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Unread 04-24-2012, 08:00 PM
Looking Forward Looking Forward is offline
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Predictions Championship 2012: Curie

4.22%

That's the odds of a 1/4 event not happening a single time over 11 instances. While divisions aren't truly balanced and each division doesn't actually have 25% odds of winning on any given year, the idea holds true. "The Curie curse" does have a ring to it, and as FRC enters its twelfth championship with divisions, the Curie champs have yet to emerge from Einstein as victors. This years' Curie field has more than enough high end machines and depth for them to change that this year, but so has many Curie fields in the past. Triple balancing will be a little more of a premium here than on some of the other fields, with fewer proven balance specialists (especially among the top tier contenders).

TIPS:
Two of NASA's finest have all world potential and are known for constant improvement, but have yet to demonstrate it consistently. 254 and 233 both have the potential to beat anyone when they're on their game, but aren't on the same level as the elite teams at this point. The Cheesy Poofs likely have a higher upside, and have come much closer to achieving it, but will need to improve their autonomous and increase their accuracy from the key. Their shot volume and acquisition skills are already there. Pink displayed occasional flashes of scoring brilliance in Boston, but were generally playing second fiddle to 341 and ensuring the double balance. Most importantly, 233 was the biggest challenge 341 has faced on the center bridge in autonomous all season, and in a division with Daisy that could be huge.

Two of Michigan's younger powers will be on display in Curie. 2474 and 3098 each reached the finals at a FiM district, with Excel winning at Niles. The Captains were part of the first "double triple" in the Waterford finals and were part of a very dangerous alliance at MSC that posted 80+ three times (including a 94), but were ultimately bested in the semis. Both are effective from multiple spots on the floor, but 2474 is much quicker with their fender scoring device that their key shooting catapult. 3098 has a better chance at running deep, especially given their history of triple balances, wide frame, and stinger.

525 missed a lot of shots at their first event, but improved significantly at 10,000 Lakes. When the Swartdogs take the time to line up their shot from their preferred spot, they can be an incredibly effective key shooter. Expect them to play their way onto a lower seeded alliance, but they'll be more of a role player than difference maker.

Without a lot of balancing aids in this division, wide bots who can score (especially in hybrid) will be a premium pick in the 2nd round of alliance selection. 85 and 3940 are two potential candidates to fill that role. B.O.B. had a lot of success alongside 1918 at the district level, but missed the MSC eliminations after posting a 2-10 record. That's more a testament to the strength of MSC than an indictment of 85, as they didn't play poorly at the event. But their line drive shot may be better suited to passing balls forward than playing a scoring role. Cybertooth rode effective hybrid scores and a triple balance from the #8 alliance all the way to victory in Cincy after reaching the finals at Purdue. Both teams have a good shot of playing past noon on Saturday.

The Warlocks don't have much flash, but more often than not they end up winning. 1507 plays a simple and smart game, and is deadly accurate both at hitting 3s from the key and 2s from the fender. They haven't lost a match since F-1 at FLR, including a swift decision to single balance in the heat of competition in the match right after that (which ended up preserving their playoff run). 1507 won't run the table this weekend, but on the right alliance they could go far.

971 and 1477 are dangerous fender scoring machines, but haven't matched that success from the key to this point. Each won two events, but Texas Torque did lose in the Lone Star finals. Spartan Robotics has been practicing their key shot since they last competed, but doing it on the real field is never as easy as doing it at home. One or both will be on one of the top few alliances, but they'll likely need to become more effective from the key if they want to take home a medal.

If they matched their performance from Kansas City at the St. Louis regional, 1986 would have an argument to be a lock. But their accuracy fell, and their shot volume at any event was never elite level. Team Titanium should have no problem triple balancing with their bevy of features and wide frame, but they have yet to achieve it. If 1986 can return to shooting around 85-90%, especially from the key, they will be a major factor in a division they've had success in before. Their ground acquisition leaves something to be desired, but if they're in a role that doesn't require them sweeping the entire zone by themselves that can be masked.

SLEEPER:
Air Strike stepped up their game significantly in Boston, but was still a clear step beneath the best teams there. If 78 can continue to improve their 3 point key shooting, they could manage some impressive wins in the elimination tournament. Even if they just maintain their level of play from Boston, they should still be a 2nd round selection at the least.

DARK HORSE:
624 has quietly put together an excellent season, winning Bayou and reaching the Lone Star finals, both times as the #2 seed after qualification. CRyptonite has a quality key shooting machine that stands a good chance at ranking high. They could sneak into a high captain position and shake up the eliminations.

LOCKS:
Going undefeated at one event is an accomplishment in itself. The High Rollers did it twice this season, and are the only undefeated team in St. Louis, sporting a 32-0-0 record. 987 won Curie last year, and are looking to make it back-to-back wins in 2012. The High Rollers have a mobile and well driven shooter than can score from all over the floor. They can put up elite level volume and have numerous autonomous modes. If they can start draining the bridge balls more consistently in hybrid and add align with partners that allow them to triple balance, they will be very hard to stop.

The consistency of Miss Daisy across the entire season has been incredibly impressive. Four events, four #1 seeds, four 6-0 trips through the eliminations. 341 sports a deadly accurate shooter than enables them to post terrific tele-op scores and the most consistent coopertation bridge hybrid in FRC. Very rarely has a team been able to beat them to the center bridge, and the autonomous routine they ran at the MAR Championship elims was always the first to the bridge (though it didn't always score the additional balls). If they can manage to add a fifth #1 seed to their litany of accomplishment this season, they'll at least reach the Curie finals, if not Einstein. If someone else controls the #1 pick, the trip might be more precarious, but they'll likely remain the favorite.

[note: Archimedes and Curie are going up now, Galileo and Newton will be posted around 10PM]

Last edited by Looking Forward : 04-24-2012 at 10:44 PM.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 09:38 PM
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Re: Predictions Championship 2012: Curie

Looks great. We've got some great teams out here on Curie that I can't wait to see.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 10:04 PM
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Re: Predictions Championship 2012: Curie

I knew Miss Daisy had a fantastic season this year (like they ever don't, amirite?) but I had no idea it was that good.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 10:07 PM
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Re: Predictions Championship 2012: Curie

I can't wait to see if 254 and 971 will join together again like they did at SVR. They are truly an unbeatable combo...well, they are beatable but as we saw it is VERY VERY VERY difficult. They work almost TOO well together.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 10:19 PM
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Re: Predictions Championship 2012: Curie

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Originally Posted by MrTechCenter View Post
I can't wait to see if 254 and 971 will join together again like they did at SVR. They are truly an unbeatable combo...well, they are beatable but as we saw it is VERY VERY VERY difficult. They work almost TOO well together.
Thanks for the vote of confidence, but I think both teams will agree that the level of play we exhibited at SVR is nowhere near Championship caliber. We tended to get in each other's way since we were both preferring the fender due to consistency problems from the key.

Both teams have been working on improvements and practicing very hard since then, and we're excited to see how we stack up against the competition. If the odds align, we may very well end up paired with our good friends from NASA Ames.

LF is spot on with the analysis of 971, we're really hoping to show that our key game is up there with the best of them.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 10:22 PM
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Re: Predictions Championship 2012: Curie

Ah, man... I wanted the dark horse role again. Oh well, I guess we'll take the almost a lock role.

I thought our shot percentage actually went up in St. Louis from KC, but our shot volume went down as we often cleared our side of the floor of balls without getting many returns. Maybe I'm just remembering things with rose colored glasses.

Well, enough pre-tournament posturing. What we've all done is not as nearly as important as what we are about to do. What will the winning alliance from Curie look like? What role do you think you can play on that winning alliance? We've all got 9 matches to either aim for the top 8 slots or audition for those who've won the right to pick. Hopefully the match schedule will give us a fair shake. Either way we intend to put on a show that will thrill the scouts and fans alike. Good luck and good night.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 10:34 PM
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Re: Predictions Championship 2012: Curie

Quote:
Originally Posted by Looking Forward View Post
When the Swartdogs take the time to line up their shot from their preferred spot, they can be an incredibly effective key shooter.
Actually, all our shots are computer controlled - alignment, speed, and elevation. At KC our shooting wasn't very good - less than 50%. We added a load cell to measure ball density but did not have any time to calibrate it. So we spent most of 10,000 Lakes working on the calibration. By the first finals match we hit 9 out of 11 shots. However, in the second finals match we were at 50% so it looks like we still have some work to do.
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Unread 04-25-2012, 02:02 AM
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Re: Predictions Championship 2012: Curie

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Originally Posted by Looking Forward View Post
If they matched their performance from Kansas City at the St. Louis regional, 1986 would have an argument to be a lock. But their accuracy fell,...
I'll have to chime in on this as well and respectfully contend that our accuracy was indeed better in St. Louis. As a lower scoring event there was simply a scarcity of balls being returned. Stealing balls from the opponent's side won matches, but resulted in lower shot volume.
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Unread 04-26-2012, 09:09 PM
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Re: Predictions Championship 2012: Curie

From scouting the Curie Division I found a pontential dark horse. 571 has been climbing the rankings today. I think they would do well as an alliance selection. Another dark horse I found was 694 which would also make a good pick.
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Unread 04-26-2012, 10:16 PM
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Re: Predictions Championship 2012: Curie

Let's change it from the "Curse of Curie" to "Beware the Fury of Curie".
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