Yahoo's Palmer hits a deep 3
The regular season is over, and it’s everyone’s favorite time: PLAYOFFS. It’s a level playing field now. Win a few games and you could be the champion team taking home the $500 team cash prize (+$500 charity match donation). Lose two games and you’re on vacation (from basketball) until next season. The top three teams have dominated all season. Will any of the lower seeds put on their glass slippers and ride a pumpkin coach deep into the playoffs? Only time will tell. The standings were more or less locked going into last weekend’s games, but here’s a recap of the action:
Yahoo vs Google Black
Yahoo’s intensity, size, and athleticism overpowered Google Black on Sunday, 79-35. They opened up a large lead early in the game and maintained the gap despite Google’s best efforts to make a comeback. Adonis Allen led Yahoo with 22 points, but Dave Rice was Player of the Game after a gritty performance on both ends of the floor. Gabriel Acorda led Google Black with 7 points, 4 assists, and 7 rebounds.
Google White vs Logitech/Intercom
Google White dominated from tip-off until the final buzzer to beat Logitech/Intercom (L/I), 63-25. Google wore down L/I’s six man roster in a fast-paced, at times chaotic game, and their size was too much for the spirited group from Logitech/Intercom to handle. Dominant Dominic Baker put up 17 points and 11 rebounds for Google and earned Player of the Game. Ryan Hughes led L/I with 9 points and 1 assist.
Tesla vs Logitech/Intercom
In the second game of a double-header, Logitech/Intercom had an uphill battle with Tesla, but it turned out to be more mountain than molehill as they succumbed, 77-32. Tesla’s relentless pressure and barrage of 3-pointers never gave L/I a chance to breathe, but they still fought until the final buzzer. MJ Tribble led Tesla with 15 points, but L/I’s Ryan Hughes garnered Player of the Game honors with a valiant 11 points.
Tesla vs MLB
In the second game of their own double-header, Tesla came out a bit sluggish but came together to topple MLB.com, 55-28. This game was much more intense than the score would suggest, with the teams often going blow for blow. Player of the Game Brian Billeci erupted for 18 points for Tesla, while Stephen Mueller led MLB with 9.
All roads to the championship run through Google White and Yahoo. The two 7-1 teams at the top of the standings only lost to each other this season, and they are the clear favorites to make the championship. They’ll have an even greater advantage thanks to their first round byes, letting them rest up before playing a potentially exhausted opponent right after their first round game.
The biggest threat to a Google White-Yahoo showdown in the finals is Tesla. The self-dubbed “Blue Collar Boys” got off to a slow start this season with some tough losses, but hit their stride just in time for the playoffs. Their 3 losses this season came to only Google White and Yahoo--one loss by 1 point and another overtime thriller--so they’re hungry for revenge. Tesla faces an MLB.com team in the first round that has come a long way since the beginning of the season. They’ve come together as a team and improved their basketball skills under the leadership of Coach Greg Harshaw.
The winner of the 4-5 matchup between Logitech/Intercom and Google Black (GB) will face the top seeded Google White immediately after. The question then becomes, can either of these teams outlast the other in the first round and save enough energy to give Google White a run for their money immediately after? To do that will take a lot of heart, something that both of these teams have in spades. Often outmanned with only five or six players, L/I grinded their way to a pair of wins this season--both of them against GB. GB will look to avenge their two losses to L/I in hopes of eventually slaying their intracompany rival, Google White.
Storylines abound this weekend as the teams descend on Ultimate Fieldhouse in Walnut Creek for the first time. Fans and players alike are in for a treat in the form of exciting basketball. Can anyone oust Google White and Yahoo as the favorites? Who will get the vengeance they so desperately want? In a tournament like this one, it comes down to willpower and teamwork. Each team will face some adversity, and the team that overcomes it with the least expended effort and fewest battle wounds will outlast the competition to emerge victorious.
Final Regular Season Standings and Playoff Bracket