Thursday, November 8, 2012
West by Southwest Predictions
UCLA, NAU, and Texas are obviously the favorites this weekend in Albuquerque for the first West by Southwest Showcase. Regional mercenary teams from both regions will be interesting in analyzing player talents but until names of players are released, I can't predict how the Merc teams will pan out. Texas will eager to avenge its loss to Baylor and move back to the top of the rankings. So will UCLA. Texas has hopefully had a chance to recover from crippling injuries including beater Jacob Adlis suffered at the Diamond Cup. And if Adlis is healthy, he will be instrumental in fighting for Bludger control against UCLA's Asher Abramson. Abramson has a cannon and will fire from any spot on the pitch. A chasing core led by Missy Sponagle and Vanessa Goh will be a challenge to Texas, but I don't think that Missy and Vanessa can match the physicality of many Southwest teams. If UCLA can't dominate Bludger control, the games between UCLA and UT will not even be close. Augustine Monroe and Kody Marshall will run up the score while keeping the hoops guarded. NAU could also beat Texas. Eric Andres is the kind of power chaser seen in the Southwest. If tackles aren't executed properly, Andres could run through the Texas chasers. Fortunately for UT, tackling is one of their strengths and NAU isn't as deep as the other Southwest teams. Texas has more talent in my opinion. If a lucky snitch grab or talented Merc team can knock UT off, denying them their first tournament win of the year, I won't necessarily be surprised, but betting against Texas isn't smart right now.