1. Grand Valley State vs. Ohio
Let’s start with the most obvious choice: GVSU and Ohio. The top two teams in college dodgeball at the halfway point in the season, everyone wants to see what would happen when these two undefeateds face off. While their records are the same, the two programs couldn’t be much different. GVSU has been a dominant team in the NCDA since 2006, winning 10 national titles in that time-frame. Ohio, on the other hand, has never even made it past the round of 16 at Nationals. The Bobcats look like a team with national title potential, with some great top end talent, but more importantly, quality depth. We hope that a GVSU vs. OU matchup happens in the regular season, but if we don’t see this duel until the NCDA National Title Game, that would be pretty epic as well…
2. Michigan State vs. James Madison
The second best team in the Michigan Region vs. the second best team in the East. Michigan State and James Madison have some similarities in that they have each racked up several losses to the clear top team in their region (GVSU and Towson respectively). They also each have dropped one game to a team significantly less talented than them in an overtime thriller (BGSU and VCU respectively). And lastly, it seems like each of these teams is being overlooked in the national championship discussion. MSU and JMU are two of the most talented teams in the NCDA, and each has the ability to beat anyone in the country. An MSU vs. JMU matchup could be one of the most entertaining games of the season.
3. North Georgia vs. Kentucky
The top two schools classified as ‘South Region’ teams, we would love to see these two teams match up at some point in the winter. North Georgia sits at 3-2, while Kentucky is 2-4, so neither of these schools is a title contenders, but both are certainly in the hunt to earn a spot in the Championship Bracket top 16 at Nationals. A regular season matchup between UNG and UK could be electric.
4. Miami vs. Ohio State
Yes, we have seen this matchup once already this season (a 3-2 overtime win for Miami), but it makes the list because the NCDA deserves to see it again. Ohio State is quite possibly the most underrated team in the country right now. The Buckeyes have climbed the rankings this year, but some might not realize their only two losses on the season have been to GVSU (in a game that they kept close for the first half), and the loss to Miami mentioned above. OSU is one of the most improved teams from last year to this year, despite having some inexperience on their roster. Miami had an up and down fall, but many consider them to still be title contenders. Bottom line, we would be thrilled to see this matchup a few more times in the 2019-20 season.
5. Saginaw Valley State vs. Any Michigan Team
Death, taxes, and SVSU making significant improvements in the second half of the season. Basically every year, the Cardinals start off a bit slow, but turn it on in the winter and become a contender. SVSU went 2-7 in the fall, which is certainly worse than usual, but we aren’t so naive to expect them to not make any improvements. The Cardinals may not be loaded with as much talent as they used to, but they always find a way to play their best in the winter. With all of that said, one absolutely crazy stat from the fall semester: SVSU only played one Michigan school during the first half of the season (a blowout loss to GVSU in September). The Michigan Dodgeball Cup on February 8 will be the first matchup of the season for SVSU against each of the other Michigan schools.