Week 3 Preview

Kansas City Regional

By the Numbers

  • Teams Attending: 58
  • Rookie Teams: 9
  • Teams which have already attended a regional: 7 (118, 1764, 1806, 1810, 1939, 1986, 2164)
  • Average team age: 2740.7

Previous GKC Regional Competition data

  • 1986 has won last two years, lost to 525 the two years before that
  • All of last years champions and finalists are attending this year
  • 11/12 teams from the semifinals last year are attending
  • 18/24 teams from eliminations last year are attending
  • 1986 currently riding 7-regional victory streak
  • 118 currently riding 5-regional victory streak

Preview

This regional is always full of a few powerhouse teams and top contenders, and this year is no different. With a couple Top 25 ranked teams that already have a regional win under their belt, while the main prize is of course to win the whole thing, the main goal may be to just make it to the final, as their could be two wildcard spots up for grabs.

When you think of the GKC Regional, of course you think of the usual annual contenders native to the area, headlined by our current #8 team in the FRC Top 25, 1986 Team Titanium. Winners of the last two contests, Titanium has established itself as a favorite to win GKC every year. Keep in mind that the two years before their victories, they lost both times to 525 in eliminations, who they recently paired up and won with at the Central Illinois Regional. Between their experience gained from their first regional in Peoria, and their overall know how, look for 1986 to be a participant in the all star showing that will inevitably happen in the finals as a heavy favorite to win.

118 always likes to find a regional to travel to outside of Texas every year, and this year it is destination KC. Coming off their regional win with 624 at Alamo, they could be the second team to open up a wild card position along with 1986 if they make the finals. Currently ranked #4 in the FRC Top 25, they have to be the overall favorite to win the whole thing, and if they pair up with 1986 in eliminations, we could see a preview of how an Einstein alliance would operate.

That pairing could easily be broken up by whoever seeds #1, and there are plenty of other top level teams that could take that claim, especially with the luck in match scheduling that effects the first tiebreaker: assist points. Another of last years returning champions 1806 will look to repeat, and they have a great bot to do it with. While finishing a disappointing quarterfinalist at Central Illinois with 2451 , I’m sure they will do everything they can to ensure a communications drop won’t happen again, as it did in their third match, and capitalize on the truss throw to the human player that they had locked down at CI.

Other major players could include 1730 Team Driven and 3928 Neutrino who have not competed so far this year, but have been strong contenders at GKC in the past, including a regional victory for 1730 in 2011. A couple dark horse teams could be 1987 and 3528 who have also not competed yet but could work their way into the finals mix on Saturday afternoon.

With 1986 already having won Chairman’s at Central Illinois, they will be out of the competition at GKC. Some favorite competitors for the Chairman’s Award and Engineering Inspiration would be 1730 who has won EI there twice in the last few years, and 3172 and 932 who have won it in the past.

Predictions

  • #1 Seed: 118
  • Winning Alliance: 118   1986   1939
  • Chairman’s: 1730
  • Engineering Inspiration: 3172

St. Louis Regional

By the Numbers

  • Teams Attending: 45
  • Rookie Teams: 6
  • Teams who have already attended a regional: 10 (1094, 1208, 1288, 1706, 1985,3284,4256, 4329, 4330, 4500)
  • Average team age: 3306.6

Previous St. Louis Regional Competition data

  • All regional winners from 2013 returning (1208, 2408, 3284)
  • All regional finalists from 2013 returning (1288, 1444, 1706)
  • 19 of 24 teams from 2013 eliminations returning
  • 17 of 24 teams from 2012 eliminations attending
  • 16 of 24 teams from 2012 eliminations were in the 2013 eliminations
  • 5 of 7 teams that won Chairman’s and EI from 2010-2013 are attending this year

Preview

The St. Louis Regional is always one of the hardest to look at as far as finding a favorite to run away with it. If a team like 1986 does not come to play, the competition tends to be pretty evenly matched between the teams in eliminations, and I think because of this we will see some very heavy defensive play in a slug fest to find the winner. In many ways we might get a glimpse of the kind of game play we’ll see at the higher end events this season like the district champs or World Championship, however efficiency and execution will not be as high. Do not be surprised to see a finals match or two with either score hardly crossing the 100 point level.

Right off the bat you have to look at 1208 as one of the favorites to take this regional. They have won 2 out of the last 4 contests at STL (lost in the finals to 1986 in 2012, who they also lost to in the finals at GKC) and had a strong showing this year at Central Illinois even though they fell to 1986 and 525 in the quarterfinals. 1986 will not be at STL this year to plague them as they will be busy at GKC so look for 1208 to continue their dominance at this regional, especially with having the experience of a regional already under their belt.

4500 is the only team coming into the regional with a victory already under their belt. This is good news for everyone else as it would open up a wild card spot if they find themselves on the winning side of the glass again this weekend. They were the inbound and assist man to the Bomb Squad at Arkansas last week, so look to see how they improve their game and show off what they can do in other roles as they prepare for their second trip to St. Louis later this year.

Other teams to keep in mind as heavy possibilities to make the finals (if history is any indication) would be 1288 , who has made numerous trips to the finals in past years, including twice last year alone. Other teams to watch out for would be 1985 and 1706 who both played at Arkansas last week, and 3284 , another returning champion who won with 1208 last year, and who were also Galileo Division finalists last year at the other St. Louis event.

At a quick glance, Chairman’s and Engineering Inspiration looks to be a toss up between 1208 (last year’s Chairman’s winner), 2783 (last year’s EI winner), 1985 , 1094 , and 931 , that is, if they are all submitting at this regional.

Predictions

  • #1 Seed: 1985
  • Winning Alliance: 1985   1208   1094
  • Chairman’s: 1208
  • Engineering Inspiration: 1985

University of Missouri- Undergraduate, Mechanical Engineering | FIRST Rookie Year: 2008 | Current Mentor/Alumni of Team 2451: PWNAGE | Current Member of VEXU Team NAR | Covers the Midwest, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconisn, Minnesota

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