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Messages - BaboNation

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Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: February 17, 2019, 09:42:47 am »
Final thought:  Springfield sure got hot at the right time.  They absolutely had to win their final 4 games to even make the tournament and they did so, beating Wheaton, MIT, WPI, and Babson.  Now they could actually win the NEWMAC and the automatic D3 invitation with a losing record overall!

Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: February 17, 2019, 09:34:19 am »
Meanwhile,  I’m really disappointed in my Beavers.  At this point I consider them lucky to still have basketball ahead of them, with a home game to boot.

Conference play started out promising at 5-0, but something changed.  They adjusted their style and personnel when Jaworski went down and had some success (notably the win at Amherst).  But to these eyes that style was not best-suited for the long haul.

Too often the open 3-point shooter would take that shot regardless of whether they were effective at that range.  I don’t want to single out any players because, after all, these are young men playing a game they love.  And I have no idea whether coach Brennan’s instructions are being followed.  I’d just feel better if they flowed most of their offensive possessions through Oftring and Jaworski as the first option.

Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: February 17, 2019, 09:20:17 am »
Maybe I should have gone to law school.  Or is there a degree in forensic analytics?

I’m trying to figure out how Babson got the #4, ahead of WPI at #5. 

All the NEWMAC had to say in their press release was “In order to determine the final three seeds, NEWMAC tie-breaking procedures were applied where Springfield (11-14, 8-6) emerged as the No. 3 seed followed by No. 4 Babson (15-10, 8-6) and No. 5 WPI (17-8, 8-6).”

It seems the tiebreaker between these 2 schools would have reached the “non-conference common opponents” step, where I think only Tufts came into play.  Both teams beat Tufts.

So ... did it come down to a coin flip?  I hope not.

Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: February 17, 2019, 09:11:11 am »
One quirk of the NEWMAC men's tournament is that the fourth seed is guaranteed a home game against the fifth seed, in the "play-in", "wild card", "quarterfinal", or what have you.  However, the third seed is not; the only possibility for that team to get a home team is if they defeat the #2 seed and the #4 seed defeats #1.  That did actually happen in 2014, when Springfield was #3 and MIT was #4; both teams knocked off the higher seeds, and then MIT won the final.  However, the tournament format at that time was different; the #1 seed hosted all of the games except for the play-in.  That was also the year NEWMAC got 4 bids, and all four lost in the first round :-(

The women's tournament, with 7 teams, does not have that little foible.  Each of the top four seeds is guaranteed a home game; the first seed gets a bye into the semifinals while #2-4 play #7-5 respectively.  This also would not happen with 6 (or 8) teams in the tournament.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
I prefer the way they have it now, where there is the best chance for a bigger crowd and a home team celebration.   If, for example, Coast Guard were the #1 seed, but knocked out in its first game, there’d likely be a smaller crowd for the remaining teams.  That’s not a knock on CG or its venue, just the travel distance, and the lesser likelihood of drawing “locals”.  And the celebration can sometimes be muted at a “neutral” venue.

Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: February 16, 2019, 06:16:19 pm »
Coast Guard made it a little easier by losing to Emerson.  Emerson gets the 2-seed.
So, we ended up with a 3-way tie for seeds 3-5.

As I read the tiebreakers, WPI, Springfield, and Babson all finished 2-2 within games played against each other.  So, the next tiebreaker becomes how they did against the #1 seed.
Since only Springfield beat MIT it gets the 3-seed.
Babson and WPI get the 4-5 play-in game.  (I didn’t bother to figure out who is 4 and who is 5).

Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: February 14, 2019, 08:53:27 pm »
The most interesting scenario for Saturday would be:

MIT over WPI
Springfield over Babson
Coast Guard over Emerson

In the above case, there is a 5-way tie that needs to be broken (all teams 8-6) between Emerson, WPI, Coast Guard, Babson, and Springfield.  Wow.

Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: February 14, 2019, 08:40:51 pm »
Babo any clue on tiebreakers?  All 5 teams could be 2-6 at this point?

I think this link explains it.  If I even tried to cover all the possible scenarios I’d surely miss something (and my head would be throbbing).

Pages 23-25 cover tiebreakers.

Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: February 10, 2019, 09:58:11 am »
Final week of regular season coming up and it will be very interesting.  MIT will get the 1-seed, but who gets the 2 and 3 and thereby avoids the 4/5 first round game?

WPI has 2 tough games coming up.  The Emerson @ Babson game on Wednesday will tell a lot.  Babson could win out in 2 home contests and leapfrog from 4th to 2nd. 

Has Springfield finally found some footing?  Can they get the 5th seed, or will they miss the playoffs completely?

The winner of the 4/5 game then has the daunting prospect of facing MIT in the 2nd round.  Better to get the 2/3 game and hope MIT gets knocked out in the semis, or at least delay the meeting til the final.

I haven’t seen the last 2 MIT games but I’ve noticed AJ Jurko missing both games again (injury?).  With Jurko and a complete, healthy team MIT will be a very tough opponent against any NEWMAC foe, or regional/national team for that matter.

Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: January 31, 2019, 03:06:51 pm »
BaboNation, looking at WPI, I think they are ranked fairly because of a very weak schedule to date.  What are WPI's best wins exactly?  Tufts?  Coast Guard?  Salem State?   Certainly WPI has no wins vs. other teams in the top-15 of the region.  And losing by 30 to an MIT team missing two key players in the only game vs. a top 25 team doesn't exactly help WPI's cause.  WPI has also played a pretty soft NEWMAC schedule to date, including four of its league wins over league bottom-feeders Wheaton and Clark.  WPI will have a chance to make its case over the next five games, which are a bit tougher.  But WPI needs to beat a few good teams to prove it belongs in the conversation.  Compare some of the quality wins the top-6 NESCAC teams have:

Williams: Wesleyan x2, Montclair State, Moravian, maybe Yeshiva (which has been red hot since losing to Williams)
Wesleyan: Plattsburgh State, Midd, Hamilton, Amherst
Amherst: Eastern Conn, Williams
Midd: Williams, Endicott, Skidmore

Hamilton, like WPI, lacks any sort of signature win (Keene State is probably the best), but Hamilton has only two losses and did return just about everyone from last year's Sweet 16 team so they have probably gotten a bit of the benefit of the doubt despite a very weak non-league schedule and back-loaded league schedule (still yet to play Midd, Amherst, Williams). 

I also note that while NEWMAC has a 7-6 edge over NESCAC, NEWMAC has gone (I believe) 1-3 vs. the top six NESCAC teams (Wesleyan, Midd, Williams, Hamilton, Colby and Amherst), so a number of the NEWMAC-NESCAC games won by NEWMAC have been top-half NEWMAC teams (MIT, Babson, WPI) vs. bottom-half NESCAC teams.

I understand your point of view, but I don’t agree with it.

Each season should be viewed as a clean slate, not getting any benefit of the doubt based on last year’s performance.  That’s for preseason polls (see Springfield).
But here’s the real issue to me - you are using intra-NESCAC wins as a sign of the worthiness of NESCAC team rankings, but that doesn’t seem to carry over to NEWMAC teams.  The thinking seems to be:  Amherst is very good because they beat Williams;  Wesleyan is very good because they beat Middlebury;  Colby is very good because they beat Hamilton.  If Bowdoin beats Middlebury tomorrow I won’t be surprised if they too leapfrog WPI.
Colby is the most egregious example when compared to WPI, imo.  15 wins vs. 16 for WPI;  6 wins over teams with losing records vs. 5 for WPI.
Within the NEWMAC I think a healthy MIT team is head and shoulders above anyone else.  I have WPI, Babson and Emerson evenly grouped in the next tier, so contrary to prevailing thinking, I consider WPI’s win over Emerson to be meritorious.  Since the NEWMAC plays a balanced schedule within the conference it’s perplexing to understand how WPI’s conference schedule (9 of 14 games in) can be considered “soft”.  They’ve already played each opponent at least once, just like every other team. And their out of conference schedule includes just 2 games against teams with losing records.  That’s “weak”?
Furthermore, I don’t consider either Hamilton (9 wins over teams with losing records), or Amherst (8 such wins) to be top-25 teams.  Top-35/40? Ok.  In both cases these teams have won over half their games vs. losing teams.  And I’m not just reading box scores - I’ve watched each team 5 times or more.
Maybe a generation from now this will all be settled with D1-styled mega-conferences.

Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: January 31, 2019, 11:17:24 am »
While the top of the NEWMAC has produced good teams, the middle and bottom of the conference usually aren't in the conversation. As a result, some of the Massey type numbers drag everyone down. Furthermore, when a team like Springfield struggles and MIT is dealing with injuries, it is hard to evaluate the true strength of the conference from top to bottom.

Finally, just because one or two teams have success does not mean the entire conference is thus better than they are. Benedictine had an incredible season a few years ago - nearly going undefeated and winning a national championship, but that doesn't mean the NACC is some incredible conference that should be ranked highly. Thomas More women have been one of the best programs in the last ten years in Division III, but that doesn't mean the PAC is some insanely good conference.

MIT, Babson, and others have had some memorable seasons and Babson has won the crown. The NEWMAC is considered one of the top 15-20 conferences in the country, but just because a couple of teams have had success doesn't mean the entire conference is that much better as well.

I appreciate the feedback Dave.

To clarify, I’m not trying to say that the NEWMAC is an elite conference from top to bottom.  But neither is the NESCAC or any other conference.
Within the NEWMAC, while some teams have been strong for a decade or more, the mix of teams that are in the top tier (4) of the conference tends to vary, often year to year.  So, if the conference itself is holding its own head-to-head with a conference like the NESCAC (7-6) this year, it’s puzzling how 6 NESCAC teams (fully more than half of that conference)  could be ranked higher than the 2nd ranked team in the NEWMAC (WPI).
Of course those 13 games are a small sample size and some teams play more games against that conference, and against arguably lesser opponents, but I do think they add merit to the discussion.
Right now teams like Clark are a drag on the “conference rankings”.  I get that.  (Have they named a new coach for next year?).  But I’d expect the top 2 teams from the conference, as you say in a 15-20th ranked conference to be ranked higher than 42/43 (D3Hoops) or 52nd (Massey).  Take the midpoint (17.5) x 2nd ranked team, and a rank of 35 for WPI would be more reasonable to me.
Maybe that’s quibbling.

Meanwhile a fully healthy MIT took apart Babson last night.  Going forward the interesting discussion might be a hosting decision within New England in the 2nd weekend.  This is all conjecture at this point, but assuming the currently ranked teams win out, would the committee have to choose between MIT and Williams?

Looking forward to your show as my time allows.

Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: January 30, 2019, 04:53:45 pm »
We will be there Dave - maybe not for all of it - have a great show...............oh and keep moving WPI up those "other receiving votes" list!  :)

Being a NEWMAC supporter it is sometimes discouraging to see how low (relatively speaking) the league teams fair in the voting.  I’m not picking on D3Hoops here, because Massey has similar rankings.
But here are some facts:

In 3 of the last 4 years the NEWMAC has produced the last team standing from New England (last year it was 2 teams).
This year the NEWMAC had a 7-6 W-L record against the NESCAC.  This is not intended as NESCAC-bashing, but there are currently SIX teams from the NESCAC rated higher than 15-4 WPI in both polls.
Babson has won 3 of their last 4 meetings with Amherst at LeFrak, and only one of those wins was with Joey Flannery.  Fluke?  How many other teams can claim that achievement - even in the NESCAC?

I can only hope MIT plays well enough to host opening weekend (at minimum) for the NCAA’s.  My dream scenario, to “force” the committee to invite 3 NEWMAC schools would be for MIT to run the table until the NEWMAC championship,  have WPI finish the regular season 20-5, and have Emerson, Springfield, or Babson win the NEWMAC auto-invite.

To hear some folks talk the NEWMAC is destined to be a 1 bid conference, barring an upset of MIT.  I think that would be unfortunate.

Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: January 28, 2019, 04:32:12 pm »
Missed The Babson home game against Coast Guard (and probably glad I did).  Taking nothing away from The Academy, this was a bad loss;  not the opponent, but the margin of defeat at home in a game, apparently, they were never really in. 
Hard to fathom this is the same team that took MIT to overtime at The Cage a week ago.  It’s eerily similar to the earlier home loss to Brandeis (again, not the opponent, but the margin - 74-49).
I can only hope they can recover in the same way they did after Brandeis (road win @ undefeated Amherst), because MIT is stopping by Staake on Wednesday.

Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: January 25, 2019, 11:51:45 am »
Side note:  Is there another D3 college that takes video production as seriously as Emerson?  They had 4 cameras working and provided timely replays.  Nice job.

Emerson is described (via Google) as "internationally recognized as the nation's premier institution of higher learning devoted to communication and the arts".  So yes, I'd expect them to take video production seriously :-)

Point taken.

They do a remarkable job with what they have to work with at that venue.  Given the price and availability of real estate in the heart of downtown Boston the gym has the minimum amount of square footage at court level.  I’ve never been inside, but based on the panoramic camera work there looks to be just 3 rows of seats on all sides of the court.

Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: January 23, 2019, 09:45:29 pm »
Babson couldn’t quite dig out of a late hole @ Emerson.

This was a back and forth game til about 5 minutes left.  Then Emerson built up an 11 point lead with 1:49 to play and the game seemed over since Emerson was in the double bonus.
Babson started hitting from 3pt range with Coolahan and Oftring, and with 10 seconds left they grabbed a rebound with a chance to tie.  Jaworski probably needed another pass instead of launching his 3-pointer that hit iron.
Gray - probably the most anonymous star in New England - led the Lions as usual.  Houston gave them a lot in limited minutes.
So, the first half ends with MIT at 6-1, and WPI, Emerson, and Babson at 5-2.  One of these teams is probably going to end up playing Springfield in the 4/5 postseason first round game.

Side note:  Is there another D3 college that takes video production as seriously as Emerson?  They had 4 cameras working and provided timely replays.  Nice job.

Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: January 19, 2019, 06:14:30 pm »
Babson goes toe to toe @ MIT for 40 minutes, but in the end MIT played smarter and with more poise and earned the OT victory (that’s 3 straight NEWMAC regular season OT games against each other if you’re scoring at home).
AJ Jurko returned after missing a few games (did I hear that correctly - STAPLES in the head?) and was immense.  He finished with 37.  Pippen (er, Jomard) “chipped in” with 25.  Roberts had a relatively quiet game until late, and the 4th musketeer, Forsythe added 10 while still rounding back into form.
If you just went by the box score as a Babson fan you could whine about a FT disparity (34-11), but the truth is there was no bias.  MIT took it inside and Babson relied on shooting a large number of 3 pointers.
Jaworski had a fallaway shot at the end of regulation to win it that rimmed out (after Jurko had tied it on a jab-step, step-back 3).
Babson will finish up the first half of the NEWMAC on the road at Emerson.  Things are taking shape now with MIT, Babson, WPI, and Emerson in the top half and Springfield, Wheaton, Coast Guard, and Clark rounding out the 2nd division.
MIT is still the cream of the crop, and they still don’t have Korb back.  Wow.

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