I noticed on the last regional discussion post that OP mentioned that the Cincinnati regional has an incredibly low TPR and an incredibly low number of good teams going to it, particularly when you count the fact that the Miami teams can’t hit each other and the Cincinnati teams can’t hit each other. I might just think this was a fluke of this year’s stacking, after all, somebody has to have the easy regional every year. But this is an ongoing pattern, and not just at regionals. The tournament Miami has most traditionally struggled with is ORCS, even occasionally failing to get their A team to qualify (only to be saved by their B team). And so it seems that Miami has a solution for themselves. Give themselves the easiest ORCS.

Let’s look at the TPR sums of all ORCS in the last three years. For those unfamiliar with TPR, a higher TPR sum means a harder tournament (the sums here are the sums of the TPR points not the ranks).

Geneva- 464.95

Decatur- 418.86

Wilmington- 416.07

Fresno- 382.77

Memphis- 377.30

Central Islip- 374.12

Lancaster- 371.71

Hamilton- 305.48

Now it should be noted that there is quite a large variation in the strengths of these ORCS. But there’s certainly a cluster between 370 and 420 without any large jumps. And then there are the two outliers: Geneva and Hamilton. Geneva was by far the hardest ORCS last year, with perennial National contenders like Chicago, Michigan, Northwestern, Wheaton, NIU, and USC. In fact, there were nine different teams at that ORCS who had been to the previous national championship, and five teams weighted in the top 25, all vying for six spots. In short, it was a bloodbath (no wonder traditionally strong schools like Northwestern had trouble making it out). Meanwhile, Hamilton was by far the easiest ORCS, with only two teams that had been to Nationals in 2016 and only one top 25 team. Who was that team? You guessed it: Miami. And the worst fact about this was that it was entirely avoidable. Hamilton ORCS and Geneva ORCS were on the same weekend, so theoretically the same teams should have been available. In fact, national powerhouse team University of Michigan is closer to Hamilton, OH (3h57m) than it is to Geneva, IL (4h27m). So the problem could have been avoided by moving some strong teams from one ORCS to the other. But no, Miami got the easy one.

Lancaster- 454.11

Santa Monica- 446.08

Memphis- 398.61

Washington, DC- 382.56

Wilmington- 377.87

Decatur- 372.61

St. Paul- 363.00

Geneva- 321.64

This year was a little bit more clustered. Nothing quite as extreme. But note that Geneva (where Miami went) is still lower than any of the other ORCS this year or the year after (except the one Miami went to the year after). Also note that Lancaster, the strongest ORCS (which already had strong East Coast teams like Yale, NYU, and Cornell), suddenly had some surprising Midwestern additions, including Hillsdale, Ohio State A and B, and both Michigan teams, some of them traveling long distances to be diverted from the Geneva ORCS.

Greenville- 441.58

Washington, DC- 431.63

State College- 430.2

Geneva- 405.12

Anoka- 383.98

Memphis- 375.91

Louisville- 365.28

San Diego- 361.58

This is a bit of an unusual year, in that Miami does not have the lowest TPR sum, just the second lowest. It should be noted that the only ORCS lower than Miami’s was San Diego, the only ORCS west of the Mississippi. AMTA doesn’t have much choice as to who they send there: it’s just the west coast teams. But looking at the rest of the country, Miami still had it easy.

It’s not that it would be that alarming if Miami sometimes got the easiest ORCS. But the fact is, if you look at the five easiest ORCS in the last three years, Miami has been to three of them, and in most years, they’re going to the easiest ORCS there is by absurd levels. And it looks like the pattern’s just continuing this year with their regional. I know Miami has a lot of affiliates and friends on the board (former students, former coaches, current coaches, etc), but membership on the board shouldn’t get you this.

Let’s look at the TPR sums of all ORCS in the last three years. For those unfamiliar with TPR, a higher TPR sum means a harder tournament (the sums here are the sums of the TPR points not the ranks).

__2017:__Geneva- 464.95

Decatur- 418.86

Wilmington- 416.07

Fresno- 382.77

Memphis- 377.30

Central Islip- 374.12

Lancaster- 371.71

Hamilton- 305.48

Now it should be noted that there is quite a large variation in the strengths of these ORCS. But there’s certainly a cluster between 370 and 420 without any large jumps. And then there are the two outliers: Geneva and Hamilton. Geneva was by far the hardest ORCS last year, with perennial National contenders like Chicago, Michigan, Northwestern, Wheaton, NIU, and USC. In fact, there were nine different teams at that ORCS who had been to the previous national championship, and five teams weighted in the top 25, all vying for six spots. In short, it was a bloodbath (no wonder traditionally strong schools like Northwestern had trouble making it out). Meanwhile, Hamilton was by far the easiest ORCS, with only two teams that had been to Nationals in 2016 and only one top 25 team. Who was that team? You guessed it: Miami. And the worst fact about this was that it was entirely avoidable. Hamilton ORCS and Geneva ORCS were on the same weekend, so theoretically the same teams should have been available. In fact, national powerhouse team University of Michigan is closer to Hamilton, OH (3h57m) than it is to Geneva, IL (4h27m). So the problem could have been avoided by moving some strong teams from one ORCS to the other. But no, Miami got the easy one.

__2016:__Lancaster- 454.11

Santa Monica- 446.08

Memphis- 398.61

Washington, DC- 382.56

Wilmington- 377.87

Decatur- 372.61

St. Paul- 363.00

Geneva- 321.64

This year was a little bit more clustered. Nothing quite as extreme. But note that Geneva (where Miami went) is still lower than any of the other ORCS this year or the year after (except the one Miami went to the year after). Also note that Lancaster, the strongest ORCS (which already had strong East Coast teams like Yale, NYU, and Cornell), suddenly had some surprising Midwestern additions, including Hillsdale, Ohio State A and B, and both Michigan teams, some of them traveling long distances to be diverted from the Geneva ORCS.

__2015:__Greenville- 441.58

Washington, DC- 431.63

State College- 430.2

Geneva- 405.12

Anoka- 383.98

Memphis- 375.91

Louisville- 365.28

San Diego- 361.58

This is a bit of an unusual year, in that Miami does not have the lowest TPR sum, just the second lowest. It should be noted that the only ORCS lower than Miami’s was San Diego, the only ORCS west of the Mississippi. AMTA doesn’t have much choice as to who they send there: it’s just the west coast teams. But looking at the rest of the country, Miami still had it easy.

It’s not that it would be that alarming if Miami sometimes got the easiest ORCS. But the fact is, if you look at the five easiest ORCS in the last three years, Miami has been to three of them, and in most years, they’re going to the easiest ORCS there is by absurd levels. And it looks like the pattern’s just continuing this year with their regional. I know Miami has a lot of affiliates and friends on the board (former students, former coaches, current coaches, etc), but membership on the board shouldn’t get you this.

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