Every spring, the world of college sports grows feverish with anticipation as the most important tournament of the season draws near. It is chaotic, and sometimes the winner seems to have been chosen at random. It is bittersweet, simultaneously the highlight and the biggest disappointment of many young people’s lives. Oh, and there is usually pizza if you get there early enough. It’s the Princeton Dodgeball Tournament.
We all remember last year’s storylines: Basketball’s inspiring rollercoaster ride from being one of the favorites to winning it all. The majority of Terrace showing up to face Cottage after the “pick on the weaker ones” email leaked. And, of course, nothing was more inspiring than the Daily Princetonian’s first wins in recent memory, when the scrappy journalists made it to the third round. Hard to believe it has been a year.
So who will be this year’s ‘Prince’? Here are my predictions:
This is always a toss-up, but I like Club Swimming to go deep. Not only are they one of the few athletics-based groups in this bracket, but they have a straight line to the championship, with Team Rifle being the only serious threat they could meet in the early rounds (NB: I don’t know what Team Rifle is – I’m just predicting it’ll do well because it has the most badass name in the bracket).
It is tough to say whom they will meet in the bracket’s championship. Club Baseball, I am guessing, will have the edge in the first round over the Tigressions, but the Club Squash vs. Climbing Club match could come down to the wire (unless one of them does not show up, which happens in a lot of first-round matches). The winner of that will play Club Baseball, and I am predicting that the winner of that will win the bracket.
This is by far the funniest bracket, with Quipfire, Fuzzy Dice, Lobster Club and the always-hilarious Press Club all among its ranks. Other predictions: Sympoh may surprise some people, and I cannot wait to watch the first-round Slam Poetry vs. Princeton Sports Analytics because I assume neither organization has any clue what the other does.
I am predicting Men’s Club Soccer meets Club Taekwando in the fourth round, but from there it’s just too close to call. This makes little difference in the long run though – assuming they both show up in full force, Varsity Basketball and Varsity Soccer will meet in the semifinal, and the winner will win the bracket. My money’s on the cagers, who are probably really craving a tournament win of some kind right now.
Sadly, the ‘Prince’ won’t get to go for a second-straight victory over the USG, as our first round matchup is against the RCAs. If last year was any indication, though, the ‘Prince’ will make a strong showing, though Women’s Rugby could spell our demise if they get past Orange Key. The first round game between Sprint Football and Varsity Squash will challenge onlookers with the question, “What is a varsity sport?”
I don’t know what’s more unfair, the fact that “Sports Clubs” can be conglomerated into a single team or the fact that they’re in the same bracket as Football and will probably still lose. Look for Swimming and Diving to give Epperly & Co. a run for its money in the semis, though.
It’s nearly impossible to predict the matches between residential colleges, but here are my predictions for the eating clubs: if Terrace gets as pumped for Colonial as it did for Cottage, it’ll make it to the second round, but it is tough to see that game getting as emotional as last year’s. Cap will defeat Quad but fall to whichever res college’s freshmen are the most overeager.
The other side of the huge bracket gives us some truly inspired matchups. Brother will be pitted against brother in the Rocky/Mathey first round match. Tower and Ivy will, I assume, conduct interviews amongst themselves until they have determined which side, in their best estimate, is worthy of moving on. TI vs. Cottage is guaranteed to get intense, as is Cannon vs. Cloister, which may come down to which group has consumed more tubs of whey over the course of this week.
My gut tells me Cottage will prevail (though a TI victory in the first round would make for an interesting semifinal, assuming the Glorious Tiger Inn gets past Rocky or Mathey). My prediction: Cottage over Whitman in the championship.
Varsity Basketball defeats Club Baseball in the first round, but Cottage vs. Football is much harder to call, especially since there’s a whole lot of crossover there. There is a possibility that the intensity and the fact that most of the football team is in Cottage will cause the two to simply fuse into a ball of athletic prowess that will steamroll whatever it meets, but I’m calling that football wins in a nail-biter (opponents may literally bite each other’s nails despite the ref’s protestations).
Assuming we are in a non-fusion situation, I still like football in this one. It is senior Roman Wilson’s last time out on the court, and he is going to want to go out on a high note, and even if the men’s and women’s basketball teams combine a la last year they will still be missing Ian Hummer ’13 and Naveen Rasheed ’13. Football may have had to share the Ivy League title, but it will get this one all to itself.
The real winner, of course, will be us, as we get to watch an exciting evening of alcohol-fueled rivalry while eating pizza and getting free t-shirts. Plus, remember the golden rule: Have fun, and when your team gets eliminated, you just go play for some randos. That, or cheat. A lot of that happens too. Anyway, good luck, and may the balls fly ever in your favor!