I don't remember exactly how I did this last year, but I'm going to tell you who, according to the forecast will win each game in the tournament. Tonight I'll do the first round, since I don't yet know the second round matchups. I'll also throw some of my own opinions in there. What's the point of having a blog if you don't give your opinions right?
Shen over Bishop Maginn
Schenectady over Saratoga
Shaker over Colonie
Green Tech over Bethlehem
Guilderland over LaSalle
Ballston Spa over CBA
Columbia over Albany
CCHS over Niskayuna
The only upset the forecast is giving us is Ballston Spa over CBA. I don't think that will happen, but I do recall a player from Ballston Spa predicting they would beat CBA last year in the first round. They didn't of course, but Ballston Spa is greatly improved this year and CBA is not. It seems bizarre to think that CBA could possibly lose a first round game in Sectionals after all those years dominating the Class, but I don't think it out of the realm of the possible for it to happen. The model sees each team as less than a first round winner. Once I have a few more years of this in, if I last that long, I'm going to maintain a database of each Sectional game and compare the ratings to what actually happened and see if I can find some trends that will help sort out games like CBA and Ballston Spa, where neither would be favored to win an opening round game if not for playing each other.
The only other game the model has as close is Schenectady and Saratoga Springs, which I think could go either way. I'll give the edge to Schenectady. The other game I'll be watching is Shaker and Colonie. I may not mention rivalries often, as Joe has pointed out, mostly because the model doesn't take that into account. Each regular season rivalry game is a very small portion of a regular season schedule, and since a lot of schools have rivalries, they can cancel each other out. My alma mater had three that I seem to recall. But, in a Sectional game, where it's one and done, a rivalry is certainly one to watch. Shaker did not play well down the stretch and though they beat Colonie by 19 earlier this year, it's still a game I'll be keeping an eye on.
Lansingburgh over Burnt Hills
Mohonasen over South Glens Falls
Well, there isn't much going on here in the first round. Quite honestly, this may be the worst bracket I've ever seen. Only three teams have a rating above a first round score. The average score of the bottom 11 teams is 0.189. Burnt Hills didn't have a very good year, but looking outside the model, they could beat Lansingburgh. Lansingburgh had an inconsistent year, playing some good teams close and others not so close. This game will depend more on which Lansingburgh team shows up, than on Burnt Hills.
The other first round game should not be much of one. Mohonasen nearly just beat Guilderland. We may eventually see some upsets in this bracket, but unless one of the losers is Troy or Scotia, it won't be Earth shattering.
Stillwater over Ravena
Fonda over Tamarac
Hudson over Granville
Corinth over Coxsackie-Athens
This bracket is ridiculous. Ravena played two teams that Stillwater played and had a better showing against both, so I'm not sure I'm in agreement with the model on that one. The next two seem clear to me. Both Fonda and Hudson should be able to take care of business against Tamarac and Granville respectively. I'm not very high on the Patroon this year in the B bracket so even though the Adirondack doesn't usually do great here, I'll take Corinth over Coxsackie.
First Round (known matchups)
Catskill over Watervliet
Mechanicville over Johnstown
Broadalbin-Perth over Schuylerville
Taconic Hills over Schalmont
Now it's even more ridiculous. Any of these could be upsets and I don't think it would be overly shocking. That doesn't mean I won't pick them however. I'm not sure the last time Watervliet lost in the first round but at one point they were near 20 straight seasons making the Civic Center. It's hard to discount that expectation in their locker room regardless of how up and down their season was. The fact that this is an 8 - 9 game says a lot about the bracket. It could easily be a 4 - 5 matchup in other years. I'll take Watervliet and hope history backs me up. Mechanicville has been slightly off the top of the Colonial, but they should have enough to get by Johnstown. The tough thing about this bracket is, one bad night ends your season, no doubt, and even a good one may not be enough. M'ville will need a bad night to not get by round 1.
In recent years BP and Schuylerville have been playing in the regular season and chose not to this year. Schuylerville is not what they have been in the past 10 years or so and BP has come on strong at the end of the year and I believe they'll move on. If there were ever a game that cried out for an upset it would be Taconic Hills and Schalmont. Taconic lost to Ravena by 15 whereas Schalmont beat Ravena by 21. Now, that was Taconic's second worse game of the year and was in the top 5 or so best games for Schalmont. Regardless, a 36 point gap is tough to explain away by a bad night v a good night. Taconic has one of the greatest disparities between what their average winning percentage would be based on their MOV and their actual winning percentage. In fact, Schalmont's 10-8 record resulted in a +77 MOV, where TH's 14-4 only netted them a +63. I don't think anyone would argue that the level of competition in the Patroon was better than the Colonial as well. This game may be close, by I'll take Schalmont.
I wore a tie for 17 hours yesterday and took two plane rides, two cab rides, walked four blocks with a zero wind chill, worked a full day today and about 3 hours tonight on this. I'm tired. I'll do the rest tomorrow.