Friday, January 31, 2014

The Contradictor

So it seems as though I'm fairly good at contradicting myself.  Just last week I said I thought Troy had a decent chance at the class A Sectional title.  A few days later, after a couple pretty lousy outings by Troy, I said more or less.....maybe not. 

Just a couple days ago, I compared Scotia to CCHS and said, for the most part, they are roughly equal.  So, what happens tonight?  Anyone want to venture a guess?  That's right, Troy beat CCHS by 8.  I'm not entirely sure which point that helps prove.

The good thing is that it makes things a whole lot more interesting.  Maybe Troy can put of a good fight for the A title and maybe not but if CCHS won tonight, the Big 10 would have been wrapped up and more than likely so would have the class A Sectionals. 

But now..we have something more to look forward to.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Realignment is Coming! Maybe.....

So when I got up this morning I did something I rarely do first thing, I looked at the TU's High School Basketball page.  When what to my wondering eyes did appear, but an article from Eric Medved outlining how Schuylerville has petitioned to join the Foothills next season.  Within that post is a link to an article from the Post Star which states that the Foothills didn't want to add a single team, giving them 9, rather to add two teams giving them an even 10.  It also mentions that in 2011 Amsterdam similarly petitioned the league to join and was rejected for the same numbers reason. 

Now, realignment, as you may know, is one of my two favorite things to think about when discussing high school basketball, Sectionals being the other.  In fact, I posted a article myself on it back in March, realigning the whole Section.  The problem with that realignment of course is that I didn't have Schuylerville or Amsterdam in the Foothills.  In theory, I agree with Schuylerville's premise for wanting to move.  I am actually a proponent of playing as tough a schedule as you can and believe by doing so you increase your chances in Sectionals. 

What I don't agree with is that the Wasaren isn't a good enough league to make that happen.  While it's true the Foothills has larger schools, that hasn't translated to more championships for its B schools in boys basketball.  Since the 03-04 season, the first with a AA bracket, the Foothills has won 1 B championship and lost 1 more.  The Wasaren has won 3 and lost 4 more.  Five of those six were Schuylerville, so the league most be doing something right.  The class of the B field is of course the Colonial who has won 5 and lost 3 more.  That being said, it's only one more total appearances than the Wasaren. 

In total over all classes, the Foothills has won 5 championships and lost 7.  The Colonial has won 9 and lost 6 and the Wasaren has won 7 and lost 11.  Championship teams are just that, regardless of class.  Last year we saw Class D State Champion Argyle beat Class C State Champion Lake George on two separate occasions.  We're splitting hairs, all three are good conferences and produce Champions.

Now, on to the real question.  How am I going to correct my realignment scenario.  If you look through my original post you'll see I had two divisions in the Wasaren, one including Schuylerville.  Fixing this is actually not as hard as other problems this will create so I'll get it out of the way now.  Your new Wasaren League:

Boys and Girls
Saratoga Catholic

Hoosic Valley
Hoosick Falls

While I don't love the fit, I think it's the best available.  Of the teams on Eric's list, I had already added Spa Catholic and Mechanicville.  Waterford already petitioned the League for entrance when they were kicked out of the Colonial and were denied.  That would leave Maple Hill and South Glens Falls.  The latter wouldn't work if the Foothills really does want 10 teams, they aren't about to get rid of one, not to mention their enrollment is double all the teams in the Wasaren.  Maple Hill is a good choice for a couple reasons, they are comparably sized and a competitive program which the League should want.  The negatives however are the distances they would have to travel with the northern schools still in the league and the removal of Tamarac (who is closer) doesn't make things any better.  

The reason Rensselaer makes more sense is that they are closer, and they don't fit as well where they currently are being the smallest school in the Patroon (which is on average a larger enrollment conference than the Wasaren).  They are also a fairly decent program most years.  They played Hoosic Valley to 5 points in Sectionals last year.  This would also reduce the Patroon from 9 to 8 teams which I'm happier with.  They aren't my favorite choice, but they are certainly the easiest.

Where the problems come in is with Amsterdam moving out of the Big 10, which would leave them with only 9 teams.  After looking at it, I don't see an easy answer.  No other comparable league I've created has more than 8 teams so if I move a team out, I have to move another in from somewhere else.  Those movements could trickle down all the way to the Adirondack League.  I think the best thing to do is leave it at 9 and call it, what else but, the Big 9.  Albany Academy doesn't appear to want to be in the League anyway, so perhaps it would just be 8 after all.  

While that solution makes me more disappointed than moving Rensselaer into the Wasaren, I think it makes the most sense.  What I love best about talking realignment is that there is no right or wrong way to do it.  I have literally tried hundreds of different scenarios and even tried to develop a formula based on distances and enrollment variances (which failed miserably with my weak programming skills).  No matter what I come up with I can still poke holes in it.  There just isn't a perfect grouping.  

Moving Schuylerville from the Wasaren creates a myriad of issues.  There's no guarantee any of the teams Eric or I have listed actually want to go to the Wasaren.  If I had to move just one team into the Wasaren, it would probably be Saratoga Catholic mostly because they don't belong where they are and they are a good fit geographically whereas Mechanicville, though they fit the geography, they are probably happy where they are.  

What makes me happy about it however is that someone is actually talking about it. I love this stuff.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Albany Academy v. Scotia

Every time I read the comments on the TU blogs there is inevitably someone out there who has to comment on where Albany Academy is better than Scotia or vice versa.  No one will agree and it's pretty amazing how biased some of the comments are. 

Just to set the record straight, I have no allegiance to either team and I'm not from either city.  I don't know anyone on either team or really care either way.  I'm from a small school and never really paid much attention to the large schools before I started working on this project.  To be perfectly honest, I find the whole debate ridiculous since Albany Academy doesn't play in our Sectionals and if they chose to, it wouldn't be in the A bracket, but rather the AA bracket. 

That being said, I think it's fairly clear, if they were to play in our Sectionals, they would be the favorite to win the AA bracket.  Based on the analysis I did last week, Green Tech was slightly better than both Guilderland and Shen and a little bit farther ahead of CCHS.  That may have changed now that they played and beat another Suburban school (I haven't had the time to add it up yet), but Albany Academy beat both Guilderland and Green Tech by double digits.  While you may say that Shen also beat Guilderland by double digits (a point I can't argue), how they fared against common opponents suggests that score may be a little more than you could expect on average. 

Luckily, Guilderland and Shen should end up playing again, so we'll have yet another data point later on to confirm that.  For the time being though, I would say Albany Academy is #1 with Green Tech, Shen, Guilderland and Catholic Central about 10 points back each, give or take a basket.

So where does that leave us when comparing Albany Academy and Scotia?  It's not as easy a comparison as you would hope, but when I did the common opponent analysis CCHS was fourth in the AA bracket.  CCHS has the one and only common opponent of all the AA teams with Scotia, both having played Schenectady.  Their respective average MOV against Schenectady is 6.5 for CCHS and 7 for Scotia.  If you were looking at houses, CCHS and Scotia would be very good comps for each other (I think in more ways than one).  So, if CCHS is fourth in the AA bracket and they are roughly as good as Scotia, that would put them behind Albany Academy.  So as much as it pains me to agree with some of the Albany Academy fans, I do think they are better than Scotia and the comps spell that out.

Unfortunately for those Albany Academy fans, it's a pointless and tired argument.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Girls Sectional Forecast #3 thru 1/27/14

Here we go....

Class AA
(1) Shaker     11-0  no change
(16) Bye
(8) Colonie     6-7  down 1
(9) Guilderland    5-7  no change
(5) Columbia    9-5  no change
(12) Bishop Maginn     2-12  no change
(4) Bethlehem     10-2  no change
(13) Ballston Spa     1-13  no change
(3) Shenendehowa     10-2  no change
(14) Bye
(6) Catholic Central     7-5  no change
(11) Schenectady     2-12 no change
(7) Saratoga Springs     7-7  up 1
(10) Niskayuna     3-10  no change
(2) Albany     9-0  no change
(15) Bye

I'm rather amazed that this continues to go about with nothing changing. Shaker and Albany are very close at this point with Shen and Bethlehem a bit back, both of the latter very close to the magic "contender" score.  While I think either Shen or Bethlehem has a chance, this is Shaker's bracket to lose.  They are and should be the favorite unless something happens in the next two weeks to change that.  I like the ordering of this bracket as well.  While I haven't had the time to dissect things like I did last year, this one seems pretty straight forward, perhaps that's why it hasn't changed.

Class A
(1) Averill Park     13-1  no change
(16) Bye
(8) Amsterdam     6-8  no change
(9) Hudson Falls     5-8  no change
(5) Troy     8-2  no change
(12) Burnt Hills     1-13  no change
(4) Queensbury     13-1 no change
(13) Mohonasen     1-13  no change
(3) Albany Leadership     9-1  no change
(14) Gloversville     0-11  no change
(6) Glens Falls     10-3  no change
(11) Lansingburgh     3-10  no change
(7) Scotia-Glenville     9-4  no change
(10) South Glens Falls     4-8  no change
(2) Holy Names     12-0  no change
(15) Bye

This hardly seems worth the effort.  Not a single change in this bracket from last week.  As you may have guessed I still disagree with it.  Averill Park deserves the #1 so far, and Troy should be #2.  Queensbury and Holy Names are essentially the same and you could flip a coin for who gets #3 and #4.  I would then probably just move Amsterdam and all the teams from the Foothills up a spot with the exception of South Glens Falls before Albany Leadership at #9.  If only Holy Names and Albany Leadership would cooperate and just lose a game things would look so much better.  I actually read a blog that said Albany Leadership lost to Hoosick Falls, but I can't find it reported anywhere.  I'll have to dig.

Class B
(1) Watervliet     13-0  no change
(16) Coxsackie-Athens     5-7  no change
(8) Ichabod Crane     8-5  up 3
(9) Schalmont     8-5  no change
(5) Fonda-Fultonville     9-3  no change
(12) Mechanicville  7-7  up 5
(4) Greenville     11-2  no change
(13) Cohoes     7-6  down 1
(3) Hudson     12-2  no change
(14) Stillwater     8-7  down 1
(6) Johnstown    10-4  up 2
(11) Corinth     7-6  down 5
(7) Hoosick Falls     9-4 no change
(10) Emma Willard     7-5  no change
(2) Tamarac     13-1  no change
(15) Voorheesville     6-7  down 1

Not rated:  Ravena, Bishop Gibbons, Chatham, Taconic Hills, Broadablin-Perth, Catskill, Albany Academy, Schuylerville, Cairo-Durham, Cobleskill, Granville

Finally some movement, but still not a whole lot of drastic changes.  I'm happy to see Johnstown slowly climbing the ranks.  I still contend the Patroon teams are rated way too high.  If the committee seeds by record as they sometimes like to do (and unfortunately this model sometimes likes to do) there are going to be some upsets early.  I actually don't like how it's currently set up.  Almost all the Colonial teams are on one side of the bracket and you would get to Wasaren teams potentially playing each other in the second round. 

If separating conferences is the reason for a misguided seeding at least I can understand it.  I think it should be done solely on merit, but I can at least accept that as a valid argument.

Class C
(1) Maple Hill     13-1  up 1
(16) Duanesburg     2-10  no change
(8) Greenwich     10-4  up 1
(9) Galway     9-5  down 3
(5) Middleburgh     9-3  down 1
(12) Mekeel Academy     5-7  up 2
(4) Canajoharie     10-3  up 4
(13) Schoharie     5-7  down 2
(3) Lake George     12-1  no change
(14) Cambridge     5-9  down 1
(6) Fort Plain     10-3  down 1
(11) Mayfield     7-7  down 1
(7) Hoosic Valley    10-4  no change
(10) Berne-Knox     8-5  no change
(2) Waterford     13-1 down 1
(15) Saratoga Catholic     4-10  no change

Not rated:  Berlin, Whitehall, Rensselaer, Hadley-Luzerne

Panic and despair.  I don't think I can go on.  Can I scrap it and start over??

Class D
(1) Fort Ann     12-1  no change
(16) Loudonville Christian     0-11  down 1
(8) New Lebanon     5-6  up 2
(9) Northville     4-9  no change
(5) Germantown     10-4  down 1
(12) Bolton     3-9  no change
(4) Warrensburg     8-4  up1
(13) Doane Stuart     2-8  no change
(3) Heatly     11-3  no change
(14) Sharon Springs     1-10  no change
(6) North Warren     8-5  up 1
(11) Hawthorne Valley     3-8  no change
(7) Hartford   7-6  down 1
(10) Argyle     5-8  down 2
(2) Fort Edward     10-2  no change
(15) St. Johnsville     1-11 up 1

Not rated:  Salem

Nothing doing here either.  The good news is Fort Ann and Fort Edward play again before the season ends so the Championship game could potentially be the rubber match!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Boys Sectional Forecast #4 thru 1/26/14

Let's get into it.

Class AA
(1) Guilderland      12-1  no change
(16) La Salle     3-10  no change
(8) CBA     9-4 no change
(9) Schenectady     9-6  down 2
(5) Green Tech     2-1  down 2
(12) Bethlehem     4-7 down 2
(4) Shenendehowa     10-2 up 5
(13) Albany     6-8  up 1
(3) Columbia     9-4  up1
(14) Bishop Maginn   4-9  down 2
(6) Ballston Spa     8-6  down 1
(11) Niskayuna     4-9  up 2
(7) Shaker     9-4  down 1
(10) Saratoga Springs     9-5 up 1
(2) Catholic Central     11-0  no change
(15) Colonie     4-9  no change

So I wrote a bit about the AA bracket earlier this week and despite losing, Guilerland maintained the top spot.  Albeit, narrowly by 0.002.  Both they and Catholic Central are the only two teams, now including Green Tech's loss to Albany Academy, to be above the "contender" line I spoke of in my last post.

I've been reading the comments on the TU about Albany Academy and their inability to enter the Big 10.  From what I gather it's all about politics at this point and it's really a shame because we would all be better off as basketball fans if both Albany Academy and Green Tech belonged to a Section 2 league.  I can understand how having these teams play top ranked State schools gains Section 2 some exposure they were lacking previously, but I feel it's more damaging NOT having Albany Academy playing in our Sectionals than any benefit they get from playing an Independent schedule.

If Albany Academy were playing 14 league games in the Section, playing and beating other AA schools, it would be much more difficult justifying to anyone they should be class A rather than AA.  If Bishop Maginn is still a AA, there's no reason Academy shouldn't be as well.  I will now step off my high horse.

Class A
(1) Scotia-Glenville     13-0  no change
(16) Bye
(8) Glens Falls     4-10  down 1
(9) Mohonasen     2-12  no change
(5) Amsterdam     4-10  up 1
(12) South Glens Falls     2-12  no change
(4) Averill Park     7-7  no change
(13) Bishop Gibbons     0-12  up 1
(3) Gloversville     10-3 no change
(14) Cobleskill     0-12 down 1
(6) Queensbury     6-7  down 1
(11) Burnt Hills     1-12  no change
(7) Hudson Falls    5-9  up 1
(10) Lansingburgh     3-10  no change
(2) Troy     10-2  no change
(15) Bye

There is nothing quite like making yourself look stupid.  Not that I haven't done it before, it's just always exciting when you do it again.  Last week I made the case that Troy has a decent chance at winning this bracket.  While that may be the case, they certainly didn't do anything this week to make it look that way.  They lost to Amsterdam earlier in the week and this weekend, lost to Newburgh by 16.  The latter by itself isn't anything to be ashamed of, but Scotia has also played Newburgh and beat them by 14.  Bubble.....burst.

Class B
(1) Hoosick Falls     13-0 no change
(16) Corinth     7-6  down 5
(8) Watervliet     8-4  no change
(9) Coxsackie-Athens     9-3  no change
(5) Mechanicville    11-3 no change
(12) Johnstown     8-6 no change
(4) Cohoes     12-2  down 1
(13) Stillwater     8-7  up 1
(3) Mekeel Academy     8-1  up 1
(14) Schuylerville     8-6  up 1
(6) Taconic Hills     10-3 no change
(11) Schalmont    7-5  down 1
(7) Broadalbin-Perth     8-5  no change
(10) Catskill    7-3  up 3
(2) Voorheesville     13-1  no change
(15) Ravena     7-6  up 1

Not rated: Hudson, Cairo-Durham, Fonda-Fultonville, Ichabod Crane, Tamarac, Granville, Chatham, Greenville

Hoosick Falls maintains #1 despite a letdown game against Greenwich.  That is mostly because it was still a win, but much closer than one would think.  This is one of the most competitive brackets in either boys or girls with 4 teams over the "contender" line and a fifth very close.  With three of them from the Colonial Council, I would give them the nod that this point and feel pretty good about it.  HF has a long history of having really good seeding and not winning so we'll see if they can continue that trend or break through.  It won't be easy against this group. 

If this is the way the bracket plays out, they would potentially get a Colonial team in every round after the first.  That would be very entertaining indeed.

Class C
(1) Lake George     12-1  up 1
(16) Middleburgh     4-7  no change
(8) Fort Plain     8-4  no change
(9) Rensselaer     8-5  up 3
(5) Berlin     8-3  up 1
(12) Berne-Knox     7-6  down 2
(4) Duanesburg     12-3  down 1
(13) Hadley-Luzerne     8-5  no change
(3) Saratoga Catholic    13-2  up 1
(14) Schoharie     5-6  up 1
(6) Greenwich     9-5  down 1
(11) Canajoharie     8-5 no change
(7) Waterford     7-4  up 2
(10) Maple Hill     8-6  down 3
(2) Hoosic Valley     13-1  down 1
(15) Mayfield     6-6  down 1

Not rated:  Whitehall, Cambridge, Galway

Berlin and Greenwich were supposed to have played.  Forgive me if I don't believe that Berlin won.  Regardless there are no shortage of potential hazards here though strangely, in the current bracket I see more for the #1 seed than the #2.  That said, Lake George's win over Argyle this week after Argyle hit a 3 to send it into overtime confirms for me that there is a will to win with that team that is greater than most.  I can't tell you how many times I've seen a team lose a lead on a last second buzzer beater to tie the game go on to lose in OT.  That game says a lot about their character and confirms last year wasn't just a lucky run through the States.  Hoosic Valley may or may not have that will, but their rematch with Hoosick Falls could shed some light in that respect.  Their first meeting leads me to believe they don't.

Beating Wincowski and Lake George is going to be very difficult for any of these teams. 

Class D
(1) Argyle     11-2 no change
(16) New Lebanon     0-9  no change
(8) St. Johnsville    5-7  down 1
(9) Northville     4-10  up 2
(5) North Warren     8-5  no change
(12) Doane Stuart     3-12  no change
(4) Fort Ann     8-4  no change
(13) Warrensburg     1-11  no change
(3) Hartford     9-3  no change
(14) Bolton     0-13  no change
(6) Heatly     7-7  no change
(11) Fort Edward     4-9  down 2
(7) Loudonville Christian      7-6  up 1
(10) Salem     5-8  no change
(2) Germantown     10-1  no change
(15) Sharon Springs     0-10  no change

Not rated:  Hawthorne Valley

Both top teams took losses this week so no surprise there wasn't a change.  There is also still quite a distance between second and third.  Four of the top five are from the Adirondack which isn't too surprising.  Other than Germantown, the CHVL's better teams are C schools.  Still miffed by New Lebanon being higher than Hawthorne Valley.  If only I had more scores........

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Meet the Contenders

I ran the model just a few minutes ago for both the boys and the girls and while I'm going to do the typical post with the brackets I thought I would wait until after today's games as there is an uncharacteristically large number of games for a Saturday.  That said, I wanted to point out what I generally consider to be those teams with a legitimate chance to win the Sectionals based on the Forecast model.  When a team wins Sectionals they are assigned a 1.000 score.  Last year, the runner up got a 0.889.  The two teams who lost in the semi-finals got a 0.778 and in the quarter-finals a 0.556.  These are calculated based on the number of teams in the section.  Essentially, the teams that make the finals got farther than 88.9% of all the teams in Section 2 and so on.

For my purposes, I tend to think a team needs to get a score from the model greater than half way between the quarter-final and semi-final score, 0.667, to be considered a contender.  In this case, that team would be closer to a semi-final team than a quarter-final team.  My theory is if you are good enough to make the semis, you have just as much claim to be a contender as anyone.  More often than not, and though I've never done the calculation (perhaps I will start now), I suspect a great majority of the Sectional winners were seeded 1-4.

So enough with the theory, who are the teams that right now have Forecast ratings greater than 0.667?  In the boys, Green Tech, Catholic Central and Guilderland in AA, Scotia, Troy and Gloversville in A, Hoosick Falls, Voorheesville, Mekeel Academy and Cohoes in B (Mechanicville is very close at 0.657), Lake George, Hoosic Valley, and Saratoga Catholic in C (Duanesburg is very close at 0.653), and Argyle, Germantown and Hartford in D.  I think the only team who isn't listed above and probably should be is Shen. 

For the girls they are Albany, and Shaker in AA (Shcn is very close at 0.657), Averill Park, Holy Names, Albany Leadership, Queensbury, and Troy in A (Glens Falls is very close at 0.662), Watervliet, Tamarac, Hudson and Greenville in B, Maple Hill, Waterford, and Lake George in C, and Fort Ann, Fort Edward and Heatly in D.  Again, there's only one team here that is missing and that is Hoosic Valley in C.  Here, I would also take off Albany Leadership as a contender. 

I'm fairly confident that all the eventual winners have been listed above and are probably in the top two or three in each class.  Regardless of how it turns out, these are your contenders.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Digging a Hole

There are a few things that have been bothering me about this season so I decided to dig a little deeper than I had previously and do a little analysis.  In the boys AA bracket, now that Shen has beaten Guilderland, things are getting a little more interesting.  I had done a brief comparison of common opponents earlier in the year but wanted to expand on it to get a better feel for how things really are.
To do that, I did a Common Opponent Analysis (COA), similar to that I did last year for Sectionals, only this time I have given more weight to games depending on their closeness to the two teams involved.  For example, a head to head game should carry more weight than a comparison of common opponents, or that of a common opponent of a common opponent.

I worked on the boys AA, since that's where my original thought was hatched and did an analysis of each pairing of the top four teams (Shen, CCHS, Guilderland, and Green Tech).  I was going to do the top 5, but would have had to expand it to 8 or 9 to figure out who #5 was, and since whoever it is only has a minimal chance at a title anyway, I didn't think it was worth it.  Then, I did an average of their MOV derived from the COA against each of the other three teams.  

As an example, Green Tech and Shen have each played Colonie and Shaker.  Shen had a +7 against Colonie, winning by 19 as opposed to GT's 12, and a -7 against Shaker, winning by 14 as opposed to GT's 21.  That 0 variance between the two (+7 and -7) was 1/3 of GT and Shen's score in addition to a similar number for each against both Guilderland and CCHS.  

In short, Green Tech had the highest score with a 6.8, followed by Shen at 3.4, Guilderland at 1.4 and CCHS at -11.6.  To put it another way, GT is 3.4 points better than Shen, 5.4 better than Guilerland and 18.4 better than CCHS using a comparison against each other.  

To do it right, you would need to do it for every combination of teams in the AA bracket, but I doubt the ending numbers would vary much and would be outrageously time consuming.  Regardless, I've been persuaded to believe this should be the top four, in that order.  I've always believed GT was the best of them all, even if by only a slim margin.  I will admit I hadn't given Shen a hard look until they beat Guilderland, though I did think they were undervalued in the last Forecast (and as you'll see in the next one).  They do get punished a bit for having such a large enrollment and being good each year, without a championship to show for it.  

As far as putting the undefeated CCHS #4, the numbers back it up.  They have not fared as well against common opponents as the other 3 have.  They are still a young team as well and have shown to be a little inconsistent.  That doesn't mean they aren't deserving of the praise, nor does it mean they don't have a good chance to win.  Nonetheless, I think it's a fair representation of where things stand.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Boys Sectional Forecast #3 thru 1/19/14

I'm back on a bit of a schedule so hopefully we can stay that way the rest of the year.  We had some good games this week and some things have moved around a bit.  

Class AA
(1) Guilderland      11-0  up 1
(16) La Salle     2-8  no change
(8) CBA     6-4  down 3
(9) Shenendehowa     7-2 up 1
(5) Ballston Spa     7-5  up 2
(12) Bishop Maginn   4-7  down 1
(4) Columbia     7-4  up 2
(13) Niskayuna     3-6 no change
(3) Green Tech     2-0  no change
(14) Albany     5-7 no change
(6) Shaker     7-4  down 2
(11) Saratoga Springs     6-5  down 3
(7) Schenectady     8-4  up 2
(10) Bethlehem     4-5 up 2
(2) Catholic Central     8-0  down 1
(15) Colonie     3-7  no change

Guilderland has reclaimed the top spot moving back ahead of Catholic Central.  In theory I don't have a problem with this as Catholic Central has been a bit more inconsistent despite being undefeated.  Green Tech will be playing Albany Academy and Niskayuna in a week or so which will hopefully clear things up on where they belong.  GT currently has a 0.757 rating, which is slightly less than a final four type rating.  Beyond them however, Columbia's rating is 0.590 (barely over winning in the first round) and then Ballston Spa at 0.498 (not over winning a first round game).

Of course, eight teams will register wins (or move on via a bye) in the first round, but what it tells us is that after Green Tech, there isn't much of a chance any of those teams will win the sectionals.  You can never count out someone getting hot and running the table when they probably shouldn't, but it's not very likely, which is why I'm not going to get into the ordering too much beyond the top 3.  Truth be told, I see the Big 10 as down a bit this year and while the model has CCHS in the top 2, (its rating on GT will always be suspect just because they don't play enough in-section games) I'm inclined to believe Guilderland and Green Tech are the best two teams in AA.

Class A
(1) Scotia-Glenville     11-0  no change
(16) Bye
(8) Hudson Falls     3-8  no change
(9) Mohonasen     2-9  no change
(5) Queensbury     6-4  no change
(12) South Glens Falls     1-11  no change
(4) Averill Park     6-6  no change
(13) Cobleskill     0-10 no change
(3) Gloversville     8-3 no change
(14) Bishop Gibbons     0-10  no change
(6) Amsterdam     3-8  no change
(11) Burnt Hills     0-11  down 1
(7) Glens Falls     4-8  no change
(10) Lansingburgh     3-8  up 1
(2) Troy     9-1  no change
(15) Bye

I feel like a broken record on the A bracket sometimes.  Unfortunately, there isn't much to say.  The model agrees as there were no changes in the top 9 teams.  If Gloversville really is the third best team, which I tend to agree with, there can only be two teams that have a chance at this.  And that is no disrespect to Gloversville, but they are clearly not as good as Scotia, having lost by 21 to them, so it's unlikely they will be able to make up that difference now that we're approaching the end of January.

I actually think Troy has a legitimate shot at this despite what the model says.  Both teams are defending Sectional Champions so both have players with that experience.  Troy will also enter Sectionals having played a much more difficult schedule.  Schenectady is a solid team, as Scotia found out playing them to 7 points, and there are at least two other schools in the Big 10 that Troy has to play twice each that are as good or better than Schenectady.  Scotia may be better than Troy, but I'm not willing to call a winner on this one yet.

Class B
(1) Hoosick Falls     11-0 no change
(16) Ravena     4-4  up 1
(8) Watervliet     6-4  no change
(9) Coxsackie-Athens     7-3  down 2
(5) Mechanicville    10-3 no change
(12) Johnstown     7-5  down1
(4) Mekeel Academy     6-1  down 2
(13) Catskill    5-3  up 1
(3) Cohoes     11-1  no change
(14) Stillwater     7-6  down 1
(6) Taconic Hills     7-2 no change
(11) Corinth     7-4  down 1
(7) Broadalbin-Perth     7-4  up 2
(10) Schalmont    7-4  up 2
(2) Voorheesville     9-1  up 2
(15) Schuylerville     7-5  no change

Not rated: Hudson, Cairo-Durham, Fonda-Fultonville, Ichabod Crane, Granville, Chatham, Tamarac, Greenville

Hoosick Falls had a great week beating both Hoosic Valley and Lake George, both State ranked C schools and the top two rated in the section.  That said, they were both C schools.  Voorheesville's only blemish was, what is now looking like, a bad loss to Watervliet.  They and Cohoes should be playing their make-up game shortly for bragging rights in the Colonial and potentially the Council Championship.  Following not too far behind them are Mechanicville, Schalmont and Watervliet all of whom are upset threats, if not darkhorse contenders in Sectionals. 

Mekeel Academy had a rough week with two close games, one of which was a loss.  I'm not sure what happened there, but they were unexpected and it appeared as though all their players were active in the games.  Broadalbin-Perth is also a team to watch out of the Foothills.  Even though they lost to Cohoes by 20, it was very early in the season and the farther away you get, those scores become less reliable.  I don't necessarily think they are under-ranked at 7, but I would put them ahead of the Patroon schools at this point.

Class C
(1) Hoosic Valley     11-1  up 1
(16) Middleburgh     3-6  no change
(8) Fort Plain     7-3  up 2
(9) Waterford     6-3  no change
(5) Greenwich     8-4  down 1
(12) Rensselaer     6-5  up 3
(4) Saratoga Catholic    11-2  up 1
(13) Hadley-Luzerne     6-5  up 1
(3) Duanesburg     9-2  no change
(14) Mayfield     6-5  down 2
(6) Berlin     6-3  no change
(11) Canajoharie     7-5 no change
(7) Maple Hill     8-4  up 1
(10) Berne-Knox     6-4  down 3
(2) Lake George     10-1  down 1
(15) Schoharie     4-5  down 2

Not rated:  Whitehall, Cambridge, Galway

Hoosic Valley has retaken the top spot on the heels of Lake George's loss to Hoosick Falls, but only by the slimmest of margins.  Currently 0.002 separates them.  I have a feeling this won't be the last time they flip-flop.  Now, lets discuss the comparison games with Hoosick Falls.  On the face, you give HV the edge as they lost by 1, whereas LG lost by 15.  The difference in the LG game was in the first quarter, where HF ran up a 12 point lead.  LG played them to 3 points in the remaining 3 quarters.  While that first quarter did happen, there are situations where a team can get out of rhythm just as the opponent gets into one.  Point being, I don't think this is a 15 point game if they play again.  What I don't know however, is how HV responds in their second game with HF.  The results of that second meeting will tell us a lot about how HV responds to losing to an opponent.

I'm still unimpressed with the rest of the bracket.  Despite Duanesburg's recent win over Mekeel Academy, nothing appears to have changed with them specifically.  The model tends to agree, though not as thoroughly as with the AA bracket.  Duanesburg and Spa Catholic are both around 0.650, roughly 130 points behind the top two teams.  Not completely unfounded, especially given the relatively low scores (by comparison to the other top teams) of the top 2, but I wouldn't bet on it. 

Class D
(1) Argyle     10-1 no change
(16) New Lebanon     0-7  no change
(8) Loudonville Christian      6-5  down 2
(9) Fort Edward     4-7  up 1
(5) North Warren     6-5  no change
(12) Doane Stuart     3-9  no change
(4) Fort Ann     7-3  down 1
(13) Warrensburg     1-9  no change
(3) Hartford     7-3  up 1
(14) Bolton     0-11  no change
(6) Heatly     6-6  up 1
(11) Northville     3-9  no change
(7) St. Johnsville    5-5  up 2
(10) Salem     4-7 down 2
(2) Germantown     9-0 no change
(15) Sharon Springs     0-8  no change

Not rated:  Hawthorne Valley

I don't think there is anything to argue about here, with the exception of New Lebanon being 16 instead of Hawthorne Valley.  This is an instance where putting a cap on MOV hurts the model.  Not that it matters much I suppose, neither will probably even enter the tournament.  On the other side of the bracket, no change in the top 2.  Much like the A bracket, we need to sit back and wait for these two to meet in the final so we can find out who is better. 

We're under a month away and though there are still many games before the seedings are announced, we have a fair number of games in the model already.  For the most part I think we know who the contenders are.  I do have to remind myself sometimes that the model is not telling us who is better than who, rather who is most likely to win the tournament .  Unless a team rolls out a perfect 1.000, the model doesn't throw out guarantees.  I will often disagree with the seedings it puts out, but it has math on its side, I just have me.

I've been thinking about putting out the actual ratings week to week.  It's a little more time consuming so I haven't been, but if it's something you want, let me know and I'll put them up. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Girls Sectional Forecast #2 thru 1/19/14

It's been almost three weeks since we looked at the girls' brackets and a lot has happened.  Let's see what effects all those games have had.

Class AA
(1) Shaker     9-0  no change
(16) Bye
(8) Saratoga Springs     5-6  up 1
(9) Guilderland    4-5  up 1
(5) Columbia    7-5  down 1
(12) Bishop Maginn     1-11  no change
(4) Bethlehem     7-2  up 1
(13) Ballston Spa     0-12  no change
(3) Shenendehowa     8-2  no change
(14) Bye
(6) Catholic Central     4-5  no change
(11) Schenectady     2-9  down 3
(7) Colonie     5-6  up 4
(10) Niskayuna     3-7  down 3
(2) Albany     8-0  no change
(15) Bye

Three weeks and almost nothing has changed in AA.  I'm inclined to agree with things at the moment.  Shaker has beaten Shen and Bethlehem and despite the large difference in their performances against Shaker, in which Shen was blown out and Bethlehem played to within 10, Shen's overall season has been slightly more impressive.  That doesn't mean I think Shen beats Bethlehem however.  Of that I'm unconvinced.  I'm not sure Albany should be #2 but given they haven't played anyone in-section outside the Big 10, it's difficult to judge that.

Averill Park beat Shen and Bethlehem by 8 and 10 points respectively and Catholic Central by 18.  Albany beat CCHS by 11 so they are in the same ballpark as Shen and Bethlehem and I'll give the model the benefit of the doubt as I don't have any better information to go by.

Outside Shaker and Albany no one has a rating better than a final four with Shen and Bethlehem both closer to final eight than four.  With that knowledge I give Shaker and Albany a good chance to make the finals.

Class A
(1) Averill Park     12-0  no change
(16) Bye
(8) Amsterdam     6-5  up 1
(9) Hudson Falls     5-6  down 1
(5) Troy     6-2  up 1
(12) Burnt Hills     1-10  no change
(4) Queensbury     9-1  up 3
(13) Mohonasen     1-10  no change
(3) Albany Leadership     8-1  up 1
(14) Gloversville     0-8  no change
(6) Glens Falls     8-3  down 1
(11) Lansingburgh     3-7  down 1
(7) Scotia-Glenville     7-4  down 5
(10) South Glens Falls     4-6  up 1
(2) Holy Names     11-0  up 1
(15) Bye

I was afraid to read what I wrote last time about Scotia but was pleasantly surprised that I had mentioned Queensbury should be ahead of them.  Scotia has lost 4 in a row now.  I'm still not enthralled by portions of this bracket even though I'm in agreement with Averill Park.  I still think Troy should be #2 and I'd probably have Queensbury #3 followed by Holy Names.  Despite their undefeated mark, Holy Names hasn't been as impressive with their MOV averaging just over +13 points per game and they have yet to play Watervliet and Fonda, the next two teams in winning percentage in their league. 

Albany Leadership is grossly overrated.  All of their wins have come against either C or D schools or really bad A and B schools.  The one time they played a decent team, a B school at that, they lost.  On the other side of the coin, Amsterdam may be a little under valued at 8.  Perhaps not a ton undervalued, but a little.

Class B
(1) Watervliet     11-0  no change
(16) Coxsackie-Athens     4-6  down 12
(8) Johnstown    7-4  no change
(9) Schalmont     7-4  down 3
(5) Fonda-Fultonville     8-2  up 8
(12) Cohoes     6-5  down 2
(4) Greenville     9-2  up 7
(13) Stillwater     6-6  up 4
(3) Hudson     9-2  no change
(14) Voorheesville     5-6  no change
(6) Corinth     6-4  up 1
(11) Ichabod Crane     6-5  up 1
(7) Hoosick Falls     7-4  down 2
(10) Emma Willard     6-5  up 6
(2) Tamarac     11-1  no change
(15) Ravena     6-6  up 7

Not rated:  Mechnicville, Chatham, Taconic Hills, Bishop Gibbons, Broadablin-Perth, Catskill, Albany Academy, Schuylerville, Cobleskill, Cairo-Durham, Granville

I agree with the top two, but after that it gets dicey.  Hudson lost to Stillwater who is #13 currently and 6-6 overall.  After Tamarac you could line up three or four Colonial teams and Johnstown then Hoosick Falls before you get to the best of the Patroon.  As evidence I can point to Catskill, who lost to Hoosick Falls by 21, Hudson by 17 and Greenville by 14, as well as the Hudson v Stillwater game.  Hoosick Falls beat Stillwater by 6, the same margin Stillwater beat Hudson. 

The bottom line however remains that Watervliet and Tamarac are the best two teams in the bracket and, unlike last year, should meet in the final.  That said, if you look at the newspaper at the end of February and see Ichabod Crane (or any number of Colonial teams) upsetting Tamarac don't be completely surprised (like I was last year). 

Class C
(1) Waterford     12-0  no change
(16) Duanesburg     2-7  down 1
(8) Canajoharie     8-3  down 3
(9) Greenwich     9-3  down 5Berlin     3-2
(5) Fort Plain     7-2  up 5
(12) Mayfield     6-7  down 1
(4) Middleburgh     8-2  up 4
(13) Cambridge     3-7  no change
(3) Lake George     10-1  no change
(14) Mekeel Academy     3-7  down 2
(6) Galway     9-3  up 1
(11) Schoharie     4-6  up 3
(7) Hoosic Valley    9-3  down 1
(10) Berne-Knox     6-4  up 6
(2) Maple Hill     11-1  no change
(15) Saratoga Catholic     4-7  up 2

Not rated:  Berlin, Hadley-Luzerne, Whitehall, Rensselaer

This bracket, by far, continues to be the most frustrating of them all on both the girls and the boys.  Hoosic Valley should be the #1 team here coming off their convincing win over Greenwich.  Maple Hill is #2, Greenwich #3, Lake George #4.  If one is feeling generous you could put Waterford #5.  Waterford's only non-league game was a win over Taconic Hills by 2.  MH beat TH by 15.  Add in the 11 point variance between MH and HV, and Waterford is 24 points worse than the #1 team.  Lake George, by similar methods would be 15 worse. 

Galway beat Schoharie by 6, and Middleburgh beat Schoharie twice by an average of 5.  They are roughly equal.  Middleburgh is, by average, 8 points better than Duanesburg, who lost to Maple Hill by 43.  That puts the whole WAC in a bad light, even if Fort Plain is 5 to 10 points better than Galway and Middleburgh that would put Fort Plain roughly in the same boat Waterford is in, which seems reasonable to me. 

Class D
(1) Fort Ann     10-1  no change
(16) St. Johnsville     0-10  no change
(8) Argyle     5-6  up 1
(9) Northville     4-6  down 1
(5) Warrensburg     6-4  up 2
(12) Bolton     2-8  no change
(4) Germantown     8-4  up 2
(13) Doane Stuart     1-7  no change
(3) Heatly     8-3  no change
(14) Sharon Springs     0-8  no change
(6) Hartford   7-4  down 1
(11) Hawthorne Valley     3-7  no change
(7) North Warren     7-5  down 3
(10) New Lebanon     4-5  no change
(2) Fort Edward     8-2  no change
(15) Loudonville Christian     0-9  no change

Not rated:  Salem

There are two lines of thought on the CHVL this year.  Either Waterford dropped back a little, or everyone else got a little better.  It's not an easy question to answer, but if it's the latter there is a possibility this lineup could be accurate.  Though there is no evidence to support either argument, neither Fort Ann nor Fort Edward appear as good as they were last year either.  I do believe the winner will come from the Adirondack, but I'm not as convinced the top four will as well.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Boys Sectional Forecast #2 thru 1/11/14

Just when you things can't get worse a week like last week happens.  I had literally no time to work on this at all last week which is unfortunate (for many other reasons I won't divulge) because it was a great week of basketball .  Regardless, the second forecast is done and there are numerous changes. 

Class AA
(1) Catholic Central     7-0  up 1
(16) La Salle     2-7  no change
(8) Saratoga Springs     6-3  up 2
(9) Schenectady     6-4  up 2
(5) CBA     6-2  no change
(12) Bethlehem     2-4  down 4
(4) Shaker     7-2  up 2  no change
(13) Niskayuna     1-5  down 1
(3) Green Tech     2-0  no change
(14) Albany     3-6  down 1
(6) Columbia     5-4  up 3
(11) Bishop Maginn    3-6  up 3
(7) Ballston Spa     6-4  down 3
(10) Shenendehowa     5-2  down 3
(2) Guilderland      9-0  down 1
(15) Colonie     2-6  no change

I'm much more pleased this time around with the lay of the land.  It goes to show how tough the top of this bracket is when Guilderland went 4-0 since the last forecast and dropped a spot.  I have a hard time with CCHS as #1 just because they have been a bit inconsistent winning three games by a combined 14 points and none of the other four by less than 16.  I would probably put them #3, but they still have a chance to prove themselves of their current spot so we'll see how it plays out.  Ballston Spa dropped much as I expected despite only losing to Shaker by 2.  They may be better than I gave them credit for, but they still aren't a top 4 team.

There are a few things here I still disagree with, but I think the top 5, though not in order, are right.  Columbia may even prove to be right at #6.  As it currently stands, CCHS and Guilderland are only separated by 0.004 with Green Tech back another 0.025.  They've still only played 2 in-section games so there's time for that to change.  Beyond that the ratings plummet by 0.200.  I would say it's extremely likely at this point one of the current top three win sectionals.

Class A
(1) Scotia-Glenville     9-0  no change
(16) Bye
(8) Hudson Falls     3-7  no change
(9) Mohonasen     1-8  no change
(5) Queensbury     5-3  no change
(12) South Glens Falls     1-9  no change
(4) Averill Park     6-4  no change
(13) Cobleskill     0-7  up 1
(3) Gloversville     7-2  down 1
(14) Bishop Gibbons     0-9  down 1
(6) Amsterdam     3-6  no change
(11) Lansingburgh     1-8  down 1
(7) Glens Falls     4-6  no change
(10) Burnt Hills     0-9  up 1
(2) Troy     7-1  up 1
(15) Bye

Not much change going on here, but the big one is Troy has overtaken Gloversville for the #2.  This still has a chance to flip back if Troy were to lose both games to CBA and CCHS as they split with those two the first time around and assuming all the other games go as they did the first time.  I don't think it will happen, but it should be the only chance for Troy to drop down a spot.  Again as with the AA bracket, after the top 3 the ratings drop significantly.  Even though Scotia is the heavy favorite, I'll be even more conservative and say, as I did with the AA, the sectional winner comes from the current top three.

Class B
(1) Hoosick Falls     8-0  up 1
(16) Hudson     5-4  down 1
(8) Watervliet     5-3  down 2
(9) Broadalbin-Perth     5-4  up 10
(5) Mechanicville    9-3  down 1
(12) Schalmont    5-4  up 2
(4) Voorheesville     7-1  up 1
(13) Stillwater     5-5  down 2
(3) Cohoes     8-1  no change
(14) Catskill    4-2  down 1
(6) Taconic Hills     6-2  up 6
(11) Johnstown     6-4  down 3
(7) Coxsackie-Athens     6-2  up 2
(10) Corinth     6-3  up 6
(2) Mekeel Academy     5-0  down 1
(15) Schuylerville     5-4  down 5

Not rated: Ravena, Ichabod Crane, Cairo-Durham, Tamarac, Fonda-Fultonville, Granville, Chatham, Greenville

Just like last forecast every team rated is at least 0.500.  Ravena is also at #17.  Needless to say this is the polar opposite of the A bracket.  Everyone but Cohoes occupies a different spot this time than last.  Hoosick Falls had a big win over Hoosic Valley this week and though it was a big win, I don't think I would put them #1 because of it.  Regardless, I would say the top 3 are right independent of order.

There were some huge swings as well, with Broadalbin-Perth moving up 10 spots.  Corinth and Taconic Hills each moved up 6 and Schuylerville dropped 5.  Taconic Hills and Coxsackie-Athens also broke into the Colonial stronghold on the middle of the bracket.  With the Colonial teams fairly evenly matched it makes it hard for them to maintain a good rating because they are bound to lose a game here and there.  I think it will be hard for any of these middle teams from 4 to 8 to separate themselves.  Voorheesville looks like they are at the moment, but they have three wins by a total of 9 points and have lost to the #8 team.

I see a lot of change coming in this bracket and probably until the end.

Class C
(1) Lake George     8-0  up 1
(16) Middleburgh     2-5  no change
(8) Maple Hill     6-4  down 1
(9) Waterford     6-3  up 2
(5) Saratoga Catholic    9-2  down 1
(12) Mayfield     5-3  down 6
(4) Greenwich     7-3  up 1
(13) Schoharie     3-4  down 4
(3) Duanesburg     7-2  no change
(14) Hadley-Luzerne     4-5  no change
(6) Berlin     4-2  up 2
(11) Canajoharie     6-3  down 1
(7) Berne-Knox     5-2  up 6
(10) Fort Plain     5-3  up 5
(2) Hoosic Valley     9-1  down 1
(15) Rensselaer     4-5  down 3

Not rated:  Cambridge, Whitehall, Galway

Lake George has taken over the top spot by 0.005 over Hoosic Valley after their loss to Hoosick Falls by a point.  This should remain up in the air until LG plays Argyle at which point we'll know if LG will run the table or head into sectionals with a loss on their record.  They've gotten back on track a bit after a rough start winning their last two by 36 and 37.  HV on the other hand would need to sweep the second half of the Wasaren schedule to have a chance.

If LG loses to Argyle then I think HV comes out on top regardless of their other game with HF.  LG is maxed out on MOV and winning percentage so they don't have much room to move up their rating.  A loss would only drop it down even farther.  No disrespect to the other teams here, but I don't see any of them winning this bracket.  None of the ratings, including the top two, are overwhelming, but Duanesburg's 7-2 is hollow with a 1 point win included, a 3 point win over Waterford and an 8 point win over Doane Stuart.

The only real threats would be Greenwich who lost to HV by 17, and Saratoga Catholic who has a well rounded scoring distribution.  I wouldn't give either a very good chance.

Class D
(1) Argyle     8-1  up 1
(16) New Lebanon     0-6 up 1
(8) Salem     4-5  up 3
(9) St. Johnsville    3-5  down 1
(5) North Warren     6-3  no change
(12) Doane Stuart     3-6  no change
(4) Hartford     5-3  no change
(13) Warrensburg     1-7  no change
(3) Fort Ann     6-2  no change
(14) Bolton     0-9  up 1
(6) Loudonville Christian      5-4  up 1
(11) Northville     3-8  down 2
(7) Heatly     4-6  down 1
(10) Fort Edward     3-6  no change
(2) Germantown     7-0  down 1
(15) Sharon Springs     0-6  down 1

Not rated:  Hawthorne Valley

Despite being undefeated I do believe Argyle deserves the #1 over Germantown.  It's still relatively close and at the end Germantown may even win the thing but Argyle is putting up some impressive numbers and only lost to Hoosick Falls by 9 points.  The winner of this tournament will come from the current top two, though I think I agree with the top 5 in order.

The brackets as a whole look a lot more like what I would expect so far.  I'm a lot happier this time than I was last. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Niagara Connection

I was looking through the scores tonight and noticed a non-section school on the schedule I have seen before -  Niagara Catholic.  Tonight they faced Green Tech and lost by over 30.  I couldn't remember who they played prior so I looked it up on the TU website and see they have also played Bethlehem and CBA. 

Although I'm not a huge fan of playing teams outside the section (I don't use them in the calculation since I don't have all their schedules and their other opponents schedules) if they are active enough within our Section, their games can still be useful, if not for the model at least from an analytical standpoint. 

So how did they fare against the 3 Section 2 teams?  They lost to all three, Bethlehem by 26, CBA by 24 and Green Tech by 34.  Bethlehem and CBA have also played another non-section team, St. Peter's.  St. Peter's beat both teams, Bethlehem by 29 and CBA by 20.  That is a net MOV for CBA of +4 and for Bethlehem a -3.  For argument's sake that makes CBA 7 points better than Bethlehem.  Since Green Tech outperformed CBA by 10 against Niagara Catholic that makes them 17 points better than Bethlehem. 

Over at the TU both James Allen and Eric Medved have Green Tech #1 in the AA, with Guilderland #2.  This has been a point of contention for me since I don't use visual information for the model, i.e. watching the games (since I don't have the time), I use data, i.e. scores.  I knew Green Tech should be good since they were last year and kept a good portion of their starting roster.  Guilderland, I hadn't a clue.......until now.  Guilderland has played Bethlehem and beat them by 18.   Given the non scientific nature of this exercise I would say that makes Green Tech and Guilderland roughly even. 

To back that up, Green Tech and Guilderland each have played and beaten Colonie, GT by 12 and G'land by 14.  To back that up even further, they've each played and beaten Shaker as well (which I'm sure makes all those in the South Colonie school district happy and vice versa for North Colonie) GT by 21, G'land by 17. 

The point of this all is that GT and G'land are probably 1, 2 in either order followed by CCHS and CBA in either order with CBA being roughly ten points worse than the top 2 spots.  Then Shaker rolls in at #5 roughly ten points behind CBA.  You can argue Shen if you want, but they just lost to Columbia so I won't.

Who doesn't love a little math now and again?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Girls' Sectional Forecast #1 thru 12/31/13

So we're at the end of the calendar year, and with it comes the first forecast for the girls.  This is only the second full season of the girls' Forecast and it only includes two full seasons of data.  I'm still not as comfortable with this one as I am with the boys' Forecast.  This one seems mostly to just put them in order by winning percentage.  I was hoping to see a change after Waterford's dismal showing in the Sectionals last year, but nothing dramatic has changed. 

It may simply be that the best predictor for the girls is winning percentage.  I don't think we'll really know for a couple more years and it may not even show up until there are five full seasons and I can run the classes individually. 

Class AA
(1) Shaker     5-0
(16) Bye
(8) Schenectady     2-7
(9) Saratoga Springs     2-4
(5) Bethlehem     4-1
(12) Bishop Maginn     1-7
(4) Columbia     6-1
(13) Ballston Spa     0-6
(3) Shenendehowa     5-0
(14) Bye
(6) Catholic Central     3-4
(11) Colonie     1-5
(7) Niskayuna     2-4
(10) Guilderland     1-4
(2) Albany     2-0
(15) Bye

The top five look right in terms of who belongs there.  Columbia being the odd team out for the final four.  I still think there is a good chance we end up with a rematch of last years' final with Albany and Bethlehem but wouldn't be surprised if Shen or Shaker fought their way in.  There is a lot of talent in this top four and the only way I see that not happening is if they are lined up to play prior to the final four.  Shaker, Albany and Shen all have ratings above final four status.  Overall, the ratings seem low to me considering none of them have lost.  Once/if that happens, they are bound to drop below that point, or very near it.  Perhaps that's Waterford's influence rearing its ugly head.

Class A
(1) Averill Park     7-0
(16) Bye
(8) Hudson Falls     3-3
(9) Amsterdam     2-4
(5) Glens Falls     4-1
(12) Burnt Hills     1-6
(4) Albany Leadership     5-1
(13) Mohonasen     0-7
(3) Holy Names     6-0
(14) Gloversville     0-5
(6) Troy     4-1
(11) South Glens Falls     1-4
(7) Queensbury     5-1
(10) Lansingburgh     1-4
(2) Scotia-Glenville     5-0
(15) Bye

The major snub here is Troy.  Scotia beat Bishop Maginn by 27 while Troy did by 45.  While both are over the point that it matters, it's still a large difference.  Averill Park deserves the #1 so far but I'd probably have Troy #2, Scotia #3, Holy Names #4 and Queensbury #5.  Actually, now that I look at it, I might put Queensbury #3, then Scotia and Holy Names.  Queensbury and Scotia have played two common opponents and Queensbury beat both by greater margins.  Holy Names has also played Bishop Maginn and won by 13.  I might be discounting Glens Falls too much as well.  Time will tell.  Oh, and I almost forgot about Albany Leadership.  If anyone knows the final score between them and Ravena, please let me know.  I found it, but in a precarious place and I'm not sure I trust it.  That said, if it's accurate, they don't belong in the top 5.

Class B
(1) Watervliet     6-0
(16) Emma Willard     3-3
(8) Johnstown     4-2
(9) Bishop Gibbons     2-2
(5) Hoosick Falls     5-2
(12) Ichabod Crane     4-2
(4) Coxsackie-Athens     3-2
(13) Fonda-Fultonville     4-2
(3) Hudson     6-1
(14) Voorheesville     3-2
(6) Schalmont     4-1
(11) Greenville     4-2
(7) Corinth     4-2
(10) Cohoes     4-2
(2) Tamarac     7-1
(15) Mechanicville     3-3

Not rated:  Stillwater, Chatham, Albany Academy, Broadablin-Perth, Taconic Hills, Ravena, Catskill, Cobleskill, Cairo-Durham, Schuylerville, Granville

With 27 teams you could almost fill two brackets.  Section 2 has done that in the past and perhaps they will again, I haven't heard.  For now, I'm sticking to 16, and a loaded 16 it is.  Much like the boys, everyone is at least .500 and I don't think we'll really get a feel for how this is going to shake out for a while.  The one thing I am comfortable with is the top 2.  I think you'll see that hold throughout the year.  There is a fairly significant drop off in the ratings after Hudson and honestly, it probably should be after Tamarac.  Hudson lost to Stillwater, who lost to Tamarac by 44.  The Colonial B's and Johnstown and maybe even Hoosick Falls are probably all a little better than Hudson, but records go a long way in this model.  There are upwards of five other teams outside the top 2 that are a threat if they got on a hot streak, even if their odds  of winning the title aren't as high, I'd certainly not feel great about having to play any of them in the second round.  It's a tough bracket to win and whoever comes out on top will have earned it.

Class C
(1) Waterford     8-0
(16) Berne-Knox     2-4
(8) Middleburgh     4-2
(9) Berlin     3-2
(5) Canajoharie     5-2
(12) Mekeel Academy     2-3
(4) Greenwich     6-1
(13) Cambridge     3-4
(3) Lake George     6-1
(14) Schoharie     2-4
(6) Hoosic Valley     6-2
(11) Mayfield     5-4
(7) Galway     6-3
(10) Fort Plain     3-2
(2) Maple Hill     6-1
(15) Duanesburg     1-4

Not rated:  Saratoga Catholic, Whitehall, Rensselaer, Hadley-Luzerne

I threw up a little in my mouth when I saw this.  Apparently the model hasn't learned its lesson.  If by the end of the year, the model doesn't have Hoosic Valley in the top 4 I may need to reevaluate whether or not it's worth continuing the girls side until I can get enough data to do it by class.  Greenwich has beaten both Lake George and HV, and HV beat Maple Hill so Greenwich is #1 in my book for the time being (we'll see how the second matchup with HV turns out.  HV is #2, LG #3, MH #4 then maybe one of the WAC teams, or maybe three then Waterford.  Waterford beat Taconic Hills by 2 (again, like last year), TH lost to MH by 15 and HV beat MH by 11.  That's a 13 point difference between Waterford and MH and roughly 20 to HV.  I feel like there is room in there for someone to be between them.

Last year I was disappointed every week to not see HV moving up.  They ended up winning the title in a blow out.  I don't see a blow out this year regardless of who makes the final, but I have a feeling I'm going to be disappointed each week again this year as well.

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

Not rated:  Salem

No disrespect to Heatly, but barring matchups making it impossible I see the top 4 and final 4 coming from the Adirondack again this year.  If you just drop Heatly down to #5 and move the others up, I don't think you can argue too much with that lineup, maybe a point here and there, but nothing that will make too much of a difference. 

I caught a little bit of a break here with the snow giving me a chance to catch up.  I really wish I had more time to dedicate like I did last year but sometimes life gets in the way of things.  I hope everyone had a happy New Year and is safe in the cold and snow the next couple days.  You gotta love the Northeast.