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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Bracketology 3/4

We're very close to seeing what the final tournament brackets will look like.  Below is my anticipated order of finish and pairings. I have also included the pairings if the season ended today. My "Best Matchup," "Upset Alert," and "Yawner" are based on projected pairings, not current matchups.

DIVISION 1 (opponents and best possible point total and % (if applicable) in parenthesis)
D1 is nearly set. I anticipate NDF beating Northwest Catholic which will move them to a #1 seed. Outside of the top four. There will not be any movement unless East Haven or NWC upsets Prep or NDF tonight. We're just about set in D1.

MY PROJECTED PAIRINGS (based on anticipated finals):
(1) NDF vs. (16) St. Joseph
(2) NDWH vs. (15) Simsbury
(3) Prep vs. (14) Hamden
(4) Darien vs. (13) Greenwich
(5) Ridgefield vs. (12) South Windsor
(6) Glastonbury vs. (11) Xavier
(7) New Canaan vs. (10) Northwest Catholic
(8) East Haven vs. (9) West Haven

BEST MATCHUP: (3) Prep vs. (14) Hamden- Was tempted to pick EH/WH here but when they played earlier in the year it wasn't all that close. That said, neither was the last time these two met but what could beat a Prep/Hamden first round matchup at the Wonderland, a place where Hamden battled hard earlier this year. The Dragons may need a miracle in this one, however.

UPSET ALERT: (6) Glastonbury vs. (11) Xavier- Xavier is a good team. They've had some confusing finals this year but any team that can take NDWH and Prep to OT has the potential to knock off a Glastonbury. 

YAWNER: (5) Ridgefield vs. (12) South Windsor- South Windsor has to be one of the weaker 12 seeds in D1 history. The Bobcats are just coming off a 7-2 loss to Cheshire, D2's  #8 seed. Ridgefield got a good draw here.

(16) St. Joseph (1) NDWH 
9) West Haven @ 8) Glastonbury

12) South Windsor @ 5) Ridgefield
13) Greenwich @ 4) Fairfield Prep

11) Xavier @ 6) New Canaan
14) Hamden @ 3) Darien

10) Northwest Catholic @ 7) East Haven
15) Simsbury @ 2) ND Fairfield

REMAINING D1 GAMES: NWC @ ND Fairfield (3/4), Fairfield Prep @ East Haven (3/4), Milford @ West Haven (3/4)

East Catholic has the #1 seed locked up. If Amity defeats North Branford, they will move into the #2 seed bumping everyone 2-5 down a spot. If Fermi defeats Conard they will move to the #14 seed with Fairfield dropping down to #15. Wilton seems pretty secure as the 16 seed. If Conard is able to beat Fermi, Waterttown-Pomperaug comes into the discussion and it could come down to lottery which WP would win. New Milford's loss to Amity in overtime Saturday really hurt them. They not only were knocked out of SCC contention, but they also lost a potential home game in states. The Wave are rather banged up right now though, so it could be a blessing.

MY PROJECTED PAIRINGS (based on anticipated finals):
1) East Catholic vs. (16) Wilton
2) Amity vs. (15) Fairfield Co-op
3) Branford vs. (14) Fermi-Enfield
4) Newington-Berlin vs. (13) Daniel Hand
5) North Haven vs. (12) North Branford
6) Trinity Catholic vs. (11) Milford Co-op
7) BCR vs. (10) New Milford
8) Cheshire vs. (9) Suffield-Granby-WL

BEST MATCHUP: (8) Cheshire vs. (9) Suffield-Granby-WL- The Wildcats have played well of late. Cheshire recently rocked D1's South Windsor. This would be an electric, even matchup. Definitely one to see.

UPSET ALERT: (6) Trinity Catholic vs. (11) Milford Co-op- Milford is a good team with plenty of explosive fire power. Trinity Catholic had an impressive season ending with a respectable 6 seed at the D2 level. In terms of talent alone, I'd have to say the seeds should probably be switched. That said, TC goalie Kyle Odierno has the ability to beat any team at this level.

YAWNER: (2) Amity vs. (15) Fairfield- The Mustangs just aren't close to the team that took the D2 state tournament by storm last year. Amity is playing its best hockey at the right time of the year. Spartans should roll.

16) Wilton @ 1) East Catholic
9) New Milford @ 8) Cheshire

12) Daniel Hand @ 5) Trinity Catholic
13) North Branford @ 4) North Haven

11) Milford Co-op @ 6) Amity
14) Fairfield Co-op @ 3) Newington-Berlin

10) Suffield-Granby-WL @ 7) BCR
15) Fermi-Enfield @ 2) Branford

REMAINING D2 GAMES: St. Bernard-NFA-Bacon @ East Catholic (3/5), Amity@ North Branford (3/4), Suffield-Granby-WL @ Wethersfield (3/4), Milford @ West Haven (3/4), Conard @ Fermi-Enfield (3/5), Guilford @ Wethersfield (3/6), BBD @ North Branford (3/5)

17) Watertown-Pomperaug
18) Conard (eliminated)
19) Guilford (eliminated)
20) Trumbull (eliminated)
21) Farmington Valley (eliminated)
22) BBD (eliminated)

The top 11 teams at the D3 level are set. They can't and won't move unless Wethersfield wins their final three games and becomes a "qualifier". Currently Wethersfield is in 13th trailing Westhill by 2 points. I see them, somehow, getting those points needed to leap them with winnable games left against Hall-Southington and Guilford. I also see Joel Barlow winning their finale against Norwalk-McMahon moving them from 15 to 14. Norwalk needs to beat Barlow and needs St. Bernard's to lose their final two games to sneak into the field. Stamford needs both Norwalk and St. B's to lose out to find their way in. St. B's can clinch the 16 seed with a win over Eastern CT Eagles or East Catholic.

MY PROJECTED PAIRINGS (based on anticipated finals):
1) Masuk vs. (16) St. Bernard-NFA-Bacon
2) Newtown vs. (15) Shepaug-Litchfield-Nonnewaug
3) Sheehan vs. (14) Joel Barlow
4) EO Smith-Tolland vs. (13) Westhill
5) NFI vs. (12) Wethersfield
6) Housy vs. (11) Tri-Town
7) Hall-Southington vs. (10) Woodstock Academy
8) Staples vs. (9) Lyman Hall-HK

BEST MATCHUP: (4) EO Smith-Tolland vs. (13) Westhill- Tough draw for the Bucks, but I can still see this changing and them drawing Wethersfield. Regardless, if this does happen, Westhill is a damn good 13 seed. They'd be a damn good 8 seed in this group. Bucks have the talent but this would not be a draw I'd want.

UPSET ALERT: (6) Housy vs. (11) Tri-Town- This would be a good game and could go either way. Housy has shown vulnerability this year with some tight wins against lower tier teams and a loss to LHK. Tri-Town can compete with most and it wouldn't surprise me if they pulled an upset here.

YAWNER: (1) Masuk vs. (16) St. Bernard-NFA-Bacon- For the fourth week in a row this matchup pans out. Masuk continues to foam at the mouth.

16) St. Bernard-NFA-Bacon @ 1) Masuk
9) Lyman Hall-HK @ 8) Staples-Weston-Shelton

12) Westhill @ 5) NFI
13) Wethersfield @ 4) EO Smith-Tolland

11) Tri-Town @ 6) Housatonic-NW-Wamogo
14) Shepaug-Litchfield-Nonnewaug @ 3) Sheehan

10) Woodstock Academy @ 7) Hall-Southington
15) Joel Barlow @ 2) Newtown

REMAINING D3 GAMES: Wethersfield @ Hall-Southington (3/5), RMR @ Lyman Hall-HK (3/5), Suffield-Granby-WL @ Wethersfield (3/4), Guilford @ Wethersfield (3/6), Joel Barlow @ Norwalk-McMahon (3/4), Eastern CT Eagles @ St. Bernard-NFA-Bacon (3/4), St. Bernard-NFA-Bacon @ East Catholic (3/5)

17) Norwalk-McMahon
18) Stamford
19) Rocky Hill-Middletown-RHAM (eliminated)
20) Eastern CT Eagles (eliminated)

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