There have been a few really good games I haven't had a chance to address yet. I also want to talk a bit about the Prediction Model and a change I'm making regarding the Forecast. First off, there were three really big games this week, the first being Troy @ CBA. It definitely looked like a rout on paper with CBA winning by solid double digits and it certainly wasn't helpful for Troy to have arguably their best guard suspended for the game, nor is it helpful he's suspended for the rest of the season. While I now believe CBA has a better chance to win sectionals than does Troy (mostly because of the suspension, which the forecast doesn't account for) the forecast model still shows Troy ahead.
In fact, it still lists CBA at #4 behind Troy, Green Tech and Bethlehem, and while I disagree with the Troy rating, I can't say I'm convinced they are now more likely to win sectionals than either Green Tech or Bethlehem. The 19 point swing between the Troy win and CBA's win each on their home courts can partly be attributed to home court advantage which would roughly account for 5 to 6 of those swing points. I don't think anyone knows for certain, but at least part if not most of the remaining difference is due to a regression from Troy due to the loss of a player rather than the ascension of CBA. That said, if you backed me into a corner, I'd probably take CBA, it's hard not to.
The second big game was from the girls' side as Bethlehem crushed defending Champion Colonie. After a two point win very early in the season, Bethlehem increased that margin by more than 30 in the second game. The forecast model has now given Bethlehem a really big margin over Albany and while I do think both of these teams will be in the final, I don't know that I agree there is a large difference between them, however I would give Bethlehem the edge at this point.
The final game was a non-league game featuring former league mates Albany Academy and Watervliet. This game proved to me the most telling for sectionals. Watervliet may have lost but were tied late in the 4th quarter with a team that lost to the #1 AA school in the state by only 2 points. Mekeel Academy can brag about a AA win over Amsterdam, but this is a much more impressive loss to me. Albany Academy beat Green Tech by 11, who beat Schenectady by 31, who beat Amsterdam by 10. Very roughly, using that rationale, comparing Watervliet to MCA is like comparing Green Tech to Schenectady. It's certainly not a fool proof analysis, but it's cemented in my mind what I already believed, that Watervliet is going to run away with the B title and make a run at State's.
Finally, I'm going to hold off on releasing this weekend's forecast until my final forecast on Tuesday night. With no games tonight it makes more sense to wait until the end of the weekend and if I'm holding off until Monday anyway, I may as well just hold it the extra day. The final forecast will show the final ratings that I have been talking about all this time and where the thresholds are so you know exactly where everyone stands. Joe talked me into that with his comments and I thank him for that. If anyone else cares to provide feedback, it's greatly appreciated.
Also, I have run the prediction model and I'm much more pleased with it than I thought I would be. When I originally started working on this several years ago, I ran a similar model and it was way too biased. This one seems to have a more mellowed bias almost to the point where I'm considering using it full time next year. I'll be unveiling this after the seedings come out. Look for another post Sunday or Monday depending on how much time I have.