On Sunday November 9th, seven teams will attend the Buckeye Invite in Columbus, Ohio at OSU’s RPAC. The teams in attendance come from all over the Midwest. Making the long drive from Michigan are Michigan State who is only expecting to bring 11 players and Central Michigan who is bringing a fairly young squad due to many starters not being able to make the long journey. From Kentucky, Western Kentucky and the Wildcats will both be bringing full squads, not something teams are used to seeing out of WKU. From Ohio, the Buckeyes will have their full squad in attendance. Kent State will be attending the tournament as well, hoping to make a statement. And the seventh team in attendance will be NCDA newcomer Akron, who are excited to play their first inaugural matches in team history. Due to the large amount of teams in attendance, not every team will be playing each other, which is why there will be a fairly large amount of interesting match-ups this Sunday.
OSU: UK, MSU, Kent and WKU
Kent: Akron, WKU, OSU, CMU
Akron: Kent, UK, CMU, MSU
WKU: MSU, Kent, CMU, OSU
UK: OSU, CMU, Akron, MSU
MSU: WKU, OSU, UK, Akron
CMU: UK, WKU, Akron, Kent
Most Anticipated Games:
- Ohio State vs. Michigan State
These two very talented teams have yet to play each other so far this season, so I believe it is safe to say this will be a heavily watched match-up. I am interested to see how MSU adapts their playing style since they are only bringing 11 players. I am not aware of the level of talent that they are bringing but I expect them to put up a fight as usual. Ohio State is 0-4 against Michigan teams so far this season and will look to change that on their home court.
- Ohio State vs. Kent State
These two talented teams will battle it out for the first time this season to determine who the best team in Ohio is. Kent has owned that title for many seasons, OSU will look to change that this season.
- Akron vs. CMU/Kent/UK/MSU
As stated earlier, this will be the Zips first ever opportunity as a team to play competitive Dodgeball against other teams. As assumed, not much is known about this young team other than the fact that they are led by former Kent State player Sam Saccareccia. Sam looks to lead this new team to their first victory this weekend.
OSU (4-0): With this team having the home court advantage and a full roster, I expect them to pull the upset on a depleted MSU team and to put away an eager Kent State with their strong arms and leadership from Captain Josh Conner and Assistant Jeff Starr.
CMU (4-0): This team will be missing most of their usual starters this weekend, but has many first year players looking to make an impact at this weekend’s tournament. They played a close game against Kent State at BGSU a few weekends ago and will look to set the tone in their third rematch of the season.
MSU (3-1): This team is the big question mark of the tournament. They are no doubt one of the best teams in the country, but with a depleted roster of only 11 people, it is hard to guess what type of talent they will bring to Columbus (especially since the day before this tournament is the MSU vs. OSU football game on ESPN College Gameday at 8pm). Their toughest matchup of the day will be against Ohio State.
Kent (2-2): Don’t let this team’s record fool you, they have only gotten better as a team since their first tournament at GVSU back in September. They made a game against CMU at the BGSU tournament and will look to make a statement this Sunday once again.
Kentucky (1-3): This team is coming off its first loss to WKU in over 4 years. Expect this team to put up a fight against everyone they play.
Western Kentucky (0-4): I have been told by Captain Nick Johnson that they are going to bring a full 15 to this tournament. I expect them to play much better than they have at past tournaments, but due to their tough schedule, I expect them to lose all 4 games but not without putting up a tough fight.
Akron (0-4): This is the Zips first time ever playing competitive Dodgeball against other teams. Expect this to be a good learning experience for these players.
Regardless of what happens this weekend, expect some very intense matchups. Check the NCDA’s Facebook and Twitter page for results.