Power Rankings: March 2020

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With only a few months left in the 2019-20 season, the rankings continue to shift. The months of January and February saw some very entertaining dodgeball to say the least, with some teams finding themselves on hot streaks, with others falling into a slump. With Nationals quickly approaching, it will be fun to see how the rest of the regular season shakes out!

Below is the official March Power Rankings list, voted on and written by the NCDA Content Team.  Please keep in mind: these power rankings have no impact on the actual NCDA Standings.

1) Grand Valley State

Grand Valley remains undefeated after some very close calls so far this winter. The Lakers have been forced to overtime each of the past two times they’ve faced Michigan State. GVSU also had some first half struggles at the Michigan Dodgeball Cup against Central Michigan. The best GVSU teams over the years haven’t been simply their most talented or most skilled squads, but rather the most disciplined ones. If GVSU plans to be the first team since 2009 to go undefeated for an entire season, they will need to lock in over the next month and a half and get back to being the most disciplined team in dodgeball.

2) Ohio

While Ohio did suffer their first loss of the season in February, they also had some statement wins. The Bobcats took down Ohio State twice in February, including a classic Ohio Dodgeball Cup Title Game where they narrowly beat OSU (3-2). Ohio still holds claim to the title of best team in the Ohio Region. While we have yet to see them face off against a top Michigan school, their current resume is strong enough to keep them at #2 in the nation heading into the month of March.

3) Towson

There is no dispute: Towson is the best team on the East Coast. They went 3-0 at the BEAST tournament with wins over JMU, VCU, and UMD. Now we need to see a potential rematch either between Ohio or GVSU to see how they measure up with their counterparts. This team seems to be improving, and looks the part of a legitimate National Title contender once again.

4) Michigan State

Michigan State seems to be turning the corner as we head into March. The Spartans started off the winter semester with a few losses at the Pre-MDC tournament at GVSU (an OT thriller vs GVSU and a disapointing blowout loss to CMU). Michigan State was able to make some adjustsments before the Michigan Dodgeball Cup, and come away with a very productive day, losing another OT game to GVSU, while winning comfortably in each of their other contests. The Spartans have not played many out of region teams this season, so it is difficult to gauge where they stand nationally, but thr fact that they have forced #1 GVSU into overtime in two consecutive contests is extremely impressive, and worthy of a bump up in the Power Rankings.

5) James Madison

The Dukes marinate on the OT lost over VCU and came out with vengeance with a 4-1 win. It appears they were going into OT with Towson but a few things didn’t go their way. Their record at the BEAST was 3-1. Nevertheless, JMU will have at least one more opportunity to make a statement at BGSU to remind everyone why you shouldn’t underestimate JMU.

6) Ohio State

Ohio State has continued to climb the Gonzalez standings and are doing so here in the Power Rankings as well. The Buckeyes went 4-2 over the past 6 weeks with two wins over Miami, and wins over WVU and UC. Sam Palumbo and Dylan Greer were the big catalysts for the team at ODC, carrying them to the title match before falling in the final seconds to Ohio. While the rest of the stock market is tanking, it’s time to make a safe investment in the Ohio State Dodgeball Syndicate.

7) Miami

Miami’s first match of February was a doozy, handing Ohio University their first loss of the entire year in a 2-1 victory at Ohio. The rest of their month was also pretty solid. Like Ohio State above, they went 4-2 over the month with their two blemishes also coming against Ohio State. Miami is still a team to be feared, but we will need to see more from the OT 6, having lost 3 straight overtime results.

8) Central Michigan

CMU had an up and down stretch to start the winter semester. The Chippewas pulled off a dominant win over MSU in late-January, and kept it close with GVSU in the first half at MDC, but they also fell apart late in that GVSU game, and lost by a wide margin to MSU at the tournament as well. The Chips have a lot of potential, but will need to improve their consistency and durability if they plan to make a deep run at Nationals.

9) Virginia Commonwealth

The Rams came ill-prepared into the Beast tournament with losses against JMU and Towson both with scores being 4-1. Their two wins over UMD and UVA could have easily gone into OT. There is still time for VCU to get it together but they need to stay focus playing dodgeball and not be distracted by other things or else they will get bounced out of the Round of 16 for the 5th consecutive year.

10) Bowling Green State

While BGSU went 1-2 this past weekend, with losses against Ohio and Miami, I don’t think it’s unfair to say they played their best tournament as a team to date. They moved up and down the court as a unit, protected one another, and made a lot of clutch catches to turn the tide of points. If BG can continue to work on their communication and overall game plan, they can really make some noise this semester.

11) Cleveland State

Cleveland State has achieved as good of results as they could have hoped for in their last two tournaments, going 6-0 and jumping up the Gonzalez rankings to #11 in the country. With victories over UWP and SVSU, this team is definitely on the rise. We’d love to see them compete against some teams ranked in the top 10 before we will know exactly just how good this team really is, but they’ve certainly made some great strides forward since the fall!

12) Saginaw Valley State

SVSU had an up and down start to the winter semester. The Cardinals had a few tough losses at the Pre-MDC, but played their Michigan opponents closer at the MDC, showing their improvement. Unfortunately for SVSU, they lost a close game at the Viking Cup to Cleveland State, otherwise they would be higher on this list. Bottom line, this team is showing flashes. If they can continue to improve, they will be dangerous by Nationals.

13) Cincinnati

The Bearcats had another consistent weekend, going 2-1 with a loss to Ohio Dodgeball Cup runner-up Ohio State, but two come-from-behind victories over Akron (down 2-0 at halftime) and Kent State (down 1-0 in the first half). While Cincinnati didn’t get the results they were looking for against OSU, the poise to remain calm and fight their way back and snatch victory in their other two matches was impressive to see. If the Bearcats can continue to get results and keep steadily improving, they might surprise a team looking past them come Nationals.

14) Maryland

The Terps had a rough showing at the BEAST tournament going 1-3 with their lone win against UVA. Maryland only brought 10 to that tournament and they’re looking to make amends at their next two tournaments at Towson and VCU. Worth noting, UMD has a very solid strength of schedule this year, so come Nationals, they will be battle-tested.

15) Akron

February was a mixed bag for the Zips, who went 3-3 last month. Their most notable win was a 3-2 victory over BGSU, however BGSU got the last laugh and beat Akron 4-0 at ODC. Additionally, Akron had two losses to Cincinnati in back to back tournaments when gave reason to their fall. We’ve seen what a capable Akron looks like, but February just didn’t show it.

16) Wisconsin Platteville

Wisconsin Plattevile lands at #16 in this month’s Power Rankings. Platteville had a few narrow losses at the Viking Cup at the hands of Saginaw Valley State and Cleveland State. UWP will be in action this weekend against some Midway schools. This team will look to remain the top school in their region, and go into Nationals once again with a chance to surprise some opponents with their skill and team coordination.

17) Penn State

Penn State didn’t play any matches in January or February but we’re looking forward to them playing in March at War IX and hopefully at WVU. The Nittany Lions are clinging to a top 16 spot in the Gonzalez Standings, but could use some wins before Nationals to boost their chances of remaining in the Championship Bracket.

18) North Georgia

North Georgia has not seen any action yet in 2020, but they will be the favorite to win the first ever Southern Dodgeball Cup in March. UNG still has the talent to be a Championship Bracket team. The next few months will be interesting to see how they perform to finish out the year.

19) Western Michigan

Western Michigan makes their debut on the Power Rankings after a huge weekend at the Viking Cup. The Broncos earned wins over Ball State and Kentucky (their first two wins in program history), along with a forfeit loss to CSU. Overall, it was a very productive weekend for WMU. This team has had a very impressive winter semester, considering the amount of matches they have played. Credit to Peter Broe for challenging this team to continue to compete against strong competition; the improvement is really showing now.

20) West Virginia

WVU went 1-2 in the month of February, which was enough to narrowly beat out Virginia for the final spot in the Power Rankings. The Mountaineers will be hosting an event in March, so they have opportunity to climb these rankings prior to Nationals.

Author: Kevin Bailey

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

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