Chicago Dodgeball Open By: Kenneth Mize and Erik Zander
Preview for the Chicago Dodgeball Open at the Ray Meyer Fitness and Recreation Center (2235 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago, IL 60614). The teams that will be attending are: Saginaw Valley State University (13 players), DePaul (15 players), Bowling Green State University (14 players), and Wisconsin-Platteville (11 players).
Here is what Kenny Mize of SVSU had to say about the match ups and his predictions.
DePaul: I’ve only seen this team once at the MSU tournament late last semester. They looked like a much more serious DePaul team than in years past. With leadership changes this past year, I can see them heading into the right direction. Playing in front of friends and family this weekend on their home court should be a huge reason to perform. They also have the benefit of having all their players since it’s a home tournament. Which should be a huge advantage starting a full roster against the teams who are bringing less than 15 players. Prediction: 2-1
Bowling Green State University: The only time I saw Bowling Green last semester was during the Spartan Invite. That was a day after they played in a tournament! So they have heart and determination for sure. Consistently this team always shows up ready to play. They can catch, they have throwers and they communicate with the best of them. They are lacking the elite talent that could put this team over the top but you don’t always need elite talent to win. This will be no easy challenge for them as they will have to shake the rust off and get back into the swing off things after their winter break. Prediction: 1-2
Wisconsin-Platteville: One of the few teams in the nation not many people get to see play until nationals. They get out for a few tournaments a year but remain a mystery for most. That is exactly what this team is, a mystery of what kind of team this is. They have some veteran leadership which is key for them to get behind and follow. I’ve been lucky enough to play this team the last couple years and they always come out to play. From what I’ve heard they are only bringing 10 to 11 people so that will be a big deficit to overcome. I feel like they will compete and make teams work for every inch and point. This is a great test for them to see where they are compared too other teams that are ranked slightly above them. Prediction: 0-3
Saginaw Valley State University: Saying this is a typical Saginaw Valley team would be a ridiculous statement. This team possesses National Championship capabilities but only had shown it in flashes thus far in the season. So the question for the Cardinals is which team is coming to play for them? The powerhouse Saginaw team or the under-performing Saginaw team. Hopefully now that the Cardinals are back in their old school black and red colors they will return to powerhouse form they were when they last wore them. As precedent states Saginaw is always a second half of the season team. So this is a great tournament for them to shake the winter break rust off and start off the second half of the season strong. Prediction: 3-0
BGSU vs SVSU: 4-0 SVSU
UWP vs SVSU: 4-0 SVSU
DePaul vs SVSU: 3-0 SVSU
DePaul vs BGSU: 3-2 OT DePaul
DePaul vs UWP: 3-1 DePaul
UWP vs BGSU: 2-1 BGSU
Here are my predictions for this weekend.
DePaul: It should be an interesting weekend for them. They will be playing teams that they should match up with well. This will be the fifth time that Platteville and DePaul will face off this year and I know that BGSU will be looking to even the score after losing to DePaul last semester. Both of these games will be close and I think they could easily pick up 2 wins right there (it would be there first win ever against Platteville). The game against Saginaw will be close, but I think Saginaw will pull it off so I predict that DePaul will go 2-1.
Bowling Green State University: I don’t know much about this team, but I’m sure they are looking forward to playing Platteville because the last time these two teams played it was at nationals a couple of years ago and Platteville came storming back in the second half and won it in overtime. I know this game will be close and will come down to the wire. Bowling will definitely play DePaul tough in another close game and I think they will surprise Saginaw on how well that they can play. My prediction is that they go 1-2 this weekend.
Wisconsin-Platteville: Well for us, I think it will be interesting weekend. We are bringing a young team with not a lot of experience. It has been over a month since we have practiced so I’m hoping we can shake off the rust fast and play quick. I’m counting on my more seasoned players Jeremy Oney, Brian Hargrove, and Will Martin to use their experience to help keep the games close. I will also be counting on freshman Louis Thompson to continue to bring his great catching ability to the tournament. Overall, I see the games for us against DePaul and BGSU to be really close. I feel Saginaw won’t be as close, but UWP will make them work for every point. I predicted us to go 0-3 in our matches.
Saginaw Valley State University: For this club they can easily come in and win all of their games, but they have to make sure they show up to play because if they take any of these teams lightly it could come back to bite them in the butt. I’m looking forward to their game against DePaul the most because I feel that it will be closer than what most people think. The match up between them and Bowling Green will be another great game that I think they will take. Last year they played Platteville twice and both times they beat Platteville with a good margin of victory. This time around though I think we play them better and give them a run for their money. My predictions for them this weekend is that they go 3-0
BGSU vs SVSU: 3-2 SVSU
UWP vs SVSU: 3-1 SVSU
DePaul vs SVSU: 2-1 SVSU
DePaul vs BGSU: 2-1 OT DePaul
DePaul vs UWP: 4-2 DePaul
UWP vs BGSU: 3-2 BGSU
Final thoughts from Kenny Mize:
I believe SVSU will take control over their games and show why they are a national championship contender. DePaul and Bowling Green will be battling it out for second place ultimately the game against each other will decide that. I do believe it will be a very close matchup. Wisconsin-Platteville is showing up with a young squad without a full 15, I believe they will show promise but not be able to overcome the player deficit.
|High Seed||Low Seed||Rating||Rating||Predicted Exchange||Exchange if Upset|
*home court advantage is +1 here
Zigmas Maloni writes:
DePaul poised for team record – Since records began, DePaul has not recorded a rating higher than the given 40 which every team starts with. However, they could break 40.000 and reach a career high if they manage to win twice. While DePaul is only a favorite for one game, the historical records indicate their UWP matchup is not out of reach for a technical upset. The predicted 0.801 exchange is within half a deviation of the average predicted exchange (.726) of the 222 recorded technical upsets.
BGSU poised for big upsets – BGSU may appear to rack up 0-3 in the predictions here, but the exchanges tell otherwise. While the greatest potential of an upset lies in UWP/DePaul, BGSU/DePaul is the second closest. This match is between even ratings with a gap of only 0.119. That home court advantage may be the leg up for DePaul, but we shouldn’t count out BGSU. The historical data indicates this match has a number of indicators for an upset match. Not to mention DePaul is something unpredictable, but in the end I hope they have the time of their lives.
UWP poised to drop games – Having participated in all three past DUI’s, UWP is the higher seed for 2 of the 3 matches in their first ever CDO. They have a winning history against DePaul, 3-0 playing DePaul at home and 10-0 over their shared history. But ratings change, and UWP/DePaul have a smaller rating gap going into this weekend. UWP has only played BGSU once, winning in OT at Nationals 2015. And while UWP leads the broad middle standings section which includes DePaul and BGSU, Platteville is not too far off where they could be toppled. UWP will have to be on the lookout this Saturday in order to keep their dominance of the broad middle tier.
SVSU fills in as the resident Michigan team – it wouldn’t be a Chicago Dodgeball Open without a team rounding Lake Michigan to play at the Ray. And as the resident Michigan team, SVSU is slated to win out and commands some of the highest rating gaps on the day. They however should watch out against UWP. This match is within half a deviation for a potential upset. Against a DePaul home team, the potential upset exchange is still within one deviation. SVSU’s victories are not totally assured, but the prediction is in their favor. Travel well.
To summarize, 5 out of these 6 matches are poised for technical upsets.
What do you think the results of the games will be? Comment below.