--- Home Lock - 39 (BC/UNH/BU/PC/UML/MC) ---

--- In - 32 (UVM/ME) ---

BC23 - 41 [1-10]

UNH21 - 43 [1-10]

BU21 - 41 [1-10]

PC19 - 39 [1-10]

UML18 - 40 [1-10]

MC18 - 40 [1-10]

UMA13 - 35 [1-10]

UVM12 - 32 [1-10]

NU11 - 31 [1-10]

ME10 - 32 [1-10]

--- Home Eligible - TBD (Field) ---

--- Out - 12 (UVM) ---

Remaining LEAGUE schedules:

(I will fill these out [and Home Eligible, which is massively involved at this point] as part of tonight's update, but I have to get rolling to finish some things up and make my way out to the games.)

For those unfamiliar with this thread, here's a link to last year's kick-off post.

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With both the league (twoRS weekends in March?) and I having unusual schedules this year, it seems both late and early to me to be starting this year's thread. "Late" because it's already the first Beanpot Friday and we often have to discuss the games-in-hand regarding the three Beanpot schools and how that all evens out in the coming weeks. But we're already there. "Early" because, well, A) I've been so busy that the season's more than half over and it seems to me like it's just starting and B) I usually start this when something has been decided andnothinghas been decided yet.

That's right, nothing.

Not only could current last place Maine top the standings solo, but current leader BC could still be in 10th all by themselves.

Of course, had BC swept Maine last weekend, instead of the other way around, they'd be 21 points apart (27-6) instead of 13 (23-10). Still, Since Maine has 11 league games left and there's enough of a gap to move around points among the other teams, Maine could still have come out on top. Just would have been harder - and after tonight, may or may not have been out of reach.

So it seems like the thread is starting at just about at the right time. Before the Beanpot, and with six weekends to go.

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As it turns out, what is perhaps most compelling at this point is that the top six teams in the league each have 6 losses, except UNH one ahead with 5 - and the bottom four teams each have 9 losses, except NU one behind with 10. Further, the top three teams each have 1 tie. The next three have 3, 2, and 2. and the bottom three have 4, 3, 4.

If you look at the combinations of L-T, that gives 6-1, 5-1, 6-1 for BC, UNH and BU. Then a group of 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 for PC, UML and MC (noting that the difference between 6-1 and 6-2 is the same as 6-2 and 6-3, but the extremes of the range at 5-1 and 6-3 are appreciably different). The bottom three are 9-4, 10-3, and 9-4.

Only UMA is an outlier at 7th with 9 losses but 1 tie.

I'm not concentrating on the negative. I find that with the games played / games-in-hand as scattered as they are, it is sometimes easiest to see what it is that peoplecan'tmake up. Generally, people don't look at standings as the playoffs approach and say, "How would we do if everyonelostout?" They don't figure that everyone will crater, take wins as an aberration in the plan, and lock in the wins as they are. It's usually the optimistic side. Noting what is already banked as a missed opportunity for points lets you see what people could maximize if they won out.

The point of all of that is that the league is amazingly tight this year at this point. Surely someone could catch fire and separate. But as things stand, we could be looking at another year where we have a four point difference between the third seed - atop the league's first three-way tie ever - and 9th place and out of the post-season.

With things this remarkably tight, now, more than in most seasons, every point will matter from here on out.

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I have Home Lock at 39, the Max of the bottom of that 5/6 loss group, because of the remaining interlocking schedule. While any of them could max out, they can't all max out and get to 40 (the 4th highest) because of that remaining interlocking schedule. I did it in my head to get four at or beyond 39, but I'll double-check it after tonight's games. With so much variability in there, that's not likely to change for a couple of weekends anyway, once we verify where to set it.

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One curiosity of note before I head out to tonight's games myself: UML, UMA, and NU occupy the same place in the seedings at the start of this thread as they did at the start of last year's thread (you can use the link above to compare).