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2020 ORCS Analysis

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2020 ORCS Analysis Empty 2020 ORCS Analysis

Tue Mar 03, 2020 12:40 am
Message reputation : 100% (6 votes)
Please share your own thoughts below. This is intended to start a discussion, if you have seen a team and you think we are over or under valuing them let us know! Good luck with ORCS! If you aren't on here, then prove us wrong! If you made our list, then prove us right!
- MockAnalysisIsMyDrug

A Note on the New Pairing System:
One of the big things that people are going to need to keep in mind about the new pairing system is the effect it will have on qualifying records. When you look at an ORCS field and think about who you have to beat to get through it's important to keep in mind how many ballots one needs to get through. It used to be that 6-2 was always enough if there were 8 ORCS. Sometimes even 5-3 was enough. So if you were confident that you could make it through and only lose to one top team, that was good enough.

The new system brings pros and cons in that respect. On the one hand, you cannot get completely screwed over with a schedule that somehow involves all of the top teams at your ORCS (as happened to some teams last year). On the other it may take more ballots to get a bid.

On the old AMTA system, assuming power protection, if judging were perfect (i.e. the better team always wins 2 ballots) we would expect the outcome to be 3 8-0 teams, 3 6-2 teams, 11 4-4 teams, 5 2-6 teams, and 2 0-8 teams. In other words most teams are clustered around the middle and there are 6 teams with a record of 6-2 or better. So all teams with a record of 6-2 or better qualify. Of course, the outcomes were never exactly that because splits were a thing but on average the records clustered around there and as long as there were 6 bids out of ORCS, all 6-2 teams got through.

On the new system, however, if everything ran exactly as predicted, we would expect that all the teams in the A group would go 6-2 or better (they win all their rounds against other groups and then some go 6-2 by losing their A-A match up and some go 8-0 by winning their A-A match up). Meanwhile three B group teams also have a 6-2 record because they win against C and D group teams to get 4 wins and then pick up another 2 in the B-B match up. Carrying this process down the field we wind up with 3 8-0 teams, 6 6-2 teams, 6 4-4 teams, 6 2-6 teams, and 3 0-8 teams. In other words the records are way less clustered around 4-4 with the result that we have 9 teams with a record of 6-2 or better and three of them don’t advance. Now, of course splits will happen so there probably won't be 3 teams with a 6+ record not advancing from every ORCS. But it's very possible that there will be 6-2 teams on the open bid list.

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.

A warning though: this looks entirely at the TPR/Rank data based on previous years. There will be teams that overperform or underperform if they have improved significantly year over year or if they had heavy attrition. The overall numbers may be warped by a high number of low-ranked or unranked teams--that’s why we included the average rank of the top five teams and noted all the nationals returners in our analysis of each ORCS.


2020 ORCS Analysis Maimdc18


This gave us a final ranking (from most to least difficult) of:
1. Santa Monica
2. Greenville
3. Cincinnati
4. Memphis
5. Princeton
6. Lancaster
7. Cedar Rapids
8. Geneva


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.

The hardest ORCS this year by a good bit is Santa Monica. The easiest, again by a good bit, is Geneva. These two facts are not unrelated. Originally some of the power from Santa Monica was supposed to be shipped out to Geneva with Berkeley A & B. But when Berkeley B didn’t get a bid and Berkeley C and D did, their bids were assigned to Santa Monica instead. Inexplicably, AMTA did not decide to move Berkeley back over to Geneva, and instead left them in Santa Monica. The Berkeley situation is not enough, alone to explain the discrepancy, however. Note that Berkeley B would have been an A bracket team surrounded by the Geneva field. But in Santa Monica they barely qualified for B bracket which speaks to the genuinely more difficult entire top half in Santa Monica vs. Geneva. In other words this is not just a Berkeley issue. AMTA understacked Geneva and overstacked Santa Monica relative to the rest of the field.

The result for Santa Monica is an extremely difficult ORCS. Particularly at the top there are multiple teams in their B group who would be A group at most other ORCS. Santa Monica edges out Greenville for highest Average TPR across the field and has, by far the most difficult average rank of the top six. It's also the second most difficult in the other two categories.

Overall, ORCS on the East Coast looks bad this year, but are not quite as bad as they might have been expected to be based on the original assignments. Meanwhile the South got the short end of the stick.  This is in part because AMTA made some last minute changes that shifted power programs west and south as compared to the original assignments. Some of last year’s difficult Richmond field got moved to Cincinnati making an odd blended midwest and Mid-Atlantic ORCS with a high difficulty rating. The rest got moved down to Greenville creating a Southeast ORCS with way too many NCT returners (8 returners with only 6 bids). To take some of the pressure off Greenville which was overflowing with power, they moved some top teams from there over to Memphis. This helped to fix the huge power vacuum we saw in the predicted Memphis field and actually ended up turning Memphis into the hardest A group by TPR sum. On the one had this corrected some of the predicted power imbalances from the predicted field based on regionals. On the other hand, however, there are a lot of teams driving way farther than they should have to to get to the middle of the country for  ORCS. The Northeast got lucky in that a few teams that would usually have been in the tops of their fields TPR wise (most notably Cornell), failed to qualify out of regionals, making those fields less dangerous than they usually are (although by no means a cake walk).

And that brings us to the Midwest. The two ORCS holding most of the traditional Midwestern teams are Cedar Rapids and Geneva. And these two ORCS are easier statistically than any other ORCS for the second year in a row, and it’s not really close. All of the other ORCS on this list have some claim to being particularly difficult. These two are notable for all the ways they are not. Cedar Rapids at the very least has a top end of the field that, while not statistically as strong as the tops of many other ORCS at least contains a full slate of six teams who went to nationals last year (although since they all came out of the same ORCS last year which also had a much easier than usual field, this should be interpreted with a grain of salt). Overall, however, Cedar Rapids presents a field that at least statistically speaking is not very difficult. Geneva, doesn’t even have a top of the field to brag about. The last team from the A group in Geneva would be in the bottom half of the B group in any other ORCS and would be C group in Greenville, Lancaster, or Santa Monica. Meanwhile they have a grand total of three NCT returners, two of whom are from the same school (Miami).

Cedar Rapids: ‘Has it changed?' (MAIMD Ranking 7/8 )
- 5 teams in top 50, 11 teams in top 100, 17 in top 200
- 6 teams from 2019 NCT

First in:
Chicago A
Northwestern A

Bubble:
Northwestern B
Minnesota A
Wash U A
Illinois A
Chicago B
Cornell College A
Minnesota B

Initial Thoughts:
Much of the top end of this tournament looks fairly similar to Cedar Rapids ORCS last year. And while losing a strong team like Indiana who was here in 2019 to Cincinnati’s ORCS may seem to make this field easier, there are enough programs right on the edge of the Nationals bubble to keep Cedar Rapids a challenge, even beyond our predicted teams. Illinois and Washington University St. Louis both missed out on NCT last season, but have been there in the last few years and will be looking to prove they can make it back. Wheaton’s 5-3 record with a CS of 20 at Geneva ORCS last year is the stuff of nightmares for ORCS competitors, and although the loss of Mary-Preston Austin showed in their open bid out of regionals this year, they’ll be hoping the new pairing system gives them a chance to face a fairer schedule and get back to Nats. Cornell College and St. Thomas, on the other hand, will both be trying to show their NCT bids last season weren’t flukes. And, of course, Chicago and Northwestern will come in hoping to maintain their positions as Midwestern powerhouses and maybe even snag a second bid.

Anyone who’s been following the group breakdowns for ORCS might be surprised to see a D group team make our bubble list, but Minnesota B put up a clean 8-0 record at regionals with the highest CS of any 8-0 team across all regionals, sweeping Northwestern A along the way. Minnesota has historically been a strong program, and their developing depth may give them a shot at a second bid this year.

Finally, six of the teams on our first in and bubble lists went 8-0 at regionals this year (Chicago A, Chicago B, Illinois A, Wash U A, Minnesota B, and Northwestern B) so it will be fascinating to see what happens when these top teams start hitting each other. But we also can’t forget all the middle and lower ranked teams, many of whom could spoil one of our predictions’ weekends with a strong round. Keep an eye on Macalaster and Iowa, who’ve put together some promising seasons and strong regionals results. We’re excited to see how Cedar Rapids shakes out, and we’re sure we’ll see some surprises.

Team to watch: Northwestern B
Northwestern B has had impressive showing after impressive showing this year. The team, mostly comprised of talented first-years, had a strong showing at Ramblin’ Wreck, finished 3rd with a record of 7-1, and also went 8-0 at the St. Paul regionals. The team as a whole has done consistently well all season, but they also have strong individuals on the team as well, including attorney Elizabeth Curtis who 17-ranked at the St. Paul Regionals, attorney Tahj Burnett who 19 ranked, and Megan Munce who won a 17-rank witness award. Katherine Moore also witness awarded at the Yale Invite in the A division. It is clear that Northwestern B is stock full of very strong individual players and they’ve honed that talent to create some very solid showings at tough tournaments. Additionally, if Northwestern B bids out of Cedar Rapids, this would be their 3rd consecutive year at NCT. Already, Northwestern B is one of only three B teams to have made Nationals two years in a row and if they were to make a third that would be incredibly impressive from the program. Considering their strong showings across invites and regionals this year, we would not be shocked to see Northwestern’s B team make it out this year.

Cincinnati: ‘OH-IO > OR-CS' (MAIMD Ranking 3/8 )
- 6 teams in top 50, 12 teams in top 100, 19 in top 200
- 5 teams from 2019 NCT

First in:
UVA A
OSU A

Bubble:
OSU B
UVA B
Washington & Lee A
Cincinnati A
Penn State A
William & Mary A


Initial Thoughts:
Statistically speaking, the ORCS in Cincinnati is the third most difficult in the nation. Now we actually think that is a bit misleading in relation to the actual expected difficulty, but first let’s get into exactly why this ORCS appears so statistically difficult.

Starting at the top, this is one of only two ORCS in the country to boast two teams from the TPR top 10 (Memphis: Rhodes & Patrick Henry) in Virginia A and Ohio State A. And there is an argument to be made that those are the two teams from the top 10 who have most been living up to that ranking so far this year. Virginia started the year off by going undefeated at Colonial Classic and then following that win up with a 6-2 record and third place finish at Black Squirrel. They had a less successful showing at GAMTI (6-6) but have been on an absolute tear in the new year, winning Great Chicago Fire and easily clearing Regionals. Ohio State, on the other hand, has not had as many ebbs and flows as Virginia has, but has been very very good at almost every tournament this year. They placed 4th at GAMTI, just one ballot behind the champion Rhodes. Then they placed second in their division at Great Chicago Fire, after losing an unbearably close -1 -1 round to the eventual division champion, Tufts. Both UVA and OSU have people who have been racking up awards, both of these teams have an announced TBC competitor, and both of these teams have extensive and established coaching staffs. If OSU A and UVA A are playing in Round 3, make sure to get a good seat.

Stepping into the tier below, UVA B and OSU B are going to be really strong – these are two of the five best B teams in the country. But this ORCS has a lot of teams that appear on paper to be quite difficult, but may not be in actuality. The other three teams in the “A” grouping are Indiana, Penn State, and Cincinnati. Indiana did not earn a direct bid out of Regionals, instead receiving an open bid to Cincinnati. Obviously, that’s not the last word on how they can perform, but it does cast some doubt. We don’t know the personnel of the team that Penn State will be sending to ORCS, as their D team was the only team to earn a bid. This team could be Penn State A, Penn State D, or a mix of all of the teams. Either way, there is going to be some turmoil surrounding Penn State’s prep that could affect how ready they are. Cincinnati graduated a lot of talent last year, and their best performer from this year, Julia Greve, hasn’t appeared on a lot of tab summaries so far in the spring semester. It’s not clear what kind of talent Cincinnati will be bringing to the table on their home turf. William and Mary graduated all but one of their A team from last year and haven’t shown the same strength that they have in the past (as demonstrated through not earning a direct bid to ORCS). Washington & Lee hasn’t returned to a Nats level program since the graduation of All-American Avery Field a few years ago.

All in all, this field is an odd mix of the two powerhouse programs with teams who have been strong in the past but fallen off recently with teams who aren’t established at all with teams who you would expect to be strong but have shown some unexpected weakness recently. There are 12 teams here with a top 100 TPR but we actually expect the relative power of this ORCS to be in the lower half, compared to the rest.

Team to watch: Ohio State B
Arguably the strongest B team in the entire country, OSU B entered this season looking to follow up on their fifth place division finish at Nationals last year in Philadelphia. But it’s not just a walk in the park. Some of the staples of that B team have moved to the A team this year (Michael Li, Maddie Driscoll, Anna Defendiefer). Fatigue sets in. It’s hard for any team to repeat that level of success, let alone a B team. But this team has been pretty consistently good. In the new year they have gone 5-3 at Hilltop (including a very close sweep of UVA B - setting up a potential Round 4 rematch) and 6-1-1 at Regionals. There are a lot of strong performers. Matt Smith has been awarding like crazy as a witness. Anton Khilkov pulled an attorney award at Hilltop. And that’s not even mentioning really solid players like Sarah Paul and Tom Fogarty anchoring this team. OSU B is a powerhouse and hitting them as the A bracket matchup is not an easy break.


Geneva: ‘The Bid-West’ (MAIMD Ranking 8/8 )
- 4 teams in top 50, 7 teams in top 100, 18 in top 200
- 3 teams from 2019 NCT

First in:
Michigan A
Miami A

Bubble:
Northwood A
Michigan B
Miami B
Illinois, Chicago A
Hillsdale A
NIU A


Initial Thoughts:
Geneva is considered the “easiest” ORCS. Although it was supposed to have teams like Berkeley A/B and Arizona A/B, those teams moved to Santa Monica. The problem with this region is the distribution of power. We have some very clear favorites at the top, but even the A bracket has teams that barely make the bubble. This is because while they’re in the A bracket here, teams like Hillsdale and Illinois, Chicago would be in the C bracket in some other regions. Instead, this region is centered around the B/C brackets. And it’s not just the A bracket that’s easy. Perhaps once could explain away an easy A bracket for a difficult overall field (e.g. a jam packed B and C brackets). Then you would be less likely to lose to A than usually but more likely to lose to B and C. That would just be a middle heavy ORCS and would bring its own challenges. But that is not Geneva. Geneva is the easiest or second easiest ORCS on all of our above metrics (including its average field), which takes into account more than just A bracket difficulty. What all of this does is make it much more possible for a lower bracket team to move on. If A strong C or D team faces one of the lower A teams in round 1/2, it is much more possible for them to take two ballots and make some major upsets.  Thus, if we had to pick an ORCS for a Cinderella team to come out of, this would be it.

The other important thing to note about this region is Loyola, Chicago. Because they are hosting nationals, they received a host bid. If they advanced past regionals (which they did), they automatically get to compete at nationals regardless of how they do at ORCS. If they earn a bid naturally, then nothing happens. If they don’t earn a bid, then nationals becomes bigger and some open bids are allocated. This has never come into play before so it is unclear how this might affect the tournament. Will Loyola, Chicago try harder so they can keep the tournament at 48 and earn their bid? Will they not try as hard since they already have the bid and want more teams at nationals? Will they prepare for ORCS in the exact same way they always do? We will see!

At the top of this tournament is Miami A. Miami A is the only team here who consistently makes nationals and they do pretty well while there. After going 8-0 at regionals and given the difficulty of this ORCS, we expect Miami A to get out with no problem. Miami A is followed by three teams who should also have an easy time in Michigan A, Miami B and Northwood A. Yes, even though Northwood A didn’t directly earn a bid from regionals, they did go 6-2 and are nationals returners so we expect them to be contenders.

Following these top teams is a plethora of teams who consistently make ORCS and don’t make nationals (or rarely do). Specifically, there are 12 teams in the 10-25 TPR range. While that number isn’t completely abnormal, those teams are usually surrounded by better teams pushing them into the low B bracket at best and D bracket at worst. Here, those 12 teams are surrounded by worse teams allowing them to be in the A bracket and the lowest of them is still mid-C bracket. The difference between Hillsdale A and Notre Dame B isn’t very much. In fact Notre Dame B earned more wins at regionals than Hillsdale A, yet Hillsdale is in the A bracket and Notre Dame is in the C bracket.


Team to watch: Notre Dame A
Notre Dame has had some rocky ups and downs over recent years. As of 2015 they were sending a team to nationals and doing well there. That year, their long time coach passed away suddenly and under new coaching their team struggled to make it back. Their invitational presence was significantly reduced, they seemed to have a bizarre stacking issue that routinely sent a hodge podge of their teams through regionals but failed to qualify their top teams, and they have not played at any of the nationals championships since 2015. This year, however, their results have taken a dramatic upswing. Their A team has had consistently strong records across the invitational season with a 6-2 record at Scarlet and Grey, 5-3 record at Illinois State (with a 6-2 record for their B team), 5.5-2.5 at Green and Gold, and a recent 6-2 at Hoosier Hoedown. Their team includes a number of multiple award winners including MAIMD top performer Quentin Colo. At regionals they managed a 6-2 finish, losing only to the University of Michigan. Notre Dame has had a hard uphill battle to climb to get back to the top but we think they might be getting close.



Greenville: ‘The Jig Is Up' (MAIMD Ranking 2/8 )
- 6 teams in top 50, 13 teams in top 100, 21 in top 200
- 8 teams from 2019 NCT

First in:
Duke A
Howard A

Bubble:
Emory A
Florida A
Georgia A
South Carolina A
Richmond A
North Carolina A


Initial Thoughts:
This is an ORCS where people will go home disappointed. There are eight teams in this ORCS who were at the 2019 NCT (Emory, Duke, Howard, Florida, Georgia A&B and North and South Carolina) so even if the only people who thought they had a chance were the people there last year, someone would be going home disappointed. To make matters more complicated, packed into this region we also have programs who were not at NCT last year but have a strong history both making it to and competing at NCT including Richmond, Furman, and the B teams from both Florida and Duke. In other words, unlike Geneva which has half an A group, Greeville has two of them. Statistically speaking, this has resulted in incredibly high difficulty average ranks and average TPR.

Even more alarming, a couple of these teams are relative newcomers to the nationals stage of have been absent from it for a while. A team that performed very well last year but less well the couple years before is likely to have a TPR that is somewhat lower than their true strength. South Carolina, for example, took 10th place in the Guliuzza division with 9 wins and a CS of 35. In the other division Northwestern also took 9 wins with a CS of 34 (the same ballot record and a lower CS). That might suggest that they should be feared approximately equally (depending on relative graduation rates). But currently, Northwestern is ranked 15th and South Carolina is ranked 51st because of records from prior years. Having a number of teams like South Carolina who are on the upswing may suggest that this ORCS is even more dangerous than it looks.

In order to try and balance this, AMTA seems to have decided to cram as many open bids into Greenville as possible (resulting in a lot of Northeast teams having to fly down there). Greenville has seven open bid teams and the ones they have tend to be clustered at the bottom of the list. So teams at Greenville can expect to play a few programs that struggled at regionals. What this means in practice for teams looking to get a bid out of Greenville is that one of their days is likely to be nonstop difficulty as they play an A team and a B team both of which might well be A teams in other ORCS. But the other day is likely to be somewhat easier since they get some open bid teams.

Team to watch: South Carolina
South Carolina, as we mentioned above, broke onto the nationals stage last year with a very impressive performance, getting a top 10 spot at Nationals. South Carolina was a team that hadn’t even been to ORCS the year before. One of the main changes that South Carolina made last year was the addition of new head coach Chance Sturup. Chance was previously the president of Alabama’s mock trial team, and it would seem that Chance has brought some of Alabama’s success to the Gamecocks. That being said, Alabama was a team that has been extremely consistent at getting two teams between 4 and 5 wins at ORCS, but rarely moved beyond ORCS to Nationals. So, jumping to a top 10 finish in their division at Nationals can’t solely be attributed to a new coach. South Carolina had a strong senior class last year, graduating a whopping 9 members from their program, but only 4 of which were on their A team.

The Gamecocks are led by President Ben Mutton and Vice President Susannah Mace, both Seniors, but excitingly for South Carolina, much of their talent lies in their younger members. Freshman Attorney Bee Brawley has begun to draw attention from the AMTA world by racking up notable awards at Yale’s A division and at Orlando Regionals. Additionally, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention a sophomore-but-already-an-all-american witness Hannah Perala, who continued her success this year by receiving 20/17 ranks at regionals, as well as 4 awards at Ramblin’ Wreck, CUBAIT, Peach Bowl, and Habeas Hippopotamus this invitational season. Combining talented youth with solid, experienced veterans often makes for a very dangerous combination. So far they have put together an up and down season: 1st place at Peach Bowl and 2nd place at Charm City, were accompanied by very midling results for much of the rest of the invitational season. Additionally despite getting two teams to ORCS last year, only one will be making the journey this year, although it was after a confident showing at the tough Orlando regionals. South Carolina enters Greenville at the top of the B bracket, and they are certainly the team that nobody wants to face when they have to face the B teams in Greenville.


Lancaster: ‘Thanks, Cornell' (MAIMD Ranking 6/8 )

- 6 teams in top 50, 13 teams in top 100, 18 in top 200
- 6 teams from 2019 NCT

First in:
Tufts A
Fordham LC A
UMBC A

Bubble:
Wesleyan A
Georgetown A
Harvard A
Rutgers A
Tufts B
Wesleyan B
SUNY Binghamton A

Initial Thoughts:
This ORCS is deceptively difficult based on the numbers (although nowhere near as difficult as it was slated to be originally). Part of the reason it is ranked so low is that there is not a traditional super power in this region. That was supposed to be Cornell. If Cornell was added into the mix (even removing Harvard who probably wouldn’t have been moved over), Lancaster would be the second ranked ORCS. As of now, the highest ranked team in Lancaster is Tufts, who, while a strong team, is only ranked 18th. This means that in every other ORCS there would be two other teams (and in some cases as many as 4) ranked higher than any of the teams at Lancaster.

And yet, it is not the single hardest team at an ORCS that makes it so scary. It is the number of teams that you can drop a ballot to. Although that’s shifting a bit given the fact that 6-2 may not qualify, you are still better off with an ORCS where you have one or two teams you can’t beat up at the top (you will only play 1 anyway) and you can come out with a 6-2 record as long as you don’t mess up. With an ORCS where scary teams drop into the lower groups, you might drop some extra ballots. Lancaster looks like the latter case for a lot of teams.

The top of this field is chalk full of mid level NCT teams who we can expect to make NCT and place in the 5-15 range in their divisions. These include Tufts, UMBC, Wesleyan, Fordham and Georgetown. But there are also cases like Harvard (which has fallen off a bit due to graduation in the last few years but has a strong history of success and has shown signs of returning to greatness). The alarming part, however, comes in the B bracket. The very bottom of the B bracket is Wesleyan B who made NCT last year, and the rest of the B bracket isn’t shabby either. Most of them got around 4 or 5 ballots at ORCS last year and are very serious threats to take a bit this year even just based on TPR.

And to make matters worse, this ORCS has a high concentration of teams that are overperforming. While many top schools seem to be having an off year, these do not. In particular, Tufts has had strong showings at invites. As mentioned in our regional post, they have placed highly at a number of invites, racked up a lot of individual awards, and just this January beat out an insanely packed field to make the GCF final. This suggests that they are stronger than their TPR would indicate. Similarly, Fordham has crushed their winter Invite season with their A team winning both Yale Invite and CUBAIT and taking out a number of traditional powers to do it in both places.

Team to watch: SUNY Binghamton
SUNY Binghamton is a program quietly on the rise. With very little fanfare they have gone from a team that didn’t qualify to ORCS in 2017 to a mid pack team in 2018 to very nearly getting a bid (5.5 ballots, the same record as the last bid) from Central Islip in 2019. This produced very little comment because the only bid earning team they played was Cornell B with whom they split. Yet it was still an impressive record for a relatively unknown team.

Lest one think this was just a fluke or a flash in the pan team, Binghamton has pulled off strong records at invites all fall some of which are at or above the ORCS difficulty level. They went 5.5-2.5 at Penn’s Quaker Classic, 7-1 (for two different teams) at the Geneseo Joust,  and 4.5-3.5 at Yale Invite. This bodes well for their record at Lancaster. They have also seen some strong award records from their individual competitors including, notably Alec Walker Serano and Samantha Cupolo. That being said, they will need to move from the 4.5-5.5 records up to 6-2 records at the stronger tournaments if they want to avoid ending up on the open bid list again. In other words this is a team that has what it takes to compete at nationals but they need that little extra burst of luck or work or energy to crack into bid position.


Memphis: ‘Things Just Got A Bit More Interesting” (MAIMD Ranking 4/8 )
- 4 teams in top 50, 11 teams in top 100, 18 in top 200
- 4 teams from 2019 NCT

First in:
Rhodes A
Patrick Henry A
Georgia Tech A

Bubble:
FSU A
Rhodes B
Baylor A
Rice A
Vanderbilt A
Texas A

Initial Thoughts:
With the addition of the A and B teams of both Patrick Henry and Florida State, we can no longer, as we have long been able to, name Memphis the clear pick for the easiest ORCS tournament. However, much at Memphis is the same as it always has been: Rhodes, on their home turf, with a familiar judging pool, and fielding an A team which won GAMTI, is the clear top dog, with their B team lurking not far behind. Rhodes has, however, shown signs of weakness this year – as opposed to previous years, their C and D teams didn’t win extra earned bids, and in truth weren’t even close with a combined 5-9-2 record at Regionals. That being said we don’t have much reason to believe that the teams at the top of this year’s Rhodes program will be any less fearsome than those from past years. They feature highly awarded closer Richard Madden along with Matthew Broussard (the opener from last year’s NCT Final Round) and Jeena Piriano, who received 20 ranks as closer for Rhodes B at Memphis last year. They have won fewer awards for their witnesses but that has never been a problem for them in the past. As for Rhodes B, they will be led by the powerful duo of attorney Matthew Mussalli and double-threat Natalie Manoogian. While the roster turnover at Rhodes leaves some concern lower down the B team roster, with those two at the top, and in all likelihood doubling, B will be a tough matchup for any team at Memphis.

Past Rhodes we have the addition of east-coast stalwart Patrick Henry, known for their slow and methodical style, and coming off a strong performance at Louisville where their B team posted a triple-digit point differential (though with a CS of 11). While sometimes midwestern/southern tournaments can put east-coast teams at a disadvantage due to judging, we don’t expect that to be the case for Patrick Henry, as they are not known for the aggressive, fast-and-loose style that we saw backfire at St. Paul in the 2018 NCT. Memphis is also drawing two powerhouses from the southeast in Florida State and Georgia Tech. Florida State, 2013’s National Champion, is coming off a strong 2019 performance in which they won 5 ballots with a strong PD of +43 at ORCS but ultimately fell short of the NCT. It has now been 4 years since FSU has broken through, but they look poised to make a serious run. They are returning two Outstanding ORCS Attorneys in president Jaclyn Weinell and Taylor Rich, though they are losing double-threat Stevin Smith. Nonetheless this FSU team looks to be the strongest one in years, and while they finished 6-2 at Regionals, their 7-1 1st place performance at Ramblin’ Wreck shows they have what it takes to make a serious run even in a deep field. Georgia Tech on the other hand has made the NCT for four consecutive years but has an obvious obstacle in the loss of All-Everything TBC competitor Sarah Stebbins. They are, however, returning All-American Witness Harsha Sridhar (who awarded as an attorney at Regionals) and GAMTI Outstanding witness Jessica Copenhaver, and we expect a characteristically strong performance.

The Memphis ORCS also features the teams hailing from Texas: UT, Baylor, Rice, and St. Thomas. UT has fielded consistently strong teams this year across the board: A went 6-2 at CUBAIT, B 5-3 at Ramblin’ Wreck, and C 7-1 at UCLASSIC. Texas A’s performance earned them a First-In pick for the Norman ORCS, only to post a disappointing 4-4 finish punctuated by a rough -16 -4 sweep by Rice B. Given that the bids were earned by their B and C teams, restacking may be something to watch out for, though given their strength down the program, that should make both UT squads, if anything, more formidable. Overall, we know both Texas teams at Memphis will be fairly strong, but we just don’t know how strong. As for Baylor, they feature a standout attorney in Gili Canales and double threat in Brandon Cooper, though as evidenced by their B team failing to advance, this Baylor program isn’t quite the Texan juggernaut it was when it took the only ballot off of NCT champion Harvard back in 2015. Rice has continued to be a surprise name popping up in the Southern circuit, capable of playing giant-killer (swiping a ballot off of Rhodes A both at Memphis ORCS last year and GOT last fall), but has failed to translate that potential into consistent success. This year their A team is captained by senior Blaine Schmidt (Outstanding 2019 ORCS and Regionals Witness), and the team also features attorney Matt Grabianski, who awarded at the Norman Regional where this team (then Rice B) ended up finishing first. Rice A does look to have a bit more experience than the squads we’ve seen in years past, but it remains to be seen if their ceiling has truly been raised. St. Thomas will bring the consistent polish they’re known for, but they have struggled in the past to translate those fundamentals into wins over more risk-taking teams (though they did play spoiler for Baylor B at Memphis last year). With the addition of east-coast teams that play a bit more fast-and-loose, and the continual development of other southern programs, that style could be a slight obstacle.

Team to watch: Vanderbilt A
Vanderbilt is a historically strong team – as recently as 2015 they sent two teams to NCT with a combined 16-0-0 record at ORCS, with Vandy A taking first at Memphis and B the same at Greenville. Then, their program saw serious decline, punctuated by a failure to get a bid to ORCS in 2018. This year though, Vanderbilt appears to be experiencing a resurgence, with a balanced but dynamic roster with a witness corps which includes returning Outstanding ORCS Witness Andrew Talley and their President Griffin Patterson, Outstanding Witness at Jackson’s Regionals. As for attorneys, they feature sophomore standout Prak Bujimalla and a strong strategic mind and rules guru in attorney Brendan Hayner-Slattery. Vandy gave reason for pause with their underwhelming 5-3 performance at the Hoosier Hoedown, but they allayed those fears with a 7-1 first place finish at Jackson in which they posted a monstrous CS of 21. Vanderbilt is a strong and slippery opponent which will have no fear when facing teams in the A or B tiers of this year’s ORCS pairing, and we like their chances among those in the C tier.

Princeton: ‘What's going on this year?' (MAIMD Ranking 5/8 )
- 6 teams in top 50, 11 teams in top 100, 18 in top 200
- 4 teams from 2019 NCT

First in:
Yale A
Columbia A

Bubble:
Boston University A
NYU A
Boston College A
Brown A
Princeton A
Lafayette A
Yale B
UMass Amherst


Initial Thoughts:

This is the region of hard luck cases. There are a lot of teams here that seem very very strong by the numbers but have something big that is holding them back this year. Yale is sanctioned, leaving them without a number of top competitors that have been staples of their A-team roster (Sam Gross, Andy Parker, Joe Young-Perez), and it has shown in their performances at spring Invites which, while not weak, are not up to the standard we expect from Yale. As with regionals we expect this to particularly affect their B team. Columbia has just gone student run, losing their coaches. They still have a very talented roster and a good chance of success, but again their performance at Invites has not been stellar (3-5 at GCF even after a first round against the bye-buster). NYU lost most of its membership last year (notably forcing their B team to pull out of regionals) and, as a result has very few returning members. This leads to a young, volatile team. Lafayette has had a less than impressive invite season invite season. BU has good to a lot of weaker invites and performed well but has had middling records whenever they ventured into top tournaments. The same seems to be true of Princeton. anecdotal reports suggest they have also had a very difficult time settling on a case theory. That makes up the entirety of the A division.

And, yet, we could have told a similar story about this ORCS in many years. Many of these teams are teams that routinely flounder at invites and then pull it out when it matters in the postseason. Yale in particular seems to find a way to be an underdog every year and then come back and smack people around. And so year after year we have hesitations about some of these teams and, as the absurdly high TPR averages for this ORCS suggest they are still strong. In other words, circumstances might suggest that the numbers lie here and this region is easier than it looks, but we think it may turn out to be exactly the bloodbath the numbers predict.

Below that cluster at the top there is a collection of schools that make NCT occasionally but not more often than not. Many of these schools are quite dangerous, hence our large bubble for this ORCS. This means that unlike many ORCS, there is not a big drop off between the A and the B groups. This suggests that the top half of the field will have to be “on” all day on the second day in order to qualify rather than just one round (as might be true in other locations).

Even the C group contains some threats here that should not be overlooked. In particular UMASS had a 5-3 record last year at ORCS and took ballots off of multiple teams in the A and B groups from this year’s field. Teams from A and B expecting to make it through the first day easily and fully unscathed should be very wary of them.

Team to watch: Boston College
Two years ago, in one of our first ever posts, we wrote about Boston College falling off. We worried about their 0-8 records at invites and their seeming chaos and so we wrote a doomsday prediction for them at regionals. Boston College proved us wrong. They made it through regionals that year, and, while they didn’t qualify for NCT again in 2018 (as they had in 2017), they pulled off a respectable 4-4 record at ORCS. In 2018 they were back at nationals after earning a bid with 6 wins from Chestnut Hill.

This year, their records at invites have, agains, not been great. They have not pulled the 8-0 records we were seeing at some tournaments last year, and instead have been floating in the two to four ballot range. With other teams this might lead us to believe that we are seeing another 2018 for Boston College. They would do respectably but not great. And then came regionals. BC pulled off three bids for their A, B, and D teams, and their C team earned a 5-3 record with a CS just barely below the Open Bid cut off. To make things even more impressive all three of those bids were with 7-1 records, so it wasn’t particularly close. This suggests that they have put together their talent into a final composition that is, in fact, prepared to take on the challenging ORCs field.



Santa Monica: ‘Guess Who’s Back?’ (MAIMD Ranking 1/8 )
- 9 teams in top 50, 12 teams in top 100, 20 in top 200
- 6 teams from 2019 NCT

First in:
UCLA A
UCI A

Bubble:
Stanford A
UC Berkeley A
UC Santa Barbara A
Arizona A
UCLA B
Arizona State A
UC Davis A
UC San Diego A



Initial Thoughts:
This year’s Santa Monica ORCS is all about coming home. For the past several years of ORCS, AMTA has been shipping teams from West to East: UC Berkeley to Memphis, Arizona to Geneva and Islip, Air Force to Geneva. This year, through some strange bid allocations and last-minute switcheroos, these teams have come back to California. In exchange, Gonzaga and Oregon (who normally come to ORCS in California) have been sent out to Geneva. Geneva, as a result, becomes significantly easier. Santa Monica on the other hand gets harder - way harder. This year’s Santa Monica ORCS will be a true test of the Best In the West.

This ORCS is the capstone of a strange year for the West Coast. UCLASSIC, traditionally a Cali ORCS test-run, went to UT Austin, a team that has not been to the National Championship Tournament in years. Cal Poly, after 2 years of missing ORCS entirely, qualified 3 teams (none of which were their A team). Teams we normally expect to be in contention for nationals bids didn’t make it out of regionals, like Arizona A, Irvine B and Stanford B.

At the top of this tournament we have some of the usual nationals attendees, Stanford A, UCLA A and Berkeley A. But don’t be fooled - these are not the same teams that qualified for the NCT last year. All three lost some of their top competitors, and all three seem to be losing ballots to teams that they normally wouldn’t. This is concerning for ORCS, as losing a ballot to a team in the C or D group could end a team’s road to Chicago.

While these traditional powerhouses look vulnerable, there are teams that seem to be improving at an astronomical rate. UC Santa Barbara first made nationals two years ago and was one of the three teams to earn 6 wins at ORCS and still not earn a bid last year. This year, they won the Claremont regionals while taking two ballots off UCLA A. In addition, Arizona State qualified its first ever E team to regionals and their A team went 6-2 with a 25 CS, facing teams that will most likely be as strong, if not stronger, than the ones they will face in Santa Monica. Irvine A also looks to return to nationals earning 8 wins in San Diego.

Lastly, there are teams that we would normally expect to return to nationals, but who give us reason to question their chances this year. Arizona, who comes to ORCS on the back of bids from its B and D teams, has not had a great season. San Diego, who barely made it out of regionals with 5.5 wins, faces the toughest California ORCS it has ever faced. USC, a program that has historically earned 3 bids to ORCS, barely got one this year. When you mix the intensity of this year’s Santa Monica ORCS with the shifting balance of power in the West, this becomes a very unpredictable ORCS.


Team to watch: UC Santa Barbara
Last year, UC Santa Barbara went 6-2 at ORCS, however because of the new ORCS system, they became one of three teams to earn 6 wins and not earn a bid. This year, they came back ready to prove they deserve that bid. They came in second at UC Irvine’s Beach Party, losing the final round to UCLA, but then came back a few weeks later and got revenge by beating them at regionals. They not only took two ballots off UCLA A, but they did it by a decent margin as well (+8, +8 ). UC Santa Barbara is led by President and All-Regional attorney Peyton Stotelmyre, but their strength truly lies in their witnesses. Alexander Nicholson, Jaimee Hocker and All-National witness, Abigail Coy have all earned numerous awards this year, even while competing with each other for ranks. In these top rounds, witnesses will give you the win and UCSB’s witnesses are some of the best. Even though they’re in the B bracket, teams might find a match with UCSB more difficult than some teams in the A bracket.


Last edited by MockAnalysisIsMyDrug on Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:15 am
MAIMD, we appreciate the insight! This obviously takes a lot of work.

Sleeper Picks
Duke B - Duke is an institutional powerhouse with a lot of resources at it's disposal. I always think that their teams are in the running.
Florida State - They've had a gangbusters year, finishing in the top of almost every tournament they've attended.
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Tue Mar 03, 2020 12:25 pm
I know they got mentioned as a dark horse, but I thought UMass Amherst deserved an extra shout-out. Last year, had the teams been grouped, UMass would have been in D tier and their schedule included 3 A tier teams. Last year D tier teams overall took just 10.5 out of 92 ballots in match-ups with A tier teams, but UMass managed to split ALL three of their rounds (Wesleyan A and both Yale teams) accounting for almost 30% of D v. A ballots across the country, and taking the only ballot off eventual psuedo-champions Yale A in the process.


Last edited by GameCockMock on Tue Mar 03, 2020 12:30 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Numerical typo)
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Wed Mar 04, 2020 5:54 pm
One note for Santa Monica - it looks like Washington dropped out and Texas A&M takes their place.
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Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:07 pm
Did Spelman, Truman State, or USC Aiken get offered a spot in Santa Monica? The open bid list seems to indicate that they were not.
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Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:28 pm
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TheRealMockProdigy wrote:Did Spelman, Truman State, or USC Aiken get offered a spot in Santa Monica? The open bid list seems to indicate that they were not.
I heard from a program lower on the list that 8 teams were simultaneously 'offered' the spot, and that AMTA's plan was to take the highest ranking team on the list who accepted the spot by a certain deadline. My guess is that they didn't put 'declined' next to those teams because they may still be offered a spot if a team drops out at another ORCS that is more logistically feasible for them to attend.
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Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:16 pm
happygolucky wrote:One note for Santa Monica - it looks like Washington dropped out and Texas A&M takes their place.

Were they quarantined? That's really unfortunate if so.
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Sun Mar 08, 2020 8:33 pm
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Well, talk about some results! I was worried that the new ORCS system would give top teams an easy pass... not so much.

Miami B drops ballots to upstart Colorado College (bidding to Nats from the D tier!), University of Oregon, and finishes by dropping both to University of Denver and missing a bid. Miami A squaks out of Geneva on CS alone after dropping two ballots to Michigan B and splitting with Northwood A. So much for the MTC conspiracy bullshit - that doesn't look easy AT ALL. Northwood makes the most of that open bid and rallies to Nats!

Northwestern A implodes at Cedar Rapids - no bid, coming away with 4.5 wins after splitting with St. Thomas and St. Louis University. Fortunately, their B team bid out.

In Cincinnati - UVA A gets upset by D-tier dark horse University of Maryland (who end up with an HM) and splits with 1-7 Indiana, missing a bid to the NCT. UVA B makes it though though.

Meanwhile in Lancaster, Tufts B and GWU go 6-0 but miss nats by a grand total of 0.5 and 1 CS points, respectively, after the last bid is decided in a 3-way tiebreaker. Must be incredibly frustrating.
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Mon Mar 09, 2020 12:48 am
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Certainly some interesting results, the theme seems to be dominant A teams struggling with their B teams clutching out bids. Overall its been interesting to see how the bids were broken down between A, B, C, and D tiers, looks like there has been a solid amount of variety. One thing I am noticing is the uniformity of the CS's. Maybe its just be, but with the new system the CS's seem to have less variance. Thats not based on any math, just my sense. Here are my thoughts on the ORCS so far:

Geneva: Colorado College has to be the story here, super impressive results from a team who has not been to nationals in a while. Disappointing results for Miami B, and to some extent, Miami A, who dropped both to Michigan B. Also some pretty wild splits between judges, two of which happened at the expense of Oregon A: +17 -1 and +20 -1. Denver was also a -1 away from stealing a bid.

Cedar Rapids: Drake stunning Northwestern A is very impressive, as is Iowa's two bids. UChicago A is good, what else is new.

Santa Monica: This looks like the most predictable, all the usual suspects advanced. Tough results for UCSB, who looked like they might be back to nationals contention. And of course UCLA grabs two bids.

Lancaster: UMBC (and Sydney Gaskins) mean business, a 20/20 performance at ORCS is remarkable. Wesleyan is the least talked about east coast power, and, two of the more talked about east coast powers, Tufts and GWU, have teams with 6 wins on the outside looking in.

Cincinnati: Ohio State stayed clean, while UVA struggled. Maryland had to go against UVA A and B and escaped 2-2 with a PD of 0, which is impressive. And Michigan State broke through and grabbed a bid in convincing fashion.


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Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:58 am
Feels like the biggest takeaway after the first few tournaments is that the new pairing system appears (in so far a small sample, but still) to be doing exactly what it was sold to do.

Cedar Rapids: Lowest CS is 10.5 with highest CS of 19.5 (+9 low to high) -- the 6 teams earning bids had CS range from 14.5 to 17, +2.5 spread

Geneva: Lowest CS is 12.5 with highest CS of 20.5 (closer spread than Cedar Rapids at +9 with a +8 ) -- 6 bids CS range 16 to 18.5, +2.5 spread

Cincinnati: Lowest CS is 12.5 with highest CS of 20 (+7.5 low to high) -- 6 bids CS range 14 to 18.5, +4.5 spread

Santa Monica: Lowest CS is 9.5 with highest CS of 21 (+11.5 low to high, by far the most) -- 6 bids CS range 13.5 to 18.5, +5 spread

Lancaster: Lowest CS is 12 with highest CS of 20 (+8 low to high) -- 6 bids CS range 12 to 20, +8.

Given the pre ORCS rankings of difficulty these numbers make sense. Most important from this the teams earning bids all appear to be hitting relatively similar levels of competition. Teams winding up with CS north of 19.5 also all had sub .500 records so it's not shocking their CS would be a tad inflated since part of that CS includes their own lost ballots of 4 or more. Portland is an exception here going 4-3-1 with CS of 20.5 in Geneva, which is a tough line, but in 4 ORCS Portland appears, at least to my way of looking at it, to have earned an above .500 record and also have their opposition all finish 5-3 or better. In 2019 the Portland line, or similar (a 4-4 or better finish with CS north of 19.5) happened 10 times across the 9 ORCS. For 2020 we are on pace to have 2, maybe. Meanwhile the spread from high to low CS is tighter as well. It seems impossible to ever create true equality of schedules (and no model can adjust for the... shall we say "tired" competitors in some of the Sunday morning R4 trials) but the equity of the current model appears to be real. However, the Lancaster results have a classic case of a team getting a bid who had a significantly easier path based on CS, that being the UMBC A bid with a 7 wins, CS of 12. Meanwhile Tufts and GW sit in the honorable mention spots with 6 wins and CS of 15.5 and 15, respectively. It could be that Maryland BC was just that dominant but they hit Univ. of Penn, B (0-8 ) then Fordham LC, B (3-5) then Harvard (6-2, which accounts for 50% of the CS and was a split) then St. Bonaventure (3-5)...... granted UMBC A is a team you would expect to see get a bid and the split with Harvard was tight for both schools, but if I'm sitting on a 6 win HM finish and seeing a team get a bid that had that kind of draw I'd probably be a little salty for a few days. Even so, in five completed ORCS, it looks good for the ABCD system.


Last edited by briefly_your_honor on Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:16 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added some on Lancaster, also then noticed my 8) were turning into sunglass smiley faces and that seemed cruel for an 0-8 to leave it)
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Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:16 pm
Feels like the biggest takeaway after the first few tournaments is that the new pairing system appears (in so far a small sample, but still) to be doing exactly what it was sold to do.

I guess I'm a little bit less sold on that. While it's good to see a tighter average CS spread, this system still has not limited the problem of teams running into extremely hard schedules. A CS of 20, while not as crazy as some of the 25 CS we saw in regionals, is still pretty freakin hard. The biggest weakness in this system is that it does not account for regional results when deciding tiers. Consider Colorado College - in terms of absolute power, this team is probably an A tier team. Regionals results could have helped suggest this (7-1, CS 19.5, PD +73). But with a TPR of 263, CC ends up in the D tier - potentially creating a very tough road for whatever A tier team happens to hit them (and indeed, they helped knock Miami B out of contention) since that team will essentially be facing two A tier teams. Accounting for regional results would, I think, lessens the likelihood of this happening.

We also got, in my opinion, a very nice example of the "shielding effect" identified in the other thread by cfredricks. UVA A dropped two ballots in round 1, and so dropped to the bottom of the A tier. This meant going into round 2, they got paired up against teams at the bottom of the C tier (0-2 Kansas) and did not face the possibility of being paired up against a strong program from the A or B tiers that had also dropped two in the first round. Going into round 3 against other A tier teams at 2-2, UVA is matched against 0-4 Indiana. How much does this help UVA, who also could have (in the old system) could also have ended up randomly paired against even worse teams with similar records? The analysis cfredricks did suggest that overall, it's probably a 5-7% advantage on average. Of course, UVA A still did not bid, but that was largely due to a CS tiebreaker and dropping a ballot to Indiana.
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Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:05 pm
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Surprised there isn't much discussion about Geneva, given what happened during that weekend. After Geneva, Miami will only send one team to NCT, which is quite a blow for such a well-established program. What's even more surprising is that Miami B dropped both ballots to University of Denver and their third ballot to Colorado College, both of whom never see much discussion in the community. I will be happy to root for Colorado College as an underdog at NCT.

I'm also surprised Hillsdale College did so poorly, as they had a really strong invitational season. But all of a sudden, their B team had to earn their bid to ORCS, and they proceeded to go 3-5 at Geneva. I'm sure part of it is just that some judges may be jarred by Hillsdale's extremely polished style, but there likely had to be some organizational issues within the program to do so poorly.

Northern Illinois, on the other hand, was basically the opposite of Hillsdale. Their invitational season was laughable among the Midwest, with abysmal records at most invitationals. But, somehow, they managed to earn an ORCS bid from Evanston and finish with the 2nd highest position at Geneva, with a pretty decent schedule (Gonzaga A, Northwood B, Michigan B, and Northwood A). It's seriously impressive to see a rebound as significant as NIU had this year. Kaitlyn Harper was the only reason they managed to do so well in the past, so after her graduation, it looked like the program was in shambles after their horrendous performance last season. But with a tie for the best record, and a round 4 split with Northwood A (the first bid at Geneva), the program must have done something within the past few months to improve so fast. Their bid certainly isn't be a result from Geneva's easier difficulty, so expect them to knock out a team or two in Chicago.

Illinois, Chicago also seemed to implode, dropping 4 ballots during their B and A rounds to Michigan A and Notre Dame A. Expecting to see a fair drop in their TPR as a result. Loyola-Chicago finished with a record of 5-3, but tiebreakers are forcing them to use their NCT Host Bid instead of an actual earned bid. I can't recall if/when this has ever occurred in AMTA's history, but hopefully this should open up the field to Open Bids for teams like George Washington.

Overall, it seems like the state of Illinois is getting significantly less relevant in AMTA, with only University of Chicago standing out as a consistent premier program. Illinois, Chicago choked hard at ORCS, Loyola-Chicago had to use their NCT Host Bid, and Northwestern A failed to earn an NCT bid at Cedar Rapids (although Mock Trial Confessions suggests that they had a really bad judge in Round 1). Only University of Chicago will be an actual threat at NCT, with Northwestern and NIU being too unpredictable to evaluate their strength.
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Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:59 pm
I don't think it's fair to say that Illinois Chicago "choked" -- they had two close rounds against really though teams and came up just short. Also, while Northwestern A may not have gotten a direct bid, their b team is super strong -- went 8-0 at regionals and was 6-2 at ORCS. They will make noise at Nats.

One final note -- Loyola getting the world cup bid I believe only creates one open bid to nationals. My understanding of the rule based on when I last looked at it is that they only add one extra team to nats to pair with Loyola.
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Mon Mar 09, 2020 10:04 pm
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TheRealMockProdigy wrote:I don't think it's fair to say that Illinois Chicago "choked" -- they had two close rounds against really though teams and came up just short. Also, while Northwestern A may not have gotten a direct bid, their b team is super strong -- went 8-0 at regionals and was 6-2 at ORCS. They will make noise at Nats.

One final note -- Loyola getting the world cup bid I believe only creates one open bid to nationals. My understanding of the rule based on when I last looked at it is that they only add one extra team to nats to pair with Loyola.

Honestly, looking back at the tab summary, you're right: "choked" was pretty strong language on my part. The four dropped ballots were -2, -6, -2, and -12. They were way too close to be considered a major choke on Illinois, Chicago's behalf.

You're also right on the single Open Bid being created by Loyola. Here's the World Cup Bid rule for convenience (it's at the very last sentence, which I just so happened to miss):

"Rule 6.8 (2) (b) Procedure. When the host school is eligible for a host bid, the Tabulation Director
shall offer the host bid to the host upon the conclusion of the last Opening Round
Championship tournament in which the host competes. The Tabulation Director may
set a reasonable deadline for the host school to decide whether to accept the bid. Once
the host school accepts the bid, if the host school later withdraws from the
championship, the host bid becomes an open bid and the standard withdrawal
penalties apply. If the host school declines the bid, the host bid does not become an
open bid. In the event that an uneven number of bids is earned to the National
Championship Tournament as a result of this rule, a single Open Bid shall be
allocated pursuant to Rule 6.09.
" (bolded for emphasis)
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Mon Mar 09, 2020 10:13 pm
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It's super weird that they only give one open bid -- it means one division will have two extra teams. I would think it would make more sense to add in two more teams to balance out the divisions, but I guess that does mean the host would have to recruit even more judges.


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2020 ORCS Analysis Empty Re: 2020 ORCS Analysis

Mon Mar 09, 2020 11:24 pm
On the topic Of Illinois-Chicago it was my understanding from talking to them at Regionals they were a team of nearly only freshmen. A team like that going -2 to Michigan and ND? Just rough luck.
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2020 ORCS Analysis Empty Re: 2020 ORCS Analysis

Tue Mar 10, 2020 1:39 am
Northwestern A failed to earn an NCT bid at Cedar Rapids (although Mock Trial Confessions suggests that they had a really bad judge in Round 1)

For anybody who was curious about this but doesn't like trolling MTC (and I know I don't) apparently this is the deal:

i scouted NW A's first round and they were told by the judge to sit down for direct and cross and the witnesses had to direct testimony to a fake jury of us, the scouts, just wanted to say i'm sorry northwestern love, your very apologetic scout
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2020 ORCS Analysis Empty Re: 2020 ORCS Analysis

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