Incredible regular season sets up D2M for highly anticipated playoffs

No fan in D2M can consider themselves short changed on the excitement front this season as this league has had everything. With a 3-way tie at the top all the way until the final weekend, a relegation decider between Doncaster and London Pioneers and a mass of battles down the stretch to secure playoff places, this season has been one of the most exciting in recent memory. The playoffs promise to be just as impressive!

#1 Kent Crusaders

Regular season record: 19-3

Record in the last 5 games: 5-0

D2M fixtures against Killamarsh Derbyshire Arrows this season:

22/10/16 – Killamarsh Derbyshire Arrows 72 v 86 Kent Crusaders
28/01/17 – Kent Crusaders 107 v 58 Killamarsh Derbyshire Arrows

After being crowned champions on the final day of the regular season, Kent can be delighted that they have returned to D1M at the 1st attempt. After knocking 3 D1 sides out of the National Cup this season before losing to Solent Kestrels by single digits, it’s hard to argue that the Crusaders don’t belong in the top flight. Before they set about making their mark on D1, there is the small matter of these D2M playoffs. Sunday’s game against the Arrows should be relatively straight forward on their own court. Last time these 2 sides met in Kent, it wasn’t pretty.

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#8 Killamarsh Derbyshire Arrows

Regular season record: 8-14

Record in the last 5 games: 1-4

D2M fixtures against Kent Crusaders this season:

22/10/16 – Killamarsh Derbyshire Arrows 72 v 86 Kent Crusaders
28/01/17 – Kent Crusaders 107 v 58 Killamarsh Derbyshire Arrows

The Arrows managed to get enough points on the board early as this team has really struggled since the calendar moved over to 2017. 2-9 since the start of January, the Arrows have dropped games against Newham, Liverpool and London Greenhouse Pioneers, none of which made it to the playoffs. Staying clear of relegation with their form on the decline, Derbyshire can be pleased they are in the post season and with nothing to lose, who knows what could happen.

Amin Adamu has been a standout for Kent this season on all fronts and will hope to push them towards post season success - Create Often

#2 Team Newcastle University

Regular season record: 19-3

Record in the last 5 games: 3-2

D2M fixtures against Tees Valley Mohawks this season:

18/01/17 – Tees Valley Mohawks 59 v 84 Team Newcastle University
04/02/17 – Team Newcastle University 84 v 75 Tees Valley Mohawks

Team Newcastle had one hand on the D2M regular season trophy but couldn’t get past Kent on the final day of the season to seal the deal. Even more frustrating is Newcastle had already beaten Kent in D2M and in the Patrons Cup Final but couldn’t get a win for a 3rd time. The University side will no doubt be looking for some revenge in the post season if the two teams cross paths again, but in order for that to happen Newcastle need to overcome local rivals Tees Valley on Sunday. Charlton Jones has destroyed some sides this season, but the Knights have largely kept him in check when they’ve met. Hopefully for the #2 seeds, that will continue this weekend as well.

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#7 Tees Valley Mohawks

Regular season record: 9-13

Record in the last 5 games: 3-2

D2M fixtures against Team Newcastle University this season: 

18/01/17 – Tees Valley Mohawks 59 v 84 Team Newcastle University
04/02/17 – Team Newcastle University 84 v 75 Tees Valley Mohawks

In the mix for a low playoff seeding for most of the season, Tees Valley will be happy that they have managed to slow their decline after being relegated from D1M last year. Charlton Jones has been an inspired signing that the Mohawks would love to keep around for next season if possible. If they can and the American continues to develop his play with Ben Seipt, a few extra pieces could see the North East side pressing for a top 4 finish. This season they’re probably going to have to accept that their post season run is going to be a one and done affair against a strong Newcastle team, but that’s not the end of the world.


#3 Thames Valley Cavaliers

Regular season record: 18-4

Record in the last 5 games: 4-1

D2M fixtures against Nottingham Hoods this season:

29/10/16 – Nottingham Hoods 80 v 88 Thames Valley Cavaliers
04/02/17 – Thames Valley Cavaliers 86 v 69 Nottingham Hoods

Whilst you can’t foresee the future, there is a fair chance that the Cavaliers will be the best team outside of the top flight next season. After a solid 18-win campaign including a victory against Kent, Thames Valley missed out on promotion by the narrowest of margins. With the 2 sides being relegated for D1M needing to bounce back, the Cavs will hope they are in pole position for promotion going into next term. With a quality roster still available, Coach Banks will feel that playoff success is attainable, particularly as his side have matched up well with both the #1 and #2 seeds during the regular season.

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#6 Nottingham Hoods

Regular season record: 10-12

Record in the last 5 games: 4-1

D2M fixtures against Thames Valley Cavaliers this season:

29/10/16 – Nottingham Hoods 80 v 88 Thames Valley Cavaliers
04/02/17 – Thames Valley Cavaliers 86 v 69 Nottingham Hoods

The Hoods have had a solid season and although the team may have wanted to finish a little higher after securing 4th place last year, 6th is a fair reflection of their performance. Nottingham were 0-8 vs the top 4 teams in the division this season, suggesting they still have a few more steps to take before they can consider promotion as a reasonable goal. Their game this weekend against Thames Valley will be another test of those aspirations, but if the Hoods can keep learning from these games it will only stand them in good stead going into next year. 


#4 Ipswich

Regular season record: 12-10

Record in the last 5 games: 3-2

D2M fixtures against London Westside this season:

29/10/16 – London Westside 69 v 60 Ipswich
04/02/17 – Ipswich 74 v 82 London Westside

Two sides that have been locked together for most of the season, Ipswich finally gained the upper hand and sealed the #4th seed for the playoffs. As a team that has been on the bubble of promotion to D1M for some time now, they certainly have plenty of experience and will be a dangerous opponent in the post season. With single digit losses to Kent and Thames Valley, plus a win over Newcastle, this roster has talent and will be looking to emulate the team of 3 years ago that reached the D2M playoff final.

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#5 London Westside

Regular season record: 11-11

Record in the last 5 games: 1-4

D2M fixtures against Ipswich this season:

29/10/16 – London Westside 69 v 60 Ipswich
04/02/17 – Ipswich 74 v 82 London Westside

One of the main drivers behind the unpredictability of D2M this season are London Westside. Having beaten Kent and Thames Valley plus doing the double over this weekend’s opponents Ipswich, the London side have also lost to bottom side Newham, fellow relegated side Doncaster and 9th placed London Pioneers. More than capable of playing to their opponent’s level, be that good or bad, Westside should be a difficult side to overcome this weekend. Who knows how they will perform in the playoffs, but expect the unexpected.