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ORCS Analysis!!!

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  • ORCS Analysis!!!

    Hello! We are a national collective of present and former mockers with experience at all levels of competition in every region of the country. The perspectives included here reflect our aggregated knowledge of individual programs and their members, the results from teamsí performances at invitationals during the fall, programsí historical ability, exhaustive Facebook stalking, and, sometimes, just our hunches. Before you dive in, here is a breakdown of terms that we commonly use in our analyses:

    First In - these are the teams who we are expecting to qualify for Nationals this year.

    Bubble - these are the teams who we think have a real chance to qualify for Nationals, but for whom qualification is not assured. If you took all the teams from our First In and Bubble categories, we expect that you would have a list that includes every team who will advance to Nationals this year. We try to keep our bubble lists exhaustive without being too large to be helpful.

    Team to Watch - these are the teams who have caught our eye. Typically, we highlight teams who we consider will perform unusually well throughout the year, or who we think are at risk of notably underperforming relative to their ranking or historical ability. Sometimes, we just want to have some fun (e.g. Week 3, Cincinnati Regional).

    Remember, please share your own thoughts below. This is meant to start a discussion, if you have seen a team and you think we are over or under valuing them let us know! Good luck with ORCS! If you aren't on here, then prove us wrong! If you made our list, then prove us right! - MockAnalysisIsMyDrug


    We also wanted to take a moment to include our overall impression of the difficulty of each ORCS this year:
    1) Lancaster - first, with a whopping 8 nationals returners and 14 teams in the top 100 this looks to be the most difficult ORCS of the year.
    2) Wilmington - coming in second, with 7 nationals returners and a ridiculous 8 teams in the top 50, Wilmington would have been most difficult if not for it's 8 open bid teams
    3) Greenville - in third, with 5 nationals returners and 8 teams in the top 50, Greenville will be cutting short many top ranked teams' seasons.
    4) Central Islip - fourth, with 6 nationals returners and 6 teams in the top 50, Central Islip will feature some nationals favorites who just may ruin many very good teams' seasons.
    5) Hamilton - our first off the east coast, in fifth, with 5 nationals returners and 4 teams in the top 20, Hamilton will be a very top heavy tournament.
    6) Memphis - in sixth, with 5 nationals returners and 11 teams in the top 100, Memphis will feature some of the best midwest-western talent, but is plagued by not a lot of depth.
    7) Geneva - seventh, with only 4 nationals returners and 5 teams in the top 50, Geneva will be one of the easier ORCS only for its lack of top teams, but it has no shortage of mid-tier.
    8) Santa Monica - eighth, with a sparse 3 nationals returners and 5 teams in the top 50, Santa Monica will be the ORCS easiest to break from, but competitors will still need to go through a very strong set of UC teams.

    Santa Monica:
    3 Nationals Returners: UCLA A, Stanford A, UC Davis A
    Top 50 teams: 5
    Top 100 teams: 8
    Top 150 teams: 13
    Top 200 teams: 17

    First in:
    UCLA A
    Stanford A

    Pomona A
    UCI A
    Washington A
    USC A
    UC Davis A
    UCLA B

    Initial Thoughts:
    This yearís California ORCS looks to be a bit calmer than usual. Many of the typical West Coast threats (Berkeley, Fresno, Arizona) are out of the picture, either having earned bids to a different ORCS or having failed to qualify to ORCS entirely. Even the regionís traditional powers (UC Davis, Stanford) have looked beatable this year. Davis limps into ORCS off of a weak invitational season, with a roster lacking some of the veterans that brought the team to the NCT last year. Stanford cannot be underestimated as the 18th-ranked team in the country, yet their invitational performances this year include 1-7 showings at both AAMTI and UCLASSIC. This fall of the traditional powers means that this yearís Santa Monica ORCS, perhaps more than ever before, offers underdogs a chance to step up.

    We expect the usual contender UCLA having no problem getting out, but after that is where things get speculative. Seeing formidable showings during the regionals season from all teams in the bubble, the winners here will be determined by how often these teams can hit less competitive programs who scraped by to ORCS, or suffer close fierce rounds against each other. Either way, this is the ORCS from which weíll maybe see some first time NCT appearances or maybe perhaps some glorious returns from long past legendary programs.

    Team to Watch:
    UCI A: The University of California, Irvineís Mock Trial program used to be at the top of the mock trial world. In both 2013 and 2014, Irvine held the #1 spot in AMTA power rankings. And in 2012, they were even 2nd in their Nats division, just ONE ballot away from the final round. This run not only had high peaks, but remarkable consistency - Irvine attended the National Championship Tournament for five straight years from 2010 to 2014. However, since losing powerhouse attorneys like Rahul Harit, Neil Thakore, and Laureen Bousmail, Irvine has struggled to replicate their dominance. For the last 3 consecutive years, Irvine has left ORCS disappointed with a 4-4 record and no bid to the National Championship Tournament. This year looks to be a bit different, as Irvine has put together a strong roster that has shown they can compete with the very best. This semester, Irvine placed 7th at UCLASSIC and a dominant 1st at UCSB, and earned 2 bids to ORCS as double threat Dev Madeka earned awards as both an attorney and a witness at regionals. Given their success this year, Irvine looks poised to return to the national scene after their 3-year slump.

    7 Nationals Returners: UVA A/B, Rutgers A, Kansas A, Richmond A, American A, Fordham LC A
    Top 50 teams: 8
    Top 100 teams: 10
    Top 150 teams: 14
    Top 200 teams: 16

    First In:
    UVA A
    UVA B

    Rutgers A
    Patrick Henry A
    American A
    Kansas A
    Howard A
    Richmond A
    Fordham LC A
    Haverford A

    Initial Thoughts:
    Unsurprisingly, Wilmington kicks ORCS off with an absolutely brutal field on the east coast. This field includes 7 teams from Nationals from last year: UVA A/B, Richmond A, Rutgers A, Fordham LC A, Kansas A, and American A. But, this field isnít quite as impossible as it may seem at first glance. From what we have seen, it looks like that Fordham, Kansas, American, and Richmond are all not quite the nationals contenders they were last year (Fordham and Richmond A teams both only received bids from their B teams, American has struggled throughout the invitational season, and Kansas scraped by on the open bid list). But, replacing those teams are an extremely formidable pair in the form of the Patrick Henry and Howard, who both had 5 wins at ORCS last year and barely missed the cut. Additionally, we notice a couple of teams that have been on the periphery for a while now but havenít managed to break through: We are looking at the SMU, Hopkins, William and Mary, Seton Hall, and Haverford middle tier teams who are praying for a good enough schedule to make it to nationals. This tournament can be broken down into 5 groups: first the absolute powerhouse programs: UVA. Second is the need to prove they deserve a bid back: Rutgers, Fordham LC, American, Kansas, and Richmond. Third is the wants a way back in: Howard, Patrick Henry. Fourth is the notice me group: Haverford, SMU, Hopkins, William and Mary, and Seton Hall. And finally we have the B teams and open bids: B teams from Howard and Patrick Henry lead the way, with Rutgers, Richmond vying for attention, and rounding out this group are the rest of the open bids: Auburn, IUPUI, Wisconsin, Missouri, Florida International, and Elon. These teams will fairly likely end up being fodder for many of the top teams.

    It is important to note that since this is practically a new case, we can fully expect very different performances than at regionals, but teams like UVA just always manage to seem extremely polished, so we expect them to remain at the top. After Patrick Henry managed to sweep UVA at regionals, we are looking forward to a possible rematch and seeing if UVA can reclaim its crown at the top. We would also love to see rematches from Haverford vs. Howard and Rutgers vs. Fordham (assuming Fordham A takes their B teamís spot after Rutgers helped in knocking them out).

    It should also be noted that this tournament may have a lot of bottom teams. Having 7 teams come off the open bid list to this tournament means that there will probably be a fairly big gap between the top 10 and the bottom 10 or so. This will make schedules a very important factor in who breaks from this region.

    Good luck to everyone, this will likely be one of the most difficult ORCS to break from, the DC area - east coast ORCS always manages to be absolutely brutal.

    Team to Watch:
    Rutgers: For the first time in the last five years, Rutgers returned to Nationals last year, but with only one senior. Their program is missing only one member from last year, their most successful year, and he even came back to help coach them! Rutgers doesn'ít normally get the attention a lot of some of the top east coast teams get, but they absolutely deserve it. Rutgers has been improving a lot lately and this season their A team has had some very impressive outings at very impressive tournaments. First traveling to Columbia for CUBAIT where they had mild success: going 3-4-1, notably splitting with Harvard A. Next the team traveled to Tufts and took an impressive 5 ballots off a tough field. Dropping to Cornell, but then splitting with Fordham LC, and sweeping Boston University as well as Tufts got this team back on track. They then went to Yale where they again faced a very tough field and managed to take a ballot off Yale B as well as sweeping Rochester, but fell to a strong Chicago team as well as Fordham LC (stay posted on this rivalry).

    Rutgers then made some slight adjustments, finalizing their A team roster with: Humayoon Hashmi (Ď20), Mike Kleynman (Ď19), Rohit Purma (Ď19), Michael Nanchanatt (Ď19), Christine Botvinnik (Ď19), Robert Servilio (Ď19), Nicoletta Eby (Ď18), and Katie Dale (Ď18). This program has been dominated by their insanely powerful current junior class. Kleynman may be one of the top junior attorneys in AMTA. As just a sophomore, Kleynman managed to receive a perfect 30 ranks at nationals. He was the only attorney to receive a perfect 30 ranks at nationals. President and Senior, Nicoletta Eby, has also won a number of awards and is looking to return to nationals again this year and prove that their appearance wasnít a fluke. Kleynman, Nanchanatt, Botvinnik, Servilio, and Eby were also on the team that went to nationals last year. Last yearís nationals team had a decent first time showing, going 5-6-1. When you consider that so many of those members are returning, it makes Rutgers are quite intimidating team. What is even scarier is that this team has only two seniors. The bulk of their talent and the bulk of their program is built around a current junior class which makes up: 5/8 members of the A team, 4 of those 5 were on the team last year - the first to make it to Nationals. Our guess is that until this class, with Nanchanatt and Kleynman at the helm, graduates, Rutgers will continue to be one of the top teams in the North East and a Nationals regular.

    4 Nationals Returners: Chicago A, Illinois A, Indiana A, Northern Illinois
    Top 50 teams: 5
    Top 100 teams: 12
    Top 150 teams: 16
    Top 200 teams: 17

    First in:

    Chicago B
    Northern Illinois
    Wash U

    Initial Thoughts:
    In contrast to the bloodbath that was Geneva ORCS last year, this looks to be a competition much more open to teams hoping to break. Geneva was the most difficult ORCS last year, with teams like Arizona and USC coming east and filling out an already challenging Midwestern field. In comparison to last yearís top-heavy field, this yearís Geneva ORCS is clustered in the middle, lacking a concentration of powerful teams, and offering teams at the middle of the pack a chance to compete for bids to the National Championship. But donít be fooled - although Geneva features no top 10 teams and only four teams returning from last year's nationals, the programs at Geneva all have something to prove. Indiana, Illinois, and NIU will be trying to show that last year's nationals appearance wasn't a fluke. Northwestern has traveled the country all year preparing to avenge themselves on a Geneva ORCS that denied them a bid last year. Wheaton enters Geneva under the leadership of Mary Preston Austin, perhaps one of the most awarded attorneys in AMTA history, having won 17 attorney awards in the past 2 years alone. The number of teams clustered right around the nationals cutoff level should make for some close rounds to earn those spots.

    Of course, we expect programs like Chicago to illustrate their dominance against a mid-tier field, but this is also the kind of field where we expect to see some older powers making a triumphant return to Nationals after missing out the last year or two. We would also not be surprised to see some new faces in the qualifying pool. This is a great chance for teams that have done consistently well at ORCS but have not made nationals in a very long time if at all to move into bid position. Itís also important to notice that the Geneva field had only one open bid. This means that, while it may be somewhat short on Nationals powerhouses, the field is also short on unranked teams and teams that failed to get bids out of regionals, meaning that there is less room for anyone to have a bad round and still win. Consistency will be key at this ORCS.

    Team to Watch:
    Indiana University: After qualifying to nationals last year for the first time in their relatively short program history (last year was only their fifth year of existence), Indiana proved themselves worthy of the bid with an impressive 5th place in their division, taking ballots off of powerful teams like Michigan and Washington & Lee. They were the only top five divisional team without a long history of top performance at Nationals. This year itís up to them to prove they can keep their momentum. This season, they seemed to be suffering from the loss of key players (most notably the award winning duo, Linsey Walker and Dean Olson) and underperformed throughout the fall. They were also in for a shock as they took on a fall schedule much harder than their schedules from previous years (some of the tournaments they attended would not previously have been open to them as they had never gone to nationals). They took on a challenging invitational schedule (including GAMTI, GOT, and GCF), but posted more even or losing records than winning ones, and never managed to perform better than 5-2-1 (a record earned by their B team at GCF). In a field like Geneva, however, they wonít have to play teams as strong as the ones they were losing to at GAMTI and GOT. It is encouraging to note that teams from their program have already beaten or taken ballots off of programs at the high end of this ORCS. At GCF their B team took a ballot off of Chicago A who is currently a first in team, at Cornshucker they beat Northern Illinois who is currently on the bubble, and they have consistently done well against lower and mid ranked teams from this tournament.

    Indiana certainly seems to have stepped it up for the competitive season. They qualified all four of their teams out of regionals, taking down teams from some traditionally competitive programs including Chicago and Rhodes (though those were mostly C-E teams). Their A team in particular had a much stronger showing than during invitational season, earning a 6-1-1 record even with a CS of 20.5. We hope to see them continue this success at ORCS and establish themselves as a new Midwestern power in mock.

    5 National Returners - Florida A, Georgia Tech A, Duke A, Duke B, Emory A
    Top 50 teams: 8
    Top 100 teams: 12
    Top 150 teams: 15
    Top 200 teams: 18

    First in:
    Florida A
    Emory A
    Duke A
    Georgia Tech A

    Georgia A
    Furman A
    Florida B
    Georgia State A
    Georgetown A
    Florida State A
    Duke B

    Initial Thoughts:
    This region of the country has produced some of the highest performing teams in the country at nationals in the last few years. It was the highest performing region both in terms of the percentage of teams coming out of it that end up taking top 10 at nationals and the percentage of ballots won by teams coming out of it both of the last two years. As a result, this ORCS is extremely competitive every year, and 2018 is no exception. In 2017, the Decatur ORCS (a very similar field) saw two nationally competitive teams, Georgia and Furman, lose their shot at a nationals bid. Both programs will be working hard to make sure this does not happen again, but it wonít be easy in the field. Georgia Tech dominated the south last year, but their performance this year has been shaky, barely qualifying for ORCS out of the Columbia, SC regional tournament. Last year, of the 6 teams that advanced from Decatur, 4 of them placed in their divisions at nationals. The only exception was Duke A and B, who won ballots but did not differentiate themselves among the nationals field. While Duke remains a strong program, they have not been as consistent since the loss of DíIppolito as a coach. With this group of teams, we can expect a similar result this year in Minneapolis. Whoever can fight their way through will be well-prepared to face the next round.

    Team to Watch:
    Georgia State University: This program is on the rise. The last time they advanced to ORCS was in 2016 and they only won 2 ballots. But this year looks different. Lead by former Furman mocker Claudia Cornelison (20/17 ranks) the team went 8-0 at regionals, beating teams from Georgia Tech and the University of Florida to earn their bid. Earlier in the year, GSU won 5 ballots at Georgiaís Classic City invitational, once again taking ballots from many other historically successful programs. They are eager to prove themselves, and will be doing everything they can to do so in Greenville.

    Central Islip:
    6 Nationals Returners: Arizona, Boston College, Brown, Harvard, Yale A, Yale B
    Top 50 teams: 6
    Top 100 teams: 9
    Top 150 teams: 12
    Top 200 teams: 16

    First in:
    Yale A
    Harvard A
    Brown A

    Yale B
    Boston University A
    Arizona A
    Boston College A
    Tufts A
    Boston University B

    Initial Thoughts:
    This tournament follows the general East Coast pattern of having a ton of traditional power at the top and then a lot of weaker teams filling out the bottom. And it takes matters to the extreme. This ORCS has six teams returning from nationals (Yale A, Yale B, Harvard, Brown, Boston College, and Arizona) as well as some teams who missed out last year and are trying to earn their spots back (Tufts, Boston University, Princeton). Balancing things out Central Islip has six teams coming off the open bid list which should give the top teams a few easier rounds in which they can pick up ballots. As with all East Coast ORCS, though, this will be a bloodbath for the top spots. The worry, though, is that with this many top teams and this many unranked teams there may be a lot of variation in the strength of peopleís schedules. It would not be shocking to see a mid range team manage to slip their way into bid position after playing a very easy schedule (even if that means beating two weak teams early, losing to a top team in round 3, winning a high-low match up in round 4 and then ending up 6-2).

    With that being said, this may be an ORCS ripe for a bit of a shake up. Weíve seen some of the traditional powers falter during invitationals this year and this kind of under performance could cost them a bid. Harvard seems to be suffering significantly from the loss of the last member of their 2015 National Championship winning team, Jordan Alston-Harmon. They had middleing or lackluster performances throughout much of the fall season (3-5 and 4-4 at CUBAIT, 3-5 at GOT, 4-4 at Yale), and their performance in the spring, though somewhat more reassuring (9.5-10.5 at Downtown and 8-0 at regionals) it isnít quite the dominance we would expect from Harvard. Yale B looked like a top team coming out of the invite season after strong showings in the fall and going 8-0 at Georgetownís Hilltop invitational. But they seem to have hit a spot of trouble at regionals only going 5-3 (not enough to qualify out of Princeton). It is unclear if that was a fluke of bad judging at a new tournament or a concerning sign of things to come for Yale B. As mentioned in our regional analysis, Boston College has struggled this season at almost every invite (2-6 at Tufts, 1-7 at Quaker, 0-8 at Yale, 1-7 at BRIC). Their A team failed to qualify out of the New Haven Regionals (4-4) only to be saved by their B team at Chestnut Hill. It will be interesting to see if some unknowns can steal bids from the traditional powers.

    Team to Watch:
    Arizona: Arizona had a rollercoaster of a season last year. They failed to qualify out of their regionals, only earning 4.5 ballots, and were one of the last teams to squeeze their way off the open bid list. They were immediately thrown into the Geneva ORCS, last yearís most challenging field, (9 returning national competitors) and against all odds, they made it out. They didnít come close to placing at Nationals (with a final record of 3.5-8.5), but they did manage to tie a ballot with eventual division runner up, Rhodes (the only team to touch Rhodes with the exception of division champions, UVA). This year, Arizona put on a solid performance during the fall invitational season, placing 3rd and 5th at their own Gunslinger Invitational, 4th at NIUís Huskie Cup, 4th at Case Westernís Spartan Throwdown, and 6th and 7th at Berkeleyís AAMTI. They continued their streak this spring with 4th and 9th at UCLASSIC. They never managed to win a tournament, but they also never put on a bad showing. That kind of consistency will serve them well at ORCS. Perhaps most relieving of all, they seem to have solved whatever problem they had at regionals last year. Compared to their single 4.5 ballot team from the open bid list last year, this yearís two 8-0 teams is quite impressive. Arizona also demonstrated during the invitational season that their individual team members are nothing to overlook. This yearís Arizona squad brings back 4-year veteran and All-American Isaac Rounseville, award-winning double-threat attorney/witness Enrico Trevisani, and a deep supporting cast that has picked up a combined 23 individual awards this year.

    8 Nationals Returners: NYU, Columbia, Washington & Lee, Cornell, Wesleyan, Penn State, Rochester, and UMBC
    Top 50 teams: 6
    Top 100 teams: 14
    Top 150 teams: 19
    Top 200 teams: 21

    First in:
    NYU A
    Columbia A
    Washington & Lee A
    Cornell A

    Wesleyan A
    Penn State A
    Rochester A
    UMBC A
    NYU B
    George Washington A

    Initial Thoughts:
    If you are going to this ORCS you have our deepest condolences. Like the other two Northeastern ORCS, Lancaster has a large collection of top teams. It has the highest number of teams returning from last yearís nationals out of all of the ORCS this year. There are 8 teams returning from last yearís nationals (NYU, Columbia, Washington & Lee, Cornell, Wesleyan, Penn State, Rochester, and UMBC) as well as some teams that have performed consistently well at ORCS in the past and will be hoping to either regain old national calibre status or earn it for the first time. Unlike the other two northeastern ORCS (and to a lesser extent Greenville as well), however, Lancaster doesnít have a large cushion of open bid list teams to balance things out. Lancaster only had one open bid assigned and, as a result backs up its strong top teams with a large collection of mid level teams. As a result it is highly unlikely that anyone will manage to get through this tournament with an easy schedule and we are likely to see a lot of close rounds with low PDís and perhaps even an unusually high number of split ballots. It would also be unsurprising to see at least one top calibre team fail to make it out after facing a brutal schedule.

    This tournament is also interesting in that it features some very new powers up against some fallen greats. Wesleyan and UMBC both made their nationals debut last year and Rochester returned to nationals after a long period of absence. All three programs have had mixed results at invitationals this year. UMBC has consistently managed to take between 4 and 5 ballots at various invites but they have had a lot of variation in what level of team they are capable of beating. At Yale, for example they were able to beat both Michigan teams and split with Columbia A, but at Scarlet Knight they dropped a ballot to the generally struggling Princeton and at regionals they dropped a ballot to an unranked Haverford C. Wesleyan has done very well at mid to low level invitationals (6-2 at Hooter, 8-0 at Coast Guard) but has struggled against the harder, national caliber teams at Yale invite (3.5-4.5) and GAMTI (3.5-8.5). Rochester started their season with a week performance at Spartan Throwdown (all three teams going 3-5). They then had a strong showing at Yale (5-3), beating NYU and splitting with Yale B. But at BRIC they faltered again at 3-5 (although its possible that that was their B team and their A was at Hilltop since Hilltop still hasnít released their tab summary). These programs are placed up against programs like Maryland (particularly with the recent loss of their head coach), Hamilton and George Washington who have made nationals appearances in the past and whose names still command respect in their region but have had several years of dry spell.

    Team to Watch:
    Cornell University: Cornell has been a pretty constant attender at Nationals these last few years, even getting two teams to nationals in 2016. They have a tendency to perform slightly less well at the National Championship than some of their Ivy league peers, but they have been very consistent at ORCS. This year they started out with a somewhat patchy record at early invitationals. They started off weak going 3-5 and 5-3 at CUBAIT, and then went 5-3 at Penn Stateís Happy Valley, after losing to Georgetown and splitting with Penn State B, only outright winning against two unranked Elizabethtown Teams who will not be competing at ORCS. They did better the next weekend sending one team to clean up at Haverfordís Black Squirrel (8-0) and two to Tuftsí Mumbo Jumbo where their A team went 5-3 (this time losing their ballots to Yale and Tufts) and their B team went 7-1 and won the tournament. This irregular scoring may, however, be attributable in part to split stacking in the fall. This spring their program has performed solidly at mid to low range tournaments including their own BRIC where both of their teams went 5.5-2.5 and regionals where they qualified all three of their teams, but they struggled with the tough competition at Downtown, only going 6-14. It will be interesting to see how Cornell fares at this yearís Lancaster ORCS. On the one hand, it is packed with some truly top teams, and Cornell has struggled in predominantly national caliber fields this year. On the other, Cornell has performed consistently well at this ORCS in the past few years and will have the advantage of experience with the judging pool that many of the other teams in this ORCS will lack. Whether they bid or not, we are sure Cornell will put on a strong showing at this ORCS.

    5 Nationals Returners: Cincinnati A, Miami A, Michigan A, Michigan B, Ohio State A
    Top 50 teams: 5
    Top 100 teams: 9
    Top 150 teams: 16
    Top 200 Teams: 20

    First in:
    Ohio State A
    Michigan A
    Miami A
    Cincinnati A

    Miami B
    Michigan B
    Ohio State B
    Cincinnati B
    Notre Dame A
    Northwestern B

    Initial Thoughts:
    Hamilton ORCS is the most top heavy of the Midwestern ORCS this year. OSU A had one of the most successful invitational seasons of any team in the country this year (1st at GAMTI and Vanderbiltís Grand Ole Tournament, 4th at The Downtown). Michigan A, Miami A, and Cincinnati A are also classic powerhouses and consistent presences at the NCT. Closely on their heels we have a number of former Nationals Powers like Notre Dame and Northwood attempting to make a come back. Filling out the tournament, we also have some dangerous B teams. Going into the 4th round at Toledo Regionals, Michigan B had won 5.5 ballots and had the second best record at the tournament. Were it not for a 4th round out-bracket matchup with OSU A, the Wolverines likely would have finished with 7.5 ballots and would not be flying under the radar as they are now. Meanwhile, OSU B has also put together a very impressive season. The (B)uckeyes won Pennís Quaker Classic with an undefeated record, took 3rd at The Great Chicago Fire Invitational, and helped OSU A secure 1st place at GOT. A 6-2 regional result is a cause for concern given the invitational success, but OSU B is certainly in contention for itís first ever NCT bid this year.

    As with the other Midwestern ORCS, this tournament has a large collection of mid-level teams, and teams clustered just below the nationals cut off. This could result in problems for the top contenders if they arenít on their game. A split or tied ballot to with a mid-level team combined with an unfortunate third round pairing against another powerhouse program could cost a cost a bid to very good program.

    Team to Watch:
    Northwood A: Northwood A may be best known for being one of the nicest programs out there. They have won SPAMTA at the Downtown for at least three years running now, and at the last two National Championships they attended. They are always some of the most generous and kind people at any tournament. But Northwood isnít just nice, Northwood is one of only two teams at the Hamilton ORCs to have won an AMTA national championship (the other being Miami). While Northwood is not quite as dominant as it was a decade ago, (they missed out on Nationals by half a ballot last year), the team still has some serious talent. Chris Grant has been winning awards left and right this year, and Simeon Lawrence was one of the highest ranked witnesses at The Downtown. He and Caleb Cole of Chicago each took 48 out of a possible 50 ranks, leaving the rest of the field in the dust with an 11-point gap between them and the next best witness. After a respectable performance at The Downtown and picking up 7.5 ballots at regionals, this program looks primed to get a nationals bid.

    5 Nationals Returners: Baylor A, Berkeley A, Rhodes A, Rhodes B, Tenn - Chattanooga A
    Top 50 teams: 6
    Top 100 teams: 11
    Top 150 teams: 16
    Top 200 teams: 19

    First in:
    UC Berkeley A
    Rhodes A
    Rhodes B
    Baylor A

    Eastern Kentucky University
    UC Berkeley B
    Alabama A
    Texas A
    Millsaps A
    Iowa A
    Tennessee Chattanooga A

    Initial Thoughts:
    This year, Memphis has become the overflow site of the west (playing the role that Geneva did last year). This year this means that they have imported the highly dominant UC Berkeley into a region usually ruled without much challenge by Rhodes. It will be interesting to see which of these two titans fares better, although we have little doubt that both will break. Both are also, of course, bringing their strong B teams and have a shot of sending two teams to nationals. Rounding out the top of the field is Baylor, a program which skyrocketed into view two years ago when they were the only team to take a full ballot off of Harvard the year Harvard won Nationals. They have been doing well ever since. Lower ranked teams are almost certainly hoping for a match up between teams from these programs (both because itís one of the few likely possible places for them to lose ballots and make room for other teams, and because hitting each other will mean not hitting other people). Should this happen, we suspect that Rhodes will have the home field advantage. Berkeley plays a very West Coast style of Mock which may be interesting in the Memphis judging pool. Baylor has played mostly in the south this season (with a brief visit up to Yale in December). Rhodes, on the other hand, is hosting, and so should feel right at home. Filling out the bubble, we have two more teams who went to nationals last year, EKU an Tennessee Chattanooga. EKU has been a fairly regular attendee at Nationals these past few years. They have done well but rarely brilliantly this invitational season, usually ending up around 4-4 or 5-3. They were however the top ranked team coming out of their regional at 6.5 with a CS 0f 18, so they should be ready to face this ORCS. Tennessee Chattanooga, on the other hand, was a newcomer at nationals last year after poor performances or non-appearances at ORCs in years prior. They have had a mixed invitational season with records ranging from 7-1 to 0-8. Weíll have to see if this is one of their good tournaments. This tournament also has a collection of teams like Millsaps, Iowa, and Texas who have missed out on Nationals last year after past glory and will be looking for a way back.

    As always with the midwestern tournaments we must close with a warning that there are very few low level teams at this tournament. It only had one open bid. So one false move could be a big problem.

    Team to Watch:
    Alabama: Last year Alabama nearly qualified out of the difficult Decatur ORCS, going 5-3 with a high CS. And they didnít just do it once. Both their A and their B teams went 5-3. This indicates a depth of program that may serve them well as they try to carry their success over to this year.. Itís also important to note that all of the ballots they lost at that ORCS were to teams that eventually advanced. Their A team lost two ballots to Georgia Tech A and split with Emory A. Their B team lost two ballots to Washington & Lee and split with Duke A. All of those programs ended up honorable mention or better at LA. Given that they were able to split with some truely top programs, it would not be surprising if they advanced this year, especially if they have a slightly less brutal schedule. Just based on their early fall performance, continued success seemed unlikely. They had middleing to poor performances at a number of mid-level invites indicating that they were not quite ready for the ORCS and Nationals level of competition But just a few weeks ago they stepped up their game to take second at Florida Stateís Seminole Smackdown, splitting with Georgia Tech and Florida, both of whom went to nationals, and sweeping Millsaps who are on the bubble at the Memphis ORCS. After an impressive 7-1 (only losing a ballot to Baylor) at regionals, Alabama should be feeling optimistic going into ORCS.

    Lastly, we just wanted to say thank you: to our collaborators who care more about Mock Trial than their sleep schedules, to AMTA reps and board members who do all the work behind the scenes to make this activity possible, and finally to all of you reading this - your comments and the attention we have brought back to perjuries makes it all worth while! Don't forget to fill out the polls and we hope everyone makes a fantasy mock team. Happy mocking, and good luck!
    Last edited by MockAnalysisIsMyDrug; March 3rd, 2018, 07:49 PM.

  • #2
    >>Rutgers: For the first time in school history, Rutgers made it to Nationals last year, but with only one senior.<<

    They were the National Runner-up in 2012.
    Mock Trial with J. Reinhold! Mock Trial! Mock Trial with J. Reinhold!


    • #3
      Thank you for the correction!


      • #4
        Note about Boston College: they do not have traditional A through D teams. They have four teams that share funding but recruit/compete independently. So they don't ever really "stack" in the traditional sense


        • #5
          Originally posted by The Real Mock Prodigy View Post
          Note about Boston College: they do not have traditional A through D teams. They have four teams that share funding but recruit/compete independently. So they don't ever really "stack" in the traditional sense
          How does that work if they have three or more teams qualify and they can only send two through? Presumably they have some way of looking at records or something like that, but what if two of the teams have equal records?


          • #6
            I'm not sure tbh. I just know some people who were involved with the program and that's how they choose to do it. It certainly seems like it could cause problems like the one you mentioned.


            • #7
              Originally posted by The Real Mock Prodigy View Post
              I'm not sure tbh. I just know some people who were involved with the program and that's how they choose to do it. It certainly seems like it could cause problems like the one you mentioned.
              Boston College sends whichever team qualifies to ORCS/Nationals. The same program members compete for four years.


              • #8
                Originally posted by mangomangox3 View Post

                Boston College sends whichever team qualifies to ORCS/Nationals. The same program members compete for four years.
                Right but what happens if three teams qualify to ORCS? Only two can go so they would have to pick between them.


                • #9
                  Great analysis, thanks for this! Since it was mentioned, here's a copy of Hilltop's tab summary (also posted in Tournaments Result page)
                  Attached Files


                  • #10
                    Good analysis. I feel confident making the following amendments to your predictions:

                    - Rutgers A will be first in

                    - Chicago B will be first in

                    Central Islip
                    - Yale B will be first in
                    - Tufts A will be first in

                    - Washington & Lee drops to high bubble
                    - UMBC will be first in
                    - La Salle rises to bubble

                    - Alabama A will be first in
                    Last edited by ObjectionRepetitious; March 9th, 2018, 02:59 PM.


                    • #11
                      Really interesting analysis, and I agree. Arizona from what I understand is a very strong program this year with a lot to offer, I wouldn't be surprised to see them be one of the first in either. I think UCLA B has a strong chance at making it in, considering the overall strength of their program historically and for the UC's as a whole. I would put Alabama B in the "bubble" section as well, considering they went 7-1-0 at their regional, but Alabama A is the stronger team from my past experiences with them. Would love to see Indiana make it's way to nationals as well!


                      • #12
                        Crazy to see UVA B not make it out, so rough for them to have 2 insanely close T-L rounds


                        • #13
                          So far ORCS have been insanely unpredictable. A lot of teams that were at nationals last year are not returning...


                          • #14
                            Interesting to see so many previous nationals-bound programs not returning this year. Can't wait to see who qualifies at the ORCS next week.


                            • #15
                              Surprised to see UVA only sending 1 team to Nats. I feel like it's anyone's ballgame this year. Irvine sending two is awesome! I know they've had some funding issues over the past few years so it's great to see them doing well (Dev Madeka is an amazing double threat, Tristan Lim is incredibly clean as an Atty). UCLA is strong as ever, with some of the best witnesses in the country and a couple of extremely solid attorney benches. Very happy for UCSD as well, a great program that has overcome huge challenges to get to Nats. Congrats to Haverford A for cleaning up as well, with their first ever bid to Nats! Having seen Haverford I was incredibly impressed with Nick Barile, one of the best defense closings I've seen all year.

                              In Geneva, I expect Northwestern to finish on top -- they've been absolutely stellar this year (Joy MF Holden!!!), a perfect combo of clean and dramatic imo, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them finish top 10 at Nats. I think Florida A (and the award-winning Matt Solomon) is a shoe-in from what I've heard, and I expect Furman will also be contending for a top spot in Greenville. Yale A will glide through at the top in Central Islip (Bays needs no introduction and Allison Du is probably the best Kerry in the country). Similarly, I agree that Arizona is the team to watch, as they enter this ORCS with two undefeated teams and an extremely high win percentage on their season, despite being a 5-team program. In addition to Rounseville and Trevisani, teams would be wise to watch out for Joanna Jandali who has 3 attorney awards to her name this season, as well as Nick Beachy, Madison Dodge, and Raad Syed who have all received a perfect 20 ranks as attorneys at some point this year. Don't sleep on Arizona. NYU A is the obvious favorite in Lancaster -- Baratta and Ramos have been absolutely tearing up teams this year, and I think they could be a favorite to win it all. Would be surprised to see Michigan A not make it to Minneapolis but I suppose crazier things have happened this year. Alongside Miami A I fully expect OSU A (led by TBC competitor Eric Roytman) to finish at the top of Hamilton, as that team has been killing some of the toughest competition in the country all year long. In Memphis, Rhodes A is an obvious choice, maintaining their program's dominance throughout the year despite also having 5 teams. I have to say though, Berkeley A is currently my pick to win it. Such a balanced team across the board, mingling the traditionally exciting/dramatic style of the west coast with the punishingly clean execution of the top teams from the East. Their double closer (Rohan Nijhawan) is an absolute MONSTER with the best voice in AMTA, and I pity teams that have to go against this program.

                              Best of luck to all mockers at the remaining competitions!