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IM Hoops Playoffs Underway

Pheiffer Gives the Inside Scoop on IM Basketball

By Rory P. Pheiffer

Back in October, 83 teams began playing intramural basketball here at MIT. In the next two weeks, the 26 remaining squads will be battling for A league and B league championships.

There should be plenty of good basketball games in both leagues, as some of the top teams have not faced each other yet this season. However, don’t be surprised if a few of the top teams don’t make their way to the finals, as last year both leagues were won by the fourth seed, with the A league champ defeating a tenth seed in the final and the B league champ beating a seventh seed.

LLUA, ATO Gold top seeds

Let’s take a look at a few of the top teams in each league. After an eight game regular season, only one team emerged atop the standings unscathed. This team was the “Little Lebowski Urban Achievers,” or LLUA, which is made up of a bunch of biology graduate students that have been playing intramural sports here together at MIT for the past two years. Their season included one game where they put up 90 points, and a twenty-point victory over the number two seed, Alpha Tau Omega Gold. Their twenty-point victory was actually their closest of the season, so LLUA’s biggest problem down the stretch could be that they are untested.

Also, ATO Gold will probably be pretty hungry to have a second chance at LLUA, as that loss was their only loss of the season. Since that loss, ATO Gold has reeled off four straight victories, all with margins larger than 15 points.

Of the rest of the remaining field, all look like they could pull an upset on any given night. Each of the remaining seven have been competitive against each other, as evidenced by eight games between these seven teams that have been decided by five points or less.

TPP, Beta Ballers enter undefeated

In the B league, two of the remaining seventeen teams finished undefeated -- TPP (Technology and Policy Program), and Beta Theta Pi’s Beta Ballers. Outside of an early one-point victory over Theta Delta Chi, TPP has not had much difficulty disposing of their opponents this season. Things could change in the playoffs though, as a possibility of a match-up against Theta Delta Chi remains in the semifinals, and the scary part is that Theta Delta Chi is the thirteenth seed. This means there are plenty of landmines sitting in the brackets for TPP to be prepared for.

The Beta Ballers did not run through their schedule with quite the ease that TPP did, but they have been solid and consistent all season. Their first round match-up should be a good one though, as they face a rematch with a team they beat in the regular season just last week, Euroclub BB, whom they edged out 37-35. This just goes to show the depth of the field in the B league playoffs this season. Out of the 5-1 teams, it appears that Kappa Sigma’s B1 team and Theta Chi’s Takus have played the best against teams still remaining in the playoffs. Both teams are 2--0 against the competition remaining. Each of the 5-1 teams has at least one win against the remaining competition though, a field that we have already determined is filled with depth.

Deep field has potential for upsets

Speaking of depth, the teams that finished 4-2 this season are loaded with upset potential. Start first with the nine seed, Kappa Sigma’s B2 team. Both of their losses have come because neither team was able to reschedule a game during their season, meaning that when the B2 team takes the floor, they win. Two of these four wins include 71-36 and 54-26 victories over playoff teams. The B2 team is certainly a team to keep an eye on.

TDC is also a team to watch out for, with their two losses this season being against TPP and BTP, neither one by more than six points. The rest of the teams in the field have played tough against the teams ranked ahead of them, but were not able to win when they faced each other. That just gives these lower seeds extra motivation if they meet a team they lost a close one to, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few lower seeds sliding their way into the semifinals or even the finals.

As for any predictions of who is going to go all the way, that is a bit difficult to say. I have not seen all of these teams play, and it is difficult to pass judgment strictly on a team’s record because on any given night a few of a team’s best players may not be able to make a game. So, I will go ahead and refrain from making any predictions as to how the playoffs will end up.

Check out what should be some very competitive basketball over the next two weeks between 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday on the varsity court in Rockwell Cage all three nights and tonight on DuPont #2.