25 College Open Teams
March 5-6, 2011
Maryland Heights, Missouri
The Midwest Throwdown kicks off on Saturday with one of the more grueling days of Ultimate you’ll ever see. After four punishing power pool games, teams go straight into their round-of-16 bracket games, which will be played under the lights Saturday evening.
TD Dennis Tarasi believes the key stories of the tournament will be parity and depth:
I’d say one of the biggest things about this tournament is that it is the second spring tournament of the year for many of these teams. They’ve been able to work out the winter kinks and get back into some good team form. Several of these teams have had impressive runs at early spring tournaments, so this weekend will be a good opportunity to prove themselves in the St. Louis area. The strongest teams for this weekend in my opinion would be Wisconsin-Whitewater and Washington University. Both of these teams have solid cores with key role players, and I know that WashU has had some huge pickups recover from fall season injuries that have really strengthened the team.
That being said, teams like Iowa State and Missouri always seem to find their way into competitive runs deep into tournament brackets, so don’t be surprised if they’re still fighting on Sunday afternoon. The power pool play should be pretty interesting to watch, and I expect at least 2 upsets in each pool. These pools just have too much parity that the teams are bound to beat one another to the pulp. This is where I think the true beauty of the format comes out- after pool play Saturday, the first round of the championship bracket will be played out under the lights. This will really help determine what teams deserve to be in the quarters – after a whole day of battling, who has what’s left in the tank to make a good run. Look for some of the non-power pool teams, especially Eastern Illinois and Nebraska-Omaha, to surprise some of the big guys under the lights and make their way into quarters.
- What team will make it through Saturday with enough left in the tank to win three bracket games on Sunday.
- Will Wisconsin-Whitewater, Iowa State, Notre Dame, or Washington University run the table and establish themselves as contenders for a College Championships bid?
- Will Eastern Illinois, Nebraska-Omaha, North Park, or another team be able to work their way up from the lower pools to make the quarterfinals?