The preliminary round on the boys’ side is a little lighter than on the girls’, but there are just as many upset chances. As I did with the girls I ran it three different ways, the regular forecast you’ve been seeing all year, the prediction forecast and an analysis by common opponent. The preliminary round is below followed by my thoughts on the seeds for the boys.
The regular sectional forecast produced no upsets in the preliminary round, in fact, only one, Tamarac @ Greenville has a variance between their sectional forecast ratings less than 0.050.
The prediction model, which is designed to be a little more aggressive actually has that game as an upset, but it’s the only one.
The common opponents however show a much different landscape. By comparing MOV’s of common opponents, or in one case head to head, 3 of the 6 are upsets. Niskayuna split the two matchups with Ballston Spa this year, but won the total points by 6, a three point loss on the road and a 9 point win at home. On a neutral floor they should win by a long jumper. This analysis also shows Tamarac coming out ahead of Greenville by a blow out of 15 points and has Granville beating Corinth by five.
How did the committee do?
Overall I think they did a good job. There were a few raised eyebrows for me but nothing so egregious that it will affect the outcome of the tournament. I was surprised how much weight they gave head to head games regardless of MOV or of the rest of the schedule. It was the be-all-end-all but it doesn’t always mean it is right. I’ll admit I haven’t followed as closely the past few years prior to this one as I used to, but I always remember it being almost solely based on your record.
On the boys’ side, my first problem is having Shen the S2 and Bethlehem the S3. Shen beat Bethlehem at Shen by 3 points (which is the average home team MOV) and they lost to Ballston Spa and Saratoga Springs. To me, two bad losses outweigh the one good win on your home floor. Not to mention Bethlehem won their division and Shen finished second in theirs. That said, these teams are basically even.
I also think Glens Falls should have been ahead of Burnt Hills though as 2 and 3 seeds, they’ll probably end up playing each other so we’ll know for sure. And if Glens Falls loses to Averill Park first, then we’ll really know. Mostly I have a hard time justifying Burnt Hills 2, but Averill Park 6. They aren’t that far apart so if you think the Suburban is that much better, why isn’t AP ahead of South Glens Falls? It’s just not consistent. This isn’t going to be a year when the Suburban dominates the sectionals in the A bracket as they have in the past. Scotia will make sure of that (and, for the record, not Albany Academy so can we stop that discussion?).
I have a similar problem in the B bracket. Cairo-Durham and Catskill are really close so if you want to value the Colonial higher than the Patroon go ahead and do it. Why not put Cohoes 4 and Catskill 5? It will be on a neutral floor anyway so it won’t matter much, but wouldn’t you rather be right if that’s what you really think?
It’s hard to complain about the C bracket because it was really tight on a lot of these teams. I believe Lake George should have been #1, but they definitely weren’t tested as hard as Hoosic Valley was. They will be now though, with traps in almost every round. Berne-Knox has one of the best big men in the tournament and was rated very high most of the season in the forecast and has also played some very tough competition and I would not take them lightly. If they make it out of there, they get Greenwich, Mechanicville or Hoosick Falls. On a neutral floor under the big lights none of those will be an easy task.
Hoosic Valley has no easy task either with Rensselaer in round two and Schoharie, Stillwater, Canjo or Voorheesville waiting in the wings. This is the kind of bracket you pick a bunch of upsets and you get none right.
No complaints on the D bracket either. I can’t wait to see how Loudonville Christian compares to the Adirondack and if they have any punch for Argyle. I’ll break down the girls’ committee selections later. I’m out of time.