Saturday, February 26, 2011

What We Know

The RPI men lost to Princeton, 4-3 on Friday night, missing out on an opportunity to move into 4th place by themselves in the ECAC and take control of their destiny for the bye. Instead they are now in 6th place by themselves. The good news is, they can't get any lower than where they are now. No reason not to go for broke tonight. They could win and still end up in 6th place, which is where they'd be if they lose, and as you'll see they could well end up in sixth if they tie, so... why not take chances?

The good news is, the two games we're watching elsewhere involve rooting for the top two teams in the league, that is, the teams that should be favored to win those games anyway. Given that RPI should be favored over Quinnipiac as well (although we've seen how much that means recently), I guess RPI will have the bye as long as there are no upsets. That's not a horrid place to be by any stretch of the imagination.

Here's where things stand with one game left in the ECAC schedule.

Union (34 points) can clinch the Cleary Cup (yes) with a win over Princeton OR a Yale loss to Cornell. Yale (33 points) would win a potential tiebreaker on ECAC goals, so they could clinch with a win and a Union loss or tie, or a tie and a Union loss.

Union and Yale will both potentially host one of the teams currently in 7th place or below in the second round.

Dartmouth (26 points) has clinched a first round bye by virtue of their tiebreakers with Cornell and Princeton. They will finish either 3rd or 4th.

Cornell and Princeton (24 points) are tied for fourth, with Cornell currently leading the tiebreaker (record against Top 4 teams). Cornell could potentially finish in 3rd, or as low as 6th. Princeton, due to tiebreakers, can only finish as high as 4th and as low as 6th.

RPI (23 points) needs to defeat Quinnipiac on Saturday, and see Cornell (vs. Yale) lose and Princeton (vs. Union) lose or tie in order to finish 4th and receive the final first round bye. Anything else, and they will be at home in the first round, either in 5th or 6th. They cannot catch Dartmouth.

Tonight's scenarios:
RPI wins, Cornell loses, Princeton loses/ties: 4th place

RPI wins, Cornell loses, Princeton wins: 5th place
RPI wins, Cornell ties (regardless of what Princeton does): 5th place
RPI wins, Cornell wins, Princeton loses: 5th place
RPI wins, Cornell wins, Princeton ties: 5th place
RPI ties, Princeton loses (regardless of what Cornell does): 5th place

RPI wins, Cornell wins, Princeton wins: 6th place
RPI ties, Cornell loses, Princeton ties/wins: 6th place
RPI ties, Cornell ties/wins, Princeton ties/wins: 6th place
RPI loses (regardless of anything else): 6th place

As a 4 seed, RPI would potentially host Cornell, Princeton, Quinnipiac, Clarkson, or Brown in the 2nd round.

As a 5 or 6 seed, RPI would potentially host Harvard, St. Lawrence, or Colgate, and potentially travel to Cornell, Princeton, or Dartmouth in the second round.

The Engineers cannot face Yale or Union until Atlantic City at the earliest.

Quinnipiac (18 points) is in 7th. They have not clinched home ice due to their tiebreakers with Clarkson and Brown. They can clinch home ice with a tie at RPI on Saturday, and 7th with a win. They will finish between 7th and 9th.

Clarkson (17 points) is in 8th. They can clinch home ice with a win or tie over Dartmouth. Also will finish between 7th and 9th.

Brown (16 points) is in 9th. They can clinch home ice with a win and a Quinnipiac loss, since they hold the tiebreaker with the Bobcats. They do not win the tiebreaker with Clarkson. They will finish between 7th and 9th.

Harvard and St. Lawrence (13 points) are tied for 10th, with Harvard technically in 10th right now on the first tiebreaker. They also happen to play each other on Saturday, winner gets 10th place. They will both be on the road in the first round, but Harvard can claim 10th with a tie over the Saints as well due to the tiebreaker. The 10th place team will travel to Quinnipiac, Clarkson, or Brown. The 11th place team travels to Cornell, RPI, or Princeton.

Colgate (11 points) can only finish in 11th with a win and a Harvard loss to St. Lawrence. That would give the Raiders 11th on the second tiebreaker with the Crimson. Otherwise, they are 12th. Regardless, they will travel to either Cornell, RPI, or Princeton next week. (Guess who their preference is going to be.)

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