a bid to ORCS last year, and this year, their bid comes from their B team who only earned 5 wins. If last year’s stats were counted, they would have dropped a significant amount, most likely to around 125th on TPR which would be either at the bottom of the B bracket or the top of the C bracket. Furthermore, this year’s performance would suggest that they’re still rebuilding and their chances of attending the 2021 nationals aren’t as high as other teams, despite being in the A bracket.

Team to watch: Rhodes A
It almost feels absurd to highlight Rhodes as our team to watch here. We like to focus on teams that people may not know quite as much about, and Rhodes certainly doesn’t fall into that group. They are, according to TPR, the number 1 team in the country. The last time AMTA had a final round, they were there. And yet, they are the team to watch at ORCS 1-A. Because for the first time in a very long time, their bid to the NCT is no sure thing. For one thing, they’re competing at ORCS for the first time in a long time without home-field advantage: the Memphis judging pool that they normally get will be replaced with a legion of judges from across the country recruited by AMTA. Further complicating the situation is the absolutely brutal draw here. There’s a strong argument to be made that the top team in the country might only be the third best team at this ORCS, behind Northwestern and Tufts, who have excelled thus far this year. We’ll be very interested to see how Rhodes does in that A group matchup in Round 3.

As for their invitational results, they won 7 ballots at Mumbo Jumbo early on in the season, and they kicked off their spring invitational run with another 7-1-0 finish at UC Irvine’s Beach Party. But against the top competition, they’ve struggled, turning in a dismal 3.5 (out of 12) ballot showing at GAMTI and a 3 ballot showing at Great Chicago Fire. At regionals, they struggled again, dropping a ballot to cross-state rival Tennessee Chattanooga and—perhaps more surprisingly—a ballot to the University of Oregon. These aren’t the consistently excellent results we’ve come to expect from Rhodes teams. Part of the reason why is that their stellar bench of Richard Madden, Jeena Piriano, and longtime opener Matthew Broussard are all gone. They’ve been replaced by able attorneys in Grace Files and Matthew Mussalli, who had a perfect 20 ranks at regionals. But the folks at Rhodes have some big shoes to fill. And 1-A will be the perfect test. Will their 30+ year streak of bids to the NCT continue?


1-B: ‘To B or not to B'
- 3 teams in the top 25, 6 teams in top 50, 10 teams in top 100, 17 in top 200

First in:
Miami A


Bubble:
Rhodes B
Howard A
Florida A
Harvard A
Wheaton A
Boston College A
Stanford B
Wesleyan B

Initial Thoughts:
On paper, ORCS 1-B looks similar to any other ORCS. You have the top dog in Miami, a few teams who attend nationals more often than not, and some solid teams who might not make nationals, but can take ballots off the best teams. However, when you look a little closer, this ORCS seems to be easier than the numbers would suggest. Before getting into the specifics of TPR and regionals ballots and all that, it’s worth pointing out that unlike all other ORCS, 1-B didn’t follow the strict snake draft format. In every other ORCS, we have a neat matchup. TPR 8 and 9 are together, 7 and 10, 6 and 11, etc. until you get to 1-B. If we were following the same snake format, we would have TPR ranks 3 and 14. But instead, it's 3 and 16. This is already odd. While that might not seem like a big difference practically speaking, it actually becomes pretty significant when you look at who those teams are. Number 3 is Miami A, still technically the last team to win a national championship. Number 16 is Rhodes B, a team that’s been struggling with the online format. Number 14 (the team that would have been here if the strict snake draft was followed) is UC Berkeley A who have been crushing the invite season all year and seem to be thriving in the new format.

Besides the snake draft issue, the regionals performances from 1-B are far below average. Only Miami A, Wheaton A, GW B, and Stanford B earned more than six wins at regionals earning 7, 7, 6.5 and 6.5 respectively. None of the teams here went 8-0. 59 teams earned seven wins or higher at regionals so having only two of them competing at 1-B makes this field easier than TPR would suggest. And then when you look at the teams themselves, there’s some room for concern, especially with the teams at the top. Rhodes B consistently make nationals, but their performances at regionals make us wonder if they're not adapting to the zoom format as well as some other teams. Rhodes (who usually goes 8-0 at regionals) barely squeaked out with 5.5 wins. These are teams in the A bracket so there might be some upsets from the B/C/D brackets. If we’re looking at who might cause those upsets, we think the B teams from Stanford and Wesleyan might have a good shot at returning to nationals, even though both B teams didn’t do as well as they would have liked last year. We’re also looking at South Carolina B and Texas B who despite not having a high TPR, performed extremely well at regionals and in the invitational season. Overall, it’s fitting this is in 1-B because we’ll be paying extra attention to the B bracket and strong B teams for some upsets.

Team to watch: Howard A
In their last five years, the Bison of Howard have been in the National Championship Tournament four times.  Their only miss?  Just a half ballot short.  While last season they didn’t get an opportunity to plant their flag at the Greenville ORCS, we fully expected them to be back in Chicago as reflected by our “First In” designation.  But this season, we’re not so sure.  Their invitational results have been a bit disappointing, considering their normal lofty standard.  But the biggest question for Howard has to be, what Howard will we be seeing?  Howard A failed to earn a bid out of their regional, finishing 4-4 after a disappointing Round 4 loss to Auburn.  Not a result we would typically expect of Howard.  Howard’s bid came by way of their 6-2 B team.  While Howard B’s path to that bid was far from the schedule their C team faced, they did take every ballot that we would expect - far more than many teams can claim.  Speaking of that C team, we cannot help but acknowledge and send our sympathies to this team who finished with a 26.5 CS.  This is the highest CS in memory for any team at Regionals.  Every single team Howard C faced earned an outright bid, a schedule more akin to Nationals than Regionals.

Will Howard simply send the B team, who earned the bid?  Will some of the more veteran and decorated A team members find themselves at ORCS?  What about the C team members?  These are tough questions to answer.  Luckily, Howard is helmed by Angela Minor, a stalwart head coach who has guided Howard through their run of success over the past 6 years and will be invaluable in solving this puzzle.   We’re used to Howard winning rounds with great presence, powerful speakers, and captivating witnesses.  But a format like Zoom where volume, movement, and emotion are dulled, may be a disadvantage to a team like Howard.  Can the blue blood Bison unlock their typical high ceiling?   This is a team we’re keeping a close eye on.


1-C: ‘Race to Second Place'
- 3 teams in the top 25, 6 teams in top 50, 11 teams in top 100, 17 in top 200

First in:
Virginia A


Bubble:
Columbia A
Ohio State B
NYU A
UC San Diego A
Cincinnati A
Florida B
Michigan State A

Initial Thoughts:
1-C overall probably has one of the more even second tier of teams. Virginia A sits in the first tier alone here. The story on UVA is obvious. They are one of the most successful programs in AMTA history, consistently in the running to win Nationals. They have torn through tournaments this year, racking up awards and top 3 placements. However, last year UVA A was the big upset from the ORCS that ended up happening, going 5-3 and dropping their ballots to (1) the D bracket team they played Round 1 and (2) an Indiana team whose only won ballot was against UVA. Watching Virginia try to come back from that is the main story at this ORCS, bar none.

In years past, Columbia and NYU A would be right there with Virginia in the top tier here. Rachel Sommers and Nick Ramos represented those schools in the Trial by Combat final round as recently as 2018. But neither of those programs is as competitive as they were, moving them into the second tier of teams here. Along with them is Ohio State B, whose 5th place division finish at 2019 Nationals is one of the most successful B team finishes in recent memory. OSU graduated a lot of their star power from last year, so this team could be the one that ends up suffering from that. UCSD A and Cincinnati A are teams who get to nationals sometimes but not always. These are the kinds of teams who can punch above their weight and take a ballot off of a team like UVA if they aren’t careful. This ORCS has some depth to it, and we are very excited to see how it shakes out.

Team to watch: UC San Diego A
When people think of the west coast, they think of UCLA, Berkeley, and Stanford, but sometimes forget about the other powerful UC programs. One of those programs is UCSD. They’ve always been a team that consistently competes at ORCS but finally earned their way back to nationals in 2018. They continued that success the following year, not only earning their way back to nationals but also getting an honorable mention while there. Last year, however, they didn’t meet the standard they set for themselves, earning only 3.5 wins at Santa Monica. Coming into this year, we questioned whether they would return to the 2018/2019 version of UCSD or if they were on the decline and 2020 was more of an indicator. After their 7 win performance at regionals and their B team’s 8 win performance, it seems that UCSD just had an off year and is ready to fight their way back to nationals. We’ll be looking out to see if they can earn a bid for what will be their third time in four years, or if regionals were a fluke and they struggle to break even.


1-D: ‘Don’t Underestimate the Bottom’
- 4 teams in the top 25, 6 teams in top 50, 12 teams in top 100, 17 in top 200

First in:
UCLA A
Wesleyan A
Georgia Tech A


Bubble:
Boston A
Lafayette A
Minnesota A
Alabama A
George Washington A
Texas A

Initial Thoughts:
At first glance, the road to nationals for competitors at 1-D looks simple: avoid UCLA A and Wesleyan A (the two top-invitational-performing programs) in the A group and your chances of getting to Nationals instantly spikes. When one looks closer at the other groups, however, it becomes obvious this ORCS is not quite as straightforward as its A group teams present. In the B group, GW A and Texas A await, ready to strike when any A-group-team doesn’t rise to the occasion. Vanderbilt A, fourth in the C group, looks good this season, beating Howard A and Rochester A on their road to ORCS. And in group D, it would be naive to think that teams like MIT or Duquesne (a team that came out of regionals with an 8-0 record) don’t have the potential to bring down teams who don’t bring their A game. We expect to see some upsets at this ORCS, some big wins for emerging teams, and some A group teams faltering under the pressure of the Zoom format and immense competition.

This ORCS drives home the idea that the strength of an ORCS isn’t just at the top. It’s in the surprises that wait in the lower brackets. A team who has three easy B-D bracket teams can survive a beating from the top team in A bracket and will still probably qualify just fine. But a team that loses their lower bracket rounds is likely to be in trouble. Teams going to 1-D should hope that they don;t hit one of the up and comers and if they do, they had better be ready to play like every round is A bracket.

Team to watch: Illinois A
Zoom Mock Trial has made one thing abundantly clear-- Midwestern programs are not to be underestimated. After an impressive 7-1 finish at their Regionals, including a narrow +2 -1 split with Virginia B, Illinois A is coming to the 1-D ORCS as a B group team. This leaves them in a strong position to shake things up during an already unpredictable spring season. Illinois took 4.5 ballots at last year’s Cedar Rapids ORCS, starting the weekend out strong but ultimately splitting with Washington University in St. Louis and getting swept by the University of Chicago. We’ll be on the lookout this year to see if Illinois is able to follow through and hold their own against the stronger teams of their ORCS this time.


2-A: ‘Tech Support’
- 3 teams in the top 25, 5 teams in top 50, 11 teams in top 100, 18 in top 200

First in:
Duke A
Berkeley A


Bubble:
Yale A
Georgetown A
Georgia A
Chicago B
Tufts B
Baylor
Patrick Henry B
Dayton A
NYU B

Initial Thoughts:
This is another top heavy tournament by TPR. At the top of the field, we have two teams who have been over performing in the world of Zoom mock trials. UC Berkeley A has had a number of strong invite performances stretching back to the beginning of the season and culminating in their 8-0 preliminary record at GCF. Their clean, loud, no-nonsense style seems to be appealing to judges trying to follow from a small screen. Similarly we have Duke A who are perennially very strong this time of year and who have been highly successful  in converting their format to the online style ever since it was first rolled out at TBC.

At the top of the bubble we have Georgetown, Georgia, and Yale. Georgetown came off a dry spell of NCT attendance a couple of years ago and has qualified every year since 2019. They seem to be continuing their streak with a strong 8-0 finish against a respectable 18 CS schedule at Regionals. Georgia is in a similar boat. After a dry spell of NCT bids they qualified both of their team in 2019 after escaping the southeast and going to ORCS in Memphis. They were unable to prove themselves again last year because of cancelations, but this year they also pulled off an 8-0 finish at regionals. Yale is, as usual, an interesting case. With almost any other school we would interpret their regionals results as a sign that they were about to be bad all season. But failure at regionals has become a tradition for Yale, so it’s anyone’s guess what will happen and we are going to stop pretending like we can predict it.

The rest of the bubble is rounded out by Baylor, Dayton, and a lot of strong B teams. Baylor and Dayton are both programs who had a few good years in the last five but have struggled to break since then. Both performed fairly well at regionals, but will have an uphill battle to make it out of this ORCS. Out of the B teams present at this ORCS, our money would be on Chicago, who have been at the top of the rankings going into the last round of their ORCS in several of the last few years and just barely missed making it.

Team to watch: Tufts B
Tufts B has a long history of producing noteworthy performance at ORCS–yet they’ve consistently fallen just short of a bid. This pattern came to a head last year, when they put together an extremely impressive 6-2 record at a very difficult Lancaster ORCS, only to miss out on a bid to nationals on half a CS point (as well as a 4th round +15, -5 split with Harvard). Tufts B’s regionals result this year seems to suggest that the team is ready to take that next step: they went 7-0-1 in regional 1-G, with their only dropped point being a 0, +21 split with Yale C. However, closer examination reveals that, while this team is certainly extremely talented, they’re still not shoo-ins for a bid either. Their 7-0-1 regionals record, while impressive, also included a CS of 13 and a schedule that didn’t see them face a single team that finished about .500. With a very sophomore-heavy roster, this Tufts B team also looks a lot different than they did last year: specifically, in the attorney department, vacancies left by graduated seniors (including OLT participants Ilana Goldberg and Leo Mandani) and current A team competitors (like Bennett Demsky and Fatima Lawan) have been filled by the likes of Tyler Whitaker–a former A team witness who now headlines this new-look B roster as an attorney. They have put together respectable results against strong fields at UClassic, 3-5-0, and Beach Party, 4-3-1, but it’s not clear that this Tufts B team is necessarily better than the one they fielded last year. Especially given that, if they’re in contention for a bid, they’ll have to face a member of an extremely top-heavy A group in round 4, we are excited to see if Tufts B has the firepower necessary to build upon last year’s success and pull a bid out of their ORCS for the first time in recent memory.


2-B: ‘Ups and Downs”
- 3 teams in the top 25, 6 teams in top 50, 12 teams in top 100, 19 in top 200

First in:
Stanford A
Michigan A


Bubble:
Cornell A
Indiana A
UCLA B
South Carolina A
Yale B
Emory B
William & Mary A
Northern Illinois A

Initial Thoughts:
This ORCS has a lot of teams that have had spotty records over the last few years. At the top we have Stanford and Michigan. Stanford A got a bid out of ORCs last year, but in 2019 they only made it on their B team. We suspect that was a fluke (particularly since their A team very nearly qualified at 6 wins and just lost on a CS tiebreaker), but it was still a shock to the system. Notably it was also the only time in a long while that Stanford has had to qualify out of anything other than the west coast ORCS they are used to, and Stanford has also struggled in non West Coast invites for years. As a result we have to wonder if the national judging pool bodes well for them. Michigan has been a stalwart at NCT in general but in 2019 they failed to qualify and in 2020 they only qualified with their B team.

The bubble keeps this trend of changing fates alive. Indiana was very strong in 2017 and 2018, making NCT, placing top 10 and playing in rounds that were determinative for who made the NCT final. But in 2019 they had a mediocre showing at ORCS and in 2020 they took only one ballot (albeit from UVa A). Cornell was a top five program in the nation as of 2019, and then didn’t even attend regionals last year. They have returned semi-successfully this year but rumor has it that their teams are very young and inexperienced due to lost time. Yale B is always a wild card, sometimes making an NCT final and sometimes barely making ORCS. Emory B made NCT in 2019 after some trouble at regionals, but in 2020, Emory only managed to get one team to ORCS. NIU has had both nationals appearances and years where they didn’t get out of regionals in the last few years as well. Both William & Mary and South Carolina have made their first NCT runs in the last five years and will be hoping to repeat. In fact we would go so far as to say that UCLA B is our only traditional bubble team: sometimes qualifies to NCT and sometimes doesn’t but always very very solid.

Team to watch: Yale B
Sitting at the top of the B bracket is Yale B. As the most successful B team in recent memory, participating in the final round vs. Miami in 2018, this is a B team that going into the season, no one wanted to face. A Yale team has competed in the last five nationals championship rounds and they’ve shown depth with their C team earning a bid the past few years. What makes them the team to watch at this tournament is Yale’s trajectory at regionals this year. For whatever reason, judges just weren’t loving what Yale had to offer. Their A team earned 5 wins, failing to earn a direct bid and had to get off the open bid list and their C team only earned 2.5. Their B team picked up the slack earning 5.5 wins, but even that isn’t what we’ve come to know of Yale. Having debatably the most successful program in the country average 4.33 wins just isn’t what we expected from Yale. The question is, was this bad luck or is there a stylistic issue with the online format that isn’t working in Yale’s favor. And if it is the latter, have they figured out how to fix that issue? Yale B might come back as the power it has been in the past, if the issues from regionals aren’t worked out, they might not be as successful as they were hoping.


2-C: “The Elders”
- 3 teams in the top 25, 6 teams in top 50, 11 teams in top 100, 18 in top 200

First in:
Chicago A
Emory A


Bubble:
Irvine A
Northwood A
Penn State A
Rutgers
Cornell College
Wash U A
Iowa A

Initial Thoughts:
For the most part, this is one of the more balanced ORCS we’ve seen. Most teams are coming to this ORCS in the 6 win range, and notably, there isn’t a single team with an 8-0 record at their regional. But what stands out about this ORCS is its large number of A teams. The B, C, and D tiers at this ORCS are packed with A teams, plus a couple B teams from historically successful programs, which certainly speaks to the depth of this ORCS.

At the top of the field, we have Chicago A and Emory A. Not only is Chicago A coming off a pretty successful season so far, but they also have experience on their side. At the 2019 NCT, Chicago A finished 3rd in their division, and they’ve still retained a decent number of members from that team. With their strong performances at competitive invites this year like GAMTI and UCLASSIC, and coming off a 7 win finish at regionals, we expect that Chicago A should make it out of this ORCS without too much difficulty. While Emory A is on the younger side in terms of talent, they’ve had a remarkably strong spring season as well, including top finishes at Ramblin’ Wreck, and a 7-1 finish at their regionals. And even though they’re on the younger side, a number of competitors on this team also competed at the 2019 NCT, which certainly gives them an advantage here.

The bubble is where it gets interesting. At the top of the bubble, we have Irvine A and Northwood A. These are all programs that have made it to NCT in the past, but seem to be having a slightly different season this year. Irvine A has had trouble performing at competitive invites this year, which could make this ORCS tougher for them since it’s on the deeper side. Northwood is especially interesting - after a 5 win performance at their regional, Northwood made it to ORCS on an open bid. It’s also worth noting that their CS wasn’t particularly high at this regional, it was 13. Of course, Northwood not only has a history of making it to NCT, but also of performing very well there, so this could definitely just be an anomaly. Either way, we’re excited to see how Northwood performs here. The rest of the bubble is largely what you would expect from any ORCS - high-performing A teams that have broken through to NCT in the past but perhaps not as consistently as other teams, and a number of A teams which are typically on the verge of breaking through to NCT.

Moving past the bubble, there are certainly some standout teams like Florida State B and UMass Amherst B. These are some particularly talented B teams, both from programs which have had solid seasons this year, that should make for some tough C tier rounds. We also have St. Thomas (MN) who competed at the 2019 NCT, and is definitely a team looking out for. All in all, given the depth of this ORCS, it looks like strength of schedule will be a strong factor in who makes it out and who doesn’t.

Team to watch: Iowa A
For the better part of the 18 years since their back-to-back Championship titles in ‘02-’03 however, Iowa’s reputation has been that of an A team that periodically makes it through to the NCT and generally finishes in the lower half, and a B team that consistently makes it to ORCS but hits their ceiling in the vicious R2-R3 matchups. Last year though, exactly one decade after their most recent double-NCT bid performance, Iowa snagged the last two bids out of the 2020 Cedar Rapids ORCS, with both teams outplacing teams that included Wheaton A, Chicago B, and Northwestern B. While they are losing Outstanding ORCS witness Serena Qamhieh, and attorney Ellen Wandro (though with both joining the coaching staff), Iowa appears poised to contend. Their only dropped ballot at 2-E was the result of a tight split with Patrick Henry A (who, to give an idea of their programmatic depth, fielded an E team which split with Iowa’s bubble compatriot WashU A). Outside of their regionals record however, this Iowa team is hard to gauge. The program hasn’t competed in many invitationals, and, unlike last year, neither their B or C team was able to advance to ORCS. It is difficult to determine whether 2-E will feature a reprise of Iowa’s stunning performance, back and better than any time since their title days, or instead a regression to the mean.


2-D: New Blood
-3 teams in the top 25, 5 teams in top 50, 11 teams in top 100, 17 in top 200

First in:
Ohio State A
UMBC A

Bubble:
Patrick Henry A
Cornell B
UC Santa Barbara A
Northwestern B
Brown A
UMass Amherst A
Florida State A
Georgia B

Initial Thoughts:
While this regional is light on top teams TPR-wise, the field is deep and filled with teams that were very successful at regionals. 2-D has the fewest ranked teams out of all the ORCS, but teams here should not expect an easy weekend. At the top are three perennial powers - Ohio State, UMBC, and Patrick Henry. While OSU hasn’t been as dominant as they were last year after losing the power duo of Matt Besman and Maddie Driscoll, they’re led by senior captains Clay Owens and Michael Li, both of whom have awarded multiple times this season. UMBC is headlined by perhaps the best competitor in AMTA, double closer Sydney Gaskins. Despite taking the fall season off, she acquired no rust. At regionals, Gaskins double awarded - dropping just two total ranks. Watch out for the Retrievers. Patrick Henry has showcased impressive depth this year; the only team they didn’t qualify was their B, who went 5-3 -- their four other teams A, C, D, E all did. Their A team, however, has been less strong than in previous years, having graduated a few strong competitors. At Beach Party, their A only went 4-4, but they went 6-2 at regionals against a brutal schedule, splitting with A teams from Iowa and Florida State.

The depth is where this regional packs its punch. UMass Amherst is likely the best C-division team in the country, and both Georgia B and Northwestern B did well at Nationals in 2019. Northwestern B, especially, might be one of the best B teams in the country. This year alone, they won Beach Party and came in 3rd at the Hilltop invite. With that said, they narrowly lost out on a bid at their regionals at 5-3 with some… interesting splits. Dartmouth A, Missouri A, and Villanova A have all had strong invitational and regional seasons; they, like Amherst, are teams that are stronger than their division dictates. The big takeaway is that no round will be easy at this ORCS due to its unusually strong depth.

Team to watch: UMass Amherst A
ORCS is always filled with tough teams. But with the new ORCS tabulation system, the toughest teams tend to be in groups A or B. Normally this would mean that a school can expect to face only one or two super-elite teams during the tournament. C bracket teams are not expected to make it out of ORCS. In last year’s abbreviated season, only one team did.  That’s what makes UMass Amherst such a scary team in ORCS 2-D. The team has not lost a ballot in the last four months. They’ve averaged a 12-point victory in each ballot of each of their past 12 trials. UMass Amherst is a Group C team with the resume of a top program.

But because of last year’s ORCS cancellation, the Team Power Rankings haven’t been updated since the 2018-2019 season. If the rankings would have been updated, UMass Amherst certainly would have risen into Group B or A. The program earned three bids to ORCS last year, and it’s been more than 2 years since UMass Amherst A lost a ballot at an AMTA tournament. And the team has adapted well to the Zoom format with their effective demonstratives and strong on-camera presentation.

UMass Amherst A’s success has been consistent through the invitational season. where the team racked up multiple tournament wins without losing a single ballot. This included a win at Soda City and an undefeated record over a solid Michigan field. This culminated in an absolutely dominant regionals showing with double-digit wins on all 8 ballots.

If the invitational wins and blowout regionals results weren’t enough, this year’s UMass Amherst is also filled with experienced competitors. The all-senior defense bench of Giuttari, Cason-Snow, and Jones has been dominant. Peter Jones has been particularly impressive, cleaning up in awards as a defense closer. Meanwhile, Maya McCollum has been bringing home plenty of awards both as a plaintiff attorney and a defense character witness. The ORCS system makes it tough for any C Group team to advance, so this tournament will be the toughest threat that the team has faced this year. But if any Group C team is going to do it, UMass Amherst A might be the one.
happygolucky
Posts : 36
Reputation : 12
Join date : 2019-11-23
View user profile

2021 ORCS Analysis Empty Re: 2021 ORCS Analysis

Mon Mar 15, 2021 12:45 pm
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
What do people think of the Week 1 results? I'll post my reactions, interested in hearing others.

1A: This was the most predictable except one obvious team left out: Rhodes A, who had a very strong performance, and one of the higher CS's at 29, but was one ballot short. No bid for Notre Dame A or Colorado College is somewhat surprising, but not shocking. This was a very tough ORCS.

1B: This was the Miami and Florida show, which, given that they did not hit each-other in the A group v A group round, was totally predictable. Stanford B's success should not surprise anyone, nor should Wesleyan B and Wheaton. Overall, another fairly predictable set of results.

1C: To me, the takeaway here is that Maryland is back and NYU A didn't get a bid. UCSD's close sweep of NYU in the A group v. A group round adds fuel to the "west coast is best" fire. Washington & Lee had a strong performance but came up short on OCS, which must be brutal.

1D: This might be the most interesting set of results. UCLA dominated, but the real headline to me is University of Portland coming from the C group taking 2 of 3 from Georgia Tech and putting the pacific northwest back in the spotlight by earning a bid. And Wesleyan A, one of the better teams in the country, did not advance with a 7-5 record, including getting swept by a dominant Boston University A team. That meant two of the favorites here, Georgia Tech A, and Wesleyan A, did not advance.

MockTrialWritersGuild and 702(d)eeznuts like this post

avatar
Posts : 1
Reputation : 0
Join date : 2021-03-15
View user profile

2021 ORCS Analysis Empty Re: 2021 ORCS Analysis

Mon Mar 15, 2021 1:57 pm
@happygolucky I agree in large part. Although UCSD's performance maybe isn't the best to highlight West Coast dominance this season, given they got swept by Duke B in the high-high A vs. B bracket R4 matchup.

Stanford is a ridiculously deep and talented program. If I had to bet on one team making the final round at Nationals it would be them.

No Rhodes at Nationals this year will be strange, very interested to hear whether the judging pool affected them in any way. This is the best part of online mock, getting teams out of their comfort zone. That said it is very unfortunate for the hardworking folks at Rhodes, I know the heartbreak of missing Nats. They'll be back.

happygolucky likes this post

DoYouRemember
Posts : 33
Reputation : 36
Join date : 2020-01-27
Location : Chicago
View user profile

2021 ORCS Analysis Empty Re: 2021 ORCS Analysis

Mon Mar 22, 2021 10:51 am
Pour one out for the schools who qualified to the 2020 Nats, but didn't get a bid in 2021:
- Washington University
- Michigan State
- Tennessee-Chattanooga
- Northern Illinois
- Notre Dame
- Colorado College
- Rutgers

Not to mention the number of top contenders who likely would have gotten a bid but for COVID: Rhodes, NYU, Columbia, etc.

Major respect to all of these programs on a good fight!
avatar
Posts : 96
Reputation : 185
Join date : 2019-11-19
View user profile

2021 ORCS Analysis Empty Re: 2021 ORCS Analysis

Mon Mar 22, 2021 10:05 pm
Summary
Most predictable tournament -
Week 1: 1B
Week 2: 2C
Most surprising tournament -
Week 1: 1C
Week 2: 2B
Most surprising team result -
Week 1: Rhodes A
Week 2: Stanford A


Unpredicted Teams
Week 1:
Case Western A
Duke B
Maryland A
Penn B
Portland A

Week 2:
Fordham, Lincoln Center B
Michigan B


Predicted First In Teams Out

Week 1:
Georgia Tech A
Wesleyan A

Week 2:
Stanford A
Michigan A

GEOGRAPHY
East Coast (20 teams): Tufts, Fordham A, Fordham B, UVA A, UVA B, Harvard, Wesleyan, Maryland, Penn, Boston, Lafayette, George Washington, Yale, Georgetown, Cornell, William & Mary, Penn State, UMBC, Patrick Henry A, Patrick Henry B
West (9 teams): UC Davis, Stanford, UC San Diego, UCLA A, UCLA B, Portland, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara
Midwest (11 teams): Northwestern, Case Western, Miami, Wheaton, Minnesota, Chicago A, Chicago B, Northwood, Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan
South (8 teams): Florida A, Florida B, Duke A, Duke B, Emory A, Emory B, Florida State, South Carolina

Tier Breakdown
To figure out most and least successful, we took the number of wins vs. the other three groups so each number is out of a possible 54 wins.

TeirBidsWinsMost SuccessfulLeast Successful
A30323.52C (45.5)1C (34)
B122442D (37.5)1D (22.5)
C41712A (28)2D (16.5)
D2125.51D (22)2B (10.5)


WEEK 1:

1-A:
Tufts A
Fordham, Lincoln Center A*
Northwestern A
Case Western A**
Virginia B*
UC Davis A*

*In from predicted "Bubble"
**Unpredicted in

Out from "First in" prediction:
None

1-B:
Miami A
Florida A*
Stanford B*
Harvard A*
Wheaton A*
Wesleyan B*

*In from predicted "Bubble"
**Unpredicted in

Out from "First in" prediction:
None

1-C:
Duke B**
Maryland A**
UC San Diego A*
Florida B*
Virginia A
Penn B**

*In from predicted "Bubble"
**Unpredicted in

Out from "First in" prediction:
None

1-D:
UCLA A
Boston A*
Portland A**
Minnesota A*
Lafayette A*
George Washington A*

*In from predicted "Bubble"
**Unpredicted in

Out from "First in" prediction:
Wesleyan A
Georgia Tech A


WEEK 2:


2-A:
Duke A
Yale A*
UC Berkeley A
Chicago B*
Patrick Henry B*
Georgetown A*

*In from predicted "Bubble"
**Unpredicted in

Out from "First in" prediction:
None

2-B:
Cornell A*
UCLA B*
Fordham, Lincoln Center B**
William and Mary A*
South Carolina A*
Emory B*

*In from predicted "Bubble"
**Unpredicted in

Out from "First in" prediction:
Stanford A
Michigan A

2-C:
Chicago A
Penn State A*
Northwood A*
UC Irvine A*
Emory A
Iowa A*

*In from predicted "Bubble"
**Unpredicted in

Out from "First in" prediction:
None

2-D:
Florida State A*
Ohio State A
UMBC A
Patrick Henry A*
UC Santa Barbara A*
Michigan B**

*In from predicted "Bubble"
**Unpredicted in

Out from "First in" prediction:
None
avatar
Posts : 7
Reputation : 0
Join date : 2021-01-24
View user profile

2021 ORCS Analysis Empty Re: 2021 ORCS Analysis

Tue Mar 23, 2021 11:19 am
Can you do an analysis of brackets? Like if there are any C or D teams that got bids/honorable mentions/surprising results?
avatar
Posts : 96
Reputation : 185
Join date : 2019-11-19
View user profile

2021 ORCS Analysis Empty Re: 2021 ORCS Analysis

Tue Mar 23, 2021 12:46 pm
MocketyMock wrote:Can you do an analysis of brackets? Like if there are any C or D teams that got bids/honorable mentions/surprising results?

That's our "tier" analysis in the above post where we looked at how each group did relative to the other groups and how often they bid.
Sponsored content

2021 ORCS Analysis Empty Re: 2021 ORCS Analysis

Back to top
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum