Saturday, March 10, 2012

Western Cup Preview and Predictions

The 3rd annual Western Cup will be taking place this weekend (March 10-11) in Southern California. 19 teams will be playing for the championship making it the largest Quidditch tournament west of the Mississippi ever. There is a deep field and several teams could win. Let's go through the contenders
The favorites, Arizona State. ASU went into the World Cup with a number 3 ranking, but lost in the early elimination rounds of single elimination. In rematches against Northern Arizona and Cal, ASU will hope to avenge their fall losses to both of these teams. However, ASU might have the most dominant player in the game, Keeper "Whomping" Willie Jackson. It is said that at the first Western Cup, the hoops were not far enough apart so "Whomping" Willie could block all three at the same time. Hopefully for the other teams, the hoops will be placed farther apart.

The dark horse, Northern Arizona Narwals. NAU has only played in two tournaments, an Arizonan tournament that they hosted in October 2011, and the 2012 Utah Snow Cup. They beat Arizona State twice, taking 2/3 with an overall score of 170 to 70. In the Utah Snow Cup, NAU beat Utah in the final game but Utah was awarded the trophy on point differential. Utah was running the tournament.

Utah Crimson Fliers. The experienced, two time Snow Cup Champions are marching into the Western Cup. They were one of 6 Western teams to make the trek to New York for the 5th World Cup and they played well until matching up against powerhouse Texas A&M, losing 130-0. Luckily for Utah, there are no powerhouses at the Western Cups, so if they can keep playing their game, maybe the Western Cup will be Utah's.

UCLA. The Bruins did the best of any Western team at the World Cup, going all the way the elite eight, losing 80-10 to eventual champions, Middlebury. Who knows, if UCLA hadn't had to play Middlebury, they could've ended up under the lights at Ichan Stadium.

USC. The Trojans will look to avenge that heart breaking loss to rivals UCLA in the World Cup and in the 2011 Western Cup Semifinals. Maybe this is the time USC can finally beat their crosstown tormentors.

California Berkely. Cal has the highest scoring offense in this Western Cup, scoring 88.3 points a game at the World Cup. A victory against ASU in the World Cup, could help boost the confidence of the Bears.

My prediction, is that the only one of the fore mentioned teams, that did not attend World Cup 5, will show they are a top notch Quidditch team. The NAU Narwals are a fast, clever team that used a cool, flying V play at the Snow Cup. If the other, older teams keep underestimating the Narwals, NAU will continue to be the best team in the West.

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