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Octobe 5 Analysis - Derby on the Rocks Edition

While the Western Region may have been the hardest to predict (4 incorrect Derbytron predictions, most of any region), it seems like the reasons for this may be pretty simple. Entering the tournament, everyone was worried about the altitude, the evenness of the teams, the low number of games the teams have played against each other, etc. Really, though, the simple answer seems to be the transfer of DeRanged, Psycho Babble, and Ecko from Pikes Peak (#40, 4-7) to Rocky Mountain (#13, 5-4). 100% of the four missed predictions are due to either a Rocky Mountain win or a Pikes Peak loss. There can't be any question for those that watched the Denver (#5, 8-2)/Rocky Mountain game that DeRanged and Psycho Babble had an impact in a major way. Psycho Babble was a beast in the pack but DeRanged came through when Rocky Mountain needed it. Denver was extending its lead towards the end of the first half, taking it to 23 points, when DeRanged turned a power jam into 25 points and a RMRG lead. With three minutes left in the game, it was 107-100 Denver, and DeRanged had another power jam, this one for 18 points giving Rocky Mountain the lead for good. Could Rocky Mountain have won that game without DeRanged on the jammer line? I'm not sure.

Western Champion - Oly (W1 in national tournament): The Olympia squad were the clear winners of this tournament with their closest win being 37 points. Despite winning the tournament, Oly (#7, 8-0) sort of took a backseat to runner-up Rocky Mountain as the hometown team went from 8-seed to second place. When it comes to nationals, Oly should not be ignored, however, this is a team that could cause some major damage and make a deep run. They will play the winner of Gotham (#1, 6-1)/Detroit (#12, 7-4) (I think the entire derby world is collectively salivating over a probable Oly/Gotham matchup in the second round). Oly defeated the 6-seed Duke City (#21, 4-8) 165-92, Rat City (#14, 5-7) 127-90, and Rocky Mountain 119-64.

Western Runner-Up - Rocky Mountain (W2 in national tournament): The surprise team of regional tournament season and by far the lowest seeded team to make nationals is Rocky Mountain. Boston (#10, 9-8) is the only other non-top 3 seed to make nationals as they were seeded 5th. The 8-seed dominated their first round matchup with Tucson (#44, 2-4) 319-27. Later that night, they took down 3-seed Rose City (#11, 5-2) 101-77. In the semifinals, the Rock defeated cross-town rivals Denver, in their first ever meeting, 122-107. And, finally, in the finals, they lost 119-64 to Oly. Rocky Mountain will play Houston in the first round of nationals for the opportunity to play Philly.

3rd Place - Denver (W3 in national tournament): The co-hosts will be going to nationals and that's what matters. Sure, they lost their first ever meeting to their rival. Sure, they didn't play up to their seed. Sure, Derbytron picked them to win. But, at the end of the day, Denver is in the national tournament and for all intents and purposes, everyone's record has been set back to 0-0. Denver will play Kansas City in the first round with the winner moving on to play Windy City. Denver and Kansas City met twice in 2008, both games going to KC by scores of 150-80 and 132-90 but this is a completely different Mile High Club. Denver won 307-32 over Angel City (#46, 4-4), lost to Rocky Mountain 122-107, and beat Rat City 172-94.

4th Place - Rat City: Rat City will not be playing in nationals for the first time in their history, losing in the championship in 2007 to Kansas City and getting knocked out in the first round by Windy City last year. The Seattle team is a clear example of how the power has shifted in the west, from veteran teams like Rat City and Bay Area to teams like Oly and Denver. Rat beat the BAD Girls in Friday action 115-103. They dropped their last two, though, to Oly 127-90 and Denver 172-94.

5th Place - Bay Area: Bay Area earned fifth place with wins over Pikes Peak 242-78 and Duke City 105-103. After a strong end to the regulation, the San Francisco squad may have been looking for more but their hopes were squashed early after a loss to Rat City 115-103.

6th Place - Duke City: Albuquerque played well giving some higher ranked teams a run for their money. The Munecas Muertas lost to Oly 165-92, beat Tucson 142-62, but lost to Bay Area 105-103 after leading for most of the day.

7th Place - Rose City: Portland failed to make nationals for the third time despite being a derby powerhouse throughout their history. They lost in upset fashion to Rocky Mountain 101-77 to become the only top 3 seed to lose on the first day of the tournament. After that, they went on to beat Angel City 241-42.

8th Place - Angel City: The 10-seed played up after a first round win over 7-seed Pikes Peak 86-67 which guaranteed at least 8th place. They struggled against Denver, though, later that night losing 307-32 and then lost to Rose City 241-42 in the 7th place game.

9th Place - Tucson: The Saddletramps may have waited until Sunday to pick up their first win but they made it count winning 185-91 over Pikes Peak in the 9th place game. Earlier, they lost 319-27 to Rocky Mountain and 142-62 to Duke City.

10th Place - Pikes Peak: Pikes Peak may be missing their three transfers after coming away winless from Western Regionals. They lost 86-67 to Angel City, 242-78 to Bay Area, and 185-91 to Tucson.

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