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Regional Initial Thoughts: Week 2

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  • Regional Initial Thoughts: Week 2

    Please share your own thoughts below. This is meant to start a discussion, if you have seen a team and you think I am over or under valuing them let me know! Good luck with regionals! If you aren't on here, then prove me wrong! If you made my list, then prove me right! - MockAnalysisIsMyDrug

    Louisville: (24 teams) 'the toss up' (avg. power rank: 216)
    - 3 teams in top 100, 8 in top 200

    First in:
    Furman A
    Kentucky A
    Emory A

    Tennessee A
    Emory B
    Louisville A
    Rhodes D
    Rhodes E
    Vanderbilt B
    Furman B
    Spelman A

    Initial Thoughts:
    This region will be very hard to predict simply because of the sheer number of middle-tier teams. Whenever we have a strong program, like Rhodes, we can expect even their D and E teams to make a run for it, thus muddying the waters even further. The reality of this tournament is that there are a bunch of teams like Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Louisville, and Spelman, who are all used to making ORCs, but not all of them are going to make it this year. Making it out of this region will be no small feat, and I am only comfortable really locking in Emory, Kentucky, and Furman.

    Team to watch:
    Emory University - I am a big fan of this Emory team, led by Devin Mashman as well as big performers from last year's ORCs such as Hemal Prasad. They will definitely miss their powerhouse attorney, Benjamin Baranov, but I have faith that they will be just as strong this year. They had a strong 5th place showing at FSU this year, nearly taking a ballot off UF, the 8-0 surefire victors at this tournament. The same weekend their 2nd team was at Duke, and the performance was definitely not quite as strong as they would like. I look forward to seeing how Emory deals with this difficult region. I expect them to escape with it least one team unscathed, and I think they will spell trouble for some teams on their way back to nationals.

    St. Paul: (30 teams) 'too big to fail' (avg. power rank: 225)
    - 3 teams in top 100, 9 in top 200

    First in:
    Northwestern A
    Minnesota A
    Minnesota B
    Wheaton A
    Macalester A
    Carleton A

    Northwestern B
    Hamline A
    Wheaton B
    Carleton B
    Cornell College C

    Initial Thoughts:
    Don’t be deceived by this high avg. power rank, this region has 7, count it, 7 teams in the top 115 teams... There are 7 spots technically available, what does that mean? It means that this is going to be a ridiculously hard tournament to break from. Honestly, I have no idea why AMTA did this, but to make matters worse they have 30 teams here. What this means is that frankly we have no idea what is going to happen. 20 teams are unranked, meaning that they have never made it to ORCs. Frankly, this tournament is just going to be an absolute shit show, I wish all teams here the best of luck, but sadly you could just as easily play Northwestern, Minnesota, Carleton, or one of the other top teams, as you could play all unranked teams and get a free path to ORCs. I am extremely intrigued to see how this tournament plays out, but I will continue to be baffled as to why this tournament has so many teams, and so many top teams.

    Team to watch:
    Northwestern University – after missing nationals for the first time in a few years, and by just .5 a win. They took the only partial ballot off University of Michigan, and then unfortunately dropped a ballot by just 2 points to Houston Baptist (in a trial where they won the other ballot by 18). I fully expect Northwestern to come out ready to prove to everyone that this was just a fluke. Led by Senior attorney Joy Holden (ranked at regionals), alongside junior witness Sarah Walther (ranked at ORCs), this team is returning a lot of familiar faces, whose disappointing end last year will definitely play into them making it out of this region with ease and on their way back to Nationals.

    Columbia: (26 teams) ‘the numbers lie’ (avg. power rank: 226)
    - 4 teams in top 100, 7 in top 200

    First in:
    Georgia Tech A
    North Carolina A
    Duke A
    Duke B
    Georgia B

    Florida C
    Florida D
    Georgia Tech C
    North Carolina B
    Kennesaw State A
    South Carolina B

    Initial Thoughts:
    This is a highly competitive tournament. Tech, Duke, UGA, UNC, and Florida are all top-tier programs, and each is sending two teams to this regional. AMTA has tried to mitigate this problem by inviting these schools’ C and D teams, but the Columbia regional is no less competitive, and now has a suppressed power ranking that masks its difficulty. Some programs will get disappointing results, though hopefully they will have some success since most sent several teams.

    Team to watch:
    Georgia Tech – the number one team going into Nationals, having just gone undefeated through regionals and ORCs (Miami tied one ballot at regionals), ended up falling just short of making it to the final round of 2017 Nationals. This team shocked everyone; they swept UVA B, who only lost one other ballot at nationals! In their championship of the Wallace division round against Yale, they split 1-2 and fell just short. After such a strong showing I will be on the lookout for Tech this year. They have shown that they are one of the top five teams in the country. Led by All-American attorney, Sarah Stebbins, and coached by William Warihay, this team is looking like they will try to find a way to somehow improve upon last year’s amazing run.

    Columbus*: (23 teams) ‘size isn’t everything’ (avg. power rank: 204)
    - 3 teams in top 100, 9 in top 200

    First in:
    Penn State A
    Penn State B
    Eastern Kentucky A
    Pittsburg A
    Ohio State B

    Pittsburgh B
    Dayton A
    Ohio State C
    Case Western A
    Carnegie Mellon A
    Dickinson A
    Washington & Jefferson A

    Initial Thoughts:
    This is the hardest tournament in terms of power rankings alone. Columbus is competitive partly because it is a small regional, with very few ‘bad’ teams. With only one solo team, Edinboro, and one unranked program, Duquesne, we have a large number of ranked, established programs duking it out. Power rankings don’t take into account the value of playing a B or a C team from an established program, and this tournament if anything is undervalued from this perspective. There is only one C team - Ohio State – at this tournament. The first in teams, Pittsburg, Eastern Kentucky, Ohio State B, and Penn State, are some of the top teams in the country and each has already shown that they will continue to excel this year. The most notable achievement was Ohio State B going 8-0 (1st) at a very competitive Quaker classic this year, and then going 10-2 (1st) at GAMTI. Most of these bubble programs may be more of a shoe-in at other regionals, but this region will be competitive enough that we want to be conservative.

    Team to Watch:
    Dickinson - This is a team that people may be surprised wasn’t on our first-in list.
    Dickinson has made strong showings in the last few years, making in 2015, and narrowly missing out on ORCs two years ago, then coming back last year and having a decent outing making it back to ORCs. But, their recent performances at Invitationals such as Black Squirrel (2-5-1, 1-6-1), Rutgers (3-5) concern me. They have graduated some strong seniors, and their program is going through a major rebuilding year. If Columbus were a weaker regional I would be more inclined to put them higher, but between having an off year and being thrown into statistically, the hardest region to break from… I just don’t know if I see it in the cards for Dickinson. I also want to note, that I feel terrible for Dickinson that they can’t go to the Penn State regional which is much closer than Ohio State for them, and truth be told, it is also a much more breakable region for them.

    Fresno: (22 teams) ‘More UC schools than you knew existed’ (avg. power rank: 229)
    - 3 teams in top 100, 6 in top 200

    First in:
    UC Berkeley B
    Cal Poly A
    Stanford A

    Stanford B
    UC Santa Barbara A
    UC Irvine B
    UCLA C
    UC Santa Cruz
    Cal Poly B
    UC Berkeley D
    UCLA D

    Initial Thoughts:
    This is a very small tournament, with a very high average power ranking. We expect the top teams here to have no problem making it out. The middle tier teams are where this gets cloudy. This is the one of those California tournaments that just has a bunch of different UC schools at a variety of levels. To be frank, we have no idea how UCLA C or D is going to do, nor UC Berkeley D, nor UC Irvine D, nor Fresno E or F. These huge programs are just very unpredictable and could have some surprising talent. We are looking forward to seeing how this pans out.

    Team to watch:
    Stanford – particularly looking at their B team in this analysis. Stanford’s A team is one of the top 20 teams in the country, consistently making nationals and just being an overall top team over the years. Their B team has been incredibly close to making ORCs in the last few years, but hasn’t yet managed it! I think this is a good year for them at a fairly weak region to finally make it. In 2016 they went 4-3-1 with a CS of 20.5. They got unlucky facing a very tough schedule for regionals of Oregon A and B, Oregon State, and the tournament runner up UC Berkeley. They were first honorable mention that year. Just last year the B team wound up making it, but the A team went 4-4 with a CS of 21. Stanford just can’t catch a break and I am hoping to see them finally break their curse.

    Seattle*: (23 teams) ‘New record’ (avg. power ranking: 228)
    - 3 teams in top 100, 7 in top 200

    First in:
    Oregon A
    Washington A
    UC Berkeley A
    Washington B

    Gonzaga A
    Oregon B
    Portland A
    UC Berkeley C
    Gonzaga B

    Initial Thoughts:
    This is a small tournament, and we once again fully expect the top teams to make it out. This is sort of a cool tournament in which we have 4 teams from Oregon, 4 from Portland, and 3 from Gonzaga. Such depth from these teams makes it a bit unpredictable. If the teams are truly stacked, we would expect these A teams to be competent from such large programs, but should they be more evenly distributed this could be a very interesting tournament for these teams, we are intrigued to see which makes it out.

    Team to watch:
    UC Berkeley – probably the most consistent program in the west, UC Berkeley is poised to make it back to Nationals. With such a large program and the power to travel the country for tournaments, UC Berkeley has already proven their talents at multiple invitationals thus far in the year. It is with little doubt or hesitation that we expect them to make it out as probably the top or runner up team of this region. We feel bad for the UC Berkeley C team as they will probably make it out as well, and it really begs the question of whether or not the Maryland rule should be amended to only two teams making it to nationals and allowing more teams to make it to ORCs.

    *These are part of the new mini regional system in which they are going to be split among 3 different ORCs, note that they are slightly smaller tournaments but still give out 7 bids.

    Again, if you enjoy reading these analysis please send them to your friends, post them to Mock Trial Confessions, or do whatever you want with them. If you are interested in reading more, reply saying so! If you are interested in being a part of the team, please email us at Lastly, these are meant to be conversation starters not enders, we are hoping to see different opinions voice their dissent or support for what we have written. Thanks, and happy mocking!

  • #2
    Really enjoyed this analysis. Would love to see your take on the Orlando regional!


    • #3
      I share your confusion about St. Paul, that's going to be a little bit of a bloodbath. It feeds into Geneva, too, which is consistently an ORCS with one of the biggest showings of A-list schools, so definitely a story to follow. I'd love to see your week 3 analysis.