Sunday, January 13, 2013

Boys Basketball Sectional Forecast #3

There wasn't a ton going on in terms of changes, but there were a ton of games as there should be every week from this point forward.  We are now to the point where we can start looking into how the schedules play out and where teams might end up.  There is a bit of this and some point differential analysis below.  Enjoy Sectional Forecast #3.

Class AA

(1) Troy  8-1     up 1
(16) Ballston Spa  3-7     down 1
(8) Guilderland  6-3
(9) LaSalle 7-4     up 2
(5) Shaker  9-1
(12) Shenendehowa 5-2
(4) Bethlehem  8-1     down 1
(13) Colonie  5-5
(3) Albany Academy  2-0     up 1
(14) Catholic Central  4-5     down 4
(6) CBA  8-2
(11) Bishop Maginn  5-6     up 5
(7) Columbia  7-2
(10) Schenectady  5-5  down 1
(2) Green Tech  3-0
(15) Saratoga Springs 5-5     down 1

Unranked:  Albany, Niskayuna

Troy has overtaken Green Tech as the #1 seed but not by much.  The top 9 seeds' ratings all went up this week but still no one has a rating above finals level.  Green Tech has actually hit a bit of a wall and that has to do with having maxed out two of the four variables.  With two games against Albany Academy this might be their high water mark.  If that's the case it's just going to be a matter of whether or not Troy can stay on top of them.  That means they will probably have to run the table.  Shen continues to look under-ranked but even without the model I might only move them up 2 spots.  There is another issue at work in this bracket and that is the crumbling of Schenectady.  Since their decent performance against Troy and near win versus CBA they have lost 4 of 5 and none have been particularly close.  I'm not sure what's behind the sudden lack of competitiveness but if it keeps up then Green Tech's 31 point win over them may not look as impressive especially given how they have now lost to LaSalle by 26 and Bishop Maginn by 24.

Another interesting angle in this equation is how the committee handles Green Tech and Albany Academy.  Since the AA bracket is split between the Big 10 (1-8) and Suburban (1-8) instead of straight seeding like I've used.  I've never liked that method but I understood it for a time.  Now that two teams are independent I think they should switch it up, or realign the leagues (a topic for another post).

Class A

(1) Scotia-Glenville  10-0
(16) Bye
(8) Lansingburgh  4-5     up 1
(9) Averill Park  2-7     down 2
(5) South Glens Falls  5-4     up 1
(12) Bye
(4) Mohonasen  3-7
(13) Bye
(3) Burnt Hills  4-5
(14) Bye
(6) Gloversville  4-4     down 1
(11) Bishop Gibbons  0-10
(7) Queensbury  5-5     up 1
(10) Amsterdam  2-8
(2) Glens Falls  5-3
(15) Bye

Burnt Hills is the only one in this group that has any chance to take out Scotia and I believe they should probably be the 2nd seed.  Whether or not they can overtake Glens Falls remains to be seen, but they aren't that far behind and a big win in their conference would do a lot.  Glens Falls is currently enjoying the benefit of their smaller enrollment which is keeping them ahead of the other Foothills teams.  In reality there isn't much of a difference between them and the teams 4-8.  Only four of the teams are performing better than historical trends would suggest and other than Scotia, Glens Falls is the only one whose differential is greater than .100.  This remains the weakest bracket in the section and probably will be for the remainder of the year.

Class B

(1) Catskill  12-0
(16) Greenville  3-7
(8) Broadalbin-Perth  4-5     up 2
(9) Ichabod Crane  6-4     down 4
(5) Mekeel Academy  6-2     up 3
(12) Schalmont  6-5
(4) Cairo-Durham  8-1     down 2
(13) Hudson  6-6
(3) Schuylerville  8-1
(14) Fonda-Fultonville  3-7
(6) Ravena  7-2     up 1
(11) Corinth  6-4
(7) Cohoes  5-4     down 1
(10) Taconic Hills  6-5     down 1
(2) Watervliet  3-0     up 2
(15) Tamarac  4-6

Unranked:  Johnstown, Hudson Falls, Chatham, Granville, Coxsackie-Athens, Cobleskill

Two blowout wins do a lot for your ranking in this model and Mekeel Academy is reaping the benefits.  They increased their score by .173 and moved into fifth place in the bracket.  They also still have some room for improvement as every win not only increases their winning percentage, it will most likely increase their margin vs their historical expected average.  This is one of the tighter brackets in the section with the top two only .005 apart and the distance from first to fourth is .052.  Mekeel Academy is .095 back at five.  I can see Catskill finishing undefeated taking their second from Cairo-Durham in the process.  It may not be enough to stay ahead of Watervliet however.  Vliet has two tougher games on their schedule and they seem to have rebounded from their vacated wins, but Albany Academy is more than likely a loss.  If they finish out 10-1 and maintain a fairly large MOV they could move ahead.  Schuylerville's toughest game is arguably Cohoes out of league, but they can't take their remaining games in the Wasaren lightly.  There are a couple tests there as well.  I see them finishing third as long as they hold things together.  A loss to Cohoes could drop them.  If Cairo-Durham loses to Catskill they will probably finish 5th as I think Mekeel Academy will crush everyone in their league from here on out.  I'm still baffled by their first two games, both losses to Mayfield and Mechanicville and it gives me a little cause for concern regarding their sectional chances.  We'll see how that plays out.

After that I don't see any real threats with a bunch of teams from the Colonial piled together with a scattering second tier Patroon teams.  The only team I'm really interested in there is Broadalbin-Perth as they always seem to have a little something extra come sectional time.

Class C

(1) Lake George  10-0
(16) Waterford  5-6
(8) Voorheesville  4-3    
(9) Rensselaer  6-5     up 2
(5) Greenwich  8-3
(12) Saratoga Catholic  6-6     down 2
(4) Canajoharie  10-2
(13) Maple Hill  6-6
(3) Berne-Knox  6-2
(14) Mayfield  5-5     up 1
(6) Stillwater  6-4     up 1
(11) Mechanicville  5-5     up 3
(7) Schoharie  7-3     down 1
(10) Fort Plain  6-4     up 2
(2) Hoosic Valley  10-1
(15) Hoosick Falls  4-5     down 6

Unranked:  Berlin, Duanesburg, Whitehall, Cambridge, Middleburgh, Hadley-Luzerne, Galway

The top two are nearly identical from last week in their ranking scores.  Unless someone has an unexpected loss along the way, Lake George's matchup with Argyle and Hoosic Valley's with Schuylerville will be the deciding factors.  Berne-Knox dropped some from their loss to Mekeel Academy and Canajoharie improved so they are now only separated by .002.  Stillwater and Schoharie flipped spots, but they too are extremely close only .001 apart.  The biggest threats here are the two Colonial teams and I'm actually starting to fear the model is underrating them a bit.  They are upsets waiting to happen at their current spots.  Mechanicville has already beaten Stillwater, with whom they are currently matched.  I have a feeling the Prediction model is going to have this a bit different.  I can't wait to run that one.

Class D

(1) Argyle  10-0
(16) New Lebanon 0-7     previously unranked
(8) Heatly 5-4     up 1
(9) Hartford  4-4     down 2
(5) Fort Ann  6-3
(12) Warrensburg  3-6
(4) Germantown  5-3
(13) Fort Edward  0-7
(3) North Warren  8-1
(14) Hawthorne Valley  1-6
(6) Northville  6-5
(11) Salem  4-6
(7) St. Johnsville  4-4     up 1
(10) Doane Stuart  4-5
(2) Loudonville Christian  9-0
(15) Bolton  0-9

Unranked: Sharon Springs

There isn't much to say here as there wasn't a ton of movement from anyone.  Argyle is now officially ranking above the finals threshold and is closing in on a score above champion.  As with the Girls, no one in the Adirondack has played anyone in the CHVL so until they meet it's difficult to say for sure how this stacks up.  There is one point of comparison that I can mention but it's a bit of a stretch.  Duanesburg has lost to both Loudonville Christian and Northville, the former by an average of 23 points, the latter by 17.  Doane Stuart has also lost to both by 17 and 6 respectively.  That equates to Loudonville Christian being 8.5 points better than Northville.  That's not a bad sample and fairly robust considering how far apart these schools are.  Now I bring you the stretch.  Northville lost to North Warren by 15.  From an indirect score you can then calculate North Warren to be 6.5 points better than Loudonville Christian.  While I wouldn't read too much into that, it does give a pretty good indication why Argyle is and should be the heavy favorite in class D.

Although I don't take too much stock in an analysis like this it's fun to see how these teams match up even when they haven't played.  There is so much more that goes into a game than the statistics, but looking at the statistics and game data can give some insight.

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