Sunday, November 9, 2014

Ohio State Captures Midwest Regional Championship

By Andy Marmer

Ohio State University took home its first Midwest Regional Championship with a 120*-60 victory over Bowling Green State University (BGSU). The Buckeyes proved themselves the region’s top team throughout the weekend, earning the top seed in pool play and running through the bracket with relative ease—playing just one snitch range game prior to the finals.

After a strong Saturday that saw Ohio State win each of its games outside of snitch range, Ohio State wasted little time Sunday in making a statement by knocking off Indiana University 270*-0 in the Round of 16. The quarterfinals were a tighter affair as Ohio State needed a snitch catch—its sixth of the weekend (Ohio State would catch in all eight of its games)—to knock off Blue Mountain Quidditch Club (BMQC) 110*-80. In the semifinals, Ohio State beat the University of Missouri in a rematch of its tightest pool play game 80*-0.

BGSU was similarly dominant in its run to the finals, knocking off Purdue University 110-80* in the Round of 16, the University of Minnesota 150*-60 in the quarterfinals, and Ball State University—resuming the team’s rivalry—190*-100. BGSU led 70-30 at the 18-minute mark of its Ball State contest and was able to keep the match outside of snitch range for the duration.

Missouri and Ball State were perhaps somewhat surprising semifinalists. Ball State has had a strong season, but many would have considered the University of Kansas the favorite in their quarterfinal matchup against seventh-seeded Ball State. Nonetheless, Ball State overcame Kansas 110*-80 after beating Marquette University 130*-60 in the Round of 16. Missouri entered bracket play as the No. 12 seed and needed a series of snitch catches to make the semifinals. It beat Southern Illinois University 110-50* in the play-in round, Central Michigan University 70*-60 in the Round of 16, and Michigan State University 160*-120 in the quarterfinals.

Ohio State earned the top seed after going undefeated in pool play, where it caught every snitch and won by a minimum of 70. Five other squads topped their pools with undefeated records: the University of Kansas, BGSU, the University of Michigan, Central Michigan, and the University of Minnesota. Each of those teams as well as Ball State University, Blue Mountain Quidditch Club, Miami University, Marquette University, and Grand Valley State University qualified for USQ World Cup 8 by virtue of their strong pool play performances.

Five remaining teams qualified for USQ World Cup 8 with victories in a play-in round. Indiana University knocked off the Crimson Warhawks 140*-50, the University of Missouri en route to a semifinals appearance beat Southern Illinois University 110-50*, Michigan State University took out TC Frost 150*-30, the Falcon Warriors defeated Ohio University 120*-80, and Purdue University grabbed a World Cup berth in a dramatic fashion 90^-50* win over Illinois State.

The final two World Cup bids were allocated in the consolation bracket with TC Frost defeating Southern Illinois 130*-70 and Ohio 70*-50 to earn a bid, while the Crimson Warhawks likewise earned a repeat bid with a 120*-60 win over Illinois State University. Illinois State will be the region’s first alternate after Ohio forfeited the consolation third-place game.

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