Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Where We Stand (19 Feb)

Women
Gary did a good job on Monday of outlining what needs to happen for the women, here's the straight dope, along with how the rest of the ECAC is playing out.

There are two games remaining in the regular season.

RPI (14 points) is presently alone in 8th place. They cannot catch Yale (18 points) in 7th place even with a sweep with Yale being swept, as Yale wins the head-to-head tiebreaker on the 3-1 season series win.

Dartmouth (13 points) and Colgate (12 points) are also alive for the 8th and final playoff position.

The Engineers lose the head-to-head tiebreaker with Dartmouth (0-4 season series).

The tiebreaker with Colgate is uncertain, but it is a likely win for Colgate. The Raiders would clinch the tie-breaker with a win over Princeton on Friday regardless of what the Engineers do.
* If RPI is swept and Colgate picks up two points, the Raiders win the tiebreak on league wins if their two points came in a victory and a loss. If Colgate ties twice, RPI would win the tiebreak on record vs. Top 4 teams (regardless of who the 4th place team ends up being).
* If RPI takes one point and Colgate takes three, or if RPI takes two points (in any fashion) with a Colgate sweep, the Raiders win the tiebreak on league wins.

The three-way tiebreak between RPI, Dartmouth, and Colgate is won by Dartmouth, who swept both the Engineers and the Raiders this season.

Thus, the Engineers are certain to miss the playoffs unless they take as many or more points this weekend (at Clarkson/SLU) than Dartmouth (at Brown/Yale). Additionally, they must take no fewer than one less point as Colgate (vs. Princeton/Quinnipiac).

The only thing the Engineers really have going for them is that they control their own destiny.

The rest of the league...
The top 7 teams in the ECAC - Cornell, Clarkson, Harvard, Quinnipiac, St. Lawrence, Princeton, and Yale - have all clinched playoff berths.

Cornell (33 points), Clarkson (32 points), and Harvard (32 points) have clinched home ice in the playoffs and will be the top three seeds in some order. The Big Red (vs. Quinnipiac) can clinch the first seed on Friday with a victory AND a Clarkson (vs. RPI) loss or tie AND a Harvard (at Yale) loss.

Harvard wins the head-to-head tiebreaker with Cornell (3-1 season series). The Crimson currently have the tiebreaker edge on Clarkson on league wins, and Cornell would be likely to win a head-to-head tiebreaker with Clarkson on league wins. Harvard wins a three-way tiebreaker with Cornell and Clarkson with 5 points against those schools (Clarkson has 4 against Harvard/Cornell, Cornell 3 against Harvard/Clarkson).

Quinnipiac (25 points) is in 4th place. They can clinch that position for home ice on Friday with a win (at Cornell) AND a St. Lawrence loss or tie (vs. Union).

St. Lawrence (23 points) is in 5th place. They win a head-to-head tiebreaker with Quinnipiac (3-1 season series). They will finish between 4th and 6th.

Princeton (21 points) is in 6th place. They lose a head-to-head tiebreaker with Quinnipiac (1-3 season series) and would lose a head-to-head with St. Lawrence on record against Top 4 teams unless the Tigers defeat Cornell on Saturday.

St. Lawrence wins a three-way tiebreaker with Princeton and Quinnipiac with 5 points against those schools (Quinnipiac has 4 against SLU/Princeton, Princeton has 3 against SLU/Quinnipiac). Thus, Princeton cannot reach 4th and will be on the road in the quarterfinals.

Yale, as mentioned above, is in 7th place and will finish in either 6th or 7th and be on the road in the quarterfinals. They would lose a head-to-head tiebreaker with Princeton on league wins, and can only finish 6th with a weekend sweep if Princeton is swept.

Brown (9 points) and Union (8 points) have been eliminated from playoff contention. Whichever team finishes in 12th place will set a record for most points by a last place ECAC team since the conference went to 12 teams in 2006-07 (previously held by Union with 4 in 2010-11 and 2012-13).

Men
There are four games left in the regular season.

RPI (18 points) is currently alone in 7th place. Mathematically, they can finish as high as 2nd and as low as 11th, both without being tied with anyone. They cannot catch Union and cannot be caught by Princeton. They control their own destiny as high as 6th place thanks to their game against Yale, anything higher requires some help. That's not terrible, really, as they are one of only two teams in the conference that currently controls their own destiny for a position higher than the one they're sitting in.

Best case scenarios for this weekend, in terms of position:
Weekend sweep: 4th place, 1 point out of 3rd and 2 points ahead of 5th. Clinches home ice in the playoffs.
Tie SLU, beat Clarkson: 4th place, 2 points out of 3rd and 1 point ahead of 5th. Clinches home ice in the playoffs.
Beat SLU, tie Clarkson: Tied (with Clarkson) for 4th place, 2 points out of 3rd and 1 point ahead of 6th. Clinches home ice in the playoffs.
Lose to SLU, beat Clarkson: Tied (with Clarkson and Cornell) for 4th place, 3 points out of 3rd and 1 point ahead of 7th.
Beat SLU, lose to Clarkson: Tied (with Cornell) for 5th place, 2 points out of 4th and 1 point ahead of 7th.
One point weekend (either way): Tied (with Yale) for 6th place, 1 point out of 5th and 2 points ahead of 8th.
Swept: 7th place, 1 point out of 6th and 1 point ahead of 8th.

Worst case scenarios for this weekend:
Weekend sweep: Tied (with Clarkson) for 6th, 1 point out of 5th and 3 points ahead of 8th. Clinches home ice in the playoffs.
Tie SLU, beat Clarkson: 7th place, 1 point out of 6th and 2 points ahead of 8th.
Beat SLU, tie Clarkson: 7th place, 2 points out of 6th and 2 points ahead of 8th.
Lose to SLU, beat Clarkson: 7th place, 2 points out of 6th and 1 point ahead of 8th.
Beat SLU, lose to Clarkson: 7th place, 3 points out of 6th and 1 point ahead of 8th.
Tie SLU, lose to Clarkson: Tied (with Brown) for 7th place, 4 points out of 6th and 2 points ahead of 9th.
Lose to SLU, tie Clarkson: Tied (with Brown) for 7th place, 4 points out of 6th and 1 point ahead of 9th.
Swept: Tied (with SLU) for 8th place, 1 point out of 7th and 2 points ahead of 10th.

Head-to-head tiebreakers currently look like this:
Quinnipiac: Lost on 1-3 season series.
Colgate: Won on 3-1 season series.
Cornell: Won on 3-1 season series.
Clarkson: Likely lost on either season series (with loss or tie in Saturday's game) or total wins.
Yale: Undetermined, but cannot be won on season series due to the head-to-head loss. Would go to total wins or record against Top 4 (both undetermined) with a win on March 1.
Brown: Undetermined, can be won on season series with a win or a tie on February 28. Likely loss on total wins otherwise.
Harvard: Lost on 1-3 season series.
St. Lawrence: Undetermined, can be won on season series with a win or a tie on Friday. Would go to total wins or record against Top 4 (both undetermined) with a loss.
Dartmouth: Won on 4-0 season series.

Unless we see an RPI sweeps/Quinnipiac swept scenario, the Quinnipiac tiebreaker will become irrelevant this weekend. Unless we see an RPI swept/Dartmouth sweeps scenario, the Dartmouth tiebreaker will also become irrelevant.

There are too many multiple tie scenarios to work through right now.

The rest of the league...
Union (29 points) has clinched a first-round bye and will finish in the top three. They are the only team that controls their own destiny for the top seed.

Quinnipiac (25 points) and Colgate (23 points) have clinched a home playoff series. Neither control their destiny beyond their current position.

Clarkson and Cornell (20 points each) are tied for 4th place, with the Golden Knights occupying the final bye position by virtue of more league wins (10-8).

Harvard and St. Lawrence (14 points each) are tied for 9th place, with the Saints holding the #9 seed at present by virtue of a season series win (3-1). However, thanks to their game against Brown on Saturday, the Crimson control their own destiny for the #9 seed.

Dartmouth (11 points) and Princeton (8 points) have been eliminated from contention for the first-round bye. Neither team controls their own destiny beyond their current position. The Tigers would be eliminated from contention for a home playoff series on Friday with a loss to Colgate or a Brown win against Dartmouth.

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