Pretty big weekend going down on the University of South Florida campus Tampa, with Florida, Carleton, Cornell, UNC-W, Colorado, Harvard, Wisconsin, Virginia, and South Florida (seeded in that order) meeting for a three day round-robin with two four-team brackets on Sunday (top four in one, next four in another, ninth place doesn’t play). It’s not a Cultimate tournament, but it was organized by Cyle Van Auken.
I wrote a preview for USA Ultimate and I don’t want to be too repetitive, so I’ll just give a couple thoughts here:
- There are a lot of big faces from last year’s season that will be noticeably absent since graduation: Brodie Smith and Chris Gibson for Florida, Carleton’s Sam Kanner, Cornell’s Jon Hirschberger and Dan Brager, UNC-W’s Rusty Ingold-Smith, Wisconsin’s Evan Klane, and Virginia’s Tyler Conger. All of these guys were the cornerstones of their respective offenses, so the adjustments that each team makes will be interesting.
- The schedule is going to affect things a lot. Virginia, for example, has four games in a row starting with the first game on Friday (Cornell, Carleton, Wisconsin, UNC-W), and since some of them are driving though the night, that’s going to be rough. Carleton, on the other hand, has a bye, Virginia, Harvard, two byes, and Florida. These are definitely the seeds that teams earned, but it’s going to have a real influence on the outcome of games.
- The USA Ultimate rankings are supposed to come out at the end of the month, but this tournament may not affect team strength bids much. Aside from the North Central (Carleton and Wisconsin) and Atlantic Coast (UNC-W and Virginia), no region has multiple teams here, and Florida, Colorado, Harvard, and Cornell are all strong candidates to finish as the top team in their region.
I’m heading down to report on the event, and I’ll try to tweet some updates (@87til) and post some stuff through the weekend. Stay tuned.