Written by Noah Beukelman
Students, faculty, basketball fans of all ages, your patience is now being well rewarded. For this week, starting on February 24th, the greatest basketball event in the entire world begins: The East Ridge IBL Tournament. As with any major sporting event, there will be many self-proclaimed “experts” making predictions as to how the tournament will play out. Readers can rest assured that this writer’s predictions and analysis will be a slam dunk.
The opening day of the tournament has five action packed games lined up. The first of which is a showdown between the Highways and the Flint Tropics, look for the Highways to drive all over the Tropics behind the sheer force of big man Grant Ryerse. The second game is a matchup between Daddy’s Day Care and the Blue Ballers, this expert predicts that the Daycare gets shut down early in an upset by the Blue Ballers. In the third game of the day the number one seed This Year’s Champs take on the bottom seeded Boston Breathalyzers. If airballs counted for points, Breathalyzers Ross Urquhart and Noah Beukelman would lead the league in scoring, however, they don’t so look the Breathalyzers to lose by many, many points. 24 and Friends take on HCPF in the fourth game, and this game will be tight up until the very end, but expect 24 to pull through and get the win. The final game of the first day pits Gorgui’s Disciples against CNN News Team. Sam Richardson will keep CNN at it for a while, but the raw talent and basketball IQ of Gorgui will be too much to stop.
The second day begins with a The Bad, The Ugly, and The Ginger facing Unknown Sources, and while the Unknown Sources are seeded very low, do not sleep on this team. I believe the ginger squad will get the win, but it will come down to the very last shot. Next comes Stain Squad facing 651-Vape and this analyst is predicting an upset. All season Sam Hanson has carried the vape but in this game expect Brian “Moneyball” Murphy to come up huge and pull off the upset. Do not be surprised if the 13 seed 651-Vape knocks off the 4 seed Stain Squad. The final game of the opening round pits Hagianna’s against the Changer Bangers. While it must be acknowledged that Henry Burns is wet from the three point line, the athleticism of Hagianna’s will be too much for the Bangers to handle and Hagianna’s will win in a blowout.
The second round opens on March second with the top seeded This Year’s Champs taking on the Highways and This Year’s Champs will get an easy win over the Highways. Following this blowout 651-Vape takes on Gorgui’s Disciples, and while the Vape pulled out a huge upset in their previous game, however, the magic runs out here as the intangibles and selfless basketball of Gorgui will pick apart 651 and earn the Disciples a solid victory. Then Hagianna’s takes on 24 in a game that this writer feels will be much closer than most expect. If 24 plays to their full potential they can win this game, but something in my gut just tells me they will come up short and allow Hagianna’s to advance to the next round. Following the Hagianna’s win The Bad, The Ugly, and The Ginger face the Blue Ballers and The Ginger will win with no real competition from the Blue Ballers.
The semifinal round pits This Year’s Champs against Gorgui’s Disciples, and look for Collin Sieffert to lead the Disciples to a major upset over This Year’s Champs. Sieffert can carry this squad, but only to a certain degree, if another player can be the Robin to Collin’s Batman, then Gorgui will find themselves in the championship game. On the other side of the final Hagianna’s takes on The Bad, The Ugly, and The Ginger. Ugly has the advantage in terms of fundamentals, but no team in the league can match the athleticism and raw talent of Hagianna’s and this will lead Hagianna’s to the championship game.
The Championship comes down to Hagianna’s taking on Gorgui’s Disciples. The first half will be a tight game with each team matching each other in all aspects of the game. Hagianna’s will out talent Gorgui, but Gorgui will out intangible Hagianna’s in terms of both passing and basketball IQ. The second half, however, Hagianna’s will simply be too athletic, too fast, and too talented for the fundamentals of Gorgui to keep up with. Hagianna’s will win the championship by 7 points and wrap the IBL season up in exciting fashion.