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March to the Playoffs: Week 25

With more than 75 percent of the season complete and only seven games remaining, FC Cincinnati sits on top of the table and is the only team to have secured a playoff berth. At this point, no teams have been eliminated from the post season, but some are getting close.

With more than 75 percent of the season complete and only seven games remaining, FC Cincinnati sits on top of the table and is the only team to have secured a playoff berth. At this point, no teams have been eliminated from the post season, but some are getting close.

Looking at the standings, it’s possible to calculate the maximum points possible for each team. Maximum points is useful for determining when teams clinch playoff spots or when teams have been eliminated. However, it’s also helpful to look at points per match played (Pts/MP) each team earns, which can give a sense of how teams could end the season if they continue their current form. Based on current form, the post season bracket would look at follows:

 

Points per match played is also useful for tracking whether other teams have the ability to overtake Cincinnati in the standings. One mechanism is to calculate the points per match played required to overtake the Orange and Blue if they earn zero points in their remaining games or an average of one point in their remaining games.

Currently, there are only six teams that can overtake FCC, even if they lose all their remaining games. It would require more than three points per match to overtake Cincinnati and thus not possible for the other nine teams. Three of those teams would have to average better than 2.5 points per match to overtake the Orange and Blue. Putting that into perspective, FC Cincinnati has only earned 2.22 points per match so far this season and is the top team in the Eastern Conference.

Realistically of course, FC Cincinnati is not going to lose every remaining game. Adjusting the points per match played to assume FCC averages one point per remaining match, then only two teams are in a position to overtake them. Both of those teams have to average 2.5 points per game or better for the remainder of the season. Of course, FCC may not perform that well for its remaining games, but it shows how strong its current position is and how likely they are to not only make the top four teams and secure a home playoff game in the first round but to end up in the top position in the post season.

 

 

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