ECE Saturday Preview

ECE Saturday Preview Boston lost twice to Gotham in 2009 by over 100 points; at 6:30 on Saturday, they'll give it a third shot. Photo: Tom Igoe.

Want to know what’s doing down at ECE this year? We’ve got you covered.

10:30am: DC vs. #17 Nashville

DC has had a tough 2-6 season, with both wins over rebuilding teams in River City and Harrisburg. They have picked up a notable new jammer in Small Frye, who was a bright spot in last weekend’s 201-104 loss to Kansas City. Nashville has yet to lose a bout this year and enjoys a 6-0 WFTDA record, though their strength of schedule has not been exceptionally tough — #18 Atlanta and Arch Rival have been the only teams to give them a tough time.

Tournament implications: There’s very little danger of this inter-regional matchup harming Nashville’s #5 standing in their region, but it might make for an interesting triangulation opportunity considering that Nashville may be tussling with Kansas City at the South Central tournament and KC and DC faced off just last week. DC is currently at #10 in the Eastern Region, and their May loss to East #14 Dominion may have been fatal to their tournament hopes as neither of their bouts at ECE are against Eastern Region teams.

11am: Maine vs. Naptown

Naptown is a little hard to figure this year, with some significant variance in their results, but they appear to be on an upward swing after a impressive if unsuccessful game against Detroit at Spring Roll, where they kept it even for the first half but eventually lost 150-94. Maine has only played two this year, both blowouts: a 182-58 loss to Steel City and a 273-44 win over Harrisburg.

Tournament implications: Although this is an inter-regional bout, it could potentially end up helping to tip one team into their tournament. Both teams sit just outside their region’s top ten at #11; an impressive weekend might be enough to let them squeak in.

12:30pm: Suburbia vs. Harrisburg

Although Harrisburg looked like an up-and-coming contender through 2009, a severe structural upheaval late that year saw many of their core players leave for nearby Charm City and Dutchland, and the rebuilding has been tough – Harrisburg is 0-3 this year and has lost their bouts by 96, 229 and 155 points. Suburbia is a relatively new league, having debuted in June 2009, and has gone 1-6 in WFTDA play, with their only win over perennially hapless Long Island last year.

Tournament implications: Suburbia will be playing host to the WFTDA Eastern Regional tournament this year, but it’s hard to imagine a scenario where either Suburbia (currently #15 in the region) or Harrisburg (currently #13) can crack the East top ten based on this weekend’s results.

1pm: Hammer City vs. Dutchland

Hamilton, Ontario’s Hammer City girls will be looking for their first WFTDA win in this one; since their WFTDA debut in November 2009, they’ve lost all 6 of their WFTDA bouts by an average of over 100 points. Dutchland has had an up and down season and sits on a 3-4 record. Both teams were pummeled by Montreal this year, although Hammer City got it worse — they lost 208-26 while Dutchland lost 186-65.

Tournament implications: Way down at #17 in the North Central, it’s safe to say that Hammer City will be waiting until 2011 for a shot at the NC tournament. Things are a bit more complicated for Dutchland, though — they are currently at #8 in the East but will be almost certainly be passed by Montreal next ranking period due to the head-to-head loss. If Dutchland does poorly this weekend and Dominion does well against Montreal, Dutchland could conceivably slip to the #10 spot.

2:30pm: #24 Montreal vs. Dominion

Montreal has been busting up the lower ranks of the Eastern Region all year long, taking down Connecticut, DC, Suburbia, Carolina and Dutchland. Dominion has suffered from a revolving-door roster issue for awhile and had a very rough 0-10 streak stretching from mid-2008 to December 2009. This year, though, they’re showing signs of marked improvement, acquitting themselves well against Carolina (a 121-61 loss) and delivering a significant upset to DC (95-77).

Tournament implications: Montreal is currently at #10 in the East, but their run of regional wins — and specifically their big win over Carolina — make it almost certain they’ll rise higher in the 2nd quarter rankings. Dominion, currently sitting at #14, needs a very strong performance if not an outright win against Montreal if they’re to rise high enough to qualify for the Eastern Regional tournament.

3:00pm: Tampa Bay vs. Minnesota

Although they’re 3-6 on the year, Tampa Bay has the look of a team that’s just a few steps away from being considerably more dangerous than their record implies. They put up an impressive performance against DNN #20 Dallas at Franky Panky before losing 131-111, and also lost by just 5 to a tough Arch Rival team at the Midwest Brewhaha. Minnesota has only played WFTDA bouts against Pikes Peak and Fort Collins this year, winning both games (144-113 over PPDD and 137-49 over Fort Collins).

Tournament implications: Negligible. Both teams are ranked #7 in their region and are highly unlikely to move in either direction as a result of this one.

4:30pm: #17 Nashville vs. North Star

This one has the potential to be closer than the current rankings imply. North Star has a chance to make a big statement here; after hovering in the 22-25 range of DNN’s Power Rankings for months, they dropped off in June after big losses at the hands of Windy City and Cincinnati. Meanwhile, Nashville owes their #17 ranking to a win over Atlanta in February and hasn’t faced a ranked team since then. Nashville is also the only team at ECE playing twice in the same day.

Tournament implications: Very low. Both teams are all but certain to go to their respective regionals tournaments — Nashville stands at #5 in the SC and North Star at #6 in the NC.

5:00pm: Providence vs. #21 Bay Area

After an uncharacteristically weak performance at February’s Wild West Showdown, Bay Area took a big dive in the DNN Power Rankings; this month’s narrow thriller victory over #14 San Diego in the finals of the Big One tournament suggests they’re on their way back up. Providence will likely have their work cut out for them, as they’re 1-2 this year with their only win over relatively young Suburbia.

Tournament implications: Bay Area is pretty much a lock to qualify for their tournament, but Providence sits at #7 in the Eastern and is nearly certain to get passed by current #10 Montreal in the next ranking period. Providence is still very likely to remain in the top ten, but if they lose big here and Dominion performs very well against Montreal and Maine, they could find themselves pushed lower in the seedings.

6:30pm: #1 Gotham vs. #13 Boston

Boston has been playing a pretty challenging schedule this year, so their 3-3 record is a bit more impressive than it looks on paper, considering the losses are to #7 Philly, #2 Oly and #4 Denver. Gotham, as usual, hasn’t been doing too much interleague play outside of tournaments, but judging by their one victory — a 201-75 burial of Charm City — they haven’t lost much due to public inactivity. Gotham pounded Boston in both of their 2009 meetings — 188-44 in the regular season and 154-53 at the Eastern Regional tournament.

Tournament implications: A win by Boston would be an enormous upset and completely blow up the Eastern Region rankings, but the history between these two teams suggests that is unlikely to happen.

7:00pm: #5 Rose City vs Carolina

A couple of years ago this would have been a marquee matchup, but the fortunes of Rose City and Carolina have been on significantly different trajectories over that time; Rose City has developed into a credible threat to take the national championship while Carolina has slipped from the unofficial top 25. They did meet last year in July when Carolina went out to the West Coast; Rose City took that meeting solidly 120-62.

Tournament implications: Both teams are solid locks for their respective tournaments; this meeting is unlikely to change either’s standing there.

8:30pm: #7 Philly vs #9 Windy City

See DNN Feature Preview.