The college season is heating up… but the championship has been postponed
Some recent games have upset the collegiate Top 5, but everyone has in mind USA Team Handball’s recent decision to postpone the collegiate national championships. Originally scheduled for April 3-5 at Ohio State University, the tournament has now been postponed due to concerns over the coronavirus situation and Ohio State’s recent decision to suspend all “in-person” classes until to March 30.
It’s a shame because the championship was shaping up to be one of the most interesting and potentially open contests in years. Yes, Army-West Point are still favorites, but several teams have stepped up their game and looked ready to give them a real challenge. Here are the results of the latest poll.
Army: As usual, Army has had a stellar season and is undefeated at the college level. They are also on course for a 2nd place finish in the Northeast Team Handball League behind NYC.
Aviation: The Air Force was soundly beaten by the Army in November 40-28, but in January at the Cal Cup, the gap was only 31-29. Most recently, they went 5-0-0 at their own tournament and pulled off an impressive 26-18 victory over previously undefeated North Carolina. This victory (unsurprisingly) propels them to second place in the standings.
North Carolina: North Carolina is 14-0-2 overall and their biggest achievement this year was winning the Carolina Blue Cup. They performed consistently, but the loss to the Air Force dropped them to 3rd place.
ohio state: Ohio State is 10-1-1 overall and in February they beat previously undefeated Pittsburgh 31-19. That record and the key victory over Pitt propelled them to 4th place, but all of their wins came at home. It remains to be seen how well they can cope with teams playing against tougher competition.
Army (2nd team): The 2nd Army team took 2nd place at the Carolina Blue Cup and this performance earned them a 5th place in the standings. In the semifinals they shocked the eternal powerhouse NYAC and in the finals they only lost 31-29 to North Carolina. The only question mark? The roster of the team that played at Chapel Hill included players who also saw 1st team action this season. So maybe it was a better 2nd team than the team that played in other competitions.
Many question marks remain regarding the evolving coronavirus situation and its impact on sporting events. The USA handball team announcement even suggested that attendees refrain from planning travel for the National Club Championships scheduled for May 8-10 in Detroit. Even if the coronavirus issues resolve with students ending the semester in May and seniors graduating, it could be very difficult to reschedule the college championship. Yes, that would definitely be a huge disappointment, but there is a very real possibility that there will be no more college handball this season.
College records 2019-20: link
2019-20 Match Results: Link