Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Boys Class C Semifinal Breakdown

I'm going to be perfectly honest with you.  I have not watched a high school basketball game live and in person since 2005.....before tonight.  I went up to the Civic Center, one of the greatest atmosphere's there is to watch a high school basketball game by the way, and watched both Class C semifinal games.  I have never professed to be a x's and o's guy which is why I stick mostly to math, but there are a number of things I took away from the games that the scores didn't indicate.

The first thing is that, while the scores were almost identical, Lake George won 57-31 and Hoosic Valley won 55-30, that is where the similarities stopped.  Lake George actually trailed in their game by 2 points at half time.  They broke it open in the third quarter with some "show me" full court pressure.  As I've said, I'm no master tactician, but I played at the JV level, kept stats for the Varsity team in my Junior year, watched almost every game my Senior year and have seen dozens of games between my graduation and 2005 (if you haven't guessed, I went to a C school).  The best full court press I've ever seen was the 1995-1996 Mechanicville team.  Lake George's was not even remotely close.  They may have a better one, but they certainly didn't show it or need it tonight.  Greenwich had very little in terms of ball handlers and it didn't help that they couldn't make a shot, but the minute they felt that limited full court pressure they became extremely sloppy with the ball and mostly folded like a wet paper towel.  It was not an effort I'm accustomed to seeing from a quality Wasaren League team.  Another thing I noticed was that neither team made any substitutions that I noticed until the fourth quarter, literally, not one.  Only ten guys played the first 24 plus minutes.

In the other game Hoosic Valley basically dominated from the outset.  Within the first 2 minutes Canajoharie took the ball to the basket and were blocked 2 or 3 times (I don't recall seeing one in the Lake George-Greenwich game).  From that point on, all the dribble drives resulted in wild underhanded flings to the basket obviously aware of what was waiting for them.  Hoosic Valley plays a tough man to man defense and has under Calhoun for a long time.  They were also able to break Canajoharie's press with relative ease.  The first time Canjo applied pressure, there were three passes down the floor and J.T. Sawyer drilled a 3 from the corner.  The press stopped and wasn't used again until late in the game.

My take away from these two games is that Hoosic Valley has the best two overall players of the four teams that played tonight and while Joel Wincowski may be the best pure shooter, Hoosic Valley as a whole is taller, faster, stronger and deeper (if only slightly, they played 7 guys) than Greenwich and should present him with a much tougher night.  In fact, the speed difference between the first game with Lake George and the second game with Hoosic Valley was startling and I'm still a little amazed by it.  One thing I love about watching sectionals is you get to watch the games featuring teams that will play each other in the next round and judge for yourself who is better.  To me it was clear, Hoosic Valley is the favorite and if they play even half as well as they played tonight, they should easily be the C Champions.  It's late and I'm tired, but if I remember any other important details when I'm thinking more clearly tomorrow, I'll let you know.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Quarterfinal Sectional Standings, Recap and Preview

Now that we have completed the quarterfinals in both the boys and the girls we have a much better idea of how the conferences stand against one another and thus, we should have a pretty good idea of how the rest of the tournament is going to go.  In theory anyway.  The problem with theory of course is that in practice it may not tell you anything at all.  Below are the standings of how the various models and the committee are doing so far.  So far everyone is doing really well.  I did this a few years ago with a different model and both the model and the committee were closer to 0.750, but there are still a lot of games to go.  Below that is a recap and preview of the semifinals and finals.

Sectional Forecast Rating                      49        9         .845
Section 2 Committee                            48        10        .828
Sectional Prediction Rating                    47        11        .810
Common Opponents Analysis               41        17        .707

Sectional Prediction Rating                    46        6         .885
Section 2 Committee                             43        9         .827
Common Opponents Analysis               40        12        .769
Sectional Forecast Rating                      39        13        .750

There is another element I’m tracking as well and that is for the two regression models.  Since they base things on how far a team advances, I wanted to see how well it’s doing when teams crossed those thresholds.  In order to advance to the second round, the model would have to give you a score of 0.556.  To get to the semifinals, a 0.778 is needed to be achieved.  The table below shows how those teams did.  For example, there were 17 boys’ teams that had a rating above 0.556, which 16 of them won in the first round. (These ratings were calculated using all the regular season games including those after the brackets were released and none of the sectional games.)

Boys – Sectional Forecast Rating
1st Round                                             16        1          .941
2nd Round                                             7          1          .875

Boys – Sectional Prediction Rating
1st Round                                             16        1          .941
2nd Round                                             7          1          .875

Girls – Sectional Forecast Rating
1st Round                                             10        3          .769
2nd Round                                             6          0          1.000

Boys – Sectional Prediction Rating
1st Round                                             8          2          .800
2nd Round                                             7          0          1.000

There is one other analysis I’m tracking and that includes the teams the models did not have with necessary rating to advance, but were seeded to advance.  So this is a situation where a team had a 0.500 rating, but was seeded 6th for instance.  The one caveat here is that, since my seeds aren’t used, I could have teams that played each other even though I have them both advancing.  This analysis counts that as both a win and a loss.

Boys – Sectional Forecast Rating
1st Round                                             12        3          .800
2nd Round                                             10        2          .833

Boys – Sectional Prediction Rating
1st Round                                             11        5          .688
2nd Round                                             9          3          .750

Girls – Sectional Forecast Rating
1st Round                                             5          4          .556
2nd Round                                             10        4          .714

Boys – Sectional Prediction Rating
1st Round                                             9          4          .692
2nd Round                                             5          4          .556

Girls Recap and Preview
The AA bracket has gone exactly as I though it would.  I do believe these are the best four teams.  The interesting thing so far is the spread Albany had over Shen.  Shen has now played and lost to all 4 teams that are remaining.  They lost to Shaker by an average of 14.5, Colonie by 15, and Bethlehem and Albany by 18 each.  The semifinal match-ups both have the potential to be very close, but I still think we’ll see Bethlehem and Albany in the final.  And I’m still not confident as to who will win.

In the A bracket there was one mild upset in the second round with Mohonasen beating Queensbury by 1.  Ultimately, it shouldn’t matter too much as Troy should advance fairly easily.  On the other side of the bracket, we now have a direct comparison to go by.  Averill Park beat Scotia by 34, whereas Holy Names beat them by 21.  I played JV in tenth grade and didn’t see any minutes until the starters got us up by 20, so it’s my belief that anything over 20 doesn’t mean a whole lot, but I try not to let my personal bias get in the way of the math.  Either way it is a comparison in which Averill Park holds the advantage.  Honesty, it may not matter as Troy appears to be properly placed at the head of this field.

The only real stunner to this point comes from the B bracket where Ichabod Crane has shocked not only Cohoes, but Taconic Hills from the 13 seed.  The more important development may be that the Patroon Conference may be weaker than originally thought.  It does lend some credibility to TH’s 2 point win over Waterford and the CHVL’s underwhelming sectional performance.  The ramifications could be greater felt in the C bracket which I’ll get into momentarily.  Ichabod now also has a chance to play for the championship if they can defeat a depleted Watervliet squad.  When they met earlier this year, Watervliet only won by 11, but without two of their starters Watervliet may have more difficulty this time around.  The good news for Watervliet is they crushed Broadalbin-Perth, so someone must have stepped up and perhaps they can again.  Either team will likely play Tamarac (if they survive Ravena) in the final.  Given the current landscape, Tamarac should be the clear favorites to take the title.

Other than Greenwich’s non-upset upset over Waterford, the C bracket has played out pretty much exactly as one would have thought despite the potential for some bigger upsets.  As previously mentioned, Taconic Hills’ loss in the B bracket could indicate a problem for all the teams not residing in Schaghticoke (that would be Hoosic Valley for those not familiar, I think I even spelled it right).  If Taconic Hills isn’t good enough to beat the team with the sixth best record in the Colonial Council and Maple Hill is roughly a handful of points better than Taconic Hills and Berne-Knox, Hoosic Valley should ride rather smoothly to another championship.

The D bracket is featuring an all Adirondack semifinal and has been chalk thus far, and I’m willing to bet it will continue that way up to and probably even including the final.  I know I don’t give the D teams a lot of space, but everything seems so finite with this group where the teams line up nicely without much room for upsets. 

Boys Recap and Preview
The AA bracket took an unexpected turn over the weekend with the concussion to Jamil Hood Jr. and Green Tech’s win over Shen despite the injury.  I was never too high on Shen this year, but they had played a ton of close games against quality teams (and some not so quality teams).  If you told me Green Tech’s best player wouldn’t play three quarters however, I would have given Shen a decent chance to upset them.  Going forward to the Green Tech-CBA game this week, a lot depends on whether or not Hood Jr. plays and if he does whether or not he’s effective.  It says a lot about Green Tech that they were able to defeat Shen without Hood Jr., but I don’t see how they can do the same against CBA.  CBA has clearly gotten better as the season has progressed, and at this point, are probably the favorites.  On the other hand, if Hood Jr. plays and does so up to his level, I see Green Tech advancing to the final.  On the other side of the bracket, I wasn’t too surprised by the Bethlehem-Troy score as both teams have had very good seasons and with the Suburban and Big 10’s top teams converging to a level playing field.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see either Shaker or Troy in the final.  Each have played at least one dud this year so hopefully they both bring their A games and we get another thriller.  The big question in this bracket is will there be no Big 10 teams in the final?

While I didn’t predict Queensbury would beat Burt Hills, I did say the Suburban wouldn’t dominate the A bracket this year and though I can find more than one predictions that have gone wrong, this one was right.  Scotia’s MOV’s have been slowly declining over the past month, but unless the Colonial is a lot stronger than anyone has given them credit for, they should move easily to the final where they will beat one of two teams they have already beaten handily twice each.  One other thought here, who wouldn't love to see Troy in this bracket where they belong?  The A bracket would be in for a really good final with Troy and Scotia (the real question should be is Scotia better than Troy, not Albany Academy) and the AA bracket wouldn't lose that much having Bethlehem facing off against Shaker in the semis.  This should have happened.

The B bracket features two teams from the Patroon, in a reversal from what we saw on the girls’ side.  Of this group only Catskill advanced to the semis with less than a 20 point win.  I still believe Watervliet is the cream of this crop, but Schuylerville put up a huge number on Ravena, roughly the same as Watervliet’s win earlier this year.  While I was surprised by the lopsided loss Mekeel Academy took, I do believe it reiterates playing a tough schedule can prove helpful in sectionals.  It may be time for Mekeel to consider taking their talents to another league as they are now the lone B school in the WAC.  While they did play some larger schools, they didn’t play one good enough to beat them, as Cairo-Durham did.  Ultimately this comes down to leagues and the Colonial and Wasaren have proven over time, on average, to be better leagues than the Patroon.  I still see Watervliet beating Schuylerville in the final.

The C bracket remains a crap-shoot with the top two seeds winning their quarterfinal games by 3 and 5 points.  The 3 and 4 seeds each won by a dozen over double digit opponents.  Those close second round games may actually favor Hoosic Valley and Lake George as they came through down the stretch in big gyms on neutral floors (though Lake George played at Shen, not HVCC).  I heard an interview with the Canajoharie coach saying how they were “battle-tested” with a giant grin on his face (no giant smile on Calhoun’s face from what I saw, or ever really).  There is a difference between battle-tested in the WAC North against teams that advanced exactly one team past the first round (themselves) and battle-tested against the Wasaren who advanced 4 and one in the B bracket.  I’ll stick with Lake George and Hoosic Valley in the final.
In the Foregone conclusion bracket, I mean D bracket, there are two contests with Adirondack teams facing CHVL teams.  In the only game that Argyle isn’t going to win (because they won’t be playing in it), the CHVL’s best, Loudonville Christian, will take on the Adirondack’s second best, Fort Ann.  This should be a good game and we’ll finally get to see how these two leagues match up with each other.  Ultimately this should be an all Adirondack final with you know who taking the crown.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Update Coming Soon

I had an unusually and unanticipated busy week and weekend, but a second round update will be up tomorrow.  I'll be starting work on

Friday, February 22, 2013

Completed Girls Common Opponent Analysis

Here is the completed girls’ COA.  The biggest story in the AA bracket is the potential Albany-Bethlehem showdown in the finals and the COA has each of them getting there relatively easily.  The shocking thing to me was the final margin in the final with Albany coming out on top by 10 points.  While that is within the average +/- variance of 13, it does mean they are extremely close to being the prohibitive favorites which is a bit surprising to me at least.

Perhaps along the same lines showing a stronger than thought Big 10, Troy is coming out ahead of Holy Names in the A bracket.  Both Troy’s advantage and Holy Names' over Averill Park is 8 points, so not without reason either could flip.  Just for fun, Troy has a 20 point edge over Averill Park using the same analysis.

The B bracket is a bit of a question mark as the top seed Watervliet is missing two of their starters.  Still, they have a 17 point edge over Broadalbin-Perth in the second round so we’ll see just how diminished they are missing 40% of their starting five.  If they survive that one, they have a 9 point edge on Taconic Hills and an 11 point edge on Ichabod Crane and over Tamarac in the final by 11, which are not insignificant, but their tournament is certainly a lot tougher now. 

I know it’s a stretch at this point, but if Ravena were to meet Johnstown there would be another situation where there is a stark difference between the 4 team and 5 team comparisons.  I’m interested in situations like this because it provides information whether or not there is any legitimacy to such a stretch of an analysis.  In this case Ravena has the edge in the 4 team comp by 18 and Johnstown has a 5 point edge in the 5 team comp. 

The C and D brackets, while they each have a couple close games are basically chalk and in the case of the D bracket, really not even close.  The one game I think could be interesting is Berne-Knox and Greenwich which is another game where the 4 and 5 team comps don’t match up.  If the four team comp is right, BKW wins going away, but watch out if the five team comp is right.  I do however believe that both C and D finals will be good games and fun to watch.

   Class AA                   
 S1   Bethlehem    Bethlehem   Bethlehem 26 Bethlehem 18    
 B8   Bye       
 S6   Guilderland    Columbia 7    
 S5   Columbia       
 S3   Colonie    Colonie   Colonie 14    
 B6   Bye       
 S7   Bye    Catholic Central      
 B2   Catholic Central    Albany 10
 S2   Shaker    Shaker   Shaker 39 Albany 18    
 B7   Bye       
 S6   Bye    Bishop Maginn      
 B3   Bishop Maginn       
 S4   Shenendehowa    Shenendehowa 33 Albany 34    
 S7   Niskayuna       
 S8   Bye    Albany      
 B1   Albany       

   Class A                   
     1  Troy    Troy   Troy 22 Troy 19    
  16  Bye       
     9  Amsterdam    South Glens Falls 14    
     8  South Glens Falls       
     5  Mohonasen    Mohonasen   Queensbury 6    
  12  Bye       
  13  Bye    Queensbury      
     4  Queensbury    Troy 8
     3  Averill Park    Averill Park   Averill Park 10 Holy Names 8    
  14  Bye       
  11  Bye    Glens Falls      
     6  Glens Falls       
     7  Scotia-Glenville    Scotia-Glenville   Holy Names 24    
  10  Bye       
     2  Holy Names    Holy Names      
  15  Bye       

   Class B                   
     1  Watervliet    Watervliet 50 Watervliet 8 Watervliet 13    
  16  Emma Willard    12    
     9  Broadalbin-Perth    Schalmont 5    
     8  Schalmont       
     5  Taconic Hills    Taconic Hills 30 Cohoes 5    
  12  Catskill    11    
  13  Ichabod Crane    21 Cohoes 18    
     4  Cohoes    Watervliet 11
     3  Ravena    Ravena 14 Ravena 9 Tamarac 5    
  14  Fonda-Fultonville    23    
  11  Hudson    Hudson Falls 26    
     6  Hudson Falls       
     7  Johnstown    Johnstown 19 Tamarac 4    
  10  Greenville       
  15  Albany Leadership    10 Tamarac 44    
     2  Tamarac       
   Class C                   
     1  Hoosic Valley    Hoosic Valley 16 Hoosic Valley 12 Hoosic Valley 22    
  16  Middleburgh      3    
     9  Lake George    Fort Plain 6    
     8  Fort Plain       
     5  Duanesburg    Duanesburg 6 Hoosick Falls 1    
  12  Galway    20    
  13  Voorheesville    20 Hoosick Falls 14    
     4  Hoosick Falls    Hoosic Valley 6
     3  Berne-Knox    Berne-Knox 17 Berne-Knox 9 Maple Hill  4    
  14  Canajoharie      5    
  11  Greenwich    Waterford 6    
     6  Waterford       
     7  Mekeel Academy    Mekeel Academy 2 Maple Hill 19    
  10  Mechanicville       
  15  Albany Academy      6 Maple Hill 54    
     2  Maple Hill       

   Class D                   
     1  Fort Edward    Fort Edward   Fort Edward 55 Fort Edward 43    
  16  Bye       
     9  Germantown    Germantown 4    
     8  North Warren       
     5  Northville    Northville   Northville 2    
  12  Bye       
  13  Bye    Warrensburg      
     4  Warrensburg    Fort Edward 15
     3  Argyle    Argyle   Argyle 37 Fort Ann 18    
  14  Bye       
  11  Bolton    Bolton 1    
     6  Heatly       
     7  Hartford    Hartford 14 Fort Ann 22    
  10  New Lebanon       
  15  Bye    Fort Ann      
     2  Fort Ann       

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Completed Boys Common Opponent Analysis

Here is the completed COA for the boys.  You’ll notice several upsets in AA which again goes back to the CBA-Bethlehem game.  If you include all the first round games into the analysis (which I can’t for my official predictions) CBA wins by 2 instead of losing by 6 to Guilderland.  Troy loses by 2 instead of 6 to Bethlehem.  Even if Troy and CBA were to advance, they would both lose to Shaker and Green Tech respectively using the COA so the results wouldn’t change overall.  Doing the analysis this way, Green Tech is clearly the best team in AA and it really doesn’t matter who they play.  Their biggest test will have to be in CBA who has the experience to offset any talent or age gaps (if there are any).  There are still several really good games left in this bracket and it should be entertaining all the way through.

There is also an interesting case in the A bracket where Averill Park and Glens Falls play in the second round.  There are three cases where they played the same team and three cases where a team is once removed, where an opponent’ opponent played the other team.  In the first, Averill Park wins by 17, in the second Glens Falls wins by 25.  We’ll see which is right or if the average is a better predictor.

In the B bracket, almost every single game after the first round is less than 10 points, which basically means it can go either way.  So far, the average variance between what I have calculated using this method and what actually happened is 12 points in either direction.  This has the potential to be a very exciting tournament.

The C bracket is even more of a mess than the B.  I have had to do multiple contingency calculations because almost every game, even in the first round, calculates to less than 10.  Twelve of the fifteen games are below ten points and four are below five.

The opposite is true in the D bracket where only three of the games are less than ten.  The interesting thing here is how poorly the CHVL compares.  Granted, they are mostly using five team comps but I use what I can.  We’ll see how it plays out.  For the record, the standings I posted yesterday will be using the current match-up calculations, not this bracket.  I’m working on the girls’ bracket as well.  That should be done soon.

 Class AA 
 S1   Shaker  Shaker 32 Shaker 18 Shaker 4
 B8   Albany 
 B4   LaSalle  Columbia 19
 S5   Columbia 
 S3   Bethelehem  Bethlehem 29 Bethlehem 6
 B6   Catholic Central 
 S7   Saratoga Springs  Troy 1
 B2   Troy  Green Tech 19
 S2   Shenendehowa  Shenendehowa 25 Green Tech 18 Green Tech 39
 B7   Bishop Maginn 
 S6   Colonie  Green Tech 33
 B3   Green Tech 
 S4   Guilderland  Guilderland 21 Guilderland 3
 B5   Schenectady 
 S8   Niskayuna      3 CBA 4
 B1   CBA 

   Class A   
     1  Scotia-Glenville    Scotia-Glenville   Scotia-Glenville 30 Scotia-Glenville 34    
  16  Bye       
     9  Mohonasen    Mohonasen 1    
     8  Gloversville       
     5  South Glens Falls    South Glens Falls   South Glens Falls 1    
  12  Bye       
  13  Bye    Lansingburgh      
     4  Lansingburgh    Scotia-Glenville 24
     3  Glens Falls    Glens Falls   Glens Falls 4 Burnt Hills 18    
  14  Bye       
  11  Bishop Gibbons    Averill Park 25    
     6  Averill Park       
     7  Queensbury    Amsterdam 2 Burnt Hills 19    
  10  Amsterdam       
     2  Burnt Hills    Burnt Hills      
  15  Bye       

   Class B   
     1  Watervliet    Watervliet 29 Watervliet 17 Watervliet 7    
  16  Tamarac    15    
     9  Ichabod Crane    Broadalbin-Perth 8    
     8  Broadalbin-Perth       
     5  Cohoes    Cohoes 35 Cohoes 8    
  12  Taconic Hills       
  13  Fonda-Fultonville    Catskill 2    
     4  Catskill    Watervliet 5
     3  Mekeel Academy    Mekeel Academy 34 Mekeel Academy 9 Mekeel Academy 3    
  14  Hudson Falls       
  11  Schalmont    Cairo-Durham 13    
     6  Cairo-Durham       
     7  Ravena    Ravena 15 Schuylverville 4    
  10  Hudson       
  15  Granville      5 Schuylverville 28    
     2  Schuylerville       

   Class C   
     1  Hoosic Valley    Hoosic Valley 26 Hoosic Valley 7 Hoosic Valley 7    
  16  Waterford      7    
     9  Fort Plain    Rensselaer 6    
     8  Rensselaer       
     5  Schoharie    Stillwater 3 Stillwater 3    
  12  Stillwater       
  13  Voorheesville    Voorheesville 6    
     4  Canajoharie    Hoosic Valley 3
     3  Greenwich    Greenwich 8 Mechanicville 7 Lake George 6    
  14  Mayfield      6    
  11  Hoosick Falls    Mechanicville 8    
     6  Mechanicville       
     7  Berne-Knox    Berne-Knox 17 Lake George 2    
  10  Maple Hill       
  15  Saratoga Catholic      9 Lake George 41    
     2  Lake George       

   Class D   
     1  Argyle    Argyle   Argyle 47 Argyle 29    
  16  Bye       
     9  Heatly    St. Johnsville 16    
     8  St. Johnsville       
     5  North Warren    North Warren 19 North Warren 2    
  12  Warrensburg       
  13  Fort Edward    Germantown 20    
     4  Germantown    Argyle  34
     3  Fort Ann    Fort Ann   Fort Ann 9 Fort Ann 13    
  14  Bye       
  11  Salem    Hartford 5    
     6  Hartford       
     7  Doane Stuart    Northville 6 Loudonville Christian 13    
  10  Northville       
  15  Bye    Loudvonville Christian      
     2  Loudonville Christian