Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Where We Stand

There are two games remaining on the ECAC schedule.

The Engineers (6-12-2 ECAC) are tied for 8th place with Brown (5-11-4) but lose the tiebreaker with the Bears (0-1-1 head-to-head) and thus sit outside of the final playoff position at present.

RPI can still finish as high as 7th, provided that they sweep Princeton and Quinnipiac AND Princeton loses to Union on Saturday AND Brown takes no more than three points from Harvard and Dartmouth. Any other result, and the Engineers finish in 8th or lower.

The Engineers will make the playoffs if they earn more points at Princeton/Quinnipiac than Brown does at Harvard/Dartmouth AND they stay ahead of or win the tiebreaker with Colgate. If they earn less or the same number of points as Brown, they are eliminated.

RPI can be eliminated from playoff contention on Friday with a loss to Princeton AND a Brown win over Harvard.

RPI and Colgate (5-13-2) have an unknown tiebreaker at the moment given a series split (1-1-0). Both teams have the same number of ties, which could make for a tie in total wins if the teams draw even again. If that happens, the third tiebreaker is on record against Top 4 teams. Neither team has a win against the current Top 4, but Colgate has games remaining against St. Lawrence and Clarkson and the Engineers have a win over potential Top 4 team Dartmouth.

Brown would win a three-way tie with RPI and Colgate for 8th place with a 2-0-2 record against the Engineers and Raiders this season.

A meaningful tiebreaker between RPI and Colgate would therefore presuppose that RPI and Colgate finish in a tie for 8th place ahead of Brown. For this to happen, the following point schemes would be required - RPI 2, Colgate 4, Brown 1 or 0 (a win and loss for the Engineers, two ties would give Colgate the tiebreaker on wins); RPI 1, Colgate 3, Brown 0. Thus, Colgate would have to pick up at least one point against a Top 4 team in order for the tiebreaker to become relevant. RPI could potentially counter with 2 points from Dartmouth if the Big Green move into the Top 4, but Colgate would have between 1 and 4.

If both teams have 2 points against Top 4 teams, it moves to record against the Top 8 (realistically, the Top 7, since the tiebreak would be for 8th place). Given the teams' exactly similar records against Yale, Union, and Brown (the teams that would not be Top 7), that means they'd have the same number of points against the rest of the league. We would then move to the 5th tiebreaker, head-to-head goal differential. RPI would win this tiebreak 6-4.

Thus, for RPI to win a meaningful head-to-head tiebreaker with Colgate assuming they do not pick up any more ties, the Engineers would need Dartmouth to finish in the Top 4. Given the schedule of all teams involved, this would be a likely result if the RPI/Colgate tiebreaker was necessary. We feel confident in saying that the Engineers would probably win a head-to-head tiebreak with the Raiders but it is not certain. Things will be more clear on Saturday morning.

Cornell (18-2-0) has clinched the #1 seed and will host the #8 seed (Princeton, Brown, RPI, or Colgate) February 24-26 in the ECAC Quarterfinals.

Harvard (15-4-1) and Clarkson (14-4-2) have clinched home ice for quarterfinal round. The final home ice spot will go to either St. Lawrence (13-5-2) or Dartmouth (12-6-2).

Harvard, Clarkson, or St. Lawrence could potentially finish as the #2 seed, which will host the #7 seed.

Quinnipiac (10-8-2) and Princeton (8-10-2) will be on the road in the quarterfinal round.

Union (2-16-2) and Yale (1-18-1)  have been eliminated from playoff consideration.

There are four games remaining on the ECAC schedule.

The Engineers (5-10-3) are tied for 10th place with Princeton (5-10-3). They lose the tiebreaker with the Tigers at present due to Princeton's 5-3 head-to-head win on December 2 and thus sit in the 11th-seed position. They are statistically eliminated from contention for the first-round bye. They do not control their own destiny for home ice.

Brown (5-11-2) is in last place and, like RPI, are eliminated from contention for the first-round bye and do not control their own destiny for home ice.

Dartmouth, Yale, and Princeton are functionally eliminated from contention for the first-round bye. Princeton does not control their own destiny for home ice.

Union, Cornell, and Colgate have clinched home ice. Union and Cornell control their own destinies for the Cleary Cup and have functionally secured first-round byes.

RPI wins a potential tiebreaker with Brown based on a season sweep of the Bears. They would win a potential (but highly unlikely) tiebreaker with Harvard on the second tiebreaker (wins, since Harvard will finish with more ties than RPI).

They picked up season splits with Dartmouth, Yale, and St. Lawrence, creating unknown tiebreakers with these teams. The Engineers lose a potential (but unlikely) tiebreaker with Clarkson based on being swept, and they have games remaining against Quinnipiac and Princeton, in both cases they would be seeking a season split with wins.

1 comment:

  1. I believe there's still several scenarios that give us the 1st round bye, for example:

    Brown over Harvard
    RPI over Quinnipiac
    Yale over Dartmouth
    Cornell over Clarkson
    Union over Princeton
    Colgate over St. Lawrence

    Yale over Harvard
    Union over Quinnipiac
    Brown over Dartmouth
    Cornell over St. Lawrence
    RPI over Princeton
    Colgate over Clarkson

    Union over Cornell
    Princeton over Yale
    RPI over Colgate
    Brown over Quinnipiac
    Dartmouth over Clarkson
    St. Lawrence over Harvard

    Union over Colgate
    Quinnipiac over Yale
    RPI over Cornell
    Brown over Princeton
    Clarkson TIES Harvard
    Dartmouth over St. Lawrence

    This creates a logjam, with 4th to 11th places separated by two points:

    1. Union 15-3-4 34 points
    2. Cornell 12-5-5 29 points
    3. Colgate 13-8-1 27 points
    4. RPI 9-10-3 21 points
    4. Harvard 6-7-9 21 points
    6. Brown 9-11-2 20 points
    6. Quinnipiac 8-10-4 20 points
    6. Clarkson 8-10-4 20 points
    9. Yale 9-12-1 19 points
    9. Dartmouth 8-11-3 19 points
    9. St. Lawrence 9-12-1 19 points
    12. Princeton 6-13-3 15 points

    RPI wins the tiebreaker with Harvard by virtue of wins.

    I would break out the ole predictor, but with 3^24 possible scenarios, it'd take a bit to exhaustively calculate. A Monte Carlo simulation would work pretty well, but it likely wouldn't find edge cases like this one. Plus, I never settled on a good way to weight/predict ties with KRACH.


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