ICT predictions for 2006?

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suds1000
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ICT predictions for 2006?

Post by suds1000 »

While I found Westbrook's comments amusing, I was actually curious to know if people had any real predictions for this year's ICT. Or, if you have your team's roster for ICT or ACF Nationals, we'd like to hear it. This will of course be altered after bids and such are released, but tell us if you know now.

Illinois' ICT and ACF nationals teams will likely consist of the same four players: myself (Sudheer Potru), Mike Sorice, Kelly Tourdot, and Tom Phillips. Our Division II squad will hopefully qualify, but I'll refrain from saying anything until they actually do.

The strength of the ICT field will be much weaker this year, as most of the top finishers last year have lost significant contributors. Here's what I've heard, and my predictions because of each.

Rochester:

The loss of Elsner to Brown (and Bush to the real world, according to my sources) puts them out of contention...I haven't seen Arsenoff play much, so I don't know if he's good enough to lead an UG team. Someone more knowledgeable can comment on that.

Stanford:

Good team, with a solid leader in Eric Smith. Their statistics at the ICT last year, however, indicate to me that they finished higher than they were supposed to. Granted, it was a two-man team, but this year, one of those men (Raut) attends USC (hey, maybe he can play alongside the greatest player of all time, Paul Harold...yeah, about that). Anyway, I think a Smith-led Stanford team will probably crack the top bracket, and maybe even the top five with some clutch play.

Michigan:

This team is the one that has really taken the hit. Berdichevsky, Lafer, and Wolpert have moved on to different schools or the real world, which leaves only Kemezis from last year's double-championship team. This would be all right, especially given Kemezis' disgusting(ly awesome) NAQT abilities and the fact that they have another very solid player in Ryan Westbrook, except that the grinding of the rumor mill has informed me that neither of those two will be playing ICT. Someone please correct me if this is wrong.

I respect Rappaport and especially Turner as rising stars, but they just don't have the firepower to do anything significant in Division I.

Berkeley:

I haven't heard from the Berkeley team in a while, but the loss of their best player, Jerry Vinokurov, hurts a lot. Even if Lujan, Farris, and Easwaran make the trip out to Maryland (which I suspect they might not), they won't crack the top bracket. Unless, of course, Jeff Hoppes decides he loves quizbowl again...he alone is enough to guarantee Berkeley a top five finish, especially in this weakened field. Otherwise, though, I don't see them doing any damage.

Florida:

The fact that Kevin Comer is no longer available to play and that Raj Dhuwalia is almost completely retired means that Florida is also out of contention. I'm not even sure if they'll qualify, although they could prove me wrong in that regard. All I know is that I'm completely willing to write a packet to read to them, Weiner, and Georgia, just for the sheer entertainment.

VCU:

Speaking of Matt Weiner, I'd actually put a fair amount of money on him to (at the very least) make the top five and win the undergrad title again if he's still eligible.

Princeton:

A team featuring Kostovetsky, Boyd-Graber, and Benediktson will certainly be competitive, and one could add Frankel in (I believe he's returned to school this semester) if he wants to play. In short, the best team Princeton could field would make a serious run at the championship. But something tells me that this won't be the case...they'll make top bracket regardless.

Brown:

Vinokurov stands out as one of the best players on the East Coast. If he can get Elsner to come with him, this team will do significant damage, maybe even finishing top three. This game should be a good one.

Yale:

Mike Wehrman is a dangerous player, as always, and Yale has made the top bracket at the ICT for the last two years. Look for them to be there again, although I don't know how much damage they'll do.

Harvard:

Brito and Kelly (if they're still around) are good enough to make second bracket at ICT, and this team will be pretty good. I don't know if their team will be UG or not, but if so they'll put up a strong run.

Carleton:

As far as I can tell, this team retains most of its firepower, and is the favorite to win the UG title if Weiner isn't eligible. I expect that they'll have strong competition from Chicago's B team, though.

Chicago:

These guys are very strong as usual, with an A team featuring Teitler, Koo, and Ferrari. A top five finish is almost assured for this Chicago team, but it doesn't seem like they have the humanities strength to go all the way now that they've lost Yaphe to editorship.

In addition, I should note here that Chicago's B team will probably make it to the UG final, and with some clutch play will win it. Much of their team remains from the squad that won the Division II ICT last year, and adding Kirkpatrick or Sun to that squad strengthens it significantly.

Illinois:

With each of three teams that finished above it at the ICT last year severely weakened, I'm not shy about saying that UIUC probably has the best shot at the championship. Although they will lose Ricci, Tourdot and Phillips add a significant amount of history and visual arts knowledge, along with the trash and current events that are so crucial to success on the NAQT format. As long as this team can avoid the Illinois tradition of "going in the tank" when the games actually matter, they should be able to do well.

I'll probably edit this list and add more comments after Sectionals and ACF Regionals to reflect performances, but for the moment my predictions for the top eight teams at the ICT are as follows, if they bring their biggest guns:

1. Illinois
2. Princeton
3. Chicago A
4. Berkeley
5. Brown
6. VCU
7. Stanford
8. Yale

Oh, and Carleton will win the UG title.

I'd like to hear other people's predictions as well, and your agreements or disagreements.

--Sudheer
Last edited by suds1000 on Thu Feb 02, 2006 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Mr. Kwalter »

I'll be conducting a poll (hopefully a more successful one than the last attempt), probably separate polls for ACF Nats and ICT, after regs/SCT week. It seems to me that predictions will be easier to make then.

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Post by Matt Weiner »

If we make predictions now it looks more impressive if we're right.

Some facts and opinions:

I am no longer undergraduate-eligible. I think Harvard will edge out Carleton in that race although it could easily go the other way, especially if Harvard follows their longstanding tradition of never sending their best four players to the same tournament at the same time.

Neither Adam Kemezis nor Ryan Westbrook are playing ICT for Michigan this year, for different reasons. Chris Frankel will probably be playing for Princeton. Florida and Berkeley will be missing their high scorers from last year, but Fred will show up for Rochester.

My opinion: It's a two-team race between Illinois and Chicago for the title. Princeton would be a contender if this were ACF, but it isn't. As far as the other five playoff teams go, I am predicting, in alphabetical order, South Florida, Stanford, UCLA, VCU, and Yale.
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Post by grapesmoker »

My take on the whole situation:

I agree with Sudheer that the field will be weaker this year, but I disagree with his rankings for several reasons.

First, I know Eric Smith (Stanford). He's an excellent player but I find it unlikely that he could drive his team to a high place solo. Remember, the breakdown between him and Yogesh at last year's ICT was something like 60 PPG for Eric and 40 for Yogesh. With Yogesh gone, if no one of his quality replaces him, I don't think Stanford will crack the top 5.

Regarding Michigan, as far as I know Ryan Westbrook is not eligible to play. If Kemezis plays, I predict they will finish in the top 3; if not, a top 5 finish is possible but not guaranteed.

Berkeley: Ok, I have some inside info here which suggests that Berkeley will not attend ICT this year. I may be wrong about this; it's based on some correspondence earlier this year and things might have changed. I should point out that it is incredibly unlikely that either Kenny Easwaran or David Farris would go even if Berkeley sent a team. David in particular tends to attend national tournaments only when they are held in exotic locations which he has yet to visit (hence his trip out to New Orleans last year). Kenny is almost certainly retired from anything but local play. Paul Lujan (who can speak for himself) is a likely candidate for an ICT team if Berkeley send one, but my thinking is that even if they do, they will not break the top 5.

VCU: I think Matt will finish in the top 5. His strength should be obvious to everyone. I think he would struggle against teams with a broad knowledge base, but he's more than good enough to take on most comers.

Princeton: If Frankel plays, their odds improve substantially. I have a hard time seeing a team without Chris being very competitive; top 10 at best. With Chris, their chances improve but I still don't see them as serious challengers.

Yale: Mike Wehrman can be a beast on NAQT questions, particularly because he's so fast. Yale has a serious shot at a top 3 finish this year and may even be title contenders.

Harvard: Paco and Frank are both very good players; they are a balanced team with lots of knowledge and are going to be very dangerous. However, they are sometimes inconsistent and that makes it difficult to predict where they'll finish.

Illinois: Sudheer creamed my Berkeley team at ICT last year. I predict that they will win it this year outright.

Chicago: Will finish a close second to Illinois. Seth, Selene, and Susan represent quite a broad base of knowledge, although lack of a dedicated humanities person (which may be remedied by Ed Cohn's presence) can hurt them on harder playoff questions.

Finally, my team, Brown: A lot depends on circumstances for us. If Micha can make it to ICT, I fancy our chances of a top-5 finish, but probably not better than that. We have some promising freshmen who will be very good in two years' time, but this is not our year. Add to that the fact that I'm old and slow and that the NAQT format does not favor me at all with its emphasis on speed.
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Post by yoda4554 »

While, on the right packet, particularly NAQT, Mike can take down anyone, I think you guys are overrating Yale. If they stick with Mike, Andrew, Brett, and Peter as their A-Team, they're a little better than last year... but I feel like their finishes at Regionals and Nationals last year were higher than their stats indicated they should have ended up, as they tended to play their best games in key standings-related situations. I don't think they can win against very good teams when Mike's having an off game. Harvard's been consistently better than Yale this year-- Frank and Paco playing as a two-man team won ACF Fall in our region with Yale (presumably) at full strength. With Will Rooke and Jim Davis (or, frankly, any of a handful of possible pairs of solid players Harvard has), I think they're unquestionably the best team in the Northeast on any format. Possibly excepting, that is, a Jerry-Micah Brown team, but I haven't seen them playing together this year. Granted, I think for the average NAQT tournament Jerry or Mike's best game of the day would be good enough to beat them (or just about anyone, for that matter, looking at the stats from last year's Nats), but I would expect a full Harvard A to win a clear majority of games played against Yale or an Elsner-less Brown. I would also expect them in the top 8; didn't they come a tossup away from the top bracket last year short-handed?

Also, Harvard's freshmen are pretty damn good; they've owned my teams in pretty much every game I've played against them. I wouldn't be surprised to see them take DII if they come at full strength.

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Post by Rothlover »

On the Harvard discussion, a few points. Harvard's presumable A team (Frank, Paco, Will, Jim) was on display at the Illinois open mirror. On this set, they put up a BC that was up there with all but the top two teams in the actual IO field I believe. I am also fairly sure they are all UG (don't recall their program having a grad student since this old female lit student like 2-3 years back). Assuming Harvard has at least 2 of its 4 starters, and then 2 of its crop of solid 3/4 chairs (E. Nielsen erectus for example), I would call them the lock for the UG title, which is not to be hard on Carleton, as they clearly showed good skills last year, but Harvard is a balanced team with a lot of deep knowlege and it seems like they have cut down on the negs a bit this year. As far as their freshman go, the only chances I've had to play them were at WIT and Bonspiel, and we (or me in the case of Bonspiel) were 3-1 against them, which makes me wonder what the difficulty level of D2 ICT questions are, as I have not seen them since freshman year. Based on what I saw of them at ACF Fall (and knowing that they have a TJ dude) and on some of the WIT packets, I would think they are the favorites for D2 at this point (I actually think they might have like 2 teams of D2 elligible players). They had both speed and knowlege, which seem to help. Yale also had a pretty strong freshman team at Fall, so they could be someone to watch.

On a national level, I would echo the pick of Illinois for the title. First Sudheer gets the powers, then sorice gets the money, and I'd imagine somewhere in there someone will get the women. I also think they will probably play Chicago, what with them having the best active player now, and more science than one can shake a stick at. Weiner will certainly be up there as well.

As for Stanford/Yale etc., the exodus/moving of players seems to have made a lot of programs essentially one person+ teams. Obviously others contribute on these teams, and will be the difference in many matches, but this year should see a lot of teams where one player scores the majority of his team's tu points. I would imagine the standing of teams like this, such as Stanford (is Kevin playing D1?) Yale, Brown sans Micah will be largely dependant on how said player is feeling that day. At least one of these teams will be in the top bracket, and they all can probably do some crazy shit on the right packet, but with the variability of bracketing and all, lots of spaces could seperate these three teams ultimately.
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Post by grapesmoker »

Micha and I will be playing together at ACF Regionals this weekend, and we played together at the Technophobia mirror at Rutgers-Newark; I'm happy that we have very little overlap between the two of us.

The thing to remember about Harvard is that in the IO mirror they didn't face any of the top teams. No offense to anyone else who was there, but I don't think Harvard had much competition at IO. Furthermore, IO stats would tell you more about how a team might do at ACF Nationals than ICT, which tends to have questions easier than IO. For what it's worth, I believe my team has played two games against Paco and Frank this year and we lost both games by one tossup.

Another team that I forgot to mention is Williams. They are a very well-balanced team that may struggle somewhat on harder questions but can definitely make their way into the top 10 at ICT, based on my experience against them.
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Post by ValenciaQBowl »

From the Nobody Here Really Cares Dept: Valencia is a strong contender for the CC ICT title again after finishing fourth last year, despite an RR win over the eventual champion Faulkner State. Bevill-Jasper from Alabama and Broward from Florida are also strong, I hear. And of course Faulkner expects to win again, I'm sure.

In the meantime, Valencia's best player, Sean Platzer, has recently picked up a two-volume history of the Balkans, so he's ready to snap up any toss-ups on John Zyzka or Prokop the Great, so look out. Place your bets!

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Post by Captain Sinico »

The thing that jumped-out at me about Harvard's performance on those IO questions (and it did jump-out quite a bit) was their bonus conversion, which should be relatively field-independent (in fact, a weaker field should lend more credability to that stat, since the sample size, i.e. number of questions they got, will be larger if the opposition is weaker.) I think a conversion rate like that on those questions is indicative of some depth of knowledge useful to all formats. I thus think Harvard's probably pretty underrated.

MaS

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Post by geekjohnson »

Hey Chris, here's a guy that cares on the CC side. Trust me, Bevill-Jasper is indeed strong this year. We've played each other 5 times with us winning 3 while losing the other 2. Out of our AL CC tournaments we have won 3 and they have won 2. But Snead State in AL is also very strong. Luck to you guys in your sectionals, as I sincerely hope that we (FSC and VCC) can have another go at each other. Well, let's all go make some sacrifices to the college bowl gods and not commit hubris!

Also, does anyone have an idea about the CC teams in Cali.? They hot an automatic bid for ICT this year, but they have not had the first NAQT tournament. Unless they send a strong team, I anticipate the CC title coming down to the same old same old, Alabama vs. Florida, with the series currently 3-1 FL's way. Gotta love Chris and his damn dynasty machine.

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Post by vandyhawk »

I'd say the odds of a southeastern team making the top bracket are fairly slim. As far as I know, most or all of Florida's team from last year is gone (UF people can confirm or deny that), we should be stronger than last year (16th place) but perhaps not quite top bracket yet, and I don't know who South Florida still does or doesn't have since NAQT seems to be about all they really do. Sectionals should be interesting - not sure we'll be at completely full strength, and I'm interested to see who makes it to the tourney from Florida, USF, and South Carolina. We haven't lost a match yet this year, but we also haven't made it outside the region, and we're a little better with ACF than NAQT.

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Post by MCDoug »

Someone can check the stats if they want to, but I believe the two top scorers from the Florida team last year will not be on the team this year--Kevin and John Allen. Also, our team for SCT is probably going to be quite different than our team at ICT, if we even make ICT.

I would not be surprise if USF and/or Vandy make the top bracket at ICT. As far as I know, USF's team should be the same as last year. And, correct me if I'm wrong, but I dont think Vandy has lost a match yet this year, although they do play in the "easy" region.

I havent really heard anyone weigh in on the Div II title, but I think FSU will do quite well. Hopefully, Florida will have a strong showing also.

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Post by Dan Boylan »

A few uninformed comments:

UCLA is definitely a good playoff pick. I think their starting four might be Charles Meigs, Ray Luo, Erik Nielsen and Dwight Wynne. Not bad at all, especially considering how many "one man teams" are having their names tossed around. I think they may end up placing pretty highly.

Speaking of one-man-teams, though, there is a real difference between a one-man team and a team with a dominant scorer. I suspect the Stanford club has enough talent for Eric Smith to find three teammates who, combined, provide equal or better support than Yogesh alone (which is, of course, much a much different concept from Eric playing solo). I don't know if this is enough for Stanford to place as well as last year, though.

Is Vik Vaz going to be a recurring member of the Texas team? If so, they'll probably do some damage at ICT.

Also, what about Virginia? Aren't they a bunch of pretty solid undergrad players, plus Leo from Michigan? Maybe there's some potential there.

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Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

Matt Weiner wrote: Neither Adam Kemezis nor Ryan Westbrook are playing ICT for Michigan this year, for different reasons.
If this is true, then Michigan should not be discounted for the UG title.
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Post by fjkelly6112 »

Hey everyone, thought I'd weigh in.

When it comes to our chances at ICT, I'm not sure what kind of showing we'll have. I'm pretty sure the team will be myself, Paco, Jim, and Will, making it the strongest nationals team we've fielded since Vik Vaz was on our team. If there's anything "underrated" about our team, it's Paco's abilities. He can be incredibly fast when he's having a good game, and his depth of knowledge in literature and that intellectual history crap is probably second only to Andrew and a couple others. His depth (and Will's in history) is probably the reason we did so well on bonus conversion at the IO mirror.

So back to the point, given our recent performance at national tournaments, I'll consider it a victory if we get top 5 at ICT (meaning 5th place). Now that Matt's not an undergrad, I think we'll probably have a good chance of winning that title, too.

In the northeast, I think Yale will be about as competitive as they always are, and Brown will probably win a lot more than people think.


With ACF I think we'll be much more competitive. In general we do much better on harder questions, although there's a chance Paco might not be able to make it to that one on account of his thesis. A team of me, Will, Jim, and one of our zealous freshmen would probably do pretty well there if we put in some work beforehand. If we have a good day, I don't think 6th place or so is out of the question.


This weekend at ACF Regionals I'll get to see what looks to be the strongest team of freshmen that we've fielded all year. It was pretty astounding to see how acclimated these guys were to college level quiz bowl they when they started this year. I will be surprised if anybody is able to beat them in Div II at ICT, particularly if they put in some hard work in the next couple of months. But you never know, maybe some freshmen studs at Michigan or Chicago or some CC team might end up winning that.



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Post by barnacles »

I've got a feeling UTC will probably make the most money at ICT.

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Post by AndySaunders »

fjkelly6112 wrote:But you never know, maybe some freshmen studs at Michigan or Chicago or some CC team might end up winning that.

-Frank
I'm not sure who Michigan sent out to Rochester in September, but losing 330-155 to a one-person (Canadian) team at that tournament doesn't bode too well for them, I think...

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Post by jazzerpoet »

Concerning the Southwest region, here is my take...

Texas - Austin
They should make some noise at both NAQT ICT and ACF Nationals, should they choose to attend either or both of those tournaments. I think that it is safe to say that Texas was the strongest team at Division II Nationals last year not to make it to the top bracket. They are pretty solid in all the major academic subjects, although if they do have one weakness in NAQT, it has to be Trash questions. Moreover, I think that they could probably finish in the Top 3 in DI UG. If they added Vik Vaz (whom I have never played nor met in my life, but I hear that he is really good), they could finish in the top bracket at ICT.

Oklahoma State
I think that if they can qualify for Nationals and actually afford to fly up there, they could be a surprise pick for the top bracket in DII. Their "A" team has played together for four years now, so in terms of chemistry, it would be hard to surpass them. And in NAQT format, they seem to be fairly balanced.

Harding
One can only assume that Jason Loy has gotten better with an additional year of seasoning. They have only played in two tournaments all year, but they fared well in both of them. Jason has a solid core around him, although if Amanda Brown has graduated/left the team, they will be without a solid number two player. Look for them to be in the second bracket and Top 5 in DI UG.

Oklahoma
I think that they will qualify for NAQT ICT. Whether or not they actually attend is beyond me. They have solid teams in both DI and DII. Jeremy Hixson is an underrated player in this region. He has consistently been a top 2-3 scorer at every tournament he has played in this year, from NAQT IS questions to ACF Fall to our (Tulsa) BOB mirror. I really think that writing packets for both OU's Sword Bowl mirror and both of their Hybrid tournaments has expanded his knowledge immensely, which of course goes to show what writing questions can do to one's skills. Their DII team is also one of the strongest in the region, especially if they ever put their best players onto one team, instead of splitting them up.

WUSTL
Coming off of a Top 4 finish at Division II Nationals last year, they are even better this year. Andrew Brantley is extremely good; couple his natural talent with his familiarity with NAQT (he was a member of St. John's HSNCT championship team a few years back), and that makes for a fast and accurate player. I think that they will finish somewhere in the second bracket and Top 4 in DI UG.

Lastly, I think that it should be noted that the Southwest region never gets any love, even though we did have four of the top nine teams in DII last year, including Harding at 3rd, WUSTL at 4th, and us (Tulsa) at 7th in a tie with Yale. Though we may be spread out geographically, the talent at the top can compete with any other region, and there is quite a bit of parity among the middle-tier teams, as well.

Enough rambling for now. I have to play at ACF Regionals later today.

Cheers!
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Post by csrjjsmp »

Berkeley isn't planning on going to ICT this year, and I don't think that's very likely to change.
I played with Kevin (I forget his last name) in high school; he is a freshman at Stanford this year, and played at ACF Fall. He is a very good player. Nico as well, though I'm not sure of his status.

Edit: Never mind, Jeff had been abroad for fall semester only.
Last edited by csrjjsmp on Wed Feb 08, 2006 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by recfreq »

Stanford's Kevin is ridiculously deep in some categories, and so is Frank; if Nico, Sylvia, or someone else join that group, they'll have a great shot at the DII title, if that's what they choose to do. UCLA will likely (and should, IMO) send an all undergrad team headed by Charles and Dwight (I believe Eric is no longer involved).

Some what random prognostication off the top (5) of my head (no particular order): Chicago, Illinois, Brown, VCU, Princeton.
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Post by rylltraka »

I'd say, under current circumstances, that the ICT at Berkeley's fairly wide-open in all divisions this year. Div II-wise, I recall Caltech having some very promising (if grating) new additions, which, combined with the aforementioned Stanford team (if they're coming), and whatever UCLA and ourselves cobble together, could be quite competitive.

As for Div. I, I predict nothing specific, as it's chaotic to me.

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Post by jonpin »

jazzerpoet wrote: WUSTL
Coming off of a Top 4 finish at Division II Nationals last year, they are even better this year. Andrew Brantley is extremely good; couple his natural talent with his familiarity with NAQT (he was a member of St. John's HSNCT championship team a few years back), and that makes for a fast and accurate player. I think that they will finish somewhere in the second bracket and Top 4 in DI UG.
Thanks! I get the feeling we'll have a strong idea of where we stand a week from now, as we're going to the Midwest regional to go up against the Chicagos and Michigans. We've graduated one of last year's team and another one would likely miss ICT due to a conflict of schedule, so I'm not entirely sure what to expect. I do think we have a fairly strong D-II team, again, we'll see how they do in a week.
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