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TAYLOR MADE: AND THAT’S THE WAY IT IS (2024-02-20)

Over the past few days a couple of questions have come up regarding the Section IV basketball tournaments. How is the No. 1 ranked team in the state only seeded second for sectionals (in reference to Newark Valley girls basketball) and how did the Candor boys get seeded ahead of Moravia despite losing to the Blue Devils twice?

The answers are simple. It’s all based on the seeding system Section IV uses to rank its teams for postseason play.

Seeding points are awarded based on wins and losses against opponents from higher, same and lower classifications. The points are then averaged with the number of games played.

POINTS
5 for a win over a team from a higher class 4 for a win over a team from the same class 3 for a win over a team from a lower class 2 for a loss to a team from a higher class 1 for a loss to a team from the same class 0 for a loss to a team from a lower class

Section IV does not consider the quality of the opponent. According to the point system, Candor received the same number of points for defeating Union Springs (13 wins) as it did for beating Odessa-Montour (6 wins) and S-VE (0 wins). The Coyotes also received more points for a loss to Tioga than it did for losing to Moravia (17-3), a team which is clearly better than the Tigers (12-7). Again, the seeding system.

Third-seeded Moravia defeated top-seeded Candor in both meetings this season, but the second win came after the seeding deadline, so no points were awarded.

No offense intended, but in my opinion, Elmira Notre Dame (12-8), the No. 2 seed in Class C, is probably no better than a five seed. I’m very confident that the Crusaders could not beat Moravia and I’m pretty sure ND could not win against No. 4 Delhi either.

In the case of Newark Valley getting seeded behind Chenango Forks, state rankings have no bearing on Section IV seedings. State rankings make for a good conversation piece and do help us gauge who the better teams are, but should not be taken too seriously.

State rankings are very subjective. The person who compiles the rankings does not get to observe all the state’s teams and probably only sees a handful of teams play during the season. Rankers most likely make their selections based on inputs from the media and coaches.

“And that’s the way it is” (to quote the infamous newsman Walter Cronkite).

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