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September 14 Analysis - Wicked Wheels of the East Edition

No analysis or East Preview last week because of Labor Day/illness/busyness. Needless to say, that's not a recipe for a lot of blog posts. Anyway, let's get to the east.

East Champion - Philly (E1 in national tournament): Philly (#2, 9-1) finished off their best ever regional run with an amazing back-and-forth game with the reining East champs, Gotham (#1, 6-1). In what will go down as a classic in modern roller derby, the Liberty Belles won 90-89 to end Gotham's 18-game winning streak that was just 16 days shy of spanning two years. Gotham was ranked ahead of Philly entering this game, but interestingly, if I take away the 75-point Charm City (#9, 12-5) win over Philly from August 22, Philly would have been the higher ranked team going into this game. The reason that that is a credible thought is the 149-74 Philly win over Charm City in regionals almost certainly proves that the Philly team minus six of their top players that played in August is not the same as their 14-player A-team roster. So, from a human perspective, I can see how the August game is meaningless but from a mathematical rankings perspective, it's hard to take away that game without taking away any game that teams play without full rosters. Philly also defeated Steel City (#15, 9-3) in quarterfinal action 219-50.

East Runner-Up - Gotham (E2 in national tournament): From Gotham's perspective, the Philly game could become the same wake-up call that they used last year to become the national champs. In last year's Eastern Regionals, Philly came within five points of defeating the NYC girls which set in motion Gotham's national tournament run which included a 137-point whipping of those same Liberty Belles. The wrench in this scenario, however, is that the setting for this year's national championship will be Philadelphia where those Philly girls have only lost two games since 2006. Gotham also beat Boston (#13, 8-8) 154-53 in the semis and Providence (#28, 4-4) 181-25 in the quarters.

3rd Place - Boston (E3 in national tournament): The third place game saw a rematch of of a game that happened in late march in Boston where Charm City won 89-77. This time, however, the Massacre won 156-142 in a game that saw big runs by both teams and included a 71-point lead for Boston at one point in the second half but the story of this one was Boston finally making Nationals after years of disappointments. In 2008, it was a 2-point loss to Carolina (#24, 3-7) at Derby in Dairyland. In 2007, it was a 5-point loss to Detroit (#12, 5-3) at Heartland Havoc. At nationals, Boston will face the #2 seed from the North Central which if teams play to seed in that region, would be a rematch with Detroit. Boston lost to Gotham 154-53 and beat Carolina (after losing their last two matchups with this team by a combined three points) 112-40.

4th Place - Charm City: This year's Eastern Regionals for Charm City can probably be summed up with injuries. Baltimore's captains and two of their top jammers, Joy Collision and Flo Shizzle, both went down with knee injuries. Charm City lost to both Philly 149-74 and Boston 156-142 in the play-in games to nationals after a season that seemed completely set up for a long tournament run playing seemingly every top team in the country sometimes two on the same night. Charm didn't come away completely empty-handed, though, with a second round win over DC (#43, 4-5) 213-28.

5th Place - Carolina: The host team played to seed and beat what was then #16 Providence in the 5th place consolation game 125-73. They also beat Dominion (#62, 0-8) 252-44 but lost in the second round to Boston 112-40 which knocked them out of the nationals hunt.

6th Place - Providence: In what was an unfortunate quarterfinal matchup, Providence had to face #1 seed Gotham right out of the gate which took them out of nationals contention immediately after a 185-25 loss. The Rhode Island Riveters followed that up, though, with a 142-57 win over Connecticut (#48, 3-6) but lost to Carolina 125-73 in the 5th place game.

7th Place - Steel City: Unfortunately for Steel City, they only had one opportunity to beat a team seeded higher but that team just happened to be the region champs in Philly. They lost that game 219-50 after winning their first round matchup with Dominion 237-30 earlier in the day. In the 7th place game, the Pittsburgh team proved their seeded by beating DC 222-56. Considering Steel City is ranked #15 and higher than Carolina and Providence, there could have been fantastic games against either of those teams.

8th Place - DC: DC won their first round matchup with Connecticut 139-70 only to be steamrolled in the second round by Charm City 213-28. They dropped the 7th place game to Steel City 222-56.

9th Place - Connecticut: Connecticut lost their first two games to DC 139-70 and Providence 142-57 but bounced back on the last day of the tournament to defeat Dominion 156-57 in the 9th place game.

10th Place - Dominion: After four leagues turned down their invitation or were ineligable, the Dominion Derby Girls got their chance to play at regionals and they took it. They were unable to pick up a win, though, with tough losses to Steel City 237-30, Carolina 252-44, and Connecticut 156-57.

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