Saturday, February 21, 2009

Men's Seed Race 2/18/2009 -- Correction

When I read Rob Demovsky's column (Men's basketball story, photos: Phoenix back in the Horizon title hunt), I looked back at the current standings and then at what I wrote below and realized I'd had another brain cramp:

So, actually, Green Bay can clinch at least the 2 seed by going 1-1 next week.

If Green Bay goes 0-2 next week, Cleveland State could sneak into the 2 seed, while either Wright State or Milwaukee could tie them at 12-6. They both can't because they play each other. If it is Milwaukee, Green Bay wins the tiebreaker. If it is Wright State, Green Bay still wins the tiebreaker because they beat Butler.

If Cleveland State also finishes 12-6, making a 3 way tie, since they split with Green Bay, Milwaukee, and Wright State, the only change to the above analysis is that if Wright State is part of the 3-way tie, they would drop out for the 4 seed, while Green Bay and Cleveland State remain tied since they both split with Butler, but still Green Bay prevails because the tiebreaker would fall to Milwaukee.

Hence, Green Bay has already clinched at least the 2 seed, regardless of what happens next week.

This is what happens when you organize your thoughts on the fly (and then quickly go back and try to fix it later, as I did yesterday morning): you lose track of the big picture. That last sentence should be reworded as follows:

Hence, even if they go 0-2, Green Bay can still clinch at least the 2 seed, if Cleveland State goes 1-1.

Likewise, Green Bay's status should read "Can clinch a double-bye with one more win, or with one more Cleveland State loss."

By the way, while Cleveland State can still finish 2nd, they cannot finish first. The Wolstein Center will not be hosting the semifinals. So when I talked about breaking a tie between Milwaukee and Wright State, I only considered Butler and Green Bay finishing first, and each one breaks the tie in one direction or the other. So that part is still correct.

And when I talked about breaking a tie between Youngstown State and Loyola, I said Butler breaks the tie, which is apropos if Butler finishes first. Since Green Bay is the only other team that can finish first, if they do, Butler still finishes second, and Green Bay does not break the tie, so Cleveland State still cannot get involved in this tie breaker.

Finally, when talking about breaking a tie between Detroit and Valparaiso, I stated that Green Bay would break the tie, and that is still valid even if Cleveland State finishes second, because in that scenario, neither Butler nor Cleveland State breaks the tie since they both swept both teams.

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