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.

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