Saturday, May 23, 2009

Will Tar Heels be cheering for Duke?

I am a Red Sox fan. I follow baseball. I am familiar with best 5 of 7 or 3 of 5 series. I am used to watching the wild card race at the end of the season and all the possible combinations of who has to win or who has to loose to get a particular team into the playoffs. I also enjoy going to a local minor league game with a group of friends.

College tournaments can be a little different. The ACC Baseball tournament is this weekend at the local minor league park. There are 8 teams competing. They are divided into 2 pools of 4 teams. Each pool plays a round robin schedule of 3 games in 4 days. The winner of each pool plays in the championship game on the 5th day. Tie breakers are first head to head in the pool and second regular season percentages.

I think this is why sports can be a good subject for teaching math and logic.

FSU clinched a championship spot after its second win in pool A. Pool B is a little more interesting. It will be decided by the last game of the 4 days - beginning at 8pm tonight. That game is between Virginia and Duke.

If Virginia wins, they go to the championship game.
So you would think that UNC fans, who would normally cheer for anyone but Duke, would be for VA. Well maybe not. Especially if UNC wins its game at 4pm.

See VA is 2-0 and if they lose they will be 2-1.
If Duke wins they will be 2-1.
If UNC wins this afternoon they will also be 2-1.

For a three way tie. UNC gets the spot because of regular season wins.

Now if UNC loses this afternoon they will be out and I am sure the Tar Heel fans will return to normal anyone but Duke cheering. Assuming they stay to watch the game at all.

At that point the winner of the 8pm game goes to the championship.
If VA wins they go with a 3-0 record.
If Duke wins, both VA and Duke have 2-1 records and the tie breaker if who won when they play each other.

How is that for learning math and logic? I bet you could even fit in a lesson on flow charts?


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