So, I think it’d be worthwhile to try and predict who will make the HSNCT playoffs. This is worthwhile because it will invariably allow for mockery of me, because I will be wrong.
It should be noted that I have no idea who’s going to be playing which teams at all in the preliminaries.
Nine win teams:
LASA A (Austin, Texas)
State College A (State College, Pennsylvania)
Might as well take the easy ones. I think these two teams have proven that they are the two favorites in the HSNCT this year (the NSC, too, but we’ll get to that next week). They are not so far removed from the rest of the field that they’ll inevitably win both tournaments, but they have established themselves as the favorites.
Bellarmine (San Jose, California)
There’s definitely a few candidates for this spot; I feel like going with the team with the team that has the best PPB on an IS set all year, and the one with a performance on ACF Regionals comparable with LASA A’s, is a reasonable bet.
Adlai Stevenson (Lincolnshire, Illinois)
Bellarmine will be shorthanded; Stevenson looks like the best bet to replace them, though there’s certainly other options, MW, Seven Lakes, Dorman, and TJ chief amongst them.
Eight win teams
Maggie Walker A (Richmond, Virginia)
Dorman A (Roebuck, South Carolina)
Seven Lakes A (Katy, Texas)
Centennial (Roswell, Georgia)
Thomas Jefferson A (Alexandria, Virginia)
Northmont A (Clayton, Ohio)
Richard Montgomery A (Rockville, Maryland)
Copley (Copley, Ohio)
Detroit Catholic Central A (Novi, Michigan)
These are all teams that have something of a realistic shot at winning the title, though I think the likelihood generally decreases from the top of the group to the bottom. After this group, I think the likelihood of a title win falls from the range of “definitely possible” and “conceivable if certain things break their way” to “surprising things certainly would have to happen.”
This would give me nine teams, while I have this group slated for 11 teams. So I have to pick two of: Olmsted Falls, Carbondale, Loyola, Dunbar, and IMSA. Looking at their stats, I think the ones that have the best performances on NAQT style sets should get the nod. This leaves me rounding out the eight win group with:
Olmsted Falls (Olmsted Falls, Ohio)
Dunbar A (Lexington, Kentucky)
Of these, I think Olmsted Falls and Dunbar have had the best performances on NAQT sets in this group. The Illinois trio of Carbondale, Loyola, and IMSA will be in my group of seven win teams when I get to it.
UPDATES: Discovered that Bellarmine will be missing one of their key players, Tanay; I’m dropping them from 9 wins to 7, probably. I also neglected Copley. Apologies.