After the first round of games today, the wind picked up and equalized the playing field. The wind was averaging between 20-30 mph and gusting up to 40’s. As a result, we saw a lot of upsets throughout the pools. Here’s a quick recap of what went down.
The big story out of pool A is that UNC-W upset Tufts to take the pool. Already, and rightfully so, people are calling out that Tufts may not be a top ten team. The wind is often a great equalizer, but really it highlights your ability to play in the wind. Wilmington almost has home field advantage due to the fact that they play near the gusty shores of North Carolina. Tufts lost because of an inability to break up wind, while their opponent was able to convert.
Virginia had a tough day dealing with the wind, and that has proven to be one of their weaknesses since Fall Easterns. Penn State took advantage, and advanced to the pre-quarters sending both Cincinnati and Virginia into the chumpionship.
As soon as the wind picked up, North Carolina was unprepared to deal with Carnegie Mellon. Several breaks up wind led to the upset, and looked like North Carolina was returning to their mistake ridden past. Dartmouth crushed Carnegie Mellon 13-3, however, giving North Carolina a shot to at least take second place. UNC won the upfield break battle, 2 to 1 against Dartmouth giving them second place in the pool via tiebreaker. Dartmouth took the 1st seed and the bye, while Carnegie Mellon beat NYU and Cornell to take third place.
The top seeds dominated this pool, with Ohio never having a close game. They specifically practice in a flood plain once a week to get used to dealing with these type of winds. The strategy obviously paid off in these high winds, giving them a bye into Sunday. Michigan State and NC State held seed, qualifying for pre-quarters.
The Metro East has life? Connecticut escaped with a bye into Sunday by defeating Michigan on universe and then dominating Ohio State late in the day. (Note, the score reporter schedule was changed around and is not accurate of the order of games). Ohio State kept themselves alive by beating App. State 10-9, but gave up the second spot in the pool to former regional rival Michigan.
Time to Eat Crow?
I said that top 10 teams don’t lose to opponents below them and mid level regional squads. I’ll eat my words, as so far the early season has proven that there is a lot of parity so far. We have a another look at Tufts and North Carolina in a non severe wind scenario tomorrow as the winds die down to 10 mph. Tufts did start out rusty, but rolled competition until meeting Wilmington.
Day 2 Outlook: Sunny with a chance of playable
With the winds returning to normal levels, we should actually get some watchable ultimate. There are some great possible match-ups in the quarters should North Carolina and Tufts advance from pre-quarters. North Carolina would play against regional rival North Carolina Wilmington and Tufts would take on Dartmouth for a New England regional match-up.
Be sure to tune into our semis and finals coverage tomorrow starting at 12:30 Eastern. Tweet questions or comments at @No_Look_Scoober.