Monday, July 18, 2016

Natsu Koushien Qualifying - Blitzkrieg through the country (Tokai)

A majority of the prefectures kicked off play this last weekend. There's a lot to go through, so we're going to blitz through all of them to let you know where the major players are, or in some cases aren't. Unless otherwise stated by the prefecture themselves, I will refer to quadrants by number going top-down from left to right (Upper left = 1, lower left = 2, etc.)

Mie - 1st round (in progress)
Ugh, I'm still salty about Mie not defeating Osaka Touin. I think they got jobbed by them, but that's a story I've hashed out already. I know Mie is a private school, but it feels like they have the blue collar mentality of a public school. That might be because they're in Matsusaka, which is known for such things.
  • "A" Zone - Inabe Sougou Gakuen
  • "B" Zone - Kaisei
  • "C" Zone - Tsuda Gakuen
  • "D" Zone - Mie
Only Inabe Sougou Gakuen got the 1st round bye, but all 3 of the seeded teams advanced with no issue (though Kaisei did have to play 9).

Aichi - 2nd round (in progress)
I'm not sure why this prefecture is the way it is, but I figure it's because they want to reward consistent play throughout the year? Not only are there byes, but in each of the 8 blocks, the seeded teams get double byes. For single elimination, that's unprecedented. And it's not like it's produced winners, save for Chuukyoudai Chuukyou in 2009 (Dangit Nihon Bunri).
  • "A" Block - Touhou
  • "B" Block - Aichi Sangyoudai Mikawa
  • "C" Block - Kyouei
  • "D" Block - Chuukyoudai Chuukyou
  • "E" Block - Aichi
  • "F" Block - Aichi Keisei
  • "G" Block - Chikusa
  • "H" Block - Oobu
Touhou, Chuukyoudai Chuukyou and Aichi Keisei (Tier 3), are all seeded. Ichiro's alma mater, Aikoudai Meiden, is in "D" Block, along with Chuukyoudai Chuukyou. Yikes.

Gifu - 2nd round (in progress)
Gifu has a good run in 2007-2009, but have not had success much as of late.
  • "A" Block - Nagara, Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou
  • "B" Block - Minokamo, Shiritsu Gifu Shougyou
  • "C" Block - Oogaki Nichidai, Seki Shoukou
  • "D" Block - Chuukyou, Oogaki Shougyou
Last year's champions, Gifu Jyouhoku, isn't seeded, and will have to play Chuukyou should they advance far enough. Kengifushou, Shigifushou, Oogaki Nichidai all occupy different blocks. But note that here, the block winners draw into the semifinals, so it's not guaranteed we'll get a Kengifushou v Shigifushou matchup for instance. All 8 teams are still alive through 2 rounds.

Shizuoka - 2nd round (starting)
Man, it seems so long ago that Tokoha Kikugawa was taking names all the way to the finals. And then I thought it was rubbing off on their sister school, Tokoha Tachibana. But Shizuoka as a whole has mustered 1 win in their last 6 appearanecs.
  • "A" Block - ② Nichidai Mishima, ⑤ Yamaguchi
  • "B" Block - ③ Mishima Minami, ⑤ Kakegawa Nishi
  • "C" Block - ④ Toukaidai Shizuoka Shouyou, ⑤ Hamamatsu Shuugakusha
  • "D" Block - ① Tokoha Tachibana, ⑤ Shizuoka
As for Tokoha Kikugawa, they are in "C" Block with a possible 3rd round matchup with Hamamatsu Shuugakusha. Games have been delayed a day, so the seeded teams will start play today.

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