With C League and Thursday Night League still trying to figure out the haves and the have-nots, it’s time to check in on A League as it gears up for its playoff push. Three teams are in for sure, with another three looking pretty solid. Everyone’s still alive, though, because two teams have removed themselves from contention.
Arenas Teams Out. The good news for Team Marko and Sneaky Three is that they each went undefeated through the playdowns and will soon be flying cross-country to represent our club at Arena Nationals. The bad news is that they have to fly out on May 4 and won’t return until May 13. That would mean missing both of the first two rounds of the playoffs.Since we don’t want a bunch of forfeits and teams getting a free pass into the finals, we will be removing those two teams from the standings when we set the playoffs. What this means is that the ninth and tenth place teams, previously assumed to be relegated to the “consolation round,” might now get the benefit of facing the undefeated Team Wicks instead. Yikes! Did I say that’s the benefit?
While a lot can change in two weeks, if the season ended today, the first round match-ups would be: Wicks vs. Pegasus, What a Curl Wants vs. Curl Dat Stone, Boris vs. Kuhl, and Sampson vs. Jones.
So now let’s look at what might change this week:
Wicks vs Boris: Team Wicks has already secured the #1 overall seed, and would have secured it even if Team Marko was around for the playoffs. The main thing they are trying to keep alive this weekend is their perfect record. With a bye next week, Team Boris is the last chance to stop Wicks from going into the playoffs undefeated. Boris is also playing for their own standings, with both Teams Sampson and Jones within striking distance of plummeting them all the way to fifth place.
Sampson vs. Bally: It’s the grudge match of all grudge matches, as Josh Bally takes his new team against the team that he played second for for more than two years. When these two teams met in the Barrel, Bally came out on the winning end. Will the student best the master again? This game also has huge implications on the standings. A second win for Bally would increase his chances of making the playoffs, especially with a game against 7th-seed Curl Dat Stone next week. Team Sampson has the tiebreaker against Team Boris, so should Boris lose to undefeated Wicks, then a win for Sampson would put them into the driver’s seat for the third seed.
Curl Dat Stone vs. Pegasus: The seventh seed faces the eighth seed this weekend in a game that will be watched very, very closely by Teams Bally and Gunst. If Curl Dat Stone wins, they should be pretty safe and might even jump a place or two in the standings. But if Pegasus wins, chaos may reign supreme in Week Twelve. In a quirk of the schedule, these two teams will be playing the two teams that are chasing them in the standings next week. Nothing will be set this week, and at least one team should be facing a win-and-in scenario next week.
What a Curl Wants vs. Sneaky Three. What a Curl Wants is playing their final regular season game this week having already secured the #2 seed. They own the head-to-head tiebreaker with Boris, the only team that can match their record. They will be giving a good test to Sneaky Three as they prepare for Arenas, coming off their biggest win of the season against Team Kuhl last week.
Marko vs. Gunst. Team Gunst is looking to have their full team together for only the second or third time this season. They held their own against the undefeated Team Wicks last weekend, despite missing their usual vice and skip. Team Marko has beat everyone they’ve faced, except for Team Wicks.
Kuhl: Team Kuhl is currently in 6th place. This week, the only thing that might happen to that position is if Curl Dat Stone passes them. However, with that one tie in their record, they still have an outside chance of rising as high as fourth place or dropping as far as eighth.
Jones: Team Jones missed a chance to move past Sampson in the standings last week. Next week, they face Team Marko, who they handed the only loss to in Fall League on a draw to the button. If they can catch magic a second time, they could potentially create a three-way tie for third place, which would bring in multiple tiebreaking scenarios.