Thursday, February 27, 2014

Where We Stand (27 Feb)

Two games left. Two games separating RPI from the playoffs. Two games left to finish all the way up in 5th with a date against the Tigers or down to 9th and a road trip.

Best-case scenario with:
4 points - 5th place. It'll require some help from Union, Quinnipiac, and Princeton, but it's possible. Yale could even pick up a point against Union, as long as the Engineers stay in front of the Golden Knights.
3 points - 6th place. RPI would either lose the tiebreaker to Yale or would not catch the Bulldogs. They would need to keep Clarkson behind them since the Knights would win any tiebreaker.
2 points - 7th place. RPI can't defeat Clarkson in a tiebreaker. Depending on how the Engineers got to 21 points, they might need help from Union on Saturday, or they might have earned it on their own.
1 point - 7th place. If they tie Brown, they'll win the tiebreaker, but if they lose to Brown and then tie Yale, they can still distance themselves from the Bears. As long as RPI can also keep themselves ahead of SLU, they'll be the 7 seed.
0 points - 8th place. At that point, they just need to make sure SLU finishes with less than 19 points.

Worst-case scenario with:
4 points - 7th place. If Yale can win against Union and Clarkson gets at least a couple points this weekend, RPI won't even move up the ladder with a sweep.
3 points - 7th place. Clarkson would only need at least one point to move back in front of RPI and Yale can skate through on the ECAC wins tiebreaker.
2 points (lose to Brown, beat Yale) - 8th place. After losing to Brown, the Engineers no longer control their destiny for 7th.
2 points (any other combination) - 7th place. They'd hold the head-to-head tiebreaker against Brown and would not be able to drop lower than 7th.
1 point (tie Brown, lose to Yale) - 8th place. Beating Brown would ensure that RPI would win a tiebreaker involving Brown, but a two-way tie with SLU at 20 points for 7th place would be a loss for the Engineers. RPI would drop to 8th.
1 point (lose to Brown, tie Yale) - 9th place. Brown would have secured the three-way tiebreaker on Friday with the win over RPI and since SLU would have had to have swept to wind up with 20 points, SLU would take the two-way tiebreaker as well, dropping RPI to 9th.
0 points - 9th place. Both Brown and SLU could pass RPI in that scenario.

The rest of the league...
Union (33 points) has sewn up first place. That win over St. Lawrence on Saturday was more than enough to distance themselves from everyone else.

Colgate (27 points) will definitely have next weekend off. Their magic number for clinching the #2 seed is 3, which they can accomplish on Friday with a win and Quinnipiac non-win or a tie and a Quinnipiac loss.

Quinnipiac (25 points) can finish as low as 6th by losing out, having Clarkson win out, Yale win out, and Cornell pick up at least two points. Since they don't play either Cornell or Yale, they're the only team with the destiny for third place in their hands.

Cornell (24 points) can still catch and pass Colgate to finish in 2nd, but they can't be caught by RPI so they can only fall as far as 6th. They also have the season sweep of Yale, so any two points this weekend at home against Dartmouth and Harvard guarantees the Big Red a bye.

Yale (22 points) can move into 3rd place with a little luck / help. They can also be caught by Clarkson and RPI, potentially dropping them as low as 7th place.

Clarkson (21 points) would win a tiebreaker with Quinnipiac if they can sweep this weekend and the Bobcats also lose to St. Lawrence, so they do have a chance at 3rd. They swept Brown, so they can only drop down to 7th.

Brown (17 points) can only climb to 7th, but they control their own destiny for 7th. A win on Friday gives them the tiebreaker against the Engineers. They haven't yet clinched a home playoff spot and can indeed fall as far as 11th if Dartmouth and Harvard both do extremely well on their trip to Cornell / Colgate.

St. Lawrence (16 points) can move past RPI and can win a tiebreaker against the Engineers in the right circumstances, so they still have a chance for 7th. They can also be passed by the Big Green and Harvard if things go wrong.

Dartmouth (14 points) has a much better shot at 8th than their travel partner, but both teams have a tough road in front of them. Realistically, they own the tiebreaker over St. Lawrence in the race for 9th at the very least.

Harvard (14 points) can potentially climb to 8th, but it would be quite difficult. Luckily, they have nothing left to lose.

Princeton (8 points) is guaranteed to be playing the #5 seed, whomever that ends up being.

Two-way Tiebreakers (leading team listed first):
Colgate-Quinnipiac: Colgate tied up the season series. If Colgate ties out and Quinnipiac sweeps SLU and Clarkson, then Quinnipiac wins on ECAC wins. If Colgate gets swept and Quinnipiac ties out, then Colgate wins on ECAC wins. Any other combination will go to Record vs Top 4. Colgate got an extra point versus Union, an extra point versus Cornell, and they swept Clarkson, which Quinnipiac can't also do if the Knights are going to finish with a bye. The only way the Bobcats win this on Record vs Top 4 is if Yale takes the final bye spot.
Colgate-Cornell: Head-to-head for Colgate

Quinnipiac-Cornell: Quinnipiac wins. They win by ECAC wins unless Quinnipiac has one more tie this weekend than Cornell does, then it goes to Record vs Top 4. Quinnipiac leads that with 4 points earned against Union and Colgate compared to Cornell's one. There's no way for anyone else to be in a bye position if it's a Bobcats-Big Red two-way tie, so the tiebreaker goes to Quinnipiac.
Quinnipiac-Yale: Quinnipiac by head-to-head
Quinnipiac-Clarkson: Clarkson on ECAC wins

Cornell-Yale: Cornell by their head-to-head sweep
Cornell-Clarkson: Clarkson on ECAC wins

Yale-Clarkson: Clarkson on ECAC wins
Yale-RPI: If it's a tie at 22 points, Yale wins on ECAC wins. If it's a tie at 23 points, it goes to Record vs Top 4. If Cornell can hold on to a Top 4 spot (the only way they don't is if Clarkson ends up with the same or higher number of points), then RPI wins 2-3-3 vs 2-4-2. If Clarkson ends up in 3rd / 4th, then Yale wins 3-3-2 vs 1-4-3.

Clarkson-RPI: Clarkson on head-to-head
Clarkson-Brown: Clarkson on head-to-head

RPI-Brown: A tie on Friday followed by RPI losing to Yale and Brown beating Union gives this to RPI on head-to-head. A win by Brown on Friday gives this to Brown on ECAC wins.
RPI-St. Lawrence: A tie at 20 points gives this to SLU by ECAC wins. A tie at 19 goes to Record vs Top 4. SLU is at a disadvantage with RPI having 3 points against Colgate and Union instead of SLU's 2. But, the Saints already have a 2-1 edge against Quinnipiac with a game to play, Cornell (where RPI is beating SLU 3-1) can be knocked out, they would have 1 vs Yale as opposed to RPI's 0... That's a long-winded way of saying that it matters depending on who else is in the Top 4. RPI could win it outright with SLU not beating Quinnipiac and Cornell staying in the Top 4. They could lose it outright if that previous sentence were completely backwards from reality. It could go Top 8 if SLU does beat Quinnipiac and Cornell does stay in 4th. It's a bit of a mess.

Brown-St. Lawrence: Brown by head-to-head
Brown-Dartmouth: If it's a tie at 17 points, Brown by ECAC wins. If it's a tie at 18 points, it goes to Record vs Top 4. Brown leads with 2 points against Colgate and a game-to-go against Union. Dartmouth has a chance with games against both Colgate and Cornell (that'd guarantee them 2 more points against each, but it could knock Cornell out of a Top 4 spot). Brown has two chances to survive that battle. If their point this weekend comes via a tie with Union and Quinnipiac stays in a bye position, then they can't lose on Points vs Top 4. If Quinnipiac does fall to 5th or 6th, then Brown cannot win this tiebreaker on Points vs Top 4. If Brown ties RPI instead and Quinnipiac maintains a Top 4 spot? Well, that's complicated. I'll deal with it after Friday's games.
Brown-Harvard: Brown by head-to-head

St. Lawrence-Dartmouth: Dartmouth on ECAC wins unless Dartmouth ties out and SLU gets swept. In that case, Union, Colgate, and Quinnipiac are all guaranteed spots and those 4 points that the Saints have earned there are enough to give them the win on Record vs Top 4.
St. Lawrence-Harvard: St. Lawrence on head-to-head

Dartmouth-Harvard: If Dartmouth ties out and Harvard wins exactly one game, then it goes to Record vs Top 4. Harvard would lose unless the team that the Crimson beat stays in the Top 4 (aka they beat Cornell and the Big Red stay in 4th with 25 points OR they beat Colgate), Quinnipiac stays in the Top 4, and Yale does not earn a bye. Explained as follows: neither team has points against Union or Colgate yet, but Dartmouth would be guaranteed a point. Dartmouth also already tied Cornell in Hanover, so if the Big Red stay in the Top 4, then Dartmouth would be guaranteed 3 points while Harvard would only have 2. If Quinnipiac stays in line for a bye, then Harvard would pick up a point there to make it 3 each. Then it would go to Record vs Top 8. If the tie comes about in any other fashion than Dartmouth tying twice and Harvard winning exactly once, then Dartmouth wins on ECAC wins. Suffice it to say that it's not exactly likely that Harvard is going to win this tiebreaker.

Three-way Tiebreakers:
Colgate-Quinnipiac-Cornell: Colgate wins on head-to-head. Quinnipiac would take 3rd as said above and Cornell finishes 4th.

Quinnipiac-Cornell-Yale: Cornell wins because they swept the Elis, instead of giving up a point at home. Quinnipiac wins the resulting tiebreaker.

Quinnipiac-Cornell-Clarkson: Clarkson on ECAC wins since all three teams split against each other. Quinnipiac wins the resulting tiebreaker.

Quinnipiac-Yale-Clarkson: Quinnipiac on head-to-head. Clarkson wins the resulting tiebreaker.

Cornell-Yale-Clarkson: Cornell on head-to-head. Clarkson wins the resulting tiebreaker.

Yale-Clarkson-RPI: Clarkson on head-to-head. For the resulting tiebreaker, if it's at 22 points, then Yale wins on ECAC wins. If it's at 23 points, then RPI wins on Record vs Top 4 (Clarkson wouldn't have been able to knock out Cornell).

Clarkson-RPI-Brown: Clarkson on head-to-head. Brown wins the resulting tiebreaker on ECAC wins.

RPI-Brown-SLU: Brown or RPI wins on head-to-head depending on the game result Friday. An RPI tie on Friday gives them the three-way win. A Brown win also gives them the three-way win. Brown-St. Lawrence in the resulting tiebreaker goes to Brown. RPI-SLU in the resulting tiebreaker is a mess.

Brown-SLU-Dartmouth: Brown on head-to-head. Dartmouth wins the resulting tiebreaker on ECAC wins.

Brown-SLU-Harvard: Brown on head-to-head. SLU wins the resulting tiebreaker on head-to-head.

Brown-Dartmouth-Harvard: Brown on head-to-head. Dartmouth wins the resulting tiebreaker on ECAC wins.

SLU-Dartmouth-Harvard: SLU on head-to-head. Dartmouth-Harvard depends on how this tie gets there.

Four-way Tiebreakers:
Quinnipiac-Cornell-Yale-Clarkson: Cornell on head-to-head. Then Quinnipiac, then Clarkson, then Yale.

Brown-St. Lawrence-Dartmouth-Harvard: Exactly that order. Brown then SLU on head-to-head. Dartmouth would beat Harvard on ECAC wins.

Thanks for reading. Go Red!

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