Brutally Honest Nationals Preview

The following was written by Towson Alum – Jonathan Shaw

For a lot of people in this world, reflecting on their lives can be a difficult thing, and can lead to conclusions that are against their own personal opinions. Growing up in the sticks in Carroll County, Maryland taught me how to become an adult at a very young age. I’ll never forget a conversation I had with my dad when I was about 12 years old. We had just gotten done around five to six hours of mulching our front yard. He looked at me and said “Son, make sure in life you always tell it like it is. Don’t add fluff to make people feel better. Always shoot it straight to someone.” That’s pretty much how I’ve tried to live my life up to this point. That’s how I tell it to my middle school students while I’m teaching them about Health, how I tell it to the J.V. baseball team I help coach, and how I’m going to tell it in this article. These are my 7 Brutal Truth’s heading into NCDA Nationals 2019.

  1. JMU not attending nationals is an absolute gift to Towson University.
    • Let me break it down as simply as I can. Towson and GVSU are the only two teams that are just about solidified with their current standing. Meaning GVSU (barring an absolute miracle) will be the one seed headed into Sunday, and Towson will almost definitely be the two. There is just too wide of a gap in between GVSU and Towson for Towson to make a jump to the one seed, and too wide of a gap for the rest of the league to catch up Towson at the two seed. JMU not attending brings the number of power schools attending from seven to six. Merry Christmas Towson University. What this means is that in the quarterfinal matchups Towson will either be playing the 7 or 10 seed. If JMU had attended that 7 seed would have went to one of the powerhouses. Towson would have found itself playing a Miami or SVSU for a chance to go to the final four. Now with JMU out Towson’s road to the final four probably gets around five times easier. With JMU out, that 7 seed is now likely to go to a non-powerhouse school like a BGSU or a VCU. If this holds true, then there is absolutely no excuse for Towson University to not make it to their first Final Four this year.
  2. JMU not attending gives life to a grouping of schools looking to make the Quarterfinals.
    • As mentioned earlier, JMU not attending puts the total number of powerhouse schools at six. GVSU, Towson, CMU, MSU, Miami, and SVSU will be the top six teams and will all advance to the Quarterfinals. The question remains what other two teams are going to join them. Here’s what I know. To make it to the Quarterfinals you are going to have to be one of the following seeds: 7, 8, 9, or 10. The “Big Six” will defeat whichever team is in their path during the round of 16. Meaning seeds 1 through 6 will defeat seeds 11 through 16 respectively. If JMU had attended you would have had to been the 8 or 9 seed. Now you can be the 7, 8, 9 or 10 seed to have a chance. Here is how I see it, there are 7 teams fighting for 4 spots. In order from 7 to 13 are: BGSU, VCU, Kent, Akron, Ohio, PSU, and UNG. 4 of those schools will earn seeds 7 through 10. Those schools will have the opportunity to duke it out against each other for the right to advance to Quarterfinals. The three schools who do not earn seeds 7 through 10 will 100% be eliminated in the round of 16 by one of the “Big 6.” Here are the schedules of those 7 schools on Saturday in order of current Nationals Standings:
      • 7. BGSU – Ohio, UNG, Towson
      • 8. VCU – Kent, PSU, CMU
      • 9. Kent – UWP, VCU, SVSU
      • 10. Akron – DePaul, MSU, UNG
      • 11. Ohio – BGSU, GVSU, UMD
      • 12. PSU – UNG, VCU, GVSU
      • 13. UNG – PSU, VCU, Akron
    • This is one of those moments in life where it is very important to be realistic and honest. BGSU, VCU, Kent, Akron, Ohio, and PSU…. YOU ARE GOING TO LOSE AT LEAST ONE GAME ON SATURDAY. Don’t be upset, don’t be discouraged, because for the five teams I just mentioned, you don’t have to win your game against whichever school you play from the “Big 6”. For those five schools mentioned above your job is to go 2 and 1 on Saturday, if you go 2 and 1 on Saturday, you will find your way into one of the four seeds you need to potentially advance into the Quarterfinals. Now as for UNG, the only reason you are on this list is because the Dodgeball gods have decided to bless you with the absolute perfect ideal schedule. UNG currently sits as the 13-seed headed into Nationals, but 2 points behind PSU in the Gonzales standings. However, if you notice, UNG’s three opponents on Saturday are all opponents who are fighting for one of those 7 through 10 seeds. UNG…. PAY ATTENTION. 2 and 1 will not be good enough to earn you a 7 through 10 seed. UNG needs to run the tables on Saturday and go 3-0. A 3-0 record on Saturday will definitely earn UNG one of those coveted 7 through 10 seeds headed into bracket play on Sunday.
  3. There will be no Cinderella Story in the NCDA during Nationals.
    • The “Big 6″ is too strong, and the rest of the NCDA has not caught up. Two teams outside the “Big 6” will make the quarterfinal, but their run will end there.  In the end, the Final Four will be made up of teams ONLY from the “Big 6.”
  4. Miami, CMU, MSU and SVSU are contenders to make the NCDA championship game, but not to win the NCDA championship.
    • Yeah, you heard me. Here is the truth. In order for Miami, CMU, MSU or SVSU to win the NCDA Championship they are going to have to win 4 games on Sunday. The problem is that based off the current standings, all four teams will probably wind up with seeds in the 3 to 6 range come bracket play on Sunday. That means that their Quarterfinal, Semifinal, and Finals matchup will all be against “Big 6” schools. Miami is 1-4, MSU 4-7, SVSU 4 -10, and CMU 5-10 in games this season against “Big 6” schools. So, don’t ask me to believe that Miami who has one win this year against the contenders, or SVSU/CMU/MSU who have less than a 40% winning percentage amongst “Big 6″ schools are going to roll off three straight wins in route to a championship. I just don’t buy it.
  5. Towson and GVSU are the only two teams that can win the NCDA championship.
    • Here is where I am at for this one. GVSU and Towson have a huge advantage. Their road to the championship involves facing only two other “Big 6” schools. What I mean is that barring a big change to the standings, Towson and GVSU won’t face a “Big 6” school until the semifinals. That is such a huge advantage because while MSU, CMU, SVSU, and Miami are eliminating each other in the Quarterfinals, Towson and GVSU will have much easier games against teams like VCU, BGSU etc. Not to mention that Towson was 7-4 in the regular season against “Big 6” schools, and GVSU was 16-0. It’s very simple, if you don’t have an above .500 record against the “Big 6” then you are not a legit threat come bracket play.
  6. If Miami finds a way to make it to the Final Four Tom Morand should be awarded MVP.
    • I am old school. MVP doesn’t mean the best player, it means the most valuable. I couldn’t agree more with that NCDA post on Facebook that said there is currently a top 3 for the MVP race. Jordan Watt of Towson, Brandon Meisel of GVSU, and Tom Morand of Miami are all worthy of MVP consideration. However, I have watched enough dodgeball this year to confidently say that no person matters more to their teams’ success than Morand. In fact, I’ll go as far to say this: With how close the middle of the pack is this year, I believe that Miami of Ohio minus Morand would have finished somewhere around the 12th or 13th best team in the NCDA this year. Miami finished 17-6 this year. Without Morand, I believe that Miami would have probably went 13-10 or something close to that. Without Morand, Miami would not be contenders to reach the national title game, in fact, they would probably not even be favorites to reach the Quarterfinals. It’s simple ladies and gentleman. GVSU minus Meisel = GVSU still elite, Towson minus Watt = Towson still elite, Miami minus Morand = 3rd or 4th best team in Ohio. Now you tell me who is MVP.
  7. GVSU will defeat Towson 3 to 2 to win the 2019 NCDA Championship.
    1. Quarterfinals
      1. 1. GVSU def. 8. Akron 5 to 1
      2. 2. Towson def. 7. VCU 4 to 1
      3. 3. CMU def. 6. SVSU 3 to 2
      4. 4. MSU def. 5 Miami 3 to 1
    2. Semifinals
      1. 1. GVSU def. 4. MSU 3 to 2 (OT)
      2. 2. Towson def. 3. CMU 2 to 1 (OT)
    3. Finals
      1. 1. GVSU def. 2. Towson 3 to 2

Don’t like my opinions, comment below, and let me know where you agree/disagree.

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