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. 

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