QUINCY, IL – The NCAA has released the teams that will participate in the 2016 NCAA II tournament during its Selection Show on may 15, 2016. There are eight regions in the NCAA II, and the winner of each regional tournament will go on to the College World Series, in Cary, North Carolina.
For the Midwest Region Tournament, the eight teams that earned bids (either through winning their conference tournament or being selected by the NCAA committee) are (in order of seeding):
- Quincy Hawks (35-16)
- Grand Valley State Lakers (35-16-1)
- Indianapolis Greyhounds (37-19)
- Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles (33-18)
- Missouri S&T Miners (35-17)
- Ashland Eagles (31-20)
- Hillsdale Chargers (32-22)
- Alderson Broaddus Battlers (31-19)
The Midwest Region Tournament, in our opinion, is one of two regions that are balanced from top to bottom. What we mean is that no team clearly stands out enough to say it is definitive that they will win it all…and no team is so far behind the rest of the pack that they couldn’t make some noise. Just look at the records of all eight teams…they are almost the same. This region will be hard to handicap.
The Quincy Hawks were our preseason #1 in this region, and they did not disappoint us. While we believe they have everything in place to make it to Cary, we also have seen some flaws in their armor this season. If they play like they can, they should win. But if they stumble, this field is good enough to send them home early.
In anyone’s preseason discussion of the Midwest Region, the Grand Valley State Lakers always appear on the charts. The Lakers are a yearly threat, and even through some missteps early on in the season, they have found a way to win. And in the end, that is all that matters. The Lakers should not take their first two games lightly, or they could find themselves in the losers bracket early. But if they can get through those two, the whole thing may get decided in Game 11.
The Indianapolis Greyhounds kept waving at us all year. Emails, Tweets from fans saying “hey, look at us.” And yes, look at you. We had some initial information that the Greyhounds would be good, but the issue was “how good.” Well, good enough to make it to the NCAA Tournament! That being said, the question remains “how good?” Surprise us some more.
Okay, the Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles are in the Midwest Region Tournament. But, that’s like an annual thing. Just a few years removed from a National Championship of their own, this Screaming Eagles team is looking to make its own history. Several times this year, we thought they might not even make the tournament as things just didnt seem to click. But as we said, this coaching staff and team have been here before…and have won it all. And they are 0-0 right now. They have as good a chance as anyone to making plans for North Carolina next week.
The Missouri S&T Miners had an interesting year, splitting with Quincy and getting a win against Grand Valley State. But the Miners didn’t make it through the GLVC Tournament. Still, they had a good year and are here. They will need a few more efforts like they did against the top two teams in this region during the regular season in order to make it to Cary.
We had put the Ashland Eagles on our short list for the Midwest Region Tournament early in the year. We began to doubt they might make it, with some stumbling along the way. But they played good enough when it counted to get into the tournament. And in the end, that is all that mattered. What will matter now is if they can play to the level we expected. If they can, they could be in the mix late in the weekend.
The Hillsdale Chargers are another team that kind of played just off the radar this year. Every week, during region ranking discussions, the Chargers would be on the board. And as the season went on, their case was made even more solid. This is a good team. But they have not yet shown they are a great team. That will be needed if they expect to make it to Cary.
Our final Midwest Region team is the Alderson Broaddus Battlers. This team was definitely not on our radar to start this season…but there is something to be said about playing well in late April and May. While we are not betting the rent money on the Battlers, as we stated above, anything can happen in this Region. So, an 8 seed making it to the final games is not out of the question.
For the most part, we have stayed with the #1 seeds for a reason…as they have shown so far, they are worthy of front runner status. We believe that Game #7 will probably indicate which team will move onto Cary. While we believe that match-up will be Quincy versus Southern Indiana, the outcome of that game is far from certain. Grand Valley State also has a good line to the title. So, with that…we will stick with our preseason prediction and say that the Quincy Hawks will find a way to come out on top.
Click HERE for all tournament brackets & schedules