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IN SPORTS, IT IS POSSIBLE TO ADVANCE TO PLAYOFFS BY INTENTIONALLY LOSING GAMES.
Under rules that are sometimes established by minor league baseball leagues with split seasons, a team could possibly advance to post-season playoffs by intentionally losing games at the end of a season. (Historical note: This could have happened in the major leagues in 1981, when, because of a mid-season strike by players, it was decided to have a split season.)
Here are the rules that apply in some split season situations:
-If two different teams win one of the half-seasons, then these two teams play off for the championship at the conclusion of the second season.
-If the same team wins both half-seasons, then this team plays for the championship against the one of the remaining teams that has the best overall winning percentage over both half-seasons.
Here's a hypothetical situation in a fictional league that operates by these rules. There are two games remaining in the second half-season.
First half-season (complete)
Second half-season (2 games remaining)
Now, let's concentrate on TEAM B, and let's assume that this team will play TEAM A in the final two games of the second-half season. Here are the facts:
-With just two games remaining, TEAM B cannot win the second half-season.
-If TEAM C wins the second half-season, then TEAM A and TEAM C will play for the championship. TEAM B is out of it.
-If TEAM A wins the second-half season, then the championship will be between TEAM A and the team with the best overall record. Remember now... TEAM B has its final two games against TEAM A. If TEAM B loses both of these games, TEAM A wins both halves of the split season. And, even with these two losses, TEAM B has an overall record of 94 wins and 46 losses. TEAM C, even if it wins its final two games, has an overall record of 87 wins and 53 losses. In this scenario, TEAM A plays TEAM B for the championship.
So, here's the situation: If TEAM B wins its last two games against TEAM A, then TEAM C could win the second half-season by winning its final two games. If this happens, TEAM B cannot be the champion. However, if TEAM B loses its last two games to TEAM A, it will play for the championship. The incredible scenario for TEAM B: If they lose their last two games, they will play for the championship. If they win at one or two of their last two games, they might be eliminated from the championship playoff.
If you were the manager of TEAM B, what would you have your team do?
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