It’s only fitting that the finals of NYBL’s inaugural season will feature as many compelling match ups as were found in either of the first 2 sessions. The seedings are complete and 8 teams will roll into Columbus, Ohio in 2 weeks packing #1 seeds. Carolina Preps is the holder of the overall #1 seed with their stunning defeat of previously unbeaten Ohio Select. Ohio Select is still in great shape with the #2 overall seed, and could get a rematch with Preps in the championship game. Deron Williams Elite has consistently played at a high level and sports the league’s 3rd overall seed. Behind D-Will with #1 seeds are: Carolina Chaos, Southern Stampede, Arizona Monsoon, S.C. Hornets and Midwest’s Finest.
Just when you thought the league could not possibly get any more competitive, Midwest’s Finest and the Garden City All-Stars joined the league as replacements for Metrolina Havoc and the St. Louis Wildcats. If you are wondering about Midwest’s Finest, they are better known as the G3 Hoosiers, the defending AAU National Champions. Both Indiana and the Garden City All-Stars were seeded based on their overall level of talent level, and both squads will pose serious challenges very early in bracket play. In fact, if the seedings hold, the NYBL Finals could feature a second round matchup between last year’s AAU National Champions and this year’s favorite to win it all. In addition, the two newcomers (Indiana and Garden City) could face off in the first round of bracket play.
After 2 games in pool play to decide which 16 teams will advance it to the championship bracket, the second round is really where the funs begins, as the eight #1 seeds would start squaring off for a chance to advance and compete for a NYBL title. In addition to the second round collision between Carolina and Indiana, the other side of the bracket could feature a re-match between Ohio Select and SC Hornets. As you recall, Ohio narrowly escaped their first encounter with the Hornets with a 3 point win. I’m sure the Hornets are excited to get another shot at Ohio to avenge the stinging defeat; however, this time there is a lot more on the line, as the loser will be knocked out of the championship bracket and will not have a chance at the championship.
It’s my understanding that the Arizona Monsoon has been chomping at the bit to get it on with Deron Williams Elite. Well, they just may get their shot in the second round of bracket play. This one should be good, and will feature a battle of contrasting styles of play. The other quarter final matchup would give us our first major battle between divisional brothers when South Division leaders Carolina Chaos (9-1) and Southern Stampede (8-2) hookup early. I know everybody is still excited about the AAU Nationals, and you should be, but from where I sit, the NYBL Finals will be the most competitive event in the country, bar none! Write this down, the 2013 AAU National Champions will be playing in the NYBL Finals in Columbus on June 2nd! “Can’t wait!”