D2 Playoffs: Blue Ridge Continues Amazing Playoff Push Upsetting Nashville, Book Trip to D2 Champs
The upstarts from Asheville, North Carolina got out to an early lead and never looked back against 3 seed Nashville — skating to a 178–133 final and booking a ticket to D2 Champs. This will be their 2nd ever Division 2 Championship appearance, as they finished 3rd at Division 2 Champs in 2013 after beating Sac City.
The win also gives Blue Ridge the first ever real time Apex “Bracket Buster” status as they have knocked off two higher seeds to get to this point — 2 seed Houston and 3 seed Nashville. They have a shot at tying the record of 3 seeding upsets tomorrow night against 4 seed Brandywine in the 1st place match.
How has Blue Ridge gotten here? Much like Brandywine, Blue Ridge is riding a hot 3 jammer rotation that is applying constant pressure to defenses. Dr. Octopushy and Lady Rider are the 2 lead scorers so far in this tournament and like Brandywine, when they have struggled with jammer penalties Blue Ridge’s defense is able to lock in.
They took a 63 to 27 lead jam advantage into a 105–47 score at half with Lady Rider pulling in 44 points and Dr. Octopushy 36. Zip Drive was the only Nashville jammer above double digits at half with 31.
Nashville didn’t make it easy in the 2nd half though, capitalizing on power jams and pulling the game to within 20 with 7 mins left. The run looked eerily like their come from behind last jam win against Tucson, but they couldn’t finish it off.
Blue Ridge’s jammer rotation, playing their 3rd game in 2 days, started to finally fade in that 2nd half but they dug deep over the final 5 minutes to hold off the Nashville push.
Blue Ridge becomes the first 7 seed to ever make Champs, and the second highest seed to ever make Champs (Bear City still holds that records making D2 Champs as a 9 seed in 2014).
Blue Ridge has played Brandywine once before, taking a win 193–112 against them at ECDX in 2014.
Nashville now kicks over to the 3rd place bout against Jet City and their hopes of back to back D2 Champs appearances have been dashed.
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