Kentucky Invitational Preview

10422055_10205887517656828_585012614899180215_nThis weekend will feature two very interesting NCDA regular season tournaments.  One will be played at DePaul University (Chicago Dodgeball Open) featuring two of the top teams in Michigan (Grand Valley State & Central Michigan) along with arguably the top two teams from the Illinois region (Wisconsin Platteville & DePaul).

The other tournament played over the weekend might be even more interesting than the CDO.  On January 31, the University of Kentucky will play host to in state rival Western Kentucky, the top three Ohio teams: Ohio State, Kent State, and Bowling Green State, as well as an undefeated James Madison squad from the East Coast.

Here are a few storylines to follow in this mid-season showdown as UK.

 Which Ohio team will come out on top?

BGSU has not had the success of either OSU or Kent so far this year, so for this situation I’ll leave them out.  The match between Ohio State and Kent State is the most intriguing game of this entire tournament in my opinion.

Right now it seems like Kent still owns bragging rights over their in-state rivals.  The Golden Flashes have won the only match between the two teams this season (3-2 OT at the Buckeye Invite).  Ohio State certainly has what it takes to finally get a win against Kent, and retake the throne as the top team in Ohio, and I believe that this tournament will be when it happens.  OSU has more than enough talent to take Kent down for the first time in years.  Expect a great game at the end of the day when OSU and Kent clash.

How have the Kentucky region teams improved since the fall?

During the first half of the season UK and WKU limped their way to only two wins apiece.  While this was due in part to those squads not bringing their full rosters to different tournaments, the records for both of these schools was not a good as anticipated.  It will be very interesting to see how well the home team will compete.  Kentucky will have a few tough matchups (vs. Kent, JMU and BGSU) to prove their worth.  WKU also will need to improve if they hope to have a strong run at Nationals 2015, which their school will host a few months from now.  The way that the two Kentucky teams perform in this tournament will tell a lot about how strong they will be the rest of the season.

Will James Madison compete well against non-East Coast opponents?

JMU has stormed their way to an impressive 8-0 record so far this season.  There is one glaring issue with that record though: they have only played East Coast teams.  No disrespect to the East (In my opinion they are the second best region in the NCDA), but JMU certainly has something to prove when they travel to Lexington this weekend.

James Madison will get a tough match against OSU to start the day, and will finish by playing the two Kentucky region teams in attendance.  There will be a much clearer picture of how the Dukes stack up nationally after this weekend.

 

Chief of Content Kevin Bailey’s predictions:

JMU: 3-0

OSU: 2-1

Kent 2-1

WKU: 1-2

UK: 1-2

BGSU: 0-3

 

Kent def UK 3-1

JMU def OSU 3-1

WKU def BGSU 3-2

JMU def UK 4-0

OSU def BGSU 5-1

Kent def WKU 5-1

UK def BGSU 4-1

JMU def WKU 6-0

OSU def Kent 4-2

 

Content Writer Jacob Leski’s predictions:

JMU: 3-0

OSU: 2-1

Kent: 2-1

WKU: 1-2

UK: 1-2

BGSU: 0-3

 

Kent def UK 3-2

JMU def OSU 4-1

WKU def BGSU 3-2

JMU def UK 6-0

OSU def BGSU 5-0

Kent def WKU 3-1

UK def BGSU 3-1

JMU def WKU 7-0

OSU def Kent 3-2 OT

 

Content Writer Sean Smith’s predictions:

JMU: 3-0

Kent: 3-0

OSU: 1-2

UK: 1-2

WKU: 1-2

BGSU: 0-3

 

Kent def UK 4-2

JMU def OSU 4-1

WKU def BGSU 3-1

JMU def UK 7-0

OSU def BGSU 4-1

Kent def WKU 4-1

UK def BGSU 3-1

JMU def WKU 7-0

Kent def OSU 3-2 OT

Author: Kevin Bailey

Current NCDA Chief of Content. Former Captain for Grand Valley State University (#4).

2 thoughts on “Kentucky Invitational Preview”

  1. I’ll throw out mine:

    Kent def UK 3-1
    JMU def OSU 4-0
    WKU def BGSU 3-1
    JMU def UK 5-0
    OSU def BGSU 5-0
    Kent def WKU 3-0
    UK def BGSU 4-0
    JMU def WKU 7-0
    Kent def OSU 2-1

    To be honest, i base these on the Gonzalez system. i don’t find many close matches for this event, besides WKU/BGSU ad Kent/OSU. Interesting to see if the system holds up against any upsets.

    1. It’s interesting that the Gonzalez has Kent beating Ohio State despite OSU holding a better record. I look forward to seeing what happens in that match.

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