Reverse Survivor was whittled down to its final two combatants on March 8th last season, the earliest that Reverse Survivor has featured two eligible teams without a Division I win. In a surprising replication of last season's quick push to two finalists, 2015 has culled its Reverse Survivor pool of participants to two on March 14th, a lightning quick evaporation of contenders.1 This is it, you guys. This is where the sausage gets made in a rusty sausage maker that is probably better suited for sheering fingers than feeding chopped meat into natural casing lined with strychnine.
Here are the three teams that played their way into the warm light of victory in the last week:
- Canisius: In a Reverse Survivor-off, the Griffs toppled Manhattan in Riverdale in an 8-4 victory. Billy Jacobbi had four goals on 10 shots for Canisius while Alex Govenettio chipped in 16 saves to help the Griffins to the victory. Canisius may have been in trouble had the Griffs not moved past the Jaspers: The team's upcoming slate includes Albany, Marist, and Siena.
- Massachusetts: The Minutemen scored two -- !!!!!! -- victories in the last seven days, taking a boot to Quinnipiac's face in a 18-5 triumph and getting a solid win against Penn State in Amherst, 12-8. Massachusetts was more a victim of a tough early season schedule than a team that couldn't compete. The Minutemen's recent victories are indicative of that fact.
- Mercer: LaxPower illustrates the Bears as a four-goal underdog to High Point. Mercer does not care. In a stunning feat of human achievement, the Bears rode a six-point effort from Chris Rahill to a 12-11 overtime victory against the Panthers in Macon. This is where you pick up all the brains that have leaked out of your ears.
The Final Two: Reverse Survivor's Remaining Participant Pool
Next Opponent: at Delaware -- March 18th
Chance of Victory: Not great. The Blue Hens aren't exactly crushing skulls -- Delaware is just 3-5 and has suffered consecutive setbacks to Binghamton and Rutgers -- but the Hens have enough excitement to shuffle past the Jaspers. Manhattan's hungry like a bear regaining consciousness after months of hibernation, but hunting Delaware may be a little aggressive for the Jaspers at this stage of Manhattan's season.
Next Reasonable Chance of Victory: NJIT -- March 31st. After Delaware comes Brown, which isn't fun for anyone except Bruno. After Brown comes Detroit, a possible moment for a victory parade yet still a reach for a Manhattan team that has scored all of 26 goals in 2015. Victory likely comes at the end of the month when the Jaspers host the Highlanders in the Bronx. If there can be only one -- Highlander and/or Manhattan victory this season -- it likely comes on March's final day.
Next Opponent: at Wagner -- March 17th
Chance of Victory: Pretty damn good! Look: Rock fights have winners, and the winner of a rock fight -- bruised and bleeding from the head -- is still the winner of a thing. Victories are victories regardless of the quality of opponent thrown in the sewer and left for dead. The Keydets will enter their date with the Seahawks on Staten Island as an underdog -- let's ballpark this and say that Wagner is about a goal stronger than VMI -- but the important thing is that the Keydets are approaching something manageable, a hopeful moment that glitters with great anticipation.
Next Reasonable Chance of Victory: at Wagner -- March 17th.
1 New programs aren't eligible for Reverse Survivor. To include new programs in this competition misses the point as they're still learning how to get on and off the bus.