PDA

View Full Version : Hockey East - Bye, Home, and Road: by the numbers - 2014-15 edition



Pages : [1] 2 3

Todd
02-07-2015, 02:49 PM
For over a decade, we've used this thread to keep track of the math and stay away from the woofing and other pointless cr@p.

It's time to kick it off again for this season.

With the switch to 12 teams, Hockey East enters a new configuration that appears to be stable for the foreseeable future. Where we recently used to have 27 league games per season, that also meant a .500 record was 27 points. The league winner was sometimes in the low-mid 30s and sometimes over 40. With last year's switch to 11 teams and only 20 league games per team, we saw how quickly the season started sorting itself out - and how much each league game mattered.

With the total now at 22 league games per team, per season, there are no rubber games in a series. There is no "lose the singleton, but take the series with a home-and-home sweep" save to an early loss. There are four points in each pair and a loss means the best you can do is split later. Of course, the reverse is true, winning the first of the pair means at worst a split.

Coming into this weekend, we now have four weekends left. For those with seven or eight games left on their docket, that leaves about a third of the season to go.

In the posts coming up shortly, we can take a look at how we set the table for this weekend and what's at stake in the near future.

For now, with this short post, at least we have a stake in the ground to start the conversation.

Sean Pickett
02-07-2015, 03:10 PM
Thanks Todd. Here is the history of the ECAC since the HE/ECAC split in 1984 (excluding 1999-2000 when Vermont cancelled the second half of their season) for how many points was required to finish in the top 4 and in the top 8.


Top 4 Top 8
1984-85 27 16
1985-86 28 19
1986-87 27 17
1987-88 28 18
1988-89 27 16
1989-90 27 17
1990-91 29 21
1991-92 25 20
1992-93 28 19
1993-94 27 18
1994-95 25 21
1995-96 31 15
1996-97 26 16
1997-98 24 19
1998-99 27 17
1999-00
2000-01 25 19
2001-02 24 21
2002-03 25 18
2003-04 28 19
2004-05 29 17
2005-06 26 18
2006-07 25 18
2007-08 26 21
2008-09 25 21
2009-10 24 18
2010-11 25 19
2011-12 24 20
2012-13 24 20
2013-14 25 18
Avg. 26.24 18.48

Sean

Fishhawk
02-07-2015, 04:05 PM
Schedule and format:


2015 Hockey East Men's Tournament

Friday - Sunday, March 6-8: Best-of-Three Opening Round Play on Campus
(#5 hosts #12, #6 hosts #11, #7 hosts #10, #8 hosts #9)

Friday - Sunday, March 13-15: Best-of-Three Quarterfinal Round Play on Campus
(Schools #1 - #4 host four opening round winners,
highest vs. lowest, etc.)

Friday, March 20 at TD Garden: Semifinal Games

Saturday, March 21 at TD Garden: Championship Final

Todd
02-07-2015, 07:25 PM
Coming in to the weekend...

BU 24 - 38 [1-10]
BC 20 - 32 [1-11]
UML 20 - 32 [1-11]
PC 17 - 31 [1-12]

UVM 15 - 31 [1-12]
ND 15 - 31 [1-12]
NU 14 - 28 [1-12]
CT 14 - 28 [1-12]

MC 12 - 28 [1-12]
ME 11 - 27 [1-12]
UNH 9 - 25 [1-12]
UMA 7 - 19 [4-12]

Remaining LEAGUE schedules:
BU - @UML, (BP v NU), UNH, @UNH, NDx2, NU, @NU
BC - MC, (BP v HU), UVMx2, UML, @NDx2
UML - BU, @UMA, (@UMA NC), UMA, @BC, UVMx2
PC - CT, @NDx2, UMA, @UMA, MEx2
UVM - UNHx2, @BCx2, MCx2, @UMLx2
ND - @MEx2, PCx2, @BUx2, BCx2
NU - @UMA, (BP v BU), CT, @CT, @MEx2, @BU, BU
CT - @PC, MC, @NU, NU, UNH, @UNH, UMA
MC - BC, @CT, MEx2, @UVMx2, @UNHx2
ME - NDx2, @MCx2, NUx2, @PCx2
UNH - @UVMx2, @BU, BU, @CT, CT, MCx2
UMA - NU, UML, (UML NC), @UML, @PC, PC, @CT


To date, this season has had some surprises, some stability, and some roller coasters.

At the end of the first semester, there had been three teams that had consistently been around the top of the standings, UML, BU, and UVM. Also, none of the three teams had played each other in the first half, so there looked to be six key games for seeding near the top of the standings, barring a three-way collapse.

For three straight games in January, BU played first UML at Agganis and then UVM at the Gut for two. The Terriers came away with three wins, two of them in OT. The fourth (and BU's last) of these games is at Tsongas this weekend. The last two games among these three teams have UVM at Tsongas for a pair on the final weekend.

Aside from the BU games, UML and UVM have stumbled a bit of late, but are still in the mix for the byes - although the Catamounts stumbled a little harder, and so will need to straighten things out quicker than the River Hawks.

Among the surprises so far, certainly BU being in that conversation among top teams was unexpected at the beginning of the season, given their middle-of-the-pack estimate.

Also unexpected, but in the other direction, were the rough starts from NU, BC, and UNH. BC's four-game skid amidst a 3-of-9 November left the Eagles a hole to dig out of. Since then, the Eagles have righted the ship to go on a run that puts them among the league leaders going into the final month of league play.

Even deeper into the ground, Northeastern made themselves a crater to climb out of. The Huskies lost their exhibition game and then went 0-8-1. A 3-2 stretch gave them a 3-10-1 mark in early December. Since then, they have brought a run of 8-1-3 into this weekend. The most notable ding in that run was a 1-of-4 point H&H with the similarly streaking BC. Of course, the Huskies got their revenge by taking the non-league Beanpot semi against the Eagles last Monday.

UNH has had troubles all season, on ice and off, but instead of finding a way out of their early season hole like the other two, the Wildcats keep digging.

Back at the top of the standings, as the season has progressed, various other teams were finding themselves among the top four to round out the triumvirate of BU/UML/UVM.

Merrimack had a strong start, but has fallen back. Providence has quietly been up and down at the cusp between Bye and Home for most of the season. Notre Dame has been roughly just behind PC for most of that time, as well.

Connecticut's first season in the league was full of questions coming in. Certainly, they weren't projected to light the league in fire, but then again, they weren't expected to knock off then-top-ranked BC followed by chasing similarly ranked BU into a tie, at BU, only three days later. In fact, after the second BU/CT game, BU was 24-5 in scoring in the third period and OT, but four of those five goals against had come from UConn (the other from BC). The first five of the six total UConn goals had points from both Trevor Gerling and Shaun Pauly (both were 2-3-5). If those two teams meet in the playoffs somewhere, those would be the UConn players to keep an eye on besides BU's top line that gets the press.

Maine has been streaky all season, but perhaps most notably the OT bounces have not been going their way. After getting three points from their first two OT games, Maine lost four straight OT games before holding on for the tie last Sunday at UConn. Those four OT losses staying as ties would put Maine on top of the mid-pack bubble instead of under it. Four goals there would have put the Black Bears into a three-way tie for second coming into this weekend.

UMass has been up and down when it comes to scoring, but that happens. Their biggest issue has been keeping the puck out of their own net. They have only held opponents to three or fewer goals 11 times this season, and are 7-4 in those games. Their overall record is 8-18-1.

From a seeding perspective, all we know so far is that UMA can't catch the top three of BU/UML/BC. UMA tops out at 4 and BC/UML bottom out at 11. Additionally, because of interlocking play among the 9-11 teams, BU can fall behind any two of the three, but not all three. BU bottoms out at 10.

Todd
02-07-2015, 08:49 PM
After Fri 2/6:
BC 4 MC 2
ND 4 ME 4 (OT)
NU 5 UMA 3
BU 5 UML 2
UNH 2 UVM 5

BU 26 - 38 [1-8]
--- Home Lock – 26 w ME/MC tb, 27 w/o ---
BC 22 - 32 [1-10]
UML 20 - 30 [1-11]
PC 17 - 31 [1-12]

UVM 17 - 31 [1-12]
ND 16 - 30 [1-12]
NU 16 - 28 [1-12]
CT 14 - 28 [1-12]

ME 12 - 26 [2-12]
MC 12 - 26 [2-12]
UNH 9 - 23 [3-12]
--- Top 4 Eligible - 19 (PC/ND) ---
UMA 7 - 17 [7-12]

Remaining LEAGUE schedules (NC in parentheses):
BU - (BP v NU), UNH, @UNH, NDx2, NU, @NU
BC - (BP v HU), UVMx2, UML, @NDx2
UML - @UMA, (@UMA NC), UMA, @BC, UVMx2
PC - CT, @NDx2, UMA, @UMA, MEx2
UVM - UNH, @BCx2, MCx2, @UMLx2
ND - @ME, PCx2, @BUx2, BCx2
NU - (BP v BU), CT, @CT, @MEx2, @BU, BU
CT - @PC, MC, @NU, NU, UNH, @UNH, UMA
ME - ND, @MCx2, NUx2, @PCx2
MC - @CT, MEx2, @UVMx2, @UNHx2
UNH - @UVM, @BU, BU, @CT, CT, MCx2
UMA - UML, (UML NC), @UML, @PC, PC, @CT

BU's win over UML has a lot of implications. For starters, in the round robin among the season-long contenders BU/UML/UVM, BU has swept both of their series in that set. Should deep (tertiary) TBs come into play - where record working from the top of the standings down matters - BU and BC have already split, but BC has been dinged by UML in their first game, which would give BU the advantage in the current placements. Further down, PC has already split with both BU and BC, and swept UML, but then split with UVM (compared to BU's sweep). This gives BU the "if the season ended today" tbs against the teams currently joining them in the Top 5. The teams tied for 6th (NU and ND) have yet to play BU, so those can sort themselves out in the coming weeks.

BU also remains four points up on 2nd place BC, and is now six ahead of UML in 3rd, with a game in hand over each. With only five games left for BC and UML - one of them against each other - and BU facing a struggling UNH for two next weekend, BU could wrap up not only a bye, but also the 1 seed overall as soon as next weekend.

Of course, most importantly, it is two more points, which - combined with the night's other results - puts BU clear of the bottom four teams, with H2H tbs over both ME and MC. Even though there is interplay between NU and CT, so that both can't be higher than a tie at 26, they could both come out ahead in a 3-way tb with BU there, so BU doesn't get any higher than bottoming out at 8. Still, BU will be having home games in the playoffs, whether first round or after the bye.

---
BC's win means that they will now also be ahead of at least one of MC and UNH - who face off for two on the final weekend - so BC now bottoms out at 10.

---
At the other end of the stack, as mentioned, ME/MC/UNH can all now not catch BU, as mentioned, so they would all top out at 2.

UNH, however, drops another notch because of the interplay between BC/UML/UVM which leaves the 'Cats behind someone in that trio at their new max of 23.

UMA drops below the Bye line, because PC and ND still have a pair. That leaves at least one of them at 19 points and out of reach of UMA. Further, with the interplay in the middle of the stack, I can't get UMA even as high as 6th.

Todd
02-07-2015, 10:51 PM
After Sat 2/7:
ND 5 ME 1
CT 1 PC 10
UML 2 UMA 5
UNH 6 UVM 3

BU 26 - 38 [1-8]
--- Home Lock 26 w MC tb, 27 w/o ---
BC 22 - 32 [1-10]
UML 20 - 28 [1-11]
PC 19 - 31 [1-11]

ND 18 - 30 [1-11]
UVM 17 - 29 [1-11]
NU 16 - 28 [1-12]
CT 14 - 26 [1-12]

MC 12 - 26 [2-12]
ME 12 - 24 [2-12]
UNH 11 - 23 [3-12]
--- Top 4 Eligible - 21 (PC/ND, UML/UVM) ---
UMA 9 - 17 [8-12]

Remaining LEAGUE schedules (NC in parentheses):
BU - (BP v NU), UNH, @UNH, NDx2, NU, @NU
BC - (BP v HU), UVMx2, UML, @NDx2
UML - (@UMA NC), UMA, @BC, UVMx2
PC - @NDx2, UMA, @UMA, MEx2
ND - PCx2, @BUx2, BCx2
UVM - @BCx2, MCx2, @UMLx2
NU - (BP v BU), CT, @CT, @MEx2, @BU, BU
CT - MC, @NU, NU, UNH, @UNH, UMA
MC - @CT, MEx2, @UVMx2, @UNHx2
ME - @MCx2, NUx2, @PCx2
UNH - @BU, BU, @CT, CT, MCx2
UMA - (UML NC), @UML, @PC, PC, @CT

The Beanpot schools have the night off. Since there are three of those, and an even number of teams is needed for games, another HE team has the night off - in this case, MC.

While speaking about NC games, it should be noted that next Friday's UML @ UMA game is NC. These two teams will be playing each other for three straight games and the middle one doesn't count in the league standings. Not sure why they make UML make the trip to UMA on two different weekends, instead of flipping the sites for games 1 and 3 in the set (giving two @ UMA next weekend), but I'm not in charge of scheduling...

---
UML's loss tonight continues a troubling trend for them. In the first semester, UML had three losses total, then swept not one, but TWO holiday tourneys. Since then, they are now 2-7. They have four HE games left and trail #1 BU by six points, losing the tb. While they are third in banked points, their max is now in a tie for sixth. Those last four games are against UMA - who just beat them - plus at BC, and a final home pair against a similarly situated UVM team. Not an easy path, but it's the one they have put themselves on.

---
The wins by PC and ND pull them ahead of UVM. With their games-in-hand over BC, they are 1 and 2 points, respectively behind BC in max points.

The collective wins also mean that instead of this pair having at least one team at 19, one must now hit 21. In addition, one of UML/UVM must also hit 21.

---
Wins at the bottom for UNH and UMA keep their slim hopes alive for a Bye and a Home series, respectively.

Even though UMA could squeak into a five-way tie in 7th at 17 with four out of five of UVM/NU/CT/MC/ME, that would leave UNH ahead of that pack. Too many points to squeeze in the middle of the pack to let UMA get up to 7th. They are now one slot away from a road trip in the first round.

Terrier520
02-08-2015, 05:02 AM
Todd, that is some fantastic analysis right there. Thank you, as always.

I was wondering when this was going to show up.

Todd
02-11-2015, 05:00 PM
After Tue 2/10:
MC 0 CT 1

BU 26 - 38 [1-7]
--- Home Lock – 24 w MC tb, 27 w/o ---
BC 22 - 32 [1-10]
UML 20 - 28 [1-11]
PC 19 - 31 [1-11]

ND 18 - 30 [1-11]
UVM 17 - 29 [1-11]
NU 16 - 28 [1-12]
CT 16 - 26 [1-12]

MC 12 - 24 [2-12]
ME 12 - 24 [2-12]
UNH 11 - 23 [3-12]
--- Top 4 Eligible - 21 (PC/ND, UML/UVM) ---
UMA 9 - 17 [8-12]

Remaining LEAGUE schedules (NC in parentheses):
BU - UNH, @UNH, NDx2, (BP v NU), NU, @NU
BC - UVMx2, UML, (BP v HU), @NDx2
UML - (@UMA NC), UMA, @BC, UVMx2
PC - @NDx2, UMA, @UMA, MEx2
ND - PCx2, @BUx2, BCx2
UVM - @BCx2, MCx2, @UMLx2
NU - CT, @CT, @MEx2, (BP v BU), @BU, BU
CT - @NU, NU, UNH, @UNH, UMA
MC - MEx2, @UVMx2, @UNHx2
ME - @MCx2, NUx2, @PCx2
UNH - @BU, BU, @CT, CT, MCx2
UMA - (UML NC), @UML, @PC, PC, @CT

The Beanpot schools all had their schedules altered again by the continual record-breaking Boston-area snowfall. The Beanpot second week games have been rescheduled for Feb 23. That has a couple of interesting impacts on scheduling.

For BU and NU, that means they will each finish their entire regular season schedule against the rest of the country without facing each other once. Then, they will play each other three times (Home, Away, and Neutral) in six days. Of course, all three games are played at Boston addresses, so it's really a matter of rinks and locker rooms, not overnights and long bus or plane rides. Then again, in the snow-choked streets of Boston, ALL road travel is long road travel right now.

Normally these three schools have only a Fri night game - one home, one away - on the weekends leading into the Beanpot, giving them a Fri-Mon-Fri-Mon schedule. (The ECAC's travel-pair schedule doesn't usually give Harvard that flexibility.) With this unexpected change, some of them will be vulnerable to a Fri-Sat-Mon-Fri-Sat run at the end of the Regular Season.

For BU, they will spend the prior weekend hosting ND for two. Then the Garden, home, and away with NU. That looks to be the easiest travel schedule of the three HE 'Pot schools. NU will spend the prior weekend at Maine for two, then at the Garden and away at BU before returning for their Senior Night closer.

BC has a slight schedule advantage by luck of the draw in that they only have a Sat home game vs UML before their Monday consolation game w/ Harvard (who will be on the Northern NY swing vs SLU and Clarkson for the lead-in Fri and Sat). That UML game, however, is BC's Senior Night. After the Beanpot, they need to head all the way out to South Bend for two. Given how challenging the ND-BC series was around this same time last year, that extra game could be a factor.

Another potential impact of the late arriving Beanpot finale is that seeding picture in HE may be clearer with only two games to play. How that might impact how BU and NU choose to prioritize the Beanpot Final, or BC the Consolation game, remains to be worked out in the intervening weeks.

The impact of possible first round byes in the HE tourney may also come into play. For example, if BU has a first round bye wrapped up, but NU is locked into a 5-8 home ice slot, what will that do to the lineups of which games? Would Witt or O'Connor play all five games in that stretch, for example?

Something to keep an eye on.

---
Now to the game that was actually played on Tuesday.

CT's win over MC creates a little bit of space between the bottom four and the middle tier. The difference between Bye and Home is a little more muddled.

To demonstrate: The four-point gap between the 8th seed and 9th is matched by the gap between that same 8th seed and the 3rd seed. That gap isn't insurmountable, but it is a real break between Home and Away for the first round.

---
The MC loss puts a huge premium on the next weekend for some teams looking to jump that gap or stay above it.

First off, just below that gap, Maine and Merrimack (tied at 12 pts) face off for two in North Andover next weekend. If either can sweep, that puts an opportunity to move up into the winner's hands for the following weekend.

These will be MC's last two home games of the RS, but they will travel for pairs to Vermont - who they are chasing - and UNH - one point behind - in the final two weekends. Not sure why MC goes to UNH for two, rather than H&H, but last year they did play two @ MC.

Maine would be looking to leverage any advantage gained into their final two series hosting NU and visiting PC.

---
Similarly, just above that gap, CT and NU (both at 16) also play two, in a H&H series. Within striking distance of CT and NU, PC (19) and ND (18) play two at Schneider.

A winner in the CT/NU series could start moving up towards a possible Bye, perhaps gaining ground on a PC/ND loser. A CT/NU loser would be vulnerable to the MC/ME winner. Splits all around keep the status quo, but burn two of the five (CT) or six (other five) games remaining - helping those already ahead and hampering those currently behind.

---
As for seeding ranges, all of the bottom four cannot catch BU. Given the NU/CT series, at least one of them has to fall below BU's banked 26 points. BU's bottom is now 7th.

---
The key interplay series mentioned above should also shake out some of the logjams of possibilities that are keeping some teams from concentrating their seed ranges to a narrower bandwidth.

claver2010
02-12-2015, 07:26 AM
always love this, thanks

bottomdweller
02-12-2015, 12:07 PM
So with the new format, could it be beneficial for teams on the NCAA bubble like Lowell and UVM to have to play those first round games to add two more wins to their resume?

retsap71
02-12-2015, 12:49 PM
So with the new format, could it be beneficial for teams on the NCAA bubble like Lowell and UVM to have to play those first round games to add two more wins to their resume?

I was just thinking that. If NU was to continue to play the way they are playing. If they were say #18 in PWR, would a 2 game sweep as the prelim HE round put them in?

sameoldfury
02-12-2015, 03:25 PM
I don't really post here any more, but I always come back this time of year for this thread - thanks and keep it coming!

walrus655321
02-12-2015, 04:02 PM
I was just thinking that. If NU was to continue to play the way they are playing. If they were say #18 in PWR, would a 2 game sweep as the prelim HE round put them in?

I doubt it, because if they stay hot and get the prelim round that would probably be as the 5 seed, and I can't imagine two wins over UMass would be enough t bump them up 4-5 spots (really need to be 13 or so).

Todd
02-13-2015, 01:22 PM
Obviously, the best assumption is that if you keep winning, you have the best chance of continuing to play.

The key to using any playoff round to advance your NCAA chances is not just the wins, but the strength of the opponent beaten.

In 09-10, HE sent three teams to the NCAAs, but they were the 1, 2, and 8 seeds. That year was one of the tightest races in HE history (the only 3-way tie, plus the span from 3rd to 9th was 4 pts). In fact, UVM - the last team in to the HE tourney at the 8th seed - needed things to break just right to squeak past NU who ended up 9th. In the first round, UVM took 1-seed UNH to three games (winning the final two by matching 1-0 scores) @ UNH. They then faced 2-seed BC in the HE Semis. Those four extra games against strong RPI teams definitely boosted their strength of schedule, and their own RPI - lifting them into the tourney. Had they had one more point, they might have moved up to 7th or 6th seed, and would not have faced UNH three times. Facing BC (or one of the teams tied at 3) - even three times - in the first round might not have done the trick for the NCAA bid. One fewer point, and NU might have taken their place in the HE tourney and UVM's season would have ended at UML on the final RS weekend. Battling for a tie at Tsongas on the final RS night set the stage for UVM to make an NCAA run by leveraging their HE seed.

However, in other cases (under prior formats of the PWR, with the TUC cliff and a different calculation for COP), the QF matchups have been actually damaging to NCAA chances. For example, for BU on at least two occasions their QF pairings (NU and MC, for sure, perhaps PC as well) put them in a no-win situation re: the PWR. In tight PWR races in each of these years, they had winning records (3-0 or 2-1) against their QF opponent that were adding to their TUC total and keeping them above the bubble. However, their opponent was close enough to the TUC cliff that BU winning their QF games would actually drop their foe over the TUC cliff and not only the new wins, but also the old wins would go away from TUC consideration. Losses in the QF would conversely keep the foe a TUC, and those losses would cou against the Terriers. Simply by getting unlucky with the seedings, BU was faced with either eliminating their prior wins, or picking up new losses - either case damaging their TUC record and their NCAA chances.

The current PWR format makes all but the rarest cases come down to just RPI.

With TUC now gone (all teams are considered), and L20/L16 long gone, there are now only three PWR criteria: RPI, COP, H2H. RPI remains the tie breaker.

If teams never face each other, H2H goes away and there are two factors. Teams will either sweep/be swept or split. Since RPI is the TB, with no H2H (which will apply many times) the COP is irrelevant as RPI decides the splits anyway.

If teams do face each other, an even split of any kind (1-1, 1-1-1, 0-0-1, 0-0-2, ...) in H2H puts us back into the above scenario - aka all-RPI. If, as in HE, there are two league games (and no NC additions to the series), those 1-1 splits among teams close in PWR should be easy to come by.

Even if a team sweeps 2-0 in H2H, they would also have to win COP to beat out the RPI TB. Ex: if one team is 2-0 in H2H, but the other team takes RPI and COP, it is a 2-2 split in PWR and the RPI decides the pair.

So the only scenarios where the RPI winner (Team A) doesn't take a given pair are where:
Team B has an advantage in H2H and wins COP, or
Team B has a three-point advantage or more in H2H (3-1 doesn't cut it, but 3-0 or 3-0-1 would), cleanly beating two points of RPI-COP.

With that in mind, strength of schedule is going to be important in adding to your RPI in the league tourney. If the opponent is too weak, the wins will be dropped (beating a terrible opponent could still drop your RPI, so those cases are removed from the math) and any losses will really hurt. Location of wins ( or losses) may also be important, for the weighting given to road wins and home losses (if those bonuses extend into the league tourneys).

In HE, that means that you want to beat the strongest opponent that you can. Of course, facing a stronger opponent also likely makes it harder to win the current game and wears you out for the next game, if successfully moving on.

Pick your poison, but win in any event.

Todd
02-13-2015, 01:28 PM
I was just thinking that. If NU was to continue to play the way they are playing. If they were say #18 in PWR, would a 2 game sweep as the prelim HE round put them in?

For NU specifically, the three they play with BU to finish the RS is likely to impact their RPI more than beating a low seed twice in the QF. Winning the second series (assuming a strong opponent) to get to the Garden, and perhaps who they would face in the Semi, should also have an impact.

Todd
02-13-2015, 01:46 PM
So with the new format, could it be beneficial for teams on the NCAA bubble like Lowell and UVM to have to play those first round games to add two more wins to their resume?

In general: I haven't done the math yet (too far out), but my gut says - as Walrus points out - that the low seeds in the first round are less impactful than winning the next round to make the Garden. In that case, they'd also have at least a Semi opponent to think about boosting their RPI - or at least not dinging it much with a loss.

Reminds me of the 07-08 HE tourney, where #2 BU and #3 UVM faced off in the Semis with an NCAA chance on the line. #1 UNH and #4 BC were going to go, but 2 (13 nationally) and 3 (18) were in the odd position of winning/losing the right games for the league standings, but the wrong games for the national stage. BU and UVM each needed to win the Semi for the RPI bump, and either win the next game (which came with the auto-bid, but the win would have qualified them anyway), or hope the PWR dominoes fell right to squeak them in.

As it happened, UVM beat BU, then lost to BC and neither made the tourney. Although HE only sent a league-record-low two teams to the NCAAs, BC sprung from that HE title win to take the national title.

It is possible that the sting of that loss at the Garden - and its visible impact on BU's co-captain Peter MacArthur - lit the fire that burned through the Terriers seven-title campaign the following year.

Todd
02-14-2015, 11:36 AM
After Fri 2/13:
UVM 3 BC 2 OT
UNH 3 BU 6
ME 4 MC 3
PC 0 ND 2
CT 0 NU 9
UML 3 UMA 3 OT (NC)

BU 28 - 38 [1-5]
--- Home Lock 24 (ME/CT) ---
BC 22 - 30 [1-9]
ND 20 - 30 [1-10]
UML 20 - 28 [1-10]

PC 19 - 29 [1-10]
UVM 19 - 29 [1-11]
NU 18 - 28 [1-11]
CT 16 - 24 [2-12]

ME 14 - 24 [2-12]
MC 12 - 22 [3-12]
UNH 11 - 21 [4-12]
--- Top 4 Eligible - 21 (PC/ND, UML/UVM) ---
UMA 9 - 17 [8-12]

Remaining LEAGUE schedules (NC in parentheses):
BU - @UNH, NDx2, (BP v NU), NU, @NU
BC - UVM, UML, (BP v HU), @NDx2
ND - PC, @BUx2, BCx2
UML - UMA, @BC, UVMx2
PC - @ND, UMA, @UMA, MEx2
UVM - @BC, MCx2, @UMLx2
NU - @CT, @MEx2, (BP v BU), @BU, BU
CT - NU, UNH, @UNH, UMA
ME - @MC, NUx2, @PCx2
MC - ME, @UVMx2, @UNHx2
UNH - BU, @CT, CT, MCx2
UMA - @UML, @PC, PC, @CT

The easiest impact to discuss tonight is the UML/UMA game. It was non-conference and has no impact in the league for either team. For the NCAAs, it can't help UML's RPI to only manage a tie against the 43rd-ranked Minutemen.

Working up from the bottom...

---
League-idle UMA keeps their prospects the same, as they could still slip past current 8th CT to grab the final Home spot.

---
UNH's loss drops their max to 21. BU and BC have already banked more than that. UML (20) and UVM (19) have two to play H2H, so one of those has to pass 21. That makes three teams that UNH can't catch. Either ND or PC has to at least equal 21 tonight, but UNH has split with both, bumping us down to the next tb. PC split w/ current (and likely) top seed BU, but UNH would now have to do that as well in order to hit their max. The rest of the seeding is to muddled to calc out something that will change in 12 hours. On the other hand, ND has their two w/ BU next weekend, but would have to tie PC today and lose out (including the BU series) to stay at 21 ahead of PC at 20 (who would also have to lose out. I could see UNH taking that tb (split w/ BU at 1, vs ND's being swept in this case), so there is a window for UNH at 4. (Oh... wait... in the case of this UNH/ND tie, UNH would take it on league wins before we got to record-vs-seed matching. It's only UNH/PC that would go to 3rd tb here. NVM.)

---
For MC, their new max of 22 puts them at best into a tie with BC and one of UVM/UML. MC was swept by BC and split w/ UML. In the UML case, MC would not come out on top of that tb. They haven't played UVM yet, so that would have to be a MC sweep for this to matter. For BC to stay at 22, they would have to lose again to UVM, so we would have a round-robin of sweeps, with everyone's record at 2-2-0. All three would have 2 ties, so they'd match in league wins. Then it would come down to seeding. If BU is #1, BC would have 2 pts, MC 1 and UVM 0 vs the top seed. For any other team to be the top seed, that would mean they passed 22.

This all means that MC can't finish higher than 3rd.

Of course, a simpler answer is that BC and ND still have two, so at minimum one of them must hit 23. Actually, either they both hit 23, or one hits 24.

---
For Maine to pass BC and ND (both at 23), that would mean that BC also loses tonight to UVM and next weekend to UML. The result of that is that at least one of those has 24 after those two face off. That meaans that ME can't get to 24 and have 2nd seed free and clear. So who do they want to tie? UVM and UML each swept Maine. Notre Dame took 3 pts. BC split. So Maine's only hope for 2nd is that they are at 24 w/ BC. To get there without UVM or UML involved and without including ND (for 3-way ties that ME doesn't come out on top of), ME would need BC to hold ND to 23 - taking one point there - and also nicking one from UVM or UML so they could tie at 23 with ND. That means that BC would have 4 ties to Maine's 2, so Maine would take the second tb on Wins after the H2H split.

Maine still has a very specific path to 2. Anything else and they are 3 or lower.

---
UConn also split with BC and had ND take three-of-four points. However, they split with both UVM and UML. They also took three from Maine, in case that factors in. They took a point from top-seed-in-this-scenario BU, which helps them in 3rd tbs w/ UML/UVM/ME, who were all swept by the Terriers.

Since UConn has all that wiggle room that Maine doesn't, and even Maine can still get to 2 at 24 pts, UConn certainly still can get to 2. However, with either of their loss or BU's win - let alone both - they can no longer get to 1.

---
For NU to hit their max of 28, they would have to sweep BU, taking the tb and giving themselves a path to the 1 seed.

Their win puts them out of reach of UMA, so they can't be last. Are they out of reach of anyone else?

For UNH to hit their max, CT would lose 4 points, putting their max at 20 - putting both still ahead of NU. UNH also plays MC for two. That means that at least one of them has to drop their max to 19. Still ahead of NU. But MC and ME also play another one. MC could win that and have Maine's max drop. So yes, even with the heavy interlocking schedules of the teams below them, it is still possible for NU to get passed by all of them. NU's floor is 11th.

--
Either UVM or PC could still pass BU and sit alone atop the standings at 29. Not only are they past UMA, but as noted above in the NU discussion, at least one other team would have to join them at 19. We don't know which one yet, however. Both split with UNH. PC split with MC and UVM would have to get swept by MC in order to lose out and stay at 19. They split with each other. Each has a single tie, so they'd end up with matching records and league wins. The top seeds are still not set, so we don't know who to compare to at the top - or which of UNH or MC they'd be tied with.

Still... Let's see if we can figure out a way to drop them to 11 (that's what we do here, after all - the math). What happens if it's UNH at 19. UNH has one tie and could still have that at 19 points (after a 1-1 split w/ MC). H2H splits w/ PC and UVM. Tied in League wins with either (or both). UVM got swept by BU. PC split. UNH would have to have split. That knocks out UVM, so they could still be 11th. UNH has a loot of splits, but doesn't have a winning record against anyone in the league. In this scenario, they would only have one against UConn. Somewhere in the standings, regardless of how the top seeds fall out, the PC/UNH tb would go PC's way before they got to UNH's 4 pts vs UC beating out PC's 3. So PC can't drop to 11 behind UNH at 19.

Could PC drop to 11 behind MC at 19? PC & MC split. MC already has two ties and would add a third. PC would take the tb on league wins.

Therefore, PC can't be 11th. The Friars' floor is now 10.

---
Games-in-hand are killing UML right now.

Their best puts them into a tie w/ BU at 28. BU swept the Hawks, so that doesn't put UML in the 1 seed. Could a 3-way tie help them?

For UML to hit 28, they would have to beat BC, dropping the Eagles' max to 28. Still the Eagles would be clear to win out and be in a 3-way tie. UML would have a sweep + swept record of 2-2-0. But BC and BU split 1-1-0. So BC would be 1-3-0, but BU would be 3-1-0. UML still not atop the standings., so adding them in doesn't help

UML would also have swept UVM so, with a then-max of 25, the Cats can't help here. PC swept UML, so adding them in doesn't help the Hawks.

UML took 3 from ND. ND would have to sweep BU to keep the Terriers at 28. Does that help UML take the 1 seed? No. UML would have the 3 pts from ND, but BU would have the 4 from UML and ND would have BU 4 + UML 1 = 5 pts. UML would be 3rd.

What about a 4-way w/ BC and ND?<table border="1">
<tr><th>RRRs</th><th>UML</th><th>BU</th><th>BC</th><th>ND</th><th>Total</th></tr>
<tr><td>UML:</td><td></td><td>0-2-0</td><td>2-0-0</td><td>1-0-1</td><td>3-2-1</td></tr>
<tr><td>BU:</td><td>2-0-0</td><td></td><td>1-1-0</td><td>0-2-0</td><td>3-3-0</td></tr>
<tr><td>BC:</td><td>0-2-0</td><td>1-1-0</td><td></td><td>2-0-0</td><td>3-3-0</td></tr>
<tr><td>ND:</td><td>0-1-1</td><td>2-0-0</td><td>0-2-0</td><td></td><td>2-3-1</td></tr>
</table>OK. So in a 4-way tie at 28 with BU/BC/ND, in this layout, UML could come out on top.

With 20 in the bank, they couldn't fall behind whoever joins UMA at 19 or lower, so their floor is 10.

---
ND also can't fall below 10, for the same reasons. ND can also hit 30 and win the title outright. Their two games w/ BU actually let them have a say in whether or not they can catch the Terriers. That puts them ahead of anyone else in that hunt, except perhaps NU.

By the time NU gets to play BU, unless things all break the Huskies' way (including the ND sweep), their race for the 1 seed may be over before they get a chance to knock off the Terriers themselves. Of course, if they are still in the hunt at that point, they will have both a Beanpot and a League title in their own hands. Then again, so will the Terriers.

---
Due to post length, I will wrap up with BC and BU in the next post.

Todd
02-14-2015, 11:38 AM
(Fri night 2/13 cont'd)

---
BC already has 22 in the bank, which puts them ahead of UMA and UNH. Could they still fall as low as 10th?

MC's max is 22, but they still have to play Maine (max 24). For MC to hit 22, ME's max also drops to 22. ME also plays NU for two, so for BC to not pass either MC or ME outright, ME would sweep NU, dropping NU's max to 24. NU and CT could tie their remaining H2H and stay at 23, and ahead of BC's min. UVM's pair w/ MC and PC's pair w/ ME would still keep their maxes at 25. UML's games w/ UVM could leave one max at 24 and the other at 25.

So... BC's only chance of dropping as low as 10 is coming out 3rd in a three-way-tie at 22 w/ MC and ME.

How does that split up? BC split w/ ME, but swept MC. Even if MC beats ME for a split (as in this case), that's BC 3-1-0, ME 2-2-0, MC 1-3-0. Which means that BC cannot be 10th.

Since one of these teams could fall below 22 and the other stay above it, BC could still be 9th. No Home lock for the Eagles just yet.

For future shorthand: If you have a plus-.500 record in a three-way tie, you aren't on the bottom of that tie. You could be second, but someone in that mix has to be below .500 to balance you out (it all nets out to .500), which means they are also below you. The math doesn't work (in a three-way) for you to be above-.500-and-second on the first tb, and once the first place team is removed, you are on the bottom of the 2-v-3 tb. Four-way, sure that could happen. At .500 or below, sure, that could happen. But not above .500 in a three-way tie. You are not last.

---
Where do the Terriers stand? Well, obviously they can be as high as 1st. How low can they fall? There are 6 other teams that could still be 1s, but we all know that doesn't necessarily mean that BU could fall to 7.

Who can we eliminate? Let's start with the teams that can only tie, UML and NU. For BU to drop to 7th, they would have to fall behind both of these teams, which means at least a three-way tie at 28. In that case, BU is 2-2-0 (NU would sweep), NU is 2-1-1, UML is 1-2-1. Assuming top-down, that gives NU the higher seed, leaving BU to take the tb over UML via sweeping H2H. But maybe someone else adds into the mix.

Let's take a look at the schedules:

For UML to catch BU, they have to sweep UVM, dropping UVM's max to 25. For UVM to catch or pass BU, they need to take points from UML, meaning they can't max at 28. One of these can't catch BU. Terriers are at least 6th.

PC and ND play one. One could max at 28 and the other at 29. Since ND could still sweep BU, let's say PC 29 and ND 28 - meaning BU could be behind both.

However, BC and ND play two. For ND to stay at 28, BC has to drop below BU. Looked at another way, if BC and ND split to stay at max 28, then either ND or PC has to fall below max 28. At least one of these three has to drop below BU. BU's floor is 5th.

Can we put four teams ahead of BU, or have the Terriers clinched a Bye?

An easy calc to try to drop BU as low as possible would be that BC could stay max-30 and PC stay max-29 and have ND take all the losses and drop out. NU could win the H2H tb at 28.

Where would our fourth team come from? Of the six other teams that could hit 28 or higher, who have we accounted for? BC at 30, PC at 29, NU at 28. ND drops due to scheduling. That leaves UML and UVM. Can we put one of them above BU? Well, we know that UML would have to take out BC and UVM to get to a tie that they don't likely win (which would need ND, which would take out PC or BC, ...), so let's see if we can get UVM up there. To get 29, they would not only take out UML, but also drop BC to 28.

Aha!

What if instead of dropping out ND, we drop out BC?
PC wins out for 29
ND wins out except for PC and is at 28, incl a sweep of BU.
NU wins out for a tie at 28, incl a sweep of BU.
UVM wins out for 29.

Since both ND and NU will have swept BU. BU (0-4-0) will come out at the bottom of that three-way tie at 28. BU 5th. Terriers have not clinched a Bye.

At least not until dinner time tonight...

Todd
02-15-2015, 07:03 PM
I'm reasonably sure that this is among the longest of these in the 10+ years we've been doing this. Due to the character restrictions per post, it is three posts long.

Grab a snack and a beverage and set aside a while to read it. The league is quite congested in the middle...

After Sat 2/14:
UVM 5 BC 6
ME 5 MC 3
PC 3 ND 2
NU 6 CT 1
UMA 1 UML 7
BU 3 UNH 4

BU 28 - 36 [1-4]
--- Bye Lock 28 (ND|BC/NU/UML w/ tb) ---
BC 24 - 30 [1-7]
UML 22 - 28 [1-8]
--- Home Lock 22 (CT w/ tb) ---
PC 21 - 29 [1-9]

ND 20 - 28 [1-10]
NU 20 - 28 [1-10]
UVM 19 - 27 [2-10]
ME 16 - 24 [2-11]

--- Top 4 Eligible - 22 (PC/NU/ME) ---
CT 16 - 22 [5-11]
UNH 13 - 21 [5-12]
MC 12 - 20 [6-12]
--- R1 Road - 16 (CT/ME) ---
UMA 9 - 15 [10-12]

Remaining LEAGUE schedules (NC in parentheses):
BU - NDx2, (BP v NU), NU, @NU
BC - UML, (BP v HU), @NDx2
UML - @BC, UVMx2
PC - UMA, @UMA, MEx2
ND - @BUx2, BCx2
NU - @MEx2, (BP v BU), @BU, BU
UVM - MCx2, @UMLx2
ME - NUx2, @PCx2
CT - UNH, @UNH, UMA
UNH - @CT, CT, MCx2
MC - @UVMx2, @UNHx2
UMA - @PC, PC, @CT

Just a reminder, we're not done with games-in-hand yet. BC/UML/CT/UMA all have three league games left. All others have four. Beanpot schools still have one NC game to play.

Let's work up from the bottom again...

---
The UMA loss drops their max to only 15. All but two other teams (UNH/MC) have already banked 16+. UMA will be on the road for the first round. In fact, with UNH's win last night and a UNH/MC pair to play, at least one of those two also has to hit UMA's max of 15. UMA split with UNH and took 3 from MC, so they could still get up to 10th. Good thing for the Minutemen that everyone makes the post-season now.

---
Snow.

---
MC's loss drops their max to 20. The UML and PC wins give them 22 and 21 pts, respectively. With BU and BC above those two, that's four teams that MC can't catch. MC cannot get a bye. Considering how well the Warriors started the season, that's a remarkable statement. Not that they aren't getting a bye, but that they are the second team to be eliminated from that contention.

So, no Bye. Could they still be 5th?

NU and ND are already at 20. For NU to stay there, they would have to be swept by ME, who would then rise to 20. Others above 20 are out of this picture. UNH would have to stay under 20 in order for MC to win out. UVM and CT could stay below 20 (as well as hit or surpass the mark).

That means that MC could still have the 5th most points, but it would - at minimum - be a four-way-tie with ND/NU/ME. MC split with both NU and ND, but just got swept by Maine, so there's no way a sub-.500 record (2-4-0) comes out atop that round robin. MC cannot be 5th if it is those four.

MC split with UConn, so adding them into the mix doesn't help move MC up. MC would have to sweep UVM next weekend to hit 20, so adding UVM into the mix might aid the Warriors. But with ME still in the mix, MC would only hit .500, as the UVM-sweep / got-swept-by-ME would balance out. The only way MC sits atop that pile is if everyone else is also .500 and MC wins on a deeper level of tb. ME swept MC and would sweep NU, but got swept by UVM. However the 1 point they got from ND puts them over .500 (9 of 16 pts, 4-3-1). That means either ME beats MC on the first pass, or someone else beats Maine and we restart. Still no 5th for MC.

We're out of combinations. MC can't be 5th.

Could they be 6th? Well it seems that ME is the first insurmountable problem for MC. Either we can put ME past the logjam at 20, or we keep them below it. IF they are below, it means we have to let NU go higher. In a three-way MC/ND/NU tb (which lets ME pass them), MC still has a .500 record with the two 1-1-0 splits. However NU swept ND, so the Huskies would take that trio at 3-1-0. UConn also got swept by NU, so that just buries MC further behind NU's lead.

Adding in UVM to the MC/ND/NU mix puts both MC and NU at 4-2-0, as seen here:<table border="1">
<tr><th>RRRs</th><th>MC</th><th>ND</th><th>NU</th><th>UVM</th><th>Total</th></tr>
<tr><td>MC:</td><td></td><td>1-1-0</td><td>1-1-0</td><td>2-0-0</td><td>4-2-0</td></tr>
<tr><td>ND:</td><td>1-1-0</td><td></td><td>0-2-0</td><td>1-0-1</td><td>2-3-1</td></tr>
<tr><td>NU:</td><td>1-1-0</td><td>2-0-0</td><td></td><td>1-1-0</td><td>4-2-0</td></tr>
<tr><td>UVM:</td><td>0-2-0</td><td>0-1-1</td><td>1-1-0</td><td></td><td>1-4-1</td></tr>
</table>That puts MC and NU atop the pile and into a H2H tb (or at least it should). Assuming that, we move to H2H record: split. League wins: tied Record vs top seeds...? Since we're just looking for some way for MC to win, we only need to find one solution where they do. If BU is the top seed, MC has already taken one point from the Terriers (0-1-1). To stay at 20, NU would have to get swept. That means the single MC point beats none for NU. MC should win the MC/NU/ND/UVM tb at 20 for 6th, behind the current top four and ME - who we let go by to remove them from the tb.

So: MC could still be 6th.

---
Lots of snow.

---
If UNH hits their max of 21, they could stay above that theoretical MC/NU/ND/ME logjam at 20, with UVM and CT still below. That meas the 'Cats could definitely still be 5th. Could they be 4th and get a Bye?

With three teams already past their max, they would have to find a way past PC's banked 21 on tbs. The simplest way is H2H. They split. PC and UNH each have 1 tie, so they would tie on league wins. Is there a top-seed comparison that UNH wins? Both PC and UNH split w/ BU. BC split w/ PC, but took 3 from UNH, so that doesn't work. UML swept UNH and was swept by PC - also doesn't work. Any teams other than that mean the battle isn't for 4th.

However the top 3 are arranged, eventually the tb puts PC ahead of UNH at 4th, if H2H.

Does anyone below have a better record vs. PC to take them out of the tb running, but also have a way to lose tb to UNH at 21?

PC plays ME twice and would have to be swept to stay at 21. ME could add another point to be tied at 21. But the Black Bears already swept UNH, so that would only put ME past both and - as seen above - NU would lose the tie for 5th in that case. UMA could also sweep PC, but are too far back to matter here.

I noted in an earlier post that one of the hallmarks of this season is not only BU's return to the top, but also PC's consistent hanging around just below them. Looking at the PC vs. the rest of the league explains why. PC has not lost a single season series in the league. They are 1-0-1 vs UConn, and swept UML. They have 1-1-0 splits with everyone else. That's how they are three points over .500 (21 points in 18 games).

Unfortunately for UNH, since the 'Cats have not won a single series that means there is no weak spot to exploit to get past the H2H tb loss to PC. Anyone they would add in would either pass at least UNH, if not both teams (like ME if they swept PC on the final weekend), or just prolong the tie at the splits until PC won out.

UNH tops out at 5th. Say "bye" to the Bye.

---
Too much effing snow...

---
To be cont'd (just like the snow, apparently)...

Todd
02-15-2015, 07:04 PM
(2/14 cont'd)
---
Next, let's look at the 16s...

ME could hit 24 and tie BC for 2nd. They split. Same number of ties (so same wins in the end). BC has a better record vs BU (who would be #1 in this case) as they split, but ME was swept. ME would need help to take the tb.

ME would sweep NU on their way to 24. NU could then sweep BU to be in a three-way tie. BC took only three points from NU (compared to ME's four here). That gives ME 3-1-0, BC 2-1-1, and NU 0-3-1. Boom. ME in 2nd. At the other end, they are clear of UMA, but could drop to 11th. That was kind of easy.

Oh... wait. Schedule complications. For BC to stay at 24, that also puts ND at 24 after a sweep. ME is sub-.500 vs ND (0-1-1). Added to their split w/ BC, that's sub-.500 overall. Can we add anyone to balance out?

UML swept ME. No help. ME would sweep NU to get here, so if NU sweeps BU, they'd be at 24 too.<table border="1">
<tr><th>RRRs</th><th>ME</th><th>ND</th><th>NU</th><th>BC</th><th>Total</th></tr>
<tr><td>ME:</td><td></td><td>0-1-1</td><td>2-0-0</td><td>1-1-0</td><td>3-2-1</td></tr>
<tr><td>ND:</td><td>1-0-1</td><td></td><td>0-2-0</td><td>2-0-0</td><td>3-2-1</td></tr>
<tr><td>NU:</td><td>0-2-0</td><td>2-0-0</td><td></td><td>0-1-1</td><td>2-3-1</td></tr>
<tr><td>BC:</td><td>1-1-0</td><td>0-2-0</td><td>1-0-1</td><td></td><td>2-3-1</td></tr>
</table>Close, but not yet. ME would lose the H2H tb to ND on H2H record.

What if we add PC (takes 3-of-4 from UMA, swept by ME)? I have a feeling that helps, because ME would sweep and PC doesn't lose a series to anyone else.<table border="1">
<tr><th>RRRs</th><th>ME</th><th>ND</th><th>NU</th><th>BC</th><th>PC</th><th>Total</th></tr>
<tr><td>ME:</td><td></td><td>0-1-1</td><td>2-0-0</td><td>1-1-0</td><td>2-0-0</td><td>5-2-1</td></tr>
<tr><td>ND:</td><td>1-0-1</td><td></td><td>0-2-0</td><td>2-0-0</td><td>1-1-0</td><td>4-3-1</td></tr>
<tr><td>NU:</td><td>0-2-0</td><td>2-0-0</td><td></td><td>0-1-1</td><td>1-1-0</td><td>3-4-1</td></tr>
<tr><td>BC:</td><td>1-1-0</td><td>0-2-0</td><td>1-0-1</td><td></td><td>1-1-0</td><td>3-4-1</td></tr>
<tr><td>PC:</td><td>0-2-0</td><td>1-1-0</td><td>1-1-0</td><td></td><td>1-1-0</td><td>3-5-0</td></tr></table>As I expected, that puts Maine clear. What place are we fighting for again?

Oh, right. 2nd. Well, it wasn't as easy, but it is the same result. ME can still be 2nd.

---
UConn, with one fewer game, cannot catch BC, so could be no higher than 3rd. In a tie for 3rd at 22 with UML, how does that break out?

They split 1-1-0. UConn has 4 ties compared to UML's 2, so UML would have more wins.

For newer (or forgetful) readers, the reason I keep on comparing ties is that it is a quick way to get to the point of the wins and losses without having to look at games remaining and count them out. If a team has more ties they would have fewer wins to get to the same number of points. The ties are already banked. If one team is winning out and the other team loses out, the tie total now is the tie total at the end. No further math needed. In this case, UConn already has 4 ties, so they'd have fewer wins to equal the 22 points than Lowell would with 2 ties (9-9-4 vs 10-10-2).

So: UConn can't pass UML in head to head. Is there a way to get UML thrown out on record before we get to wins? We' need to find a team that UConn did well against that UML did not that could also have 22 points.

ME dropped 3-of-4 to CT, but all four to UML. No help.

Ah... never mind. For UML to stay at 22, they would have to be swept by UVM, bringing UVM from 19 up to 23. That means UConn has to be behind either UML or UVM - as well as BC and BU.

Here's another complicating factor. PC has 21. NU has 20. Both play Maine, at 16. For PC and NU to stay in place, Maine jumps up to 24 - also ahead of UConn. Take a point from ME and give it to NU. ME 23, NU 21, PC 21. Take a point from ME and give it to either PC or NU. Or take two from Maine and give one each to PC and NU. It may be that the best case for UConn is a 22-22-21 split between these three. (Of course, depending on tbs, it could be that rather than losing two tbs, you let one go and pass the other two of the three.)

So now it looks like UConn's best chance for a Bye is to pick which of UML/UVM to let go by and pick which two of PC/NU/ME you want to be in a three-way tie for 4th with (or add in UML or UVM for a four-way). UConn split with both UVM and UML, so the only difference would be how those two did against the other in the tie. Who might those teams be?

UConn went 1-0-1 vs ME, so that could be a keeper. That also means that ME would have taken points from PC and NU to get here. Promising. However, CT only took one point from PC (giving a 1-1-2 combined record) and was swept by NU. We know that being below .500 isn't going to win the first tb, and adding in a 0-1-1 vs ND isn't going to help - so the only option is to go with ME and PC and a .500 record to see if we can get an all-.500 first pass. PC took 3-of-4 from CT, and we know they didn't lose a series, so they will be over .500. Game over.

Even at 22, UConn will be passed by three teams and lose a tb for 4th. CT can still be 5th. Let's say the top 4 win out. ME sweeps NU. ND/NU/ME at 20. UVM at 19. UConn even has wiggle room to drop one from their max and com in fifth at 22 or 21. Can't be caught by UMA. Range 5-11.

---
Holy crap... Are we only five teams in...? Half way?

Well, less congestion up ahead, so it should be easier.

(sigh...)

---
UVM can no longer catch BU, but has a lot of room to stay ahead of the BC/UML/ND/NU interlocking schedules. The rest of the league (except BU) could all end up at 24 or lower, which gives UVM up to three points of wiggle room for 2nd.

On the low end, UVM's banked 19 keeps them ahead of UMA. To stay at 19, they would lose two to MC, who would move up to 16 and keep their max at 20. MC also plays two with UNH (max 21) Either of them could pass UVM, but not both. UVM can't be 11th.

UNH also plays two with UConn. Similarly, either could pass UVM, but not both. Still, that doesn't move UVM's floor up a notch to 9th because UNH could be the team that loses out of both the ME and CT series, leaving UVM ahead of UNH and UMA, but behind CT and ME. UVM's bottom is 10th.

UVM's range contracts from 1-11 to 2-10.

---
The snow outside is blowing like cannon smoke drifting across a Civil War battlefield.