Only the Strongest Shall Survive

At this point in the season, most teams know if they’re going to the playoffs or not. The few teams with uncertain futures will still have to battle it out to lock their respective playoff spots, while the teams that are mathematically guaranteed to make it to the playoffs, can’t relax yet if they want to ensure they have the best possible seed. The last few weeks of the regular season have some of the most intense games, so hold onto your butts!

Universities of New York, Washington, McGill, and Cal Poly Pomona are all sitting pretty in their conference. The current standings may mix up a bit in the coming weeks when New York and Washington battle for first seed and McGill and Pomona battle for third seed. Keep in mind that University of Illinois and Case Western Reserve aren’t definitely out of the playoffs, but they’d have to seriously ramp up their play to have a chance against some of their opponents in the coming weeks.

Universities of Massachusetts and Toronto are still undefeated in series in this second half of the season, which likely won’t change until they play each other in the final week of regular games. UBC, Purdue, and Washington in St. Louis all have similar records, which is something I didn’t think I’d say of UBC, so those teams will have to watch out and make sure they aren’t elbowed out of the playoffs. In this next week, UMass will be playing Purdue and UBC will play St. Louis, best of luck to all of those teams!

Conference 6 is less contested than the previous two conferences we’ve looked at, but the teams are just as good. Marietta College and Lehigh University played each other in last week’s broadcast, and Marietta came out on top with a convincing 2-0 victory. It’s unlikely that McMaster or Marietta will move from their current spots, but this conference’s third and fourth positions are much less certain.

Conference 5 looks remarkably similar to it’s sister conference 6, and for all the same reasons. Johns Hopkins has already played all the toughest teams in this group, making it unlikely that they’ll move from their spot. UT Austin played Georgia Tech last week and defeated them 2-0 quite handily, but Georgia Tech were hardly playing at peak performance so there’s still a lot of fight in them yet. Carnegie Mellon could potentially muscle their way into top 4, but they’d have to defeat Johns Hopkins and Georgia Tech in the coming weeks to do it.

Moving on to conference 4 we see that University of Maryland is still undefeated, something that UC Berkeley will want to contest in this week’s Tuesday broadcast. Much like the first conference we looked at, this group could change dramatically in the coming weeks since the last matches for each of the teams in the top 4 look quite challenging. While I wouldn’t say it is impossible for Concordia University to secure a playoff spot--I’ve seen more remarkable turns in some of our own broadcasts this season--it is certainly a long shot.

Ah yes, my favorite conference. What? I’m allowed to have favorites! Because of the situation with University of Georgia, University of Victoria actually have a pretty decent shot at getting a playoff spot! If they show up for their games and give it their best shot, they could certainly make a shot at the void left by Georgia. Cornell and Rutgers are certainly going to stay in their current spots having played each other already, but I look forward to seeing which team lays claim to that fourth seed.

Only 2 weeks until UCLA and Stony Brook University finally face off against each other in their battle for the first seed, with the rest of the conference well behind them. École de Technologie Supérieure are still hurting after the loss of one of their main players, while University of Alberta hungrily eye their playoff seed. Stony Brook played Alberta in an crazy series last week, with Stony Brook coming out on top 2-1. That game 2 is one of the most remarkable comebacks I’ve seen in all my years watching CSL. Alberta’s last two series are against Trine University and Carleton University, while Supérieure’s only remaining series is against the undefeated UCLA. Don’t count out Carleton University either, they’re certainly not out of the running.

That brings us to the final conference with the undefeated Rochester. UC Davis is currently dealing with internal issues, so it’s hard to say where they’ll end up in the group. University of Michigan and Arizona State have similar records with UC Davis, which leaves the second to fourth seeds an uncertainty. Miami University and Universite de Montreal are not mathematically out of the playoffs, but it would certainly be a hard grind for them to even get a fourth seed at this point.

As always, the teams that know they are out--or at least think that they have no chance at making the playoffs--deserve the utmost respect for continuing to play their games. Many who play in our league are probably motivated by the prospect of money, but I hope having fun playing the game we all love is as much a motivator to show up each week. Best of luck to everyone playing in the next few weeks!


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