It’s nearly March, which means it’s almost tournament time in just about every league of basketball.
The Commander’s Cup Postseason Basketball Tournament will start Monday and the regular season will wrap up today and Thursday. Some teams are still fighting to pull above .500 and make the postseason, but it’s pretty clear by the records who the favorites are to compete for the title. For the first time this year, the best of League One will play the best of League Two. Overall, there are about six or seven teams that wouldn’t surprise anyone if they won the tournament.
Here are the top three teams from each league to keep an eye on during the playoffs:
League One: D Company, 2nd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment. The top three teams in this league have played each other over the past two weeks and 2/29 came out 2-0 in those games. They are my personal pick to win this year’s tournament. Out of all the teams in the tournament, this one probably has the best advantage when it comes to size. And they have depth. They can interchange four solid post players and wear teams out physically in the process. Statistically, they are the best defensive team in League One.
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11th Engineers Team No. 2. The Engineers are one of the few teams who have enough size to compete with 2/29. They lost to 2/29 by just one point, 37-36, and pulled out an overtime victory against the 75th Ranger Regiment. But their real strength is their guard play, which gives them great balance on offense. Up until the last couple of weeks, they were the top-ranked defensive team.
75th Ranger Regiment. After starting 6-0 the Rangers came out on the bad end of the triangle of games between the Engineers and 2/29. They lost to the Engineers 56-51 in overtime and to 2/29, 43-39. But given 10 matchups against either of those teams, they could easily win five of them. They also have good guard play and a versatile scorer in Brett Roberson. Their main Achilles heel against the Engineers, though, was the free-throw line, in which they had a stretch of 10 consecutive missed foul shots.
1st Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment. With an 8-1 record, they’ve been the proven best team in League Two, their only loss coming at the hands of the 203rd Brigade Support Battalion (7-3). Most of their wins have been by close margins, but that means they also know how to find ways to win against tough competition.
MEDDAC Team No. 1. Under coach James Johnson, MEDDAC has been a perennial force to be reckoned with. MEDDAC finished runner-up in the preseason tournament after a triple-overtime loss to 2nd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment. It can be explosive on offense and has put up more points than anyone else in League Two.
1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment. 1/15 is my darkhorse team to win the tournament. I give credit to the 203rd BSB for being the only team to defeat 1/19, but I watched 1/15 light up MEDDAC after falling behind 21-9 early and coming out with a 65-62 win, a score that didn’t indicate how one-sided the second half was. At one point, 1/15 was routing MEDDAC. My only concern for them is their ability to finish off opponents and protect leads.