WFTDA Announces 2012 Tournament Seeding
South Central Playoffs | October 5-7, Lincoln, NE | Host: No Coast
Tournament Bracket via WFTDA
It's 8 out of 10 return appearances in the South Central tournament, with 9SC Tallahassee and 10SC Jacksonville making postseason debuts as Gold Coast and the now-defunct Green Country do not return from the 2011 edition. As usual, the top seeds will be 1SC Texas and 2SC Kansas City, both heavy favorites to meet for the 4th straight year in the final -- although KCRW looks slightly more vulnerable than they have in the last couple of years.
Somewhat similar to the East rundown, the ordering in the middle looks very similar to last year with minor tweaks that will lead to slightly different paths. The opening round once again finds Omaha playing, though they've increased their fortunes a bit since entering at 10SC last year; this time, they're in the tournament's leadoff game, 8SC Omaha vs 9SC Tallahassee. Tallahassee dodged a real bullet in June, barely surviving a 181-177 win against Blue Ridge that might have ended their playoff hopes; on the other hand, Omaha actually did lose to another team that missed the playoffs, Mid-Iowa, by the exact same margin in a 186-182 game in May. It's fairly hard to call this one from their previous results, but it seems safe to say that the winner's tournament advancement will end in their next game against top seed Texas.
The other opening-round bout is 7SC No Coast vs 10SC Jacksonville. At the moment, No Coast is on an 8-0 roll, though mostly against sub-tournament-level competition. Jacksonville's year, though, has been mostly relatively close margins, both winning and losing, against the same level; they'll probably need a very good game here to land a first-round upset and get the reward of meeting 2SC Kansas City later on the opening day.
However, much like last year, it looks like any of the 3 through 6 seeds have a fighting chance of finishing third. The first semifinal will be 3SC Houston vs 6SC Atlanta -- a rematch of a quarterfinal last year that ended with Atlanta narrowing winning 133-117. Both have added some key players this year that have made them more dangerous, though, and on paper this one looks like an another tossup. Winner here gets KCRW in the semifinals, with an upset looking highly unlikely but slightly more conceivable than in other regions.
The 4/5 game, 4SC Tampa vs 5SC Nashville, puts Nashville in serious danger of missing the WFTDA Championships for the first time since 2009. Tampa scored a big win over Nashville earlier this season, 150-87, and since then Nashville has lost one of their primary weapons in jamming machine Ramb0 Samb0. While this game is unquestionably an uphill battle for Nashville, Tampa has shown themselves to occasionally be prone to upsets (notably against Cincinnati and Jet City).
Assuming that Texas and Kansas City do make it to the final, that leaves the 3rd place game with a number of permutations that could lead to a last-jam classic - or a huge blowout. Should Nashville face Atlanta, history highly favors Nashville, who badly smashed Atlanta in the third-place games of both the 2010 and 2011 playoffs … but the removal of Ramb0 from NRG and the addition of Wild Cherri for Atlanta will alter that dynamic. Should Houston face Tampa, it'll be a rematch of a 203-84 win for Houston early this year … in a game in which Tampa lost almost their entire jammer rotation to injury. And should Atlanta face Tampa, Tampa is a big favorite on paper following a 201-73 win in May … but Atlanta's roster additions since then, added to the fact that they'll be playing for the right to participate in the WFTDA Championships they're hosting in November, could be enough to turn it around.