BEAST Preview Article

The following was written by Jeremy Shaw of UVA

The Beast 428 at JMU is looking to be another spectacular spectacle for spectators to spectate! With the #1, #4, #7, #11, #28, & #33 ranked teams (out of 37) in attendance. It’s safe to say every game will certainly be a nail biter. However, if you don’t have any nails to bite, don’t worry, JMU always packs the house for their home tournaments so you should find plenty there. With that being said, let’s examine some of the match-ups from an exciting East Coast Cup (minus PSU & UMD, plus GV).

JMU v VCU In what is sure to be a game preceded by an epic speech by Hunter Ford, VCU will attempt to take down JMU on their home turf. Unfortunately, no amount of eye paint is going to carry the Rams through this one as JMU manages to bring down VCU after putting only one Duke up. 4-1 JMU

GVSU v UVA On the opposite court will really be the match of the day. As one of the lowest ranked teams in the league takes on the current #1. Although Zig says this would be the #1 upset in the league ever, you should ignore the numbers and look which team has a bigger heart… It’s still GV. BUT if GV comes out slow, you can bet UVA will take full advantage and Just miss taking Grand Valley to overtime in a narrow 7-0 loss.

GVSU v Towson In what will likely be one of the most anticipated games at The Beast, one of the best on the East Coast takes on the current best of Michigan. Although I feel bad for any player on the receiving side of Ray, I feel equally bad for the wall just above and to the right of the players’ heads on GV’s side. In all seriousness, though, expect a ready TU to take the court. They’ve been on a streak lately, but even with Watt lighting people up (see what I did there?), I don’t think it’ll be enough to bring down a very polished and more frequently challenged GV; 4-2 GV.

SU v UVA Finally, the other moment we’ve all been waiting for. Can the #33 upset the #28 Kris DeJesus and Mario Romanelli team? (Jk SU, you’ve got some ballers) These games are actually surprisingly high intensity for two teams which find themselves so low in the standings. Currently SU has a 2-1 record over UVa, but can UVA even the score? My (very biased) opinion says “almost” 4-3 UVA in OT

JMU v TU Never before have I seen such a big brother – little brother relationship between two teams. Looking at their twitters and watching their gameplay, it’s genuinely tough to know if they are just playful.. or actually hate each other. However, the result of every game (ever?) between these two teams always ends up with JMU giving a wedgie and a noogie to their TU counterpart. It’s too early in the day for JMU to make a mistake here, expect a good fight, but in the end the same result 4-2 JMU.

VCU v UVA Ain’t no rest for the wicked as UVA plays its third back to back game. VCU has never been bested by UVA, but a trend shows the 7-1, 5-1, 4-2, 3-2 records as leading towards something potentially exciting. If a tired UVA manages to bring their heat one more game against a VCU that has always had their number, there is a possibility the #7th biggest upset in NCDA history could happen… and I really want it to, so here’s to wishful thinking 3-2 UVA in OT.

JMU v GVSU If there was one game to sum up why GV was coming out all this way (besides to escape the freezing temperatures), this is certainly it. These teams have faced off before in Michigan back in November where JMU faced a rough 5-0 loss. However, now the dodgeball is in the other hand as GV is making the trip down with only 15 players and JMU has a full squad and their home court advantage (one of the few teams this seems to apply to.) That being said, GV didn’t get to the top of the podium by accident and they certainly don’t want to give CMU any hope of claiming that spot back. Can a talented JMU bring down the battle-hardened GVSU? We’ll see, but I give this one to the #1 spot. 3-2 GVSU

VCU v SU To anyone who sees #28 taking on #11 and keeps scrolling, you are making a big mistake. SU is easily one of the most underrated teams in my eyes. Just ask Towson who was 5 minutes away from going into overtime with them back in the Fall.. they can catch you off guard. That being said these are two teams which both have been working hard and progressing quickly over the past two years. Whichever team gets the momentum of the first game is likely to take the rest. Although they have the ability to do it, I don’t see the upset happening just yet though, 3-2 VCU.

GVSU v SU After a nice warm up game and two battles, GV is getting a cool down game before hopping back on the bus to Michigan. Although I just mentioned that you shouldn’t overlook SU… this time you can. With their small roster and after what looks to be two tough games for them, they will likely be tired (if they were able to bring all 12 players). After the first game or two, GV will be able to play some of their younger guys and this game will likely be called early. 5-0 GVSU

Towson v VCU If JMU is the big brother and Towson is the little brother, then VCU must be the youngest of the family. Towson certainly is less of a bully to VCU and the matches are closer, but in the end, just as JMU always bests TU, TU always bests VCU. This will be VCU’s fourth game of the day, and although I won’t question their heart, I don’t believe they have the gunner depth or longevity to bring down a three-game-playing,-pissed-off-(or-really-excited)-about-their-JMU-game, Towson. End of the day 4-2 Towson.

Looking back on all of the above predictions, I think I went along party lines for all of these games. The only upsets I predicted were JMU over TU, and UVA over VCU…and SU. So sure, maybe I’m a bit biased. That being said some of these games will be much closer than their ranks would indicate. However, feel free to check them out for yourself as JMU attempts to live-stream all of their games on their event page here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/352337245269598/

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