The first round of the playoffs is where most of the more lopsided matchups happen in the postseason. Saturday's matchup between the Little Miami Panthers and the La Salle Lancers is one of those matchups, the Lancers projected to advance to the second round with a 53-0 victory. It's do or die for each team as always in the postseason. Regardless of the outcome, each team can take comfort in the fact that they had a successful enough season to get here, but only one team will be satisfied with the result as the other's season will end on a loss. Little Miami comes in as Division 2's 44th-ranked team. La Salle comes in ranked 7th. A new matchup on the schedule for each team, Saturday's game is a chance for each to test its skills and strategies against an unfamiliar opponent. Usually, matchups from the previous year are used in developing a strategy for upcoming games. For these two, no such opportunity will be afforded.
Little Miami is currently on a 3-game winning streak, which they hope to continue on Saturday. Coming off of a 48-35 win against the Simon Kenton Pioneers, they are 8-2 and their confidence continues to build as they finish up the year. Scoring an average of 34.2 points per game on offense, the Panthers rank 19th in Division 2. They've been even more explosive in recent weeks, scoring an average of 44.5 over their last 2 games. Their defense allows an average of 23.6 points per game, which ranks 45th in their division.
La Salle will be looking to put together a win streak coming off of a 27-25 win over the Elder Panthers last week, which brings their record to 8-2. The Lancers have struggled on offense, scoring only 19.25 points per game over their last 4 games. On the year, they rank 30th in Division 2, scoring an average of 30.3 points per game over the course of the season. On defense, they haven't been any better statistically, ranking 12th in their division, allowing 14.3 points per game.
Prediction: La Salle to win (99.85% chance of victory)