Written by Tim Hoffstaetter
Basketball season will sadly be coming to a close sooner rather than later. We are nearing the end of regular season play, at the time of this writing our women’s team has 4 games left, and soon we will be at the much anticipated ODAC tournament. To give an idea about how exciting this tournament will be I wanted to give a preview of the overall seeding and Roanoke’s potential first matchup.
In total, there are 10 ODAC teams that make it to the tournament, meaning three teams that do not have a chance at the championship. I want to say first that Roanoke is soundly in the top 10 sitting comfortably at the 6 seed with the chance to move up. Moving up in these last few games will be tough as we are facing the two teams with the best records in Washington and Lee and Shenandoah. These were the two teams in the championship game last year. Even if we do not move up and we sit at number 6 it is still a possibility to make it to the championship game, last year Shennendoah was the 7th-seeded team. Moving up or staying at 6th is very beneficial as teams get an extra day of rest while the 7-10 seeds have to play an extra game to determine who will play in the first round. Let’s cheer Roanoke on to win these last 4 games to ensure they get that extra day of rest.
Seeding for the tournament is based on teams’ records during ODAC play meaning Roanoke has the 6th best record against other ODAC teams. Roanoke is in 6th with only 5 losses, Washington and Lee are in first with only one loss, and there are 5 teams in ODAC with 10 or more losses. This shows how top-heavy our conference, winning only a handful fewer games separates the number 1 seed team and the 6 seed. Once again this should give Roanoke a lot of confidence as most losses have been very competitive especially against Washington and Lee as they had a lead midway through the third quarter and only lost by 8 points. This was a game decided by W and L beating Roanoke on the offensive glass earning 11 more possessions than Roanoke. Roanoke has played the top team extremely well and we could see an upset this year.
Looking at a potential match-up to start the tournament we would see Roanoke playing Randolph-Macon in their first-round game. Both teams played each other earlier in the year however this was an off night for both teams as the score was Randolph-Macon’s 47 to Roanoke’s 41, this was the lowest-scoring game for both teams all season. However, looking at Randolph-Macon’s games we can see they have a similar style to Roanoke’s where they crash the glass and try to force turnovers. They have had some dominant rebounding games but they do not force nearly as many turnovers as Roanoke does. This can be used to Roanoke’s benefit if we can force more turnovers and keep the rebounding battle close which gives us a great chance. After Randolph-Macon Roanoke would play the winner of Shenandoah vs. the 7 seed which is yet to be determined.