by Leah Summerville Farrar | April 12th, 2012
The Ohio Cup is in just a few days! In anticipation of the Cup, Ohio State Quidditch League’s co-captain and Director of Gameplay Luke Changet shares some of his predictions for games and teams to watch, and pool-play and tournament results.
Teams to Watch
Ohio State – The hosts. After a close quarterfinal loss at Midwest Cup and another close loss to Florida in the first round of single elimination at WC V, Ohio State will have a bitter taste in their mouths and will be coming out swinging looking to prove the nay-sayers wrong. OSU features one of the leagues top defenses, allowing under 20 QPPG in matches throughout the 2011-12 school year. With the home field advantage and a stingy defense, OSU is definitely one of the teams to watch.
Michigan State – The one true perennial powerhouse in the Midwest, MSU always competes at a high level. MSU placed 3rd at Midwest Cup and reached the Swag 16 at WC V. The team features incredibly accurate and hard-throwing beaters, which turns them into a contender immediately. MSU will be looking for redemption after dropping the finals match of the Spartan Quidditch Bonanza on March 31st to Ball State. MSU is a team to watch in any tournament.
Ball State -- I’ll say it. Ball State is the best team in quidditch without World Cup experience. At Midwest, they made the quarterfinals, but perhaps more significantly, less than two weeks ago they won the SQuiB, besting hosts Michigan State. Having watched them in person at MWC, I can say that Ball State has some of the best chaser play I’ve ever seen. While they may not have as much experience as other teams, they’re certainly able to hang with any team in the world.
Bowling Green – On the rise after disappointing performances at MWC and WC, BGSU is looking to prove themselves on the big stage. They recently went 5-0 at their round-robin tournament on April 1st against teams who will all be attending Ohio Cup. While BGSU hasn’t made a splash on any large tournament scene yet, they’re definitely a team to watch out for. They play smart and fast and are able to hang with anyone, even if past cup performances haven’t shown that.
Virginia Tech – I haven’t seen VT play in person, but I know they’re a great team. They won the Turtle Cup earlier this season, and played well at WC, even though they didn’t advance out of their pool. I’ve been able to find a bit of video of VT, and I can say that they’re a very smart team with a solid defense. That’s enough to turn anyone into contenders.
Games to Watch
The obvious ones are OSU vs VT at 12:30 and MSU vs BGSU at 10:30. These games are likely to decide who wins pool A and B, respectively. OSU vs VT should be a very low scoring affair, with both teams boasting stout defenses. MSU vs BGSU could go either way. If MSU is able to hang onto the bludgers though, it’s game over. Their beaters throw too hard and too accurately to be able to defeat them with just chaser play.
Other key games include any game with JND. JND is a wild card team that can either be incredibly successful or fairly mediocre, depending on the type of players they have. Either way, I’ll be watching their match vs Eastern Michigan, a team with plenty of cup experience but with plenty still to prove. That could be one of the most key games in terms of seeding for single-elimination play.
Ball State gets the #1 seed after blowing through their pool with an incredible point differential.
OSU gets the #2 seed, MSU the #3, and BGSU the #4, rounding out the first round byes for single elimination.
Final Four: Ball State vs Virginia Tech, Ohio State vs Michigan State. I won’t bother predicting these, as both games could go either way on any given day. The semi-finals and finals should all be easily within snitch range. That’s right seekers, this tournament is coming down to you.