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Over two months ago, The Paladin endeavored to predict Furman’s upcoming football, volleyball and basketball (men’s and women’s) seasons. Now seems like the perfect time to revisit our predictions and see how the Dins performed with the onset of many seasons.
First, basketball: here is how the computer predicted that the Paladins’ regular season would pan out:
However, evidently, COVID-19 significantly impacted the Paladins’ campaign. As of Feb. 7, the Paladins have had five contests postponed due to the ongoing pandemic. Here is how the Paladins have done thus far:
Of the previous games that actually occurred despite the pandemic, the computer correctly predicted the winner 79% of the time but never predicted the exact score line. The closest the computer ever got on that front was the Flagler game, where Furman scored two points less than predicted and Flagler scored one point less than predicted. Thus far, the Paladins are exceeding the expectations, with a win percentage (64.7%) greater than their predicted win percentage (61.5%) by 3.2%. Unfortunately, they are underperforming within the SoCon, dropping one place (4th) from their predicted finish (3rd). There are currently only two games behind current frontrunners UNC Greensboro, so the Paladins are still within striking distance of the regular-season title. This is important because, in the event the SoCon Tournament is cancelled, the conference’s automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA tournament would (presumably) go to the regular season champion and ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi currently has the SoCon as a single-bid conference.
Next, let us turn our attention to the Paladins’ women’s basketball team, who have had their season only slightly less impacted than their male counterpart, only losing two games to the pandemic thus far. The women’s season was predicted to go as follows:
Here is how the Paladin’s have actually faired thus far:
The computer predicted the winner correctly only 57% of all possible games and were never really close regarding the final score. Unfortunately, the Paladins are performing significantly worse than expected, with their current win percentage (38.9%) 13.3% below their predicted win percentage (52.2%). One can only guess how and why this happened. But I personally suspect that the former fortress of Timmons Arena being empty has not helped. The Paladins sit in fifth place in the SoCon at the moment and have been eliminated from regular-season title contention. ESPN Women’s Bracketologist Charlie Creme has the SoCon being a single-bid league come Selection Sunday, so all Paladins fans need to pray for miracle come Mar. 4 in Asheville.
We now move to reflect on our final team, Paladin volleyball. The volleyball team’s season is the youngest we have covered thus far (their first contest was on Jan. 31) and have only played three games, with zero pandemic-related cancellations. Let us recap how the computers predicted that the Paladins’ season would pan out:
Here is how the Paladins have done thus far:
The computers have actually been perfect thus far discounting the final score-line predictions, so the Paladins are performing as expected. They are currently tied for 6th in the SoCon, exactly as predicted (minus the tie). Of course, they still have 13 games to go, so a lot could change between now and then (hopefully for the better). It seems that, in order to make the NCAA Tournament, they must win the SoCon Championship because the conference has only had one multiple bid year (2018) over the past four years. In order to make the conference tournament, the Paladins must finish within the top four of the SoCon. They are currently only a game behind a three-way tie for third (Chattanooga, Samford and Mercer).