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September 21 Analysis - Brawl of America Edition

In what will probably be considered the most unpredictable region with the most upsets, the Derbytron Rankings only missed on one game (the first round matchup between Brewcity (#24, 5-4) and North Star (#20, 5-3)). With so many tight games, this could be completely chalked up to luck so we'll probably have to wait until after nationals to really see how well the rankings turn out. Anyway, onto how the teams finished.

North Central Champion - Windy City (NC1 at nationals): Windy City (#3, 9-1) had an incredible tournament to become the first ever North Central Champions. They defeated Minnesota (#29, 4-3) 155-25, Cincinnati (#15, 9-4) 163-36, and Madison (#9, 7-2) 150-56 on their way to the championship. That's right, their average margin of victory was a ridiculous 117. As we begin to inch closer to the national tournament, certain teams are really starting to seperate themselves from the rest of the pack. Gotham (#2, 6-1) and Windy City both lost to Philly (#1, 9-1) by one point while Texas (#4, 6-1) lost to Gotham by eight. So, the difference between 1st and 4th in the country right now is just nine points with Oly (#5, 5-0) and Denver (#6, 6-1) being a couple wild cards as neither have matched up with the top teams of a region outside of the West. Kansas City (#8, 6-2) and Rose City (#11, 4-1) also have an opportunity to put themselves in this group.

North Central Runner-Up - Madison (NC2 at nationals): Madison has to be happy with the way they played throughout the tournament to secure a 2-seed in their first ever trip to nationals. In the second round, they dominated Brewcity 199-56 and then beat 2-seed Detroit (#13, 7-4) 107-95. The championship was a different story as they allowed Windy City to score 150 points while only managing 56 of their own. Madison will face the 3-seed from the East, Boston (#12, 9-8), in the first round of nationals for an opportunity to face the 1-seed from the South Central. Madison lost to Boston by two points in a consolation game in last year's Eastern regionals.

3rd Place - Detroit (NC3 at nationals): Detroit secured their trip to nationals in what was a close game with Cincinnati even if it didn't show it on the scoreboard. Detroit put two massive jams on the board in the first half, a 20-0 and 30-0, which accounted for almost all of the final scoring margin, 126-62. In earlier action, they beat Burning River (#30, 3-5) 138-44 and lost to Madison 107-95. This will be Detroit's second trip to nationals where they'll face the 2-seed from the East, Gotham. Detroit competed in the 2007 Texas Shootout and lost in the first round to eventual runner-up, Rat City (#10, 4-5), 160-50.

4th Place - Cincinnati: The 4-seed Cincinnati was one of the few teams in the North Central that played to their seed. They won a tight one in their first game over Arch Rival (#18, 6-7) 94-86. They lost their last two games, however, dropping one to Windy City 163-36 and Detroit 126-62.

5th Place - North Star: In an interesting function of the tournament structure, North Star finished ahead of Brewcity despite their first round loss to the Bruisers 140-113. They went on to defeat the tournament hosts and cross-town rivals Minnesota 76-61 in their first ever meeting and then beat Arch Rival in the 5th place game 85-43.

6th Place - Arch Rival: The St. Louis all-stars probably didn't come away from St. Paul with the finish they had hoped for. Arch Rival lost a close one in the first game to Cincinnati 94-86 to knock them out of nationals contention. They then defeated Grand Raggidy (#34, 3-8) 141-26 but lost to North Star in their final game 85-43.

7th Place - Brewcity: Brewcity has to be happy with their tournament, finishing two spots higher than where they were seeded even if I am a little perplexed about how they got there. The Bruisers defeated the eventual 5th place North Star by a score of 140-113 in the first round. They then lost to Madison 199-56 but beat Burning River 126-116 to earn 7th place. What's interesting is that Brewcity beat the 5th place finisher, the 8th place finisher, and lost to the 2nd place finisher but ended up in 7th place. Either way, Brewcity is on the rise and will be a force to compete for a nationals spot next season.

8th Place - Burning River: This Cleveland team had to impress the rest of the country with the way they played this weekend. Entering the tournament, they were the 10-seed but ended that nonsense by defeating the 7-seed Grand Raggidy 130-66 in the first round. In the second round, they lost to Detroit 138-44 and then fell to Brewcity in a heartbreaking 126-116 loss. Cleveland led for the entire game before the Milwaukee crew tied it at the end of regulation only to gain their first lead in overtime and win 7th place.

9th Place - Minnesota: The host team struggled through their games on their home floor. In an unfortunate draw, they faced Windy City in the first round and lost 155-25 and then fell to the girls from the other side of town, North Star, 76-61. They did finish on a high note, however, with a win in the 9th place game over Grand Raggidy 91-75.

10th Place - Grand Raggidy: The 7-seed did not have their best tournament this time around as they were unable to come up with a win. Grand Raggidy lost to Burning River 130-66, Arch Rival 141-26, and Minnesota 91-75.

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