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2022 Regionals Analysis Week 4 Empty 2022 Regionals Analysis Week 4

Tue Feb 22, 2022 1:18 am
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


4-A: (23 Teams) ‘Cross Country Road Trip’ (MAIMD Ranking 24/28)
- 1 team in top 50, 3 teams in top 100, 7 in top 200

First in:
Florida A

Bubble:
Texas A
Fordham Lincoln Center B
St. Louis A
Santa Clara A
Rutgers B
Franklin & Marshall A
UC Davis C
Vermont A

Initial Thoughts:
This Regional has some of the most geographic diversity we’ve seen yet; at 4-A, we see teams from the West Coast, the South, the Northeast, and everywhere in between. Last year, that might not have mattered. After all, teams had been practicing online all year against opponents from across the country. But this year, geography could play a stronger hand in determining bids, especially at 4-A. First, West Coast teams have been online longer than any other region in the country. That could give teams like Santa Clara A and UC Davis C an unforeseen advantage at this Regional. Likewise, Northeastern and Southern teams could be at a disadvantage after having spent less time on the online circuit this year. Either way, mixing teams geographically led to some unexpected Regionals results last year, and it will be interesting to see if that trend continues.

All that said, there are still some clear frontrunners at this Regional—regardless of the format. Leading the pack are the Litigators of Florida A, who are coming off an incredibly strong rise after two top-10 placements at the 2021 NCT. It’s worth mentioning that this program earned five ORCS bids last year, more than almost any other program in the country. That certainly bodes well for Florida’s A team, who should be well equipped to deal with an easier Regional than they’re used to. They also have a number of returning NCT competitors, including All-Americans David Egloff and Sahas Chintakayala. Florida has also been consistently earning top finishes at their January invites, with the exception of Great Chicago Fire, so we expect that the Florida A squad should be optimistic for an ORCS bid come Sunday. Fordham Lincoln Center’s B team squad is in a similar position. This is a team that comes from a historically strong program who has a streak of earning multiple NCT bids. But last year could have been a sign of changing tides for their B team; they managed to earn an ORCS bid by the skin of their teeth with just 5 wins after losses against UC Santa Barbara A and Rhodes C. Granted, they weren’t exactly lucky to face those two opponents. But still, for a team that regularly qualifies for Nationals, that could mean their ORCS bid won’t come easy this year. Their position becomes even more interesting when we consider their activity, or lack thereof, this season. They’ve made appearances at only four invites this entire year, which is considerably fewer than what we’ve seen from them in the past. Fortunately for them, they haven’t had a single losing record yet. But it’s still difficult to predict exactly where this team will end up. When we move to the next tier of teams here, it’s really anyone’s game. Texas A and St. Louis A are the only teams in the Bubble who earned ORCS bids last year, and the rest of our Bubble teams have had pretty similar performances at invites this year. That means the transition to the online format could make or break some of these teams. Either way, we look forward to seeing how rounds play out at 4-A and who advances to the next stage of competition.

Team to watch: St. Louis A
St. Louis has been consistently earning bids to ORCS for the past three years. But we chose them as our team to watch because St. Louis has achieved success in a way that doesn’t follow any pattern we’ve seen before. Most of the other teams at this Regional have been active on the invite circuit in at least some capacity; that means we’ve been able to gauge their ability to switch back and forth between online and in-person formats. But St. Louis is a different story. As far as we know, they haven’t made an appearance at a single invite this year. Or last year. Or the year before that. Despite that, not only has their A team been consistently earning ORCS bids, they also earned three bids for their program last year alone. We’re not sure exactly what St. Louis is doing to achieve those results, but clearly it’s working. All that said, this is a season unlike any other. Since most teams have had to switch back-and-forth between different competition formats, St. Louis' strategy may not be as successful this year as it has been in the past. If they’ve been practicing in-person, they may struggle more than other teams when adapting to online Regionals, especially without any in-competition practice. Still, they haven’t needed that practice in the past, so this year may not be any different. Either way, we will be very interested to see how St. Louis is able to adapt to those challenges—and if their bid streak will continue at Regional 4-A.


4-B Regional: (22 Teams) ‘This could’ve been an NCT division three years ago’ (MAIMD Ranking 26/28)
- 1 team in top 50, 3 teams in top 100, 7 in top 200

First in:
Stanford A
NYU A

Bubble:
Howard A
American A
Tufts C
South Carolina C
Air Force A
Arizona C
Boston College C

Initial Thoughts:
As you can see by looking at our By The Numbers (Post-Reshuffle) post, Week 4 is—across the board—less difficult than Weeks 1, 2, and 3. And if you’re going strictly by the numbers, 4-B is no exception. It slots just three spots away from the bottom of our difficulty rankings. But if you’re scheduled to compete at 4-B and you think it’s going to be a cakewalk, you need to think again. First of all, Stanford A is here. And anyone who hits Stanford A is likely going to drop both ballots to them. In her senior season, Elizabeth Grant leads arguably the best attorney bench in AMTA alongside fellow All-American Azam Janmohamed and Meredith Fenyo. Throw in witnesses like Audrey Mitchell and Marco Scalera, and you’ve got a team ready to challenge for the National Championship in April. Right beneath 4-B’s clear frontrunner is a strong second tier of teams that are certain to crush some dreams of an ORCS bid on competition weekend: Howard A, NYU A, and American A. These three schools have an impressive history at the NCT, but have fallen off a bit in recent years—but not so far that they can’t still dominate at Regionals. Last year, despite coming up short at ORCS, NYU put on an absolute clinic at Regionals, where they went undefeated and racked up a triple-digit point differential. They’ve just graduated OLT winner and double threat star Alberto Arevalo, but they have a strong core with award-winning competitors like Anthony Delgado and Sienna Ross. So while this won’t be your NYU team of old, they’ll still be able to blow the doors off most teams at 4-B. American is in a similar spot. They’ll be looking to improve on their lackluster ORCS performance in 2021, and they’ll start at 4-B. With some new coaching help and some program drama from last year hopefully in the rearview mirror, this won’t be a team to take lightly. And then there’s Howard. Just like NYU and American, this isn’t the Howard team we saw on NCT tab summaries a few years back. But they’re a heavyweight at 4-B. They went 6-6-0 last year at ORCS and should be able to handle almost every team here. Keep an eye on star witness Jayda Peets, who will be one of the top competitors at this Regional and can take ranks off anyone here.

After the top dogs, this Regional doesn’t get too much easier. South Carolina C and Tufts C are two teams from deep NCT-caliber programs who both earned bids last year and are routine threats to take ballots from A and B teams on programs that aren’t quite as high-powered. Tufts and South Carolina earned a combined 7 bids to ORCS in 8 tries last year, and we’d be quite surprised to see neither of these teams earn a bid. Arizona C doesn’t have quite the same track record as the teams from South Carolina and Tufts, but also hails from a relatively deep program that often sees its lower teams earn bids, and they’ll be a contender here too. Boston College C is here as well—but they stack in a strange way that makes it basically impossible to predict which BC teams will succeed in any given year, so they could do very well or fall flat on their faces and there’s really not any way to tell which of the two is going to happen. On paper, it wouldn’t be surprising to watch the bids here go to the usual suspects. But in a Regional with as many tough outs as this one, we’d honestly be surprised if things went according to plan.

Team to watch: Air Force A
The United States service academies are, generally, not mock trial powerhouses. But the Air Force Academy is an exception. While this isn’t going to be an NCT team any time soon, Air Force’s program runs two teams and is a perennial ORCS team. They were there in 2021, they were there in 2020 before the season was canceled, they were there in 2019, and in 2017 before that. Now, they’re not going to take ballots from top teams. They couldn’t get it done at ORCS last year against WashU A last year (they went 0-2-1), or against UC Irvine A the year before that (0-2-0). If history is any indication, they’ll be back to try again in 2022 after winning a bid at 4-B. But when making predictions, the present is often a better indicator than the past. And Air Force has not had a good season so far. They’ve sent two teams to two invitationals, Friar Faceoff and Scarlet and Cream, neither of which boasted a particularly elite field. They have not done well. Across two teams at the two competitions, they are 11-20-1, which isn’t the record of an ORCS team. Looking to reverse this recent trend will be All-National Attorney LaMont Smith, who will lead this team for the final time in his senior season. We’ll see if Air Force A can fly through Regionals, as they have in the past, or if this is the year their streak of bids to ORCS ends.


4-C Regional: (23 Teams) ‘If I had a nickel for each Ivy League team here, I’d have two nickels. That’s not a lot, but it’s weird that it happened twice’ (MAIMD Ranking 25/28)
- 1 team in top 50, 3 teams in top 100, 7 in top 200

First in:
Harvard A
Pennsylvania A

Bubble:
Georgia Tech B
Southern Methodist A
MIT A
Lehigh A
Colorado A
Illinois D
Luther A
Boston College D

Initial Thoughts:
Even though this Regional is ranked at the lower end of our list in terms of difficulty, you shouldn’t be fooled: Regional 4-C actually has one of the most unique distributions of the weekend. The main reason that its difficulty ranking is misleading is because most teams at this Regional are clustered at opposite ends: high-tier and low-tier, with very few teams falling in between. That could be either very good or very bad when it comes to determining the ultimate ORCS-bid cutoffs at Regional 4-C. If the top-tier cluster ends up sweeping most of their rounds, we could see a much higher record cutoff at this Regional than we would for others. But if they don’t, and the rest of the field performs as expected, we could see the exact opposite. In short, one way or another, we expect that Regional 4-A will be a Regional of extremes.

And that brings us to the top of the field: Harvard A. They are one of only two NCT returners in the field and are coming off a 6th place NCT finish in the Zeigler division. Moreover, almost every single competitor on that team will be making an appearance at Regional 4-C. That includes TBC competitor and All-American Travis Harper, as well as Audrey Vanderslice, Stella Asmerom, Braedon Price and Jessica Alexander. Harvard A is remarkably experienced for a team composed mostly of underclassmen, and in a field with only one other NCT returner, we expect that experience will be a significant advantage. That said, Harvard hasn’t had the best luck this invite season: they’ve been on a consistent 5-win streak since October. They haven’t been able to break past that record yet, although a large part of that could be explained by the caliber of the invites they attend. Either way, they’ll need to end that streak to earn an ORCS bid this year. The other team at the top of the field is Pennsylvania A. This team has very recently risen to the top after earning their program’s first ever NCT bid last year. They don’t necessarily have the same level of experience as Harvard A, but they do have more than enough to differentiate themselves from the rest of the field at 4-C. That said, they face the exact same problem as their counterparts at the top of the field. They’ve only been to a few invites this season, and only one of those trips ended with a winning record. So even if they’re at the top of the field, these teams could face more challenges than they have in previous years. When we look at the rest of the field, there's a number of potential bid contenders: SMU A, Lehigh A, MIT A, and Colorado A all earned bids to ORCS last year. But interestingly enough, just like the top of the field, not a single one of them have been unable to break 5.5 wins on the invite circuit this entire season. Whichever teams do end up earning bids will likely end up achieving their best record of the season no matter what. We’ll be interested to see who is able to rise to that challenge at Regional 4-C.

Team to watch: MIT A
Here at MAIMD, we're like 80% sure that MIT Mock Trial is just cursed. How else do you explain not one, not two, but three crazy ballot splits with top level teams? Last competitive season, the Beavers went +22 -5 against Case Western Reserve University, +37 +4 -2 against the University of Portland, and -3, +35, +2 against the University of Texas on their path through Regionals and ORCS. Those numbers are extra heartbreaking because a flipped ballot in either of those last two rounds—again, rounds where the other judges saw a clear double digit victory for MIT—would have made the difference in this team being able to get a bid to Nationals. Crazy splits aren't by themselves evidence of supernatural influence, but what makes this phenomenon so uniquely bizarre is that—from what we know at least—MIT isn't a particularly polarizing team. They're not excessively aggressive, they’re not particularly stylistically polarizing, they’re not running bananas defense theories—there is no reason, at least on paper, that two judges can look at a MIT A round and fill out their ballots with almost 30 points of difference. So yeah. Your official MockAnalysisIsMyDrug opinion is that we think MIT at some point encountered three witches in the woods who promised them glory, fame, and a +80 PD, but that prophecy came true in an ironic way—to punish them for their ambition. AMTA's Macbeth, if you will. But as amusing as it is to write off MIT A as a Shakespearean parallel, there’s actually a lot of evidence that 2022 is MIT A’s year to break through. For one, we know they’re chock full of talent—senior Diego Colin is coming off of a great season after earning an 18-rank attorney award at Great Chicago Fire, and we suspect he’s going to make his senior season one to watch. But the Beavers have also been putting up some pretty impressive invitational numbers—an honorable mention at the Commonwealth Classic and fourth at Scarlet Knight—that suggest that MIT A has a real chance at making another Nationals run. Ultimately, MIT A is a team everyone at 4-C should have their eyes on—because the thing about a run of bad luck and unfortunate judging is that it hardly ever happens twice. We’ll see what the Beavers can do now that the curse has likely been lifted.


4-D Regional: (24 Teams) ‘Do you C what I C’ (MAIMD Ranking 20/28)
- 1 team in top 50, 3 teams in top 100, 8 in top 200

First in:
Chicago A
Cornell A

Bubble:
Baylor A
Creighton A
Northwestern C
Brown C
Delaware A
Drake A
Miami C
Illinois C
Iowa C

Initial Thoughts:
Don’t let the D designation fool you, this Regional will be defined by its C teams. We expect at least one, if not a few of these C teams to plant a flag for program depth. The primary candidates are obvious: Northwestern C and Miami C are two teams from premier programs, each likely stocked with the stars of future seasons, like Northwestern freshmen Philip Wang. Beyond them, however, are C teams from programs that regularly go to ORCS, programs that are competitive at ORCS, and programs that have been known to get out of ORCS on plenty of occasions. While the variance of lower teams can be high, between the C teams of Brown, Illinois, Iowa, we expect at least one if not all three will be teams that no team in 4-D wants to see.

This Regional also has a solid grouping of A teams that shouldn’t be overlooked. Drake A is an interesting team in our eyes. Their tournament results have varied from multiple 7-1 finishes all the way down to an 0-8 finish. Then you have Delaware A, a team that’s now made ORCS in consecutive years, and has posted two promising invitational results. On the other side of the coin is Creighton A, who’s made ORCS for three consecutive years, but has concerningly failed to reach 5 wins in any of their eight invitational appearances. The class of this Regional no doubt lies in the A teams of Baylor, Cornell, and Chicago. Baylor has a technical and steady style that has reliably gotten them to ORCS for a decade straight, and we expect more of the same. Cornell is a team that, until they disappeared for a year after running into university-level trouble, was pushing for a championship. Last year Cornell stormed back to Nationals, but struggled once they got there. This year we expect the Big Red—led by seniors Reagan Brownell and Zoë Fleishaker—to prove that last year was no fluke, and Cornell is in fact all the way back. And last but certainly not least is Chicago, the clear giant of 4-D. Chicago A has seen plenty of turnover this year, having lost all of their attorneys from last year’s NCT team. Luckily, a B team that got an Honorable Mention at Nationals last year has provided a fresh stock of talent that’s ready to carry the torch. Ethan Hsi is one of the nation’s best attorneys and a returning All-American. Sam Farnsworth isn’t far behind. They feature talented witnesses like Juliana Mothersbaugh and one of the nation’s premier double-threat competitors in Ali AlEkri. At the end of the day, this isn’t the hardest Regional of the year, and the path is there for an unpredicted team to find their way through. But a round against Chicago could put any team’s season on the ropes.

Team to watch: Washington College A
Washington College comes into this Regional as an underdog. Let's start with some of their highlights that caught our attention. When we make our Top Competitors list, we usually expect the Yale’s, Harvard’s, Tufts’ of the mock trial world to appear. This year, Washington College had not one but two people on that list. Holly Williams (attorney) and Jack Goembel (witness) awarded on both sides at Cowtown Classic, earning 76 out of 80 combined ranks (just four off from perfect) earning them their spots. In addition, they placed 4th at that tournament, above Nationals-level programs like Stanford, and they have overall had a pretty good invitational season that could project to a strong showing at Regionals. However, their success is scarred by the scarlet letter of never having made it out of Regionals in the four years that they have existed. They went 1-7 in 2020, but had a stronger result with a 3-5 in 2021, coming within 5 points of Duke A and Missouri A. Despite what their past results might indicate, it is safe to say that Washington College is definitely on the rise. One of the reasons they seem to be finding some measure of success this year is their leadership. They have a great captain in Holly Williams, and a good coaching team made up of various individuals from across the country that they recruited from a post they put out on Mock Trial Confessions (but it actually updates) in 2020. They’re capable of putting up a challenge to any team on the Bubble at 4-D this year, and we will see if they have enough juice to make it out.


4-E Regional: (22 Teams) ‘Northwood better win SPAMTA’ (MAIMD Ranking 23/28)
- 2 teams in top 50, 3 teams in top 100, 8 in top 200

First in:
Case Western A
Northwood A

Bubble:
Hamilton A
Eastern Kentucky A
Stanford B
Cornell B
Kansas A
UCLA D
Washburn A
Arizona State D
Cal Poly SLO C
Fordham Rose Hill B

Initial Thoughts:
This Regional isn’t ranked very high in our difficulty rankings—it slots in at 23rd out of 28. And if we take into account this season’s invitational results, it starts looking even easier. The traditional power here is Northwood. This is a good team. They still feature standout performers like All-American Lukas Baker, and they just went 6-2-0 at South Carolina’s Southern Showdown. But make no bones about it—this team is a shadow of its former self. They’re going to be a tough out at Regionals, but with no Chris Grant and no Simeon Lawrence, their days of wowing teams with shock and awe are probably over. Then there’s Case Western, a power on the rise. Led by four top performers–witness Enya Eettickal, attorney Zoe Swenson, and double-threats Prateek Dullur and Nicholas Cosmo, the Spartans are looking to build on their finish at NCT last year. They have placed at every invitational their A team has attended this year, and they should be a lock to advance to ORCS from Regional 4-E.

The second group here is headlined by Hamilton A, who haven’t attended any very competitive invitationals this year, but have largely dominated the less competitive ones. Hamilton also has a fairly middling record at ORCS, where they routinely finish in the middle of the pack. They didn’t have a great year at Regionals last year, where they relied on their B team to earn their ORCS bid. But they have some serious talent with Quinn Jones and Peri Kessler on their attorney bench, and we expect them to do well here. Stanford B is right in the mix as well. This is a West Coast powerhouse whose B team often bids to the NCT, let alone to ORCS. They have a decent track record at invitationals this year, and their talent should take them far beyond 4-E. There’s UCLA D, who—despite being a D team—are as close to a lock as a Bubble team can be for a bid here. UCLA is always excellent, no matter where, when, or which team is competing. Rounding out the second tier of teams here is Eastern Kentucky A, who finally broke to ORCS last year and went 6-6 after a bit of a dry spell—a few years of failing to make it out of Regionals. They had a good invite season, albeit at less competitive tournaments, and will be looking to make it a two-year streak. And then there are a bunch of lower teams from solid programs who, with the right schedule and a little bit of luck, could really shake things up: SLO C, ASU D, Cornell B, Fordham RH B. We wouldn’t be surprised if someone lower down on the Bubble or someone off the Bubble entirely to make some noise.

Team to watch: Kansas A
The Kansas Jayhawks are, in all likelihood, an ORCS team. They’ve been there in each of the last 2 seasons, and at this Regional, they’re in pole position to be there again in March. Whether or not they’re a good ORCS team that can challenge for a Nationals bid is an entirely different question with an entirely different answer. They were 2-5-1 there in 2020 and 2-10-0 in 2021, which seems to indicate that there’s basically a ceiling on how far the Jayhawks can go in the AMTA season. But at Regionals for the past two years, they’ve been consistent—winning 5 ballots and beating up on nearby teams a tier below them, like Kansas State, Simpson, and Washburn but struggling when playing teams that are a notch above them, like the B teams from Emory and Iowa. This year’s Kansas A squad should perform similarly to the Kansas teams of the past two years, although there is good reason to be optimistic that this can be the year they can try to break their streak of ORCS struggles. They retain a strong core, led by All-Regional Witness Dylan Rule as well as program leader and attorney award winner Sarah Hammeke, and the team has placed well at invitationals this season, including a recent 4th place finish at UMKC’s invitational. This Regional is wide open, and a team like the Jayhawks—with the right schedule and a little luck—could fly over everyone’s heads and land at ORCS with relative ease.


4-F Regional: (24 Teams) ‘#jointhelegacy’ (MAIMD Ranking 20/28)
- 2 teams in top 50, 3 teams in top 100, 6 in top 200

First in:
Miami A
UMass Amherst A

Bubble:
Florida C
Denver A
Fordham, Rose Hill A
Arizona State C
Howard B
UCLA E
Harvard B

Initial Thoughts:
4-F is one of our Regionals where the numbers aren’t telling the whole story. Like a freshman defense opener would tell you, at 4-F, the TPR rankings—much like the prosecution—can only really give us ‘a puzzle with missing pieces.’ Take, for example, the Goliath of Regional 4-F: the erstwhile defending National Champions of Miami, Ohio. They’re ranked 19th in the country right now because of a lackluster finish at NCT last April. But is that really an accurate measurement of how good Miami is? History will tell us it’s not. Again and again and again, Miami graduates a terrific class, underperforms during invitational season, and then makes all of us here at MAIMD look like fools by skating through Regionals, ORCS, and NCT while only dropping a handful of ballots. They did it in 2019, they did it in 2020, and if they want to do it again they’ve certainly got the competitors and resources to pull it off. They have some of the best coaching in the country—including the man who wrote State v. Sutcliffe, Neal Schuett—and are loaded with talent: All-American character witness Jamie Coughlin and double-threat star Catherine Lammersen headline a Miami A team that has been around the block a time or two. They’ll eat everyone else at 4-F for breakfast. The other team in our First in category is UMass Amherst A, and again, their TPR of 46 is probably a little bit misleading. While they’ve been pushing Nationals for a number of years now, they just graduated a massively talented class of seniors that really drove the program, and they’ve put up weaker invitational results than usual this year. They also haven’t attended too many tournaments, which is curious. But this is a team that has ascended to close to the top of the Northeast pecking order in the past few years, and while we’d be surprised to see them threaten a Nationals bid, we certainly expect them to make it out of 4-F alive—led by star performers like Tayla Torres.

After these two, Regional 4-F is defined largely by reliable lower teams like UCLA E and Florida C. It’s hard for us to put C, D, and E teams in our First in group just on principle alone, but these guys are going to earn bids. Harvard B is another team whose TPR doesn’t really tell us anything. They’ve been pretty mediocre at Regionals in the past few years, but Harvard got an infusion of new talent last year under the leadership of TBC competitor Travis Harper, and strong competitors like Jacob Winter and Daniel Salgado-Alvarez will make this team dangerous at 4-F. We’ve also got a couple of higher teams from underrated programs in the mix—Fordham Rose Hill earned a bid to ORCS from their B team last year, and we’ll be looking to see if restack and consolidation can earn their A a bid in 2022. We’ve yet to see Denver A make much noise at ORCS, but they’ve reliably placed at Regionals the past three years, and haven’t done anything to suggest that streak is going to stop here. Whether it’ll come from a successful turn from some underrated programs, or an unexpected underperformance from some greater powers, we expect when the cards fall at the end of 4-F, we’re going to see some surprises.

Team to watch: Howard B
Our team to watch here is Howard B, a lower team from an extremely well-known program. Howard has been on a bit of a rollercoaster ride these past few years. In 2018, Howard went 7-4-1 at Nationals. In 2019, Howard made it to Nationals and went 7-9. Last year, in 2021, Howard failed to return to Nationals with a 6-6 record at ORCS. And, in fact, their A team failed to make it out of Regionals. Their B team saved them and got the program’s lone bid to ORCS. (Although we should note that Howard’s C team had one of the highest CS we have ever seen last year of 26.5!!!) It will be interesting to see if this year, it will once again be Howard’s B team who has to step up to secure their program a bid. In the early fall, Howard A started hot, but then began to cool off. In one of the first tournaments of the year, Howard A attended UMBC’s Charm City Classic and won first place with a 7-1 record. They later attended Yale’s Bulldog Invitational and went 3-5, and most recently attended Georgetown’s Hilltop and had a 3-5 showing, but with a less than impressive CS of 9. Howard B (who we are spotlighting here) has also been fairly up and down. They attended William and Mary’s Colonial Classic and had a 4-4 showing, but then two weeks later they attended Haverford’s Black Squirrel Invitational and had a bit of a surprising 1-6-1 record, and then finally they went just 2-6 at Hilltop. Interestingly, Howard does not have any invitationals in which they used their C team number, but they do have one for their D team—they attended Johns Hopkins Blue Jay Invitational and went 0-8, but to be fair, this is their first time ever fielding a D team. The lone award winner that we are confident are on Howard B this year is Cristen Williams, who got 19 ranks at Black Squirrel. While a lot is up in the air, this much is clear: Howard is still Howard, and they are always a force to be reckoned with.


4-G Regional: (24 Teams) ‘Open Bid Feeder’ (MAIMD Ranking 19/28)
- 2 teams in top 50, 3 teams in top 100, 8 in top 200

First in:
Minnesota A
Georgia Tech A

Bubble:
NYU B
Texas B
Irvine C
North Carolina A
UMass Amherst C
UMBC B
Florida International A
UC Santa Barbara C

Initial Thoughts:
Coming in as the most difficult Regional of Week 4 is 4G, in 19th place overall. While this might be rated the highest for this particular week, there’s not THAT much power here. Most of the power comes from programs who have had historic success but have suffered a bit of late, like Georgia Tech A, North Carolina A and NYU B. As recently as 2018, all three of these programs were at Nationals—but none were there in 2021. In fact, North Carolina wasn’t even at ORCS! While these programs might be on the decline, we expect all three to have a good shot at advancing from Regionals—especially Georgia Tech A, who came just half a ballot away from advancing in 2021. But compared to other Regionals that had as many as 6 teams in contention for NCT bids (I’m looking at you 1A), having just two isn’t as challenging. One team that we’re pretty confident will advance is Minnesota A. After placing in the Nelmark division last year, this team comes in looking to prove that wasn’t a fluke and we expect them to have an easy time advancing from here. After those teams, we have the B and C teams from some well established programs. Texas B and UMBC B (who you can read more about as our team to watch) are always competitive for a bid, even if they don’t earn it. And Irvine C, UMass Amherst C, and UC Santa Barbara C are all programs that have incredible depth and we expect could create a spot on the open bid list. Speaking of open bid list, a lot of the teams here could add to that list; 9 teams at 4-G could create another open bid given the right circumstance, so teams on the open bid list should keep a close eye on this Regional.

Team to watch: UMBC B
Looking at the numbers right now, UMBC B is a weird team. What other adjective is there to describe a team that hails from the program of the reigning National Champions, but also a team that’s failed to earn their own bid out of Regionals for the past three years in a row? Clearly, it’s not the result of a lack of talent. We saw this year that former UMBC B team competitor Brinda De Tchappi was able to step into the the open spot on UMBC A’s double-sided bench of three and be part of the squad that’s made UMBC A so threatening this year, so it’s not like there weren’t very skilled competitors on the teams that didn’t put up great records in the past. We also know that that talent from years prior has carried over into this year, because they’ve got exceptional competitors like former final round tech chair Sunnah Brooks and Charm City award winner Chinyere Ukeje. And if there’s one thing we’ve seen UMBC be really good at in the past few years, it’s been training their newer members to reach a remarkably high level of competency in just a short time—as has been evident by their use of freshmen on their A team (like Maria Kutischeva, who played Sam Lyons the combination-borscht-saleswoman-handyman in the final round last year and has been cleaning up on the awards circuit so far this year). So all in all, we’re a little perplexed. There isn’t a great explanation for why a powerhouse program like UMBC doesn’t appear to be as competitively deep as other teams of its caliber. It’s a really strange thing that a R3 pairing against UMBC B shouldn’t inspire the same fear as say, a R3 pairing against UVA B or UCLA B. But program depth is very hard to build; there’s a reason we’re impressed every year in February when Florida and UCLA manage four or five bids to ORCS for the umpteenth year in a row. And while UMBC A is clearly an elite team, their B’s records in 2019, 2020, and 2021 (3-5, 3-5, 2-6), just don’t inspire a lot of confidence. Now, that said, we wouldn’t be surprised if this was the UMBC B team to buck the trend. Ukeje is a star in the making, and this team is coached by one of the best: the podcast host himself, Ben Garmoe. We’ll find out if their B will be joining their A team at ORCS in March very soon!


4-H Regional: (24 Teams) ‘the NFC South of Regionals’ (MAIMD Ranking 22/28)
- 2 teams in top 50, 3 teams in top 100, 8 in top 200

First in:
UC Davis A
Rutgers A

Bubble:
UMass Amherst B
Case Western B
Berkeley C
NYU C
Hamilton B
Tufts D
Wellesley A
Penn State C

Initial Thoughts:
Regional 4-H comes in just two spots away from being the easiest Regional by average TPR—not just this week but throughout all Regionals. There are many middle of the pack teams, all of whom have a decent shot at making it out. Amherst B and Case Western B both had some success last year and will look to replicate that this year. Berkeley usually has talented A-D teams (just two years ago, Berkeley D earned a bid to Nationals over their A team) and seem to have been having similar success this year. And then you have Rutgers and Davis at the top of the back. Rutgers did not make it to Nationals last year, after many years of making it prior. Despite their average performance in tournaments where more than 25% of the field included national’s returners, we still expect Rutgers to have no problem getting through Regional 4-H. On the other hand, Davis has had a great year so far, maybe the best invitational season in the program's history—placing at every invitation they have attended. After losing TBC competitor Jafar Khalfani-Bey, you might expect some decline, but it doesn’t seem like Davis has lost any steam at all. Just a few weeks ago, they two ballots off of Stanford A to secure a second place finish at Great Chicago Fire. They return all but two members of their team that went to Nationals last season including: Sorcha Wylde (TBC first chair last year), Tarakdeep Singh, Brandon Rizotto, and Chloe Porath (expert witness who has awarded at nearly every tournament she's attended this season). They seem poised to make it out of this Regional with little difficulty.

Team to watch: Case Western Reserve University B
CWRU B likes to surprise us. In 2020, Case Western turned heads by sending two teams out of the brutal Dayton Regionals—something that we didn’t see coming, in part because there were powerhouses like Penn State B who failed to make it out of the bloodbath, and in part because it was something Case Western as a program had failed to have even one team do the year prior. In 2021, they turned heads again—sending two teams to ORCS and having their A team achieve a bid to Nationals with their B just a ballot away from doing the same. So this year—well, we’re not quite sure what to expect. Case Western B has yet to put up any particularly remarkable invitational records this season that could suggest they’re going to make another break for it, but that’s not quite the whole picture. We know some formerly distinguished B team competitors, like rising star Prateek Dullur, have moved up from CWRU B and won’t be a part of the squad who’ll be at 4-J—but we also suspect there’s quite a lot of talent left. This year, Case Western B is captained by two decorated All-National attorneys in Vishu Chandrasekhar and Benjamin Chanenson, the latter of whom has indicated he’s going to keep that success going by collecting an Outstanding Attorney award at Northwestern’s Mock at the Rock. So it’ll be interesting to see whether or not Case Western demonstrates depth yet again this weekend at 4-H. Overall, Case Western as a program is trending upwards. It seems this team represents a program currently learning how to win consistently, and we are excited to see what CWRU B has to offer this February.


4-I Regional: (23 Teams) ‘Give me that second bid!’ (MAIMD Ranking 28/28)
- 2 teams in top 50, 3 teams in top 100, 7  in top 200

First in:
Fordham Lincoln Center A
William & Mary A

Bubble:
Brown A
Connecticut A
UC Santa Barbara B
Illinois, Chicago A
Northwestern D
Berkeley D
American C
Carthage A

Initial Thoughts:
While this might be our “easiest” Regionals, make no mistake: there are some good teams here. Before we get to the teams likely to advance, it’s important to note that this Regional is ranked 28/28 because of the number of unranked teams, especially unranked B teams. Of the 24 teams competing, 14 of them are unranked. And while some of those teams are schools competing for the first time or schools that often struggle to advance, it also includes B teams from programs that consistently earn bids to ORCS, like MIT, Creighton and Denver. While MIT B, Creighton B and Denver B have not historically found success at Regionals, their A teams are consistent ORCS attendees—so the foundation is there for any of those three teams to earn their school a second bid. At a Regional like this one, we wouldn’t be shocked to see any of those teams sneak into the top group. With that being said, none of those teams are on our Bubble, and that’s because there are still a number of teams who have earned bids in the past three years to keep an eye on.

But before we get to the Bubble, we’ll start with our two Nationals returning teams: Fordham Lincoln Center A and William and Mary A. While neither placed at NCT 2021 and neither are consistent Nationals presences, both should have an easy time earning a bid from 4-I, as both have put up solid invitational seasons. Fordham earned 6 wins at both Quaker Classic and Commonwealth Classic, while William and Mary earned 5 wins at competitive tournaments like Southern Showdown and Soda City, as well as a 6 win finish at Colonial Classic. After that, there are a bunch of question marks. Brown A is the only other team in the top 100, but they’ve been on a bit of a decline, historically speaking. At one point they were in contention for Nationals, and last year they lost more ballots than they won at ORCS. This invitational season they’ve done a solid job, earning 5 wins at Southern Showdown and 7 wins at Scarlet Knight, but we’ve seen them do well at invites before, so let’s see if it can carry over to the AMTA season this time. On the flip side, there’s UC Santa Barbara B, who went from not earning a bid in 2020 to 6 wins at ORCS last year and some impressive invitational stats—finishing with 5 wins at UCLAssic and 6 wins at AtypiCAL. There are also some strong D teams from Northwestern and Berkeley. Now, these might be D teams, but these programs routinely field D teams that are stronger than some A teams. Berkeley D just won their atypiCAL tournament despite competing alongside Nationals teams like UVA. Lastly, you have the A teams from Connecticut, Illinois, Chicago and Carthage, who will all be looking to earn bids for their schools. While these teams have had varying levels of success over the past few years, they’ve all earned bids in at least two of the past three years and then struggled at ORCS. What does that mean for them here? Well, it means that their path to ORCS could be rather specific. They need to hit a few of the unranked teams, which historically they’ve been able to take two ballots from. But if any of these teams gets unlucky and gets faces a few of the Bubble teams, not to mention one of the First in teams, they might struggle and see their season come to an early end.

Team to watch: Connecticut A
UConn A isn’t in our First in category, and they’re not there for a reason. They don’t normally attend top tier Regionals, they don’t historically put on a show at ORCS, and situated along the I-91 corridor in Connecticut that is typically dominated by Yale and Wesleyan, they just don’t stand out at the higher levels of competition. But while they aren’t a lock to advance, we’d honestly be quite surprised to see the Huskies miss out on a bid at 4-I. Historically, they have a very solid track record at Regionals. They earned bids to ORCS in 2021 and 2019 despite tough rounds against OSU B and Temple A, as well as Harvard all the way back in 2019. And the only reason they weren’t as successful in 2020 is that they ran into NYU A and NYU B (while NYU certainly isn’t the final round threat they were in their glory days, they’re still nothing to sneeze at). This year, they’ve been giving some invitational showings that suggest that they’re looking to repeat their historical success at Regionals. With a record of 6 wins at MIT’s Mockathon and 5 at the Capital Region Clash, it’s clear the Huskies are capable of picking up some serious ballots when they want to. Outside of team success, we’ll be interested to see if Claire Lasher and Maeve Collins will be looking to pick up some All-Regional awards to match the ones they’ve already collected this season. All in all, we think the Huskies are in for a great weekend at 4-I, and we’re excited to see what they do to make their way back to the Opening Round Championship Series.


4-J Regional: (24 Teams) ‘Hey, at least we aren’t the easiest Regional?’ (MAIMD Ranking 27/28)
- 2 teams in top 50, 2 teams in top 100, 7 in top 200

First in:
UC Irvine A
Chicago B

Bubble:
Furman A
Colorado College A
Emory C
Rochester A
Fresno State A
Central Florida A
Nebraska C
Howard C

Initial Thoughts:
At the top of our second easiest Regional are two teams that broke through to NCT last year after some heartbreaking moments in the past few years. Irvine came off nearly making the NCT Final Round in 2018 only to fail to bid out of ORCS in 2019 and then redeem themselves in 2020—only to have their ORCS canceled. They came back in 2021 to put on a performance at NCT that was respectable, but nothing to write home about. Meanwhile, Chicago B had an unfortunate streak of years in which they entered round 4 at ORCS looking like a favorite to advance and then just barely managed to fall to 5-3. But last year they managed to break through in the online format and pulled their weight en route to an honorable mention at Nationals. Having these two teams at the top of a Regional is less frightening than many of the top pairings we have written about in past weeks, but these guys are nothing to sneeze at and each should hope they don’t hit each other.

It’s the Bubble where we get some teams with wild trajectories. Furman, for instance, has gone from being a national powerhouse as recently as 2018 to failing to bid since—with their low point coming in 2019 when they managed to lose to the bye-buster at Regionals and had to scrape by on the open bid list. Colorado College was once in recent memory a team that got a bid to NCT in their very first year. But for a while afterwards they struggled at ORCS and in 2019 they didn't even get a bid out of regionals. Last year they went back to being mid-level at ORCS after earning an NCT bid in 2020 that they couldn’t use because of the pandemic (which must be frustrating). Emory C, meanwhile, has in recent memory been a team that earned their B team a bid to NCT. Rochester has a history of making Nationals after open bidding into ORCS, but in 2020 they didn’t make ORCS at all at last year they returned to ORCS only to finish with a lackluster record. Fresno State has in some years been a program where you have to worry about teams very deep in their line-up and in others a program where none of their many teams make it out of Regionals. In short, the mid level pairings at this tournament are ripe for chaos and we are ready to get our popcorn and watch.

Team to watch: Fresno State A
There are a few teams that the online season did an absolute number on—and Fresno State has to be near the top of that list. In 2019, they were fielding an F team and getting two teams to ORCS. 2020 seemed like an off-year when they only fielded 5 teams and got just one bid to ORCS while their B team barely missed the cutoff on the open bid list. But something happened in Fresno during the pandemic. Because last year, they had dropped their D and E teams to become just a 3 team program, and none of their teams were even close to bidding out of Regionals. Their A team dropped from 6 wins in 2020 to 3.5 wins in 2021. Now, of course, that happens sometimes, but they weren’t losing ballots to Nationals level teams. They were losing ballots to B and C teams from mid-tier ORCS schools. Coming into this year, the question was simple: can Fresno make it back to where they were just a few years ago, or did something happen that caused a permanent change? Invite results seem to indicate that Fresno’s turn for the worse may be permanent. Not only have they failed to finish a tournament with a single winning record, but of the nine teams they sent to invites, four of them finished 0-8 and their best record was 3-5 at atypiCAL. But despite that, this is an experienced and award-winning team. President Madison Firstman has been awarding consistently for the past two years and Faith Van Hoven has earned a few awards as well. There’s some talent on this team, so let’s see if they can put it together and right the ship in time for 4J.


Last edited by MockAnalysisIsMyDrug on Tue Feb 22, 2022 1:50 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Tue Feb 22, 2022 9:16 am
I'm a little bit confused about the writeup for 4-A: Fordham Lincoln Center is a great program, but last year was the first time in a while their program earned two nationals bids. There is no streak of earning multiple bids, and last year was a hugely successful year for their B team, not a sign of things getting worse. I also don't know what is meant by the line "Texas A and St. Louis A are the only teams in the Bubble who earned ORCS bids last year." Franklin and Marshall and Santa Clara both earned ORCS bids last year. As for the blurb about SLU: SLU absolutely competes at invites every year. This year, they competed at the Mid Missouri Invitational, Oklahoma, Illinois, and Drake. Tabs for Illinois and Drake are on the AMTA website. The past two years they have regularly competed at invites as well and are well known fixtures on the Midwest circuit.

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Tue Feb 22, 2022 12:41 pm
Just to clarify in response to 4J, Rochester did make it to ORCs last year...
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2022 Regionals Analysis Week 4 Empty Re: 2022 Regionals Analysis Week 4

Tue Mar 01, 2022 9:05 am
Summary
Most predictable tournament - 4E
Most surprising tournament - 4J
Most surprising team result - UC Irvine A

Unpredicted Teams
Amherst A
Colorado B
Flagler A
MIT B
Princeton B
Rice A
Rochester D
Santa Clara B
Toronto A
USC D
Washington College A

Predicted First In Teams Out
Rutgers A
UC Irvine A

4-A:
Florida A
Saint Louis A*
Texas A*
Rochester D**
Franklin & Marshall A*
UC Davis C*

*In from predicted "Bubble"
**Unpredicted in

Out from "First in" prediction:
None


4-B:
American A*
Tufts C*
NYU A
Stanford A
Princeton B**
Boston College C*

*In from predicted "Bubble"
**Unpredicted in

Out from "First in" prediction:
None

4-C:
MIT A*
Penn A
Georgia Tech B*
Santa Clara B**
Amherst A**
Harvard A

*In from predicted "Bubble"
**Unpredicted in

Out from "First in" prediction:
None

4-D:
Baylor A*
Cornell A
Washington College A**
Chicago A
Northwestern C*
Rice A**

*In from predicted "Bubble"
**Unpredicted in

Out from "First in" prediction:
None

4-E:
Case Western A
Eastern Kentucky A*
Arizona State D*
Hamilton A*
Northwood A
Cornell B*

*In from predicted "Bubble"
**Unpredicted in

Out from "First in" prediction:
None

4-F:
UMass Amherst A
Miami A
Harvard B*
Fordham, RH A*
USC D**
Florida C*

*In from predicted "Bubble"
**Unpredicted in

Out from "First in" prediction:
None

4-G:
Georgia Tech A
UMass Amherst C*
Florida International A*
Toronto A**
Minnesota A
UC Irvine C*

*In from predicted "Bubble"
**Unpredicted in

Out from "First in" prediction:
None

4-H:
UC Davis A
UMass Amherst B*
Case Western B*
Wellesley A*
NYU C*
Colorado B**

*In from predicted "Bubble"
**Unpredicted in

Out from "First in" prediction:
Rutgers A

4-I:
William & Mary A
Brown A*
Connecticut A*
Fordham, LC A
UC Santa Barbara B*
MIT B**

*In from predicted "Bubble"
**Unpredicted in

Out from "First in" prediction:
None

4-J:
Emory C*
Furman A*
Fresno State A*
Chicago B
Colorado College A*
Flagler A**

*In from predicted "Bubble"
**Unpredicted in

Out from "First in" prediction:
UC Irvine A
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2022 Regionals Analysis Week 4 Empty Re: 2022 Regionals Analysis Week 4

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