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chickod
03-09-2013, 09:53 PM
FWIW, BU is kind of screwed for NCAA TUCs now.

Again, as I've said about four times now...we KNOW the only way we're going is to get to the Hockey East Championship game. Period. The same cr*p happened last year. Everyone was so worried about the PWR that they forgot about just winning games. Hate to say "I told you so" (well, no I don't :D), but these players should worry less about checking the numbers on their iPads and just concentrate on winning games. It's not a ludicrous thought for BU to win 2-3 from Merrimack and at least have a good shot to win the following Friday. It's not like the league is great this year and/or has a totally dominant team.

chickod
03-09-2013, 09:55 PM
Epic fail on NESN's part proclaiming UNH had clinched home ice. Maybe Umile was thinking the same thing? Don't agree that either/both team(s) should have pulled the goalie though.

Gee...that's shocking. We all know TC is a genius...

HockeyMan2000
03-10-2013, 12:31 AM
NESN ought to be embarrassed. They've got two guys broadcasting a game, two more back in a studio, others behind the scenes -- and none of them could've told Tom Caron at some point that UNH wasn't "PLAYING FOR A TIE" because they were "GETTING HOME ICE"?

He only said those things over and over, all during the overtime, and even ended the game with "that's okay for UNH, it's as good as a win!"

Total failure on every level.

Todd
03-10-2013, 04:15 AM
Again, as I've said about four times now...we KNOW the only way we're going is to get to the Hockey East Championship game. Period. The same cr*p happened last year. Everyone was so worried about the PWR that they forgot about just winning games. Hate to say "I told you so" (well, no I don't :D), but these players should worry less about checking the numbers on their iPads and just concentrate on winning games. It's not a ludicrous thought for BU to win 2-3 from Merrimack and at least have a good shot to win the following Friday. It's not like the league is great this year and/or has a totally dominant team.Except that the math doesn't back you up - other than the league not having one dominant team.

People make similar comments every year, and their source usually boils down to gut instinct and not math. Roughly: "It feels like we have to do better, but I don't want to say that we have to win the auto-bid." Fortunately, in NCAA Ice Hockey, the tourney invitations are based on predictable criteria, so it's all about the math.

FWIW, a lot of the same people have been saying recently that BU wasn't getting Home Ice. Funny, that.

----
"Again, as I've said about four times now...we KNOW the only way we're going is to get to the Hockey East Championship game. Period."

I'm not sure over how long a period you've spaced out those "four times" but: No. No. No. No. Now we match.

This is a thread "by the numbers". When people say they "KNOW" something here it means "to a mathematical certainty", not "I feel very strongly".

What we "KNOW" (based in fact) is:

Prior to being seeded against MC, there were numerous ways that BU could have been in the NCAAs without being in the title game, let alone winning it. They just needed to be playing anyone else in the top six (AKA TUCs that would also improve their RPI greatly if they won) except MC - or have MC win another game, like say tonight against UMA, in order to leave enough of a buffer so that BU could beat them and MC could stay a TUC.

If you were saying prior to tonight that we KNOW that BU has to make the HE final to make the NCAAs, you were demonstrably, mathematically wrong.


Now that MC has drawn so close to .5000, BU will be slitting their own throats in one of the only PWR criteria that they can still change to move multiple pairs. The math in my head says they're in a world of hurt without A) winning the auto-bid or B) enough teams move back and forth across the TUC border that the Minuteman Militia starts patrolling the stats pages (and UMA does have some time on their hands...).

If you're saying now that we KNOW that all that BU has to do is play in the HE final game, you are also wrong. If everything in the world broke their way, there might be some slim chance that could squeeze them in - but we are far from KNOWing that that is BU's goal.

Here's why:

BU's current status on the bubble (15-ish) includes a 3-0-0 TUC record w/ MC.

MC's RPI is ~.5019. I haven't calculated all the numbers, but my experienced estimate is that MC will easily lose more than .0020 points by losing 2 to BU, even if it's 2 of 3. That's why I haven't bothered to calculate. I don't think it's close. I could be totally misestimating and if anyone wants to do the actual numbers to either verify or prove me wrong, please feel free.

If my rough math is right, that means that - best case for BU - not only would BU's two newly minted wins against MC not count as TUCs, but they will also lose the prior three. In fact, after the QFs, it is arguable that BU's best TUC outcome is to LOSE 2 of 3 to MC, which lets them keep a 4-2-0 vs. MC. However, with 3-0-0 already baked in, that just adds a 1-2-0 record, which would only cause them to lose more pairs.

Now obviously, that's not their optimal playoff hope, because no one would end their season early and hope to back in based on other people losing when they could control their own fate. Like you say: "winning games"... Plus, that lose-2-of-3 scenario doesn't really help them.

So:

If they get past MC, they now would have to make up a 3-0-0 record just to get back to where they are right now in TUC. Of course, with only two games, at best, left to win. The best they could do would be to be one game worse in TUC than they are now, by going 2-0-0, but at that point, they would have won the auto-bid and the PWR impact would just be trying to improve their NCAA seeding.

If BU drops three TUC wins and everything else stayed constant, they would drop the pairs to: Mankato, Union, Providence. They would also lose TUC to some other teams where it wouldn't cost them the pair, and some where they are winning the pair but they already lose TUC, so losing TUC by more doesn't matter. The PC pair could be re-winnable based on COP or H2H or RPI or combos of those, so it's really the dropping of two pairs that would hurt.

That's better than I expected, but here's the problem: two pairs is still too much. BU is 15th with 16 pairs. If they dropped only down two to 14 pairs - that's even giving them the benefit of the doubt on taking PC's pair back - they would still be at 17, under the bubble, and looking up at an NCAA bid like so many zoo animals looking up through the ocean at Pi and Richard Parker (no relation to Jack).

That puts BU in the position of not only playing to win their own games, but scoreboard watching... like watching the CCHA QF rubber matches Sunday, hoping that Lake State can win to move on and rise above .5000 - to add a 1-3-0 record to Alaska's TUC - while also hoping that AK can move on itself, solely so that it can (hopefully) lose to a TUC in the next round, instead of non-TUC MSU now. That kind of shuffling might give BU the Alaska pair.


If I'm wrong about MC dropping off the bottom, then that's another story - but then BU may not even need to make the final, since they're already above the bubble and would add two more wins. If they sweep MC and lose the semi, that still adds 2-1-0. If they need to lose one to MC to make the other 5 count, then they'll probably need to win the semi just so they're not .500 v TUCs (2-1 QFs + lost semi) for the HE tourney.

If I'm not wrong, then just making it to the final won't help. BU would drop a 3-0-0 for dropping MC off the TUC cliff and add a 1-1-0 at the Garden (making it to the HE Final, but not winning it). That also assumes that both opponents at the garden would be TUCs.


I could also be wrong about how much volatility is just around the corner, lurking in the PWR grid, because I have barely begun looking at that, with so much to resolve in HE right up through tonight. I have seen an unlikely combination of events take BU out, so why couldn't it put them in? Well, in theory, it could. Some time. I don't know if this year is possibly one of those times. In any event, it wouldn't be something with enough certainty that we would KNOW it at this point.

UNH09
03-10-2013, 04:23 AM
I am so glad that Todd understands the math that Dick Umile does not. So much for that UNH education.

Todd
03-10-2013, 04:31 AM
Gee...that's shocking. We all know TC is a genius...
NESN ought to be embarrassed. They've got two guys broadcasting a game, two more back in a studio, others behind the scenes -- and none of them could've told Tom Caron at some point that UNH wasn't "PLAYING FOR A TIE" because they were "GETTING HOME ICE"?

He only said those things over and over, all during the overtime, and even ended the game with "that's okay for UNH, it's as good as a win!"

Total failure on every level. Yeah.

It was Tom Caron specifically that was making factually wrong and/or impossible statements during the Beanpot - and the same ones year after year - that caused me to eventually contact NESN to get him to cut it out. You could tell that he was pulling out his unverified Beanpot factoid file every year before the broadcasts.

He's not only stupid. He's unprofessional and bad at his job. There's more to being a sports broadcaster than being able to speak without biting your tongue off while in front of a mic or on camera.

At least when Craig Janney says things that are indefensibly stupid, he gets a slight pass because his role is to be the meat sack that used to play the game. Caron is supposed to be the other guy. The one smart enough to lead the broadcast and keep the meat sack from wandering out into traffic.

When Janney says things off the cuff like, "Things are getting a little chippy because these teams aren't used to facing the same team two nights in a row" during a game at Alfond, you just have to facepalm, shake your head, and think to yourself "Idiot... He used to play in this league. We usually play the same team two nights in a row..."

But when Caron misstates some stat that he has clearly written down somewhere, just saving that nugget to bring up - and then it's wrong? That's unprofessional. How are you not prepping properly before going on the air?

Forget the two guys in the studio and the other guy on the air with you. You are about to broadcast the last game of the regular season for two teams fighting for playoff spots. How are you not fully informed on every possible outcome? There are only three! You're the only game going on! There is no moving target.

Hell, I posted the exact numbers that were relevant to this situation a week ago (see the March 4th post and repost) and it's not my forking job to talk about it on live television.

You know that you're making a comment at the end of the game - and probably throughout. Does Caron not realize that he has a history of making these kinds of mistakes? Or does he have Colbert-sized wheelbarrows to haul around his massive, um, "hubris" because he thinks he knows what the numbers are on his own? We all know that past performance is not an indicator of future returns, but when there's a pattern of screw-ups, it's a pretty good indicator that you should have someone check your work.

I know the league office has been confused in the past, but I'm pretty sure all it would have taken is a call from some lackey or intern at NESN to HE to figure out what happens if UNH wins, if Maine wins, if it's a tie. Done and done.

If he got the numbers that he used from the league office, then that person should be relieved of their duties and I'll be writing this next year in my role as consultant to Hockey East. Un-effing-excusable.

Anyway, before this rant gets any longer - and before I copy it and send it off to NESN and/or HE HQ:

Yes.

Caron.

"Genius."

NESN

Fail.

Todd
03-10-2013, 04:40 AM
I am so glad that Todd understands the math that Dick Umile does not. So much for that UNH education.All they have to do is ask.

Or read.

I'm seriously thinking about contacting press outlets next year as a consultant, because apparently we're the only ones who know what the hell is going on.

"Just tell me what your league's rules are and I will tell you what your team's needs are, or who has clinched what in the league."

Hopefully, by next year I will have had time to learn enough R to automate the process.

The Zlax45
03-10-2013, 04:52 AM
Thanks Todd for this thread during the final weeks of the season

Todd
03-10-2013, 05:05 AM
*sigh*You OK now, Monty?

:D

Congrats. Long time coming. At least the French Olympic team didn't get in the way.

Todd
03-10-2013, 05:11 AM
For those of you following along with the BU 3-goal weirdness:
...
Chinese water torture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_water_torture) is also a "thing", right?

BU led NU 4-1 tonight before the 4-2 final.

New tally: 13 three-goal leads and 6 three-goal responses (by either team) in the 19 BU games since 12/30/12. BU's 5-0 final adds to the stack.

New tally: 14 three-goal leads and 6 three-goal responses (by either team) in the 20 BU games since 12/30/12.

Come on... isn't hockey closer than this? Every freaking night BU is scoring, or being scored on, in chunks.

All I know is that Merrimack better be scouting that emerging powerhouse duo of Moscatel and Ronan before showing up on Comm. Ave.

Priceless
03-10-2013, 07:39 AM
Great thread, Todd, I think you could be a consultant next year. Maybe even for the league itself so you can prevent on-air snafus like the one at NESN yesterday. I do have to wonder how much of that was TC and how much was an intern/flunky trying to get on his good side and handing him a note that indicated UHN had secured home ice. Although I have to say, if Umile thought all he needed yesterday was a tie to wrap up home ice, that was an epic fail on his part.

Go-UML
03-10-2013, 08:44 AM
You OK now, Monty?

:D

Congrats. Long time coming. At least the French Olympic team didn't get in the way.LOL. Yeah, the second half that year was a serious downer but this is pretty cool. Monty's probably just fine, but may be mistaken for the Cheshire Cat for a day or three.....

Numbers
03-10-2013, 08:52 AM
Todd,

WCHA fan here, but I always love your thread. A few comments on the Bu situation. Using Whelan's DIY calculator,
1) If BU wins the series in 3, MC falls to .4991 without considering other results. That's good enough for me to say that it won't change unless there is some very special circumstance somewhere else.
2) You are correct in that that result for MC causes BU to lose some compares. All would not be lost, however.
3)One simple way for that to come back is if Dartmouth would defeat Union next weekend. That really gains BU 2, because they would re-win the Union compare, so it goes both ways. +1 for BU, -1 for Union, and that puts BU at #16. Of course, that's still "bubble"-"ish", so
4)Other possibilities to help BU in that situation are NoDame or UAF (who might play each other) or Wisconsin, all of which can flip without adversely affecting other things down the road.

chickod
03-10-2013, 09:28 AM
People make similar comments every year, and their source usually boils down to gut instinct and not math.

OK - I used the wrong word ("know"). But my point remains...the PWR distracts us from what we should be thinking about. Basically, if we just win we don't have to worry about the PWR and THAT was my point. I'm just trying to get people to stop focusing (I guess "depending on" is a better term) on something over which we have no control and concentrate on the NEXT GAME. It's not like we have to win 10 in a row...now we're down to crunch time and the task it laid out for us.

1) Win two out of three to get to the Garden
2) Win the semi-final game (and assuming it's against BC that should help us)

I just think (and this extends to the players) that, given the nature of this team, if they think there's a chance that they have something to "fall back on," it hurts their focus. It's a qualitative argument, not a quantitative one. I get it. I was just making a point and obviously I "offended" the people who actually crunched the numbers, so I'm sorry.

The thing is, these things like that ridiculous Bracketology Blog (or whatever it is) that starts weeks ago and says "If the season ended today'", which is an incorrect premise to begin with, because the ONLY time the PWR is even meaningful is AFTER the last game before the tournament has been played, since you are comparing apples and oranges before the complete sample size is known. It makes for fun reading for some, but there are too many variables to try to use it as a prediction tool.

In any event, what I'm concerned about is how we play - if we show a sense of urgency, focus and commitment. That was my point. I didn't mean to mislead anyone! :)

UML
03-10-2013, 09:53 AM
TC sucks!!!
NESN ought to be embarrassed. They've got two guys broadcasting a game, two more back in a studio, others behind the scenes -- and none of them could've told Tom Caron at some point that UNH wasn't "PLAYING FOR A TIE" because they were "GETTING HOME ICE"?

He only said those things over and over, all during the overtime, and even ended the game with "that's okay for UNH, it's as good as a win!"

Total failure on every level.

Umileated
03-10-2013, 11:56 AM
Great thread, Todd, I think you could be a consultant next year. Maybe even for the league itself so you can prevent on-air snafus like the one at NESN yesterday. I do have to wonder how much of that was TC and how much was an intern/flunky trying to get on his good side and handing him a note that indicated UHN had secured home ice. Although I have to say, if Umile thought all he needed yesterday was a tie to wrap up home ice, that was an epic fail on his part.

My beef is that even if Dickie thought he had home ice with a tie, why wouldn't he want to separate us from Providence as much as possible in the seeding?

Patman
03-10-2013, 12:01 PM
My beef is that even if Dickie thought he had home ice with a tie, why wouldn't he want to separate us from Providence as much as possible in the seeding?

To be fair, hockey east is not the only thing they are playing for.

Umileated
03-10-2013, 12:17 PM
To be fair, hockey east is not the only thing they are playing for.

Fair. I suppose a betting man would say that we weren't going to win the season title and top seed regardless. The Lowell/Providence match-up would have kept us out regardless, and BC was not likely to lose against VT. Looking past that to Manchester, playing not to lose might have been wise once the late tie and OT set in.

Todd
03-15-2013, 12:42 AM
OK - I used the wrong word ("know"). But my point remains...the PWR distracts us from what we should be thinking about. Basically, if we just win we don't have to worry about the PWR and THAT was my point. I'm just trying to get people to stop focusing (I guess "depending on" is a better term) on something over which we have no control and concentrate on the NEXT GAME. It's not like we have to win 10 in a row...now we're down to crunch time and the task it laid out for us.

1) Win two out of three to get to the Garden
2) Win the semi-final game (and assuming it's against BC that should help us)

I just think (and this extends to the players) that, given the nature of this team, if they think there's a chance that they have something to "fall back on," it hurts their focus. It's a qualitative argument, not a quantitative one. I get it. I was just making a point and obviously I "offended" the people who actually crunched the numbers, so I'm sorry.

The thing is, these things like that ridiculous Bracketology Blog (or whatever it is) that starts weeks ago and says "If the season ended today'", which is an incorrect premise to begin with, because the ONLY time the PWR is even meaningful is AFTER the last game before the tournament has been played, since you are comparing apples and oranges before the complete sample size is known. It makes for fun reading for some, but there are too many variables to try to use it as a prediction tool.

In any event, what I'm concerned about is how we play - if we show a sense of urgency, focus and commitment. That was my point. I didn't mean to mislead anyone! :)chickod:

Totally agree with what you were trying to say, and the gist of what you said here (except the offended part - we're fine on my end). I just didn't want anyone to be distracted if they didn't get the difference between the math-reality and the sports-psychology-reality.

As for the BB, Jayson is just trying to give people a flavor of what would happen, and many people like that to get a sense of what's going on. That said, you are correct that the sample is incomplete, and as we've discussed here, the TUC sample set isn't defined until the games are complete, so we aren't even using the right numbers for comparison until we know what that set is.

I guess one way to restate what you said is that "we" (true of any team on the ice, but not any fans that I know of) KNOW that if we win out, we don't have to worry about anything else - and that's all we can control anyway, so we might as well do that. Right with you on that one.

Todd
03-15-2013, 02:20 AM
Todd,

WCHA fan here, but I always love your thread. A few comments on the Bu situation. Using Whelan's DIY calculator,
1) If BU wins the series in 3, MC falls to .4991 without considering other results. That's good enough for me to say that it won't change unless there is some very special circumstance somewhere else.
2) You are correct in that that result for MC causes BU to lose some compares. All would not be lost, however.
3)One simple way for that to come back is if Dartmouth would defeat Union next weekend. That really gains BU 2, because they would re-win the Union compare, so it goes both ways. +1 for BU, -1 for Union, and that puts BU at #16. Of course, that's still "bubble"-"ish", so
4)Other possibilities to help BU in that situation are NoDame or UAF (who might play each other) or Wisconsin, all of which can flip without adversely affecting other things down the road.Huge thanks.

Since the end of the RS, I had: a business trip to NYC, finishing my BerkeleyX Stats homework on the Acela, studying for a professional tech certification, taking the cert exam (passed), presenting at a conference, prepping for the conf the night before with my co-presenter, and I just finished my Stats midterm due at 7:00 am GMT. Oh, and the cert I earned, in combination with a prior cert I have, made me the first person in the world to get a new capstone certification that is just being released. Had to get the cert in and passed before the conf, since that was part of what we were talking about, so... no pressure.

That said, haven't been able to look at the PWR numbers going into the weekend yet. So, thanks.

Thoughts:

Yes, this is a Hockey East thread, but since BU is the only HE team right around the bubble, that's where I'm going to focus until/unless PC gets closer. Maybe next weekend, we can look at the seeds of the upper three if anyone sees anything interesting. The other three in the playoffs are either auto-bid or out.

Going forward, my discussion points are not assuming that BU will win. It's just that if they lose, the rest of the discussion is moot, as I expect that they would fall off the bubble. If someone wants to help out and follow that path, please jump in. I've got limited time, so I'll focus on what seems more likely to be of interest.

.4991 isn't irrecoverable in concept. I have seen teams pick up or lose 10-ish points after the QFs begin based on how fluid the SOS is at that point.

For those unfamiliar with estimating some game's impact on your RPI, not only does your own record count, but the records of the teams you played, and that they played. If you played a team more than once, the affect on your RPI is multiplied by that amount. Teams in your league have a lot of influence, but by the time it matters, only the league's collective OOC schedule/record will really matter - plus the exceptions noted below.

The reason for that is that even though you play everyone in your conf multiple times - in this case: HE, and three each - those are a net wash. For conference games you're not in, one of your 3-time-opponents wins, and one loses (or both tie). As far as conference play goes for your opponents - win, lose, or tie - it all comes out to .500. OOC, however, those games can be anywhere from 1.000 to 0.000.

Exceptions to the league impact are:

Conference foes even out each other's influence unless your team also played a team out of conference - usually in an in-season tourney. For example, BU and BC did not play in the Beanpot this year, but both played NU. If NU were still playing or in the hunt, their RPI would be more strongly raised or lowered by what BU or BC did than, say, UML or UNH (to pick two), because NU played BU/BC four times, while playing the others only three.

Playoff games within the conference impact a team's RPI for the same reason.

To the point: sure, MC would lose to BU in this scenario, but they will also have played them more often than anyone else in HE (5 or 6 times). That means that if BU goes on to win (or lose) the semi, that raises (or lowers) MC's strength-of-schedule more than if anyone else in HE were to win or lose. The better that BU, and BU's overall RPI do, the better MC's SOS does... five- or six-fold.

The same would apply to the final. At that point, BU would of course have the auto-bid, but - in theory - MC jumping up from non-TUC to TUC and adding 5 TUC wins to BU's record right when it actually matters might suddenly win a couple, or a few, extra pairs and move them from a 4 to a 3 seed, or even just move them away from playing a #1 overall to a #3 or #4 overall.

Also to be considered is the opponent's-opponents (OOP). For example, on BU's OOC schedule, they played Harvard and North Dakota twice this year. The results of those squads would impact Merrimack's numbers more than, say SLU, whom BU played just once. Of course, it does not help that Harvard (who also played MC in the RS) lost in three to Dartmouth last weekend, as they are now done.

Oddly though, since Dartmouth played Harvard three extra times and BU played Harvard twice, Dartmouth's ongoing success helps BU by slightly elevating their RPI - but at the same time, BU would like to get the pair back from DC that was lost when Dartmouth beat Harvard in that 3rd game, raising their RPI and dropping BU's. The RPI between the two is actually close enough that it could come down to SOS, even if both had the same results from here out. BU is playing MC who has a lower RPI than Union, Dartmouth's playmate this weekend, but BU could hope to be playing one (or two) of the top three in HE at the Garden while Dartmouth plays not-QU and maybe not-Yale.

Speaking of Union, they were a direct OOC opponent of MC's this year - twice. So while Dartmouth would be marginally affecting with their outcome, Union has more direct effect. Since you posted, #3 has already happened where BU has taken the Union pair. The irony is that Union winning might knock Dartmouth down, but then MC would drop below TUC by BU winning, which would give Union the BU pair, making it a pair-wash - except Union would then have the H2H PWR tb at the 16 spot on the bubble. Then again, two Union wins might pull MC closer to being a TUC again and BU taking that pair back. Maybe best for BU - as far as that series is concerned - is to sweep MC and for DC to beat Union in three - perhaps keeping Union from taking the pair, while dinging DC's RPI enough for BU to grab that as well.

Also of note, as referenced last weekend, BU had a chance to take the AK pair - which they currently lose - even if MC dropped off - if AK lost some more TUCs and/or if LSSU, who tagged a 1-3 on AK could bubble up over .5000. Well, on Sunday, the CCHA was not very kind. AK got taken out in three, but by non-TUC MSU, so that doesn't help BU. Also LSSU lost in three to BGSU, so that possible 1-3 addition to AK's TUC record isn't going anywhere.

In the fourth Sunday game (Harvard's previously mentioned loss to Dartmouth being the other), Alaska-Anchorage (a MC foe) lost to Denver (a BU foe). The difference there is that that was the end of the RS for the WCHA and AA gets to play again this weekend. Also falling in the ECAC playoffs last weekend, MC foes Colgate and Princeton. In the AHA, MC foe Army got taken out by Mercyhurst, but UConn lives on to fight Robt Morris for two.

In addition to the Union pair already flipping for BU, the Notre Dame pair has flipped as well. I don't see how BU takes back the AK pair at this point unless MC revisits TUC after losing two to BU. Wisco is doable if the Badgers lose and DC is possible, but - as noted above - getting DC without also flipping Union (at least after this weekend) could be threading the eye of a needle.

There are some other possibilities, however remote, like UVM bubbling up to a TUC and adding a 2-1-0 record to BU. More likely, what it comes down to is that a lot of the teams that could have helped MC stay up as a TUC got taken out last weekend, including MC themselves in their RS finale. Of the teams that are left, BU's own best helper with MC's RPI may very well be themselves.