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NIKE EYBL Atlanta: Rivalry Matchups

By D1 Circuit Staff, 05/27/16, 5:30PM EDT

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SATURDAY

Battle for Florida

Kevin Knox, Emmitt Williams and Silvio de Sousa and company take on upstart Nike South Beach, led by Chaundee Brown and Zack Dawson. This should be an incredibly intense affair, as NSB's head coach Boobie Francis will square off against his former club.

Battle for Texas

DFW vs. Houston to tip off session 4, and both are in need of a win. Jarred Vanderbilt and Billy Preston will have their work cut out for them against Pro Skills' big man Mitchell Robinson. As far as records go, the Hoops need this win badly.

SUNDAY

Battle for the Desert

There isn't an official rivalry cemented between these two squads, but it likely won't take long to develop. The EYBL's two desert affiliates are on the bubble, and both will be desperate for a win. Look for Marvin Bagley III and Charles O'Bannon to step up.

Battle for the Midwest

This game is going to be a classic. These two programs constantly battle each other for players, and both will be looking for bragging rights in Atlanta. MOKAN will be favored - and for good reason - but do not sleep on Jordan Goodwin and his St. Louis squad. Look for the Eagles to give their best attempt at stifling MOKAN's Trae Young and Michael Porter Jr.

Louisiana vs. Arkansas

Both squads are struggling, but both will have something a little extra to play for in this matchup. The Wings received a big lift from Shai Alexander and Therren Szmidt in Hampton, and will need a similar performance to offset EP Elite's Brandon Rachal and Devante Jones. The Wings desperately need this win to stay in Peach Jam contention, but EP won't be backing down from anyone.

Battle for Georgia

This will be the local game of the session, as Georgia's two EYB affiliates square off for 2016 supremacy. Each squad has overcome some early season setbacks, and both are looking for a strong fourth session to solidify their Peach Jam berth. These two programs are highly-competitive, and we expect to see a back-and-forth affair that goes down to the wire. 

NC vs. DC

While there isn't any animosity between these two squads, this is a classic matchup of powerhouse programs in their respective regions. Wendell Carter Jr. leads the way for CP3, and his interior battle with Luka Garza will likely play a large factor in the final outcome. Both squads are in a good spot for a Peach Jam berth, and a win would escalate the resume of either program.

Battle for Chicago

The Battle for Chicago presents some rather large implications for both squads - especially the Fire. At 4-7, they desperately need all the wins they can get. They will have a hell of a test with MeanStreets, who have rode the star power of Brian Bowen to a 6-5 record through three sessions. Ultimately, not much can prepare you for the intensity of this matchup, as both teams employ a tough, gritty mindset that Chicagoans should be proud of.

Battle for Boston

Boston's two EYB programs are highly competitive, and it's a guarantee that this matchup has been circled on the calendar by both squads for months. Head coach Britney Papile leads an underrated, defensive-minded BABC who will need a strong fourth session to feel good about their Peach Jam chances. Expressions' quartet Tremont Waters, Nick Richards, Kimani Lawrence and Jermaine Samuels form a potent offensive attack, and while their record leaves a bit to be desired, they have the talent to beat anyone on the circuit. Much like the other rivalry matchups, the intensity in this game will be through the roof.

Jersey vs. Philly

This game is always a treat. These two programs are very close in proximity, and both have done a ton of winning during the EYBL's six year existence. There is a high-level of mutual respect between these programs, and both squads know that type of effort will be needed in order to walk away with a win. The Playaz will enter as a slight underdog, and judging by the strength of Division D, they will need all the wins they can get in Atlanta.

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