Monday, February 8, 2010

If the season ended today: boys basketball - magic numbers

With the regular season wrapping up in the next seven days, let's take a look at how the division races are shaping up in the local boys basketball conferences.

At the bottom, I'll also take a stab at figuring out how the Section II brackets will unfold at the bottom of the post.

Big 10 Conference
(16 game regular season)
Christian Brothers Academy, 14-0
Bishop Maginn, 10-3
Albany High, 9-4
Schenectady, 8-5

The Brothers have clinched the 2009-10 Big 10 Conference title and will carry the Big 10 No. 1 seed into the Section II Class AA playoffs. Bishop Maginn and Albany High will be contenders, and Troy High could surprise some folks in the first round. La Salle and Catholic Central are also capable of pulling off an upset on any given night.

Suburban Council
(16 game regular season)
North Division
Shenendehowa, 13-0
Saratoga Springs, 12-2

Shen's magic number is two, meaning any combination of Shen wins and Saratoga losses equaling two cliches the title for the Plainsmen. Shen can take care of business Thursday night, when it hosts Saratoga in a big-time rivalry game.

South Division
South Colonie, 9-4
Averill Park, 9-5

AP and Colonie meet head-to-head in the Suburban Council finale on Thursday, Jan 11. They both also play Guilderland down the stretch, so this race will come down to Colonie's game against Mohonasen Tuesday night. There is more in this for Averill Park, as if they win, another quality Class AA win will boost their seeding in the Class A brackets. Colonie will likely be seeded in the same spot of the AA tournament either way.

Games remaining:
Averill Park: At Guilderland (Tues), vs. Colonie (Thurs)
Colonie: vs. Mohonasen (Tues), at Averill Park (Thurs), at Guilderland (Tues, 2/16)

Colonial Council
(14 game regular season)
Lansingburgh, 11-2
Watervliet, 11-2
Voorheesville, 10-2

The unthinkable happened last weekend, as winless Ravena topped Lansingburgh, greatly jumbling up the Colonial Council race.

Voorheesville has the hardest road, with two games to play, including a road visit to 'Vliet on Friday.

The only way Lansingburgh can win outright is if they beat Schalmont, Ravena beats Voorheesville and Voorheesville turns around and beats Watervliet. It's unlikely, but so was the game that set up this whole scenario in the first place. Assuming 'Burgh and Voorheesville win Tuesday, the winner of Friday's 'Vliet/Voorheesville game earns a first-place share and the loses takes third place.

Games remaining:
Lansingburgh: vs. Schalmont (Tues)
Watervliet: vs. Voorheesville (Fri)
Voorheesville: vs. Ravena (Tues), at Watervliet (Fri)

Wasaren League
(14 game regular season)
Hoosick Falls,11-1
Schuylerville, 10-2
Hoosic Valley, 8-4
Granville, 7-5

The Panthers have a magic number of two, meaning any combination of wins and Schuylerville losses totaling two will clinch the league title for Hoosick Falls for the second year in a row. Schuylerville can certainly beat both Granville and Hoosic Valley, but I don't think anyone would be surprised to see Granville and Hoosic Valley win those games, either.

Upcoming games:
Hoosick Falls: at Stillwater (Tues), vs. Granville (Friday)
Schuylerville: at Granville (Tues), vs. Hoosic Valley (Friday)

Patroon Conference
(18 game regular season)
Ichabod Crane, 15-1
Maple Hill, 15-1
Rensselaer, 14-2

Ichabod Crane and Maple Hill split the season series, and no one else in the league has given them problems, so a shared title looks likely here.
Maple Hill, however, plays Rensselaer in the season finale Friday, while Ichabod plays the Rams on Wednesday. The Rams, if they beat both teams, could create a three-way tie at the top at 16-2 assuming IC and MH win their other game remaining.

Central Hudson Valley League
(14 game regular season)
Germantown, 10-2
New Lebanon, 9-2
Heatly, 8-4
Loudonville Christian, 8-4

This one will also be a race to the finish, and it's too close to call because all of the top teams will play each other down the stretch.

Remaining games:
Germantown: (All home games) Waterford, Heatly, New Lebanon
New Lebanon: Berlin, Loudonville Christian, Germantown
Heatly: Hawthorne Valley, Germantown, Loudonville Christian

Let's make some guesses on how the brackets are going to pan out this year.

Class AA
The most interesting decision in Class AA will be where to slot Albany Academy. The Cadets had a strong, state-ranked team last year with top quality victories over teams like eventual state champion Newburgh Free Academy, but were seeded as the No. 2 Suburban Council team.

With a sub-.500 record this season, the committee will have to reward their strength of schedule. Still, after last year's results, I can't imagine the Cadets seeded higher than a No. 4 team in the Suburban behind Shen, Saratoga and South Colonie.

Without further ado, here is how the seeds could fall out:
Opening round
S1 Shenendehowa vs. B8 Catholic Central
B4 Schenectady vs. S5 Shaker
S3 Colonie vs. B6 Queensbury
B2 Bishop Maginn vs. S7 Niskayuna
B1 CBA vs. S8 Bethlehem
S4 Albany Academy vs. B5 Troy High
S2 Saratoga Springs vs. B7 La Salle
B3 Albany High vs. S6 Guilderland

B1 CBA vs. S4 Albany Academy
S2 Saratoga vs. B3 Albany High
S1 Shen vs. S5 Shaker
S3 Colonie vs. B2 Maginn

S1 Shen vs. B2 Maginn
B1 CBA vs, B3 Albany High

S1 Shen vs. B1 CBA

A lot of this depends on where Academy falls, which will be one of the most interesting developments of Wednesday's bracket meeting.

Class A
Class A is always interesting because there are few teams and few that meet during the regular season.

Last Friday afternoon, Lansingburgh would have been the odds-on favorite, but their loss to Ravena will certainly drop them a few spots.

Ichabod Crane has the best record, but the Riders do not play any Class A teams during the regular season, trapped in a jam-packed Patroon Conference slate.

Scotia-Glenville and South Glens Falls are battling for the Foothills Council crown and whoever wins could likely take the No. 1 seed.

Averill Park, with all of its Class AA victories, could also take a No. 1 seed, especially if the Warriors win the South Division in the Suburban.

This is an educated guess at how the seeds will pan out:
1 Scotia-Glenville vs. 8 Mohonasen
2 Averill Park vs. 7 Gloversville
3 Ichabod Crane vs. 6 Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake
4 South Glens Falls vs. 5 Lansingburgh

1 Scotia-Glenville vs. 5 Lansingburgh
2 Averill Park vs. 3 Ichabod Crane

1 Scotia-Glenville vs. 3 Ichabod Crane

Class B
Here is how the Class B brackets could pan out:

Opening Round
1 Fonda vs. 16 Cohoes
2 Watervliet vs. 15 Stillwater
3 Schuylerville vs. 14 Coxsackie
4 Catskill vs. 13 Broadalbin-Perth
5 Granville vs. 12 Cobleskill
6 Schenectady Christian vs. 11 Cairo-Durham
7 Johnstown vs 10 Schalmont
8 Hudson vs. 9 Spa Catholic

1 Fonda vs. 8 Hudson
2 Watervliet vs. 7 Johnstown
3 Schuylerville vs. 6 Schenectady Christian
4 Catskill vs. 5 Granville

1 Fonda vs. 4 Catskill
2 Watervliet vs. 3 Schuyerville

1 Fonda vs. 2 Watervliet

Class C
Class C will be very interesting this year, as there will not be separate Class CC and C brackets. All of the best teams will be jumbled into one big pool, meaning a lot of teams with winning records may be playing opening round games on the road.

Here is my guess as to where the teams will be seeded:

Opening round
1 Maple Hill vs. 16 Hadley-Luzerne
2 Voorheesville vs. 15 Greenwich
3 Hoosick Falls vs. 14 Warrensburg
4 Corinth vs. 13 Waterford
5 Rensselaer vs. 12 Fort Plain
6 Hoosic Valley vs. 11 Mayfield
7 Schoharie vs. 10 Cambridge
8 Canajoharie vs. 9 Lake George

1 Maple Hill vs. 8 Canajoharie
2 Voorheesville vs. 7 Schoharie
3 Hoosick Falls vs. 6 Hoosic Valley
4 Corinth vs. 5 Rensselaer

1 Maple Hill vs. 4 Corinth
2 Voorheesville vs. 3 Hoosick Falls

1 Maple Hill vs. 2 Voorheesville (or 3 Hoosick Falls)

Class D
Play-in game
8 Northville vs. 9 Hawthorne Valley

1 Argyle vs. 8 Northville
2 Germantown vs. 7 Fort Ann
3 Sharon Springs vs. Loudonville Christian
4 New Lebanon vs. 5 Heatly

1 Argyle vs. 4 New Lebanon
2 Germantown vs. 3 Sharon Springs

1 Argyle vs. 2 Germantown (or 3 Sharon Springs)

Much remains to be decided in the last week of the regular season and the committee will always try to keep teams from the same league from playing each other in the first few rounds if they can help it, so we'll see just how accurate this forecast was next Wednesday afternoon.

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