Scores from 2/12/2011 and 2/15/2011:
Cleveland State 86 Youngstown State 76
Milwaukee 70 UIC 59
Loyola 79 Green Bay 62
Butler 66 Detroit 51
Valparaiso 58 Wright State 56
Butler 64 Green Bay 62
Seed Team Conf 1st round matchup
---- ---------- ---- -----------------
#1 Valparaiso 11-3 Would receive double-bye
#2 Cleveland State 11-4 Would receive double-bye
#3 Butler 11-5 Would host #10 Youngstown State
#4 Milwaukee 10-5 Would host #9 UIC
#5 Wright State 10-6 Would host #8 Loyola
#6 Detroit 8-8 Would host #7 Green Bay
#7 Green Bay 6-9
#8 Loyola 5-10
#9 UIC 2-13
#10 Youngstown State 2-13
Milwaukee held 4th place by virtue of their sweep of Butler under Matt Howard broke loose for the game winning dunk at the Resch Center last night. UIC technically is in 9th place simply because they have not (yet) been swept by Valpo, but since they've only won at home and their 2nd game against Valpo is at the ARC, this seems like a flimsy thread to hold onto for 9th place.
We can say this much quickly: Valpo and CSU can finish no worse than 5th because they can lose at most 7 games and 5 teams have 8 or more losses.
Milwaukee, Butler, and WSU can finish no worse than 7th because they can lose at most 8 games and 3 teams have 10 or more losses.
The final first place record will be 15-3, 14-4, 13-5, or 12-6. Those are the only four choices (in order for first place to be 11-7, both Valpo and CSU would have to lose to Milwaukee, which would make the Panthers at least 12-6).
There is one team that can reach 15 wins -- Valpo -- and if they do, they obviously win the #1 seed.
There are only two teams that can be tied for first with 14 wins: Valpo and CSU.
There are 4 teams that can be tied for first with 13 wins: Valpo, CSU, UWM, and Butler.
There are 5 teams that can be tied for first with 12 wins; Valpo, CSU, UWM, Butler, and WSU. Hence, one of these five teams will be the 1 seed.
As for getting down to it, I didn't start early enough for a situation where we still have 15 games left, meaning -- technically -- 32,768 different outcomes. That's a huge spreadsheet. Even just nailing down the 1 and 2 seeds for every situation was too much for me to get done by last night's game or tonight's slate of 4.
The one interesting fact I did come up with is that tonight's Milwaukee-Valpo game is crucial for the home-town Panthers if they have any dreams of snagging the 1 seed: If they lose, Valpo wins the season series 2-0. Furthermore, Valpo advances to 12-3, while Milwaukee's maximum number of wins is reduced to 12, so they can do no better than tie. Even then, they need others to join them in the tie to offset Valpo's 2-0 head-to-head advantage. The problem is: CSU is no help (they will have split with both teams), Butler is not enough help (they are 0-2 against Milwaukee, but only 1-1 against Valpo), and WSU makes it worse (they split with Milwaukee but were swept by Valpo). So with a loss tonight at U.S. Cellular Arena, there are no 12-win ties that allow the Panthers to emerge with the 1 seed.
As if Milwaukee didn't already have harsh payback on their minds.
Meanwhile, at the Nutter Center, Cleveland State could vault into first place by taking care of business with help from the Panthers.
I'll have more serious analysis after tonight, when the number of possible results is reduced to 1024.