I'm still working on the brackets, but with games continuing to go on, I'll go prefecture by prefecture to update what's been going on.
Regionals are about done with Kushine yet to determine their 2 bids. Teams that have qualified so far are:
Sapporo - Sapporo Minami, Sapporo Dai-ichi, Hokuseidai Fuzoku, Hokkai
Muroran - Komadai Kougyou, Komadai Tomakomai
Hakodate - Hakodate Shougyou, Hakodatedai Fuzoku Yuuto
Otaru - Hokushou
Sorachi - Komadai Iwamizawa, Takikawa Nishi
Asahikawa - Asahikawa Jitsugyou, Asahikawa Kougyou
Nayoro - Wakkanai Ootani
Kitami - Kitami Hokuto, Engaru
Tokachi - Obihiro Nougyou, Shirakaba Gakuen
All the big names had little trouble in the regionals and it may be an interesting finals.
Aomori has reached the Best 4 and as usual there are a lot of familiar names. Seiai meets up against Hachinohe Koudai Dai-ichi in one semifinal while Kousei Gakuin meets up with Aomori Yamada. If 3 teams come out of this region, expect both of the 2nd semifinalists to make it, which makes the game between Seiai and Hachinohe Koudai Dai-ichi to be of great importance.
Akita is also in the Best 4. And like Aomori, there is a stacked semifinal (Akita Shougyou vs. Honjyou), so for the other 2 semifinalists in Kanaashi Nougyou and Oga Kaiyou, their game is of great importance.
This is a more balanced Best 4 in Iwate. Hanamaki Higashi without Kikuchi just isn't as good (as shown in the summer Koushien) and lost to Senshuudai Kitakami 4-2 in the quarterfinals.
Ichinoseki Gakuin looks to not get shunned this year, and faces the weakest of the 4 in Kanegasaki giving them a good chance of making the "superregionals". Senshuudai Kitakami will meet Moriokadai Fuzoku in what should be a good matchup.
The Nihon Yamagata-Sakata Minami final is almost a reality now as Nihon Yamagata will meet Yamagata Jyouhoku while Sakata Minami faces Yamagata Chuo.
We're in the Best 8 here, and half the bracket is wide open after Izumi Shouryou defeated Touhoku 2-1. Sendai Ikuei and Touhou are approaching a semifinal clash while Seiwa Gakuen, Ishimaki Shougyou and Kesennuma Kouyou look to take full advantage of Izumishou's upset.
I barely remembered that Seikou Gakuin was the representative from Fukushima. And given that only other team I remember is Kounan (who has been eliminated), they are probably the front runners to advance out of the region. Nihon Touhoku also will be expected to advance as they speed through the other side of the bracket.
We're almost in the Best 8. Sakushin Gakuin will meet Utsunomiya Kougyou in one quarterfinal while Yasaka Chuo will face Ootawara in the other. On the other half which is still in the round of 16, there is an interesting matchup with Utsunomiya Minami meeting Bunsei Geijyutsudai Fuzoku. The winner of that game could very well earn a bid in the superregionals.
The dream of seeing a leek at Koshien next spring is over. Tokyo Noudai Dai-ni loses to Maebashi 6-3 in the round of 16. Kiryuu Dai-ichi also lost in the round of 16 falling to Takasaki Kougyou 4-3.
This opens up the brackets to all teams, but the front-runners to advance are probably Maebashi Shougyou, Maebashi Shougyou and Kiryuu Shiritsu Shougyou.
The prefectural bracket has been drawn, and it'll be interesting as both Jyousou Gakuin and Shimotsuma Dai-ni are on the same side of the bracket and it's possible that only one of those teams will advance.
The regionals are not done yet, but Urawa Gakuin has already advanced. Seibou Gakuin looks to earn a spot as they play against Saitama Heisei.
Man, there was (is!) a quadrant of death in the Chiba prefectural qualfiers! We're in the round of 16 and these 2 matchups could easily be prefectural semifinals! Who are they?
- Narashino vs. Tokaidai Bouyou
- Chiba Keizaidai Fuzoku vs. Kisaradzu Sougou
Tokaidai Bouyou has a pitching prospect in Mashita Takayuki(?) who can almost hit 90 and has a curve and slider. It's too bad that these teams will be eliminated before the superregionals.
Block play has not yet been completed, but several notable teams have advanced to prefectural play such as Toritsu Yukigaya and Waseda Jitsugyou.
Looking at who's left in the Best 4, there's almost none of the major teams left! What happened?
Yokohama? Lost to semifinalist Touin Gakuen 11-8 in the first game! Yokohama Hayato? Lost to Keio 8-3 in the round of 16. Keio? Lost to Tokaidai Sagami in the quarterfinals!
And so Toukaidai Sagami will face Koujyou in one semifinal while Touin Gakuen will meet Kamakura Gakuen in the other.
After Nihon Bunri's amazing run in the Natsu Koshien, they sneak into the superregionals. They lost in the semifinals to Niigata 4-0, then lost in the consolation games 4-2 to Bunsui. But they should sneak in as the number 4 team. The #1 seed out of Niigata is Chuuetsu who defeated Niigata 5-4.
Man, my team in Nihon Koukuu just can't get anything going. Despite earning a seed, they lose in the first round to Koufu Kougyou. Ugh.
Your eventual winner will probably come out of one side of the bracket which has teams such as Teikyou Dai-san, Tokaidai Koufu, Yamanashi Gakuindai Fuzoku and Fuji Gakuen.
Nanto Sougou Fukuno is trying to make another run to Koshien. Standing in their way sits Fujikoshi Kougyou and Takaoka Shougyou. An interesting team that's left is the combined team of Nantou Sougou Fukumitsu and Inami who is still in it, but will face seeded Takaoka Kougyou.
Regional play has concluded and there are many notable teams remaining such as Matsushiro, Maruko Shuugakukan, and Matsushou Gakuen.
We're in the best 8, and Tokoha Tachibana may very well be taking the torch from Kikugawa now as possibly the preeminent team in Shizuoka. Standing in their way are established teams such as Kakegawa Nishi, Seisei Kougyou, and Shizuoka Shougyou.
Will continue after my bowling league tonight.