Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Section 2 Boys Basketball Seeding Preview

Today begins the final day of the High School Basketball regular season.

Tomorrow is the meeting that brings about the seedings for the upcoming sectionals.  There are 90 teams playing in Section 2 this year, plus Albany Academy who is playing as an independent league member and will not participate in Sectionals.

It's a tough job settling where teams should play.  First is the matter of sorting out as many as 23 teams (Class B).  Then you have to make a determination of whether or not a team with a decent record should be penalized seed-wise for playing a league filled with lower enrollment schools.  Or, perhaps, boosting a team with an average record because they played the largest schools in Section 2.

It makes for a tough job.

Like last year, I'm going to try to predict how the seedings will be tomorrow.  However, like any prediction, there's likely there will be some incorrect guesses.

The list is after the jump...

Let's begin with Class AA, where the seeding is divided into two groups -- Suburban Council members and Independent members from what was originally the Big 10 conference.

Number of teams: 16
Albany, Ballston Spa, Bethlehem, Bishop Maginn, Catholic Central, CBA, Colonie, Columbia, Green Tech, Guilderland, LaSalle, Niskayuna, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady, Shaker, Shenendehowa

Playoff Schedule: 
First Round - Tues 2/24 & Wed 2/25
Quarterfinals - Sat 2/28 @ HVCC - 2:00/4:00/5:30/7:00
Semifinals - Tues 3/3 @ TU Center - 6:00/7:30

Finals - Tues 3/10 @ TU Center - 7:30

1S) Shenendehowa
2S) Guilderland
3S) Shaker
4S) Saratoga Springs
5S) Columbia
6S) Niskayuna
7S) Colonie
8S) Ballston Spa

1I) Green Tech
2I) Bethlehem*
3I) Catholic Central
4I) Schenectady
6I) LaSalle
7I) Bishop Maginn
8I) Albany
* - Bethlehem is a Suburban Council member.  There are 9 Suburban Council members who play in Class AA and therefore one member will be moved to the Independent Bracket to evenly divide the brackets.

The top seeds for AA are gimmes.  The two undefeated squads, Shenendehowa and Green Tech, are locks for the #1 seeds.  Guilderland and Bethlehem are having great seasons, and it's possible Bethlehem might be the team to be swapped to the Independent bracket to reward them for their season.  Catholic Central gets the nod over Schenectady based on the season sweep the Crusaders did over the Patriots, and their harder schedule which included a game against Long Island Lutheran.  It should be a great match if Shen and Green Tech get to play each other on March 10th at the Times Union Center.

Number of teams: 13
Amsterdam, Averill Park, Bishop Gibbons, Burnt Hills, Glens Falls, Gloversville, Hudson Falls, Lansingburgh, Mohonasen, Queensbury, Scotia, South Glens Falls, Troy

Playoff Schedule:
First Round - Tues 2/24 & Wed 2/25
Quarterfinals - Sun 3/1 @ HVCC - 1:00/2:30/4:30/6:00
Semifinals - Thurs 3/5 @ Glens Falls Civic Center - 6:00/7:30
Finals - Sat 3/7 @ Glens Falls Civic Center - 7:15

1) Scotia
2) Amsterdam
3) Troy
4) Averill Park
5) Queensbury
6) Mohonasen
7) Gloversville
8) Glens Falls
9) Lansingburgh
10) Bishop Gibbons
11) South Glens Falls
12) Burnt Hills
13) Hudson Falls

Like in AA, the top spot is a gimme.  Scotia deserves to be rewarded for their undefeated run which includes their Foothills Council Championship with over Queensbury.  Amsterdam is clearly the second best, with their four losses coming at the hands of Bethlehem, Troy and two against Scotia.  Speaking of Troy, their four game losing streak in December could be what comes between them and a #2 seed.  Averill Park has lost three of their last four games, and although it is against potential Top 4 seed opponents in the Suburban Council, it could be enough to sink them below Troy.  Queensbury is a clear #5 team as a result of their double-digit losses to Scotia and Amsterdam.  Below that becomes a guessing game, as the committee has to weigh the difficulty of the Suburban Council versus the Foothills Council when it comes to teams like Mohonasen, Gloversville and Glens Falls.  And it's likely we could see a few of these teams opt out of sectionals.  Hudson Falls is one of those teams possibly ending their season now, as they have been playing with a short roster after some tough injuries have forced them into an all-underclassmen lineup.

Number of teams: 23
Broadalbin-Perth, Cairo-Durham, Catskill, Chatham, Cobleskill-Richmondville, Cohoes, Corinth, Coxsackie-Athens, Fonda-Fultonville, Granville, Hoosick Falls, Hudson, Ichabod Crane, Johnstown, Mechanicville, Mekeel Christian Academy, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, Schalmont, Schuylerville, Taconic Hills, Tamarac, Voorheesville, Watervliet

Playoff Schedule:
Play-In - Fri 2/20 & Sat 2/21
First Round - Tues 2/24 & Wed 2/25

Quarterfinals - Fri 2/27 - 6:30/8:00 @ HVCC; 6:30/8:00 @ Shenendehowa
Semifinals - Tues 3/3 @ Glens Falls Civic Center - 6:30/8:00

Finals - Sat 3/7 @ Glens Falls Civic Center - 5:30

1) Hoosick Falls
2) Schalmont
3) Catskill
4) Cohoes
5) Voorheesville
6) Broadalbin-Perth
7) Mekeel Christian Academy
8) Hudson
9) Schuylerville
10) Ichabod Crane
11) Ravena
12) Mechanicville
13) Coxsackie-Athens
14) Cairo-Durham
15) Johnstown
16) Watervliet
17) Corinth
18) Chatham
19) Granville
20) Fonda-Fultonville
21) Cobleskill-Richmondville
22) Taconic Hills
23) Tamarac

Again ... Class B is going to be a fun tournament.  Many of the top 8 seeds have legitimate shots of making it to the Glens Falls Civic Center for the semifinals, and, in my opinion, the #1 seed isn't set in stone just yet.  Hoosick Falls should get the #1 seed over Schalmont, but Schalmont could still make a case for the #1 seed when they play at Scotia tonight.  Catskill has a better record, but a weaker league in comparison to the Wasaren and Colonial could push them lower on the bracket.  Mekeel Christian Academy is low despite only two losses because the majority of their wins have come against Class C and D squads, and showed questionable results when facing teams of their classification.  In fact, one of the two teams they lost to is Broadalbin-Perth, which is why a team with 6 losses is projected to go higher than one with two.  A classification this size is bound to have some mistakes in my projections, and I'm expecting this to be the bracket where I'm well off the mark.

Number of teams: 22
Berlin, Berne-Knox-Westerlo, Cambridge, Canajoharie, Duanesburg, Fort Plain, Galway, Greenville, Greenwich, Hadley-Luzurne, Hoosic Valley, Lake George, Maple Hill, Mayfield, Middleburgh, Rensselaer, Spa Catholic, Schoharie, Stillwater, St. Johnsville, Waterford, Whitehall

Playoff Schedule:
Play-In - Fri 2/20 & Sat 2/21
First Round - Tues 2/24 & Wed 2/25
Quarterfinals - Fri 2/27 - 5:00 @ HVCC; 5:00 @ Shenendehowa; Sat 2/28 @ HVCC - 11:00/12:30
Semifinals - Wed 3/4 @ Glens Falls Civic Center - 6:30/8:00
Finals - Sat 3/7 @ Glens Falls Civic Center - 3:45

1) Lake George
2) Greenwich
3) Waterford
4) Hoosic Valley
5) Spa Catholic
6) Stillwater
7) Canajoharie
8) Berlin
9) Middleburgh
10) St. Johnsville
11) Fort Plain
12) Rensselaer
13) Berne-Knox-Westerlo
14) Hadley-Luzurne
15) Duanesburg
16) Maple Hill
17) Cambridge
18) Schoharie
19) Galway
20) Greenville
21) Mayfield
22) Whitehall

Lake George is the lock as the #1 seed, and Greenwich makes for a solid #2 seed.  Waterford should be recognized for their great run through the Central Hudson Valley League, winning the title over Germantown.  Hoosic Valley had some close games against good teams and should be a solid #4 seed, and shouldn't be discounted at this point in the season.  Same too, with Spa Catholic.  Stillwater shouldn't see a huge loss from their loss to Granville because of the strength of the Wasaren League compared to others in Class C.  Besides, the seeding committee is likely to wedge another team between Hoosic Valley and Stillwater to prevent the conference match-up in the quarterfinals round.  Middleburgh gets the boost over St. Johnsville thanks to their sweep as a result of their win at Fulton-Montgomery Community College last week.

Number of teams: 16
Argyle, Bolton Landing*, Doane Stuart, Fort Ann, Fort Edward, Germantown, Hartford, Hawthorne Valley, Heatly, Loudonville Christian, New Lebanon, Northville, North Warren, Salem, Sharon Springs, Warrensburg

Playoff Schedule:
First Round - Tues 2/24 & Wed 2/25
Quarterfinals - Sat 2/28 @ Stillwater: 1:00/2:30/4:30/6:00
Semifinals - Tues 3/3 & Wed 3/4 @ Glens Falls Civic Center - 5:00
Finals - Sat 3/7 @ Glens Falls Civic Center - 2:00

1) Germantown
2) North Warren
3) Fort Ann
4) Fort Edward
5) Argyle
6) Northville
7) Loudonville Christian
8) Heatly
9) Warrensburg
10) Doane Stuart
11) Hartford
12) Salem
13) Sharon Springs
14) Bolton Landing
15) New Lebanon
16) Hawthorne Valley

Of the 16 teams, I wouldn't be surprised if when the sectional seedings are announced on Wednesday if the field of teams who are actually playing is closer to 10.  Bolton Landing did not play an Adirondack League schedule this year, opting to play an Independent schedule instead, so I'm assuming they will be one of the teams not participating in sectionals as a result.  Germantown should pick up the #1 seed as both of their losses were against C schools (Berlin & Waterford).  North Warren's three losses were against the same -- C schools (Lake George twice & Hadley-Luzurne).  Then Fort Ann, whose loss against the Cougars back in December may push them down to a #3 seed.  Fort Edward has been coming on strong of late, and Argyle will be among the fray.  Northville looked good to be a top 5 seed, but losing four of their last six has pushed them down a little.  Loudonville Christian could make a run as well.

Well, that's it.  That's all 5 classifications and my predictions for how the seeding committee will rank them tomorrow.  The official pairings will be unveiled tomorrow, and we'll see how close these predictions came to the actual seedings.

Regardless of how the pairings turn out, let's have a great sectional run with great basketball being played at many venues across the section.

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