Sweet 16 – Win 4 to Score – The I-4 Semifinals

 

First, the predictions from last week . . .

 

That makes the second round look like:

 

LHP vs Bishop Moore

Berkeley Prep vs Newsome

 

Hmmm . . . 8 for 8 . . .

 

LHP Travels to Bishop Moore

 

Ever since the late regular season game finished with a last minute LHP win I’ve circled this one as a much-watch game.  Having seen both teams this year I was witness to two LHP losses to top programs and one big win by BM against a top program.  The LHP win was at home.

The comparative scores between common opponents does not show full consistency.  The difference in the Benjamin scores are striking given the head to head result.  LHP showed it could score a lot but had trouble with the best teams on the schedule in reaching double digits.

 

Prediction:  I think the change in home field will make the difference as I think Bishop Moore will win the rematch in another close game 9-7.  Should they prevail we will have the almost surreal reality of a Final Eight without LHP or Saint Andrew’s.

 

No way I, or anyone else, could have made that prediction in January.

 

Newsome Travels to Berkeley Prep (sorry, had that wrong . . . Gainseville, please go back to last year’s format . . . )

(Thanks to reader Arden Robbins for the correction!)

 

In a way, this game either validates or exposes Newsome’s season.  Undefeated, but against a mediocre schedule.  Berkeley has two losses to teams not named IMG and one of those was pretty much the Upset of the Year in Florida to a team they beat in the first round.

Newsome has beaten Plant and a number of teams that also did not play great schedules, making this as difficult a game for me to call as possible, given I have never seen them play.  Both teams score a lot and give up basically the same amount of goals.  Home field advantage should be very important in this one.

 

Prediction:  Newsome will prevail 13-11 and this could go even higher, like 16-14.  Newsome needs to win this.  Berkeley is making their first Final 16 appearance and Newsome still has contributors who experienced the Final 8 run in 2015.