Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Men's Seed Race 2/22/2011

Scores from 2/21/2011:

Green Bay 81 Valparaiso 80 OT

Seed Team Conf 1st round matchup
---- ---------- ---- -----------------
#1 Cleveland State 12-4 Would receive double-bye
#2 Butler 12-5 Would receive double-bye
#3 Valparaiso 11-5 Would host #10 UIC
#4 Milwaukee 11-5 Would host #9 YSU
#5 Wright State 10-7 Would host #8 Loyola
#6 Detroit 9-8 Would host #7 Green Bay
#7 Green Bay 7-9
#8 Loyola 6-10
#9 Youngstown State 2-14
#10 UIC 2-15

We're down to 256 scenarios with 8 games left, and Valpo is no longer in the catbird seat for the #1 seed. Not only do they need help, they need massive help.

CSU or Milwaukee can win the #1 seed by winning out.

Valpo, Butler, CSU, and Milwaukee have all clinched a top-4 finish. WSU is the only team that can contest that, by beating Detroit. If they tie Valpo at 11-7 (with or without Milwaukee), they lose the head-to-head tiebreaker because Valpo swept them. If they only tie Milwaukee at 11-7, the only tiebreaker that doesn't hurt them is CSU if CSU sweeps Milwaukee -- but it doesn't help them either. Even if that tiebreaker doesn't go against them, either Butler or Valpo will. WSU is going to finish either 5th or 6th, but no higher.

Milwaukee wins the 1 seed simply by winning out. If they tie with Butler, CSU, and Valpo, Milwaukee wins the tiebreaker because they are 4-2 in the 4-way head-to-head competition (2-0 vs. Butler, 1-1 vs. CSU, 1-1 vs. Valpo), Butler is 3-3 (2-0 vs. CSU, 1-1 vs. Valpo, 0-2 vs. Milwaukee), Valpo is 3-3 (1-1 against each of the other 3 teams), and CSU is 2-4 (0-2 vs. Butler, 1-1 vs. Milwaukee, and 1-1 vs. Valpo). If they tie with just CSU, Valpo is neutral (having split with each team), so Butler breaks the tie in favor of Milwaukee. If they tie with just Valpo, Valpo is 2-2 against 12-6 Butler/CSU while Milwaukee is 3-1. If they tie with just Butler, they win that tiebreaker with their head-to-head sweep. If they tie with Butler and CSU, they win the head-to-head tiebreaker (3-1 to 2-2 to 1-3). If they tie with Butler and Valpo, they win the head-to-head tiebreaker (3-1 to 1-3 to 2-2). If they tie with CSU and Valpo, Butler breaks the tie in favor of Milwaukee as the only team that swept the Bulldogs. Hence, if Milwaukee wins out, all tiebreakers favor them.

Therefore, CSU only gets the 1 seed if they finish higher than Milwaukee. CSU wins the #1 seed if: they beat Milwaukee and Green Bay (they are the only team left that can reach 14 wins), they split with Milwaukee and Green Bay AND Milwaukee loses at least 1 AND Valpo loses at least 1 AND Butler loses to Loyola. Basically this means they are the only team with 13 wins. We know they can't afford to tie Milwaukee at 13-5. They also can't afford to tie Butler because they were swept by the Bulldogs. Adding in Milwaukee to make it a 3-way tie won't help as mentioned above. If they tie only with Valpo at 13-5, their only prayer for the 1 seed is: they beat Milwaukee (and therefore lose to Green Bay), WSU beats Detroit, Milwaukee beats YSU, and Loyola beat Butler. Milwaukee and Butler would tie for 3rd at 12-6, canceling each other out when trying to break the tie (Valpo is 1-1 against each, CSU is 2-0 against Milwaukee and 0-2 against Butler), WSU is neutral at 11-7, Green Bay ties Detroit at 9-9 and they cancel each other out (Valpo is 0-2 against Green Bay and 2-0 against Detroit, CSU is 1-1 against each), Loyola is neutral (having been swept by both), and UIC and YSU tie at 2-16 for 9th and 10th place, and they are neutral because they both were swept by both teams, bringing us to that final tiebreaker, RPI. As things stand right now (CSU's RPI is 35, Valpo's is 55), CSU is a pretty safe bet to win that tiebreaker.

However, that is only 1 scenario out of 12 that fit the parameters at the beginning of this paragraph. If CSU loses to Milwaukee, Valpo is 2-2 against Milwaukee/Butler, but now CSU is 1-3. If Detroit beats WSU, those two teams tie at 10-8 and Valpo is 4-0 against them while CSU is 3-1 (having lost to Detroit). The "Butler beats Loyola" case puts the Bulldogs at 13-5 and that case has already been covered.

Outside of one RPI tiebreaker possibility, CSU needs to finish alone in order to snag the 1 seed. They can ensure that by winning out, but short of that, they need help.

Butler cannot win the #1 seed unless they beat Loyola. Assuming they do that, they also need the following: if Valpo wins out, CSU must split their remaining 2 games, and Milwaukee must lose at least 1 of their remaining 2 games. In other words, a tie with just Valpo won't cut it, because it means CSU loses out and Milwaukee ties them at 12-6. Valpo is 2-2 against CSU/Milwaukee. Butler is 2-2 against CSU/Milwaukee. Butler's 2-0 CSU tiebreaker is canceled out by their 0-2 Milwaukee tiebreaker, while Valpo split with each team. If WSU beats Detroit, Valpo gets the 1 seed because they swept WSU while Butler split with them. If Detroit beats WSU, they tie at 10-8, but Detroit got swept by both teams, so WSU still breaks the tie in Valpo's favor. Therefore, Butler must have CSU at 13 wins if Valpo has 13 wins. That way, Butler is 3-1 head-to-head, Valpo 2-2, CSU 1-3 and Butler gets the 1 seed.

If on the other hand, Valpo loses at least one more game, then as long as neither CSU nor Milwaukee wins out, Butler has the 1 seed. If CSU gets swept and Milwaukee loses to YSU, Butler is alone at 13-5. If CSU splits and Milwaukee loses at least once, Butler ties CSU and wins that tiebreaker because they swept the Vikings.

Valpo cannot win the #1 seed unless they win out and Milwaukee loses at least once. After that, they also need the following: either Butler must lose to Loyola OR CSU must get swept this weekend (meaning Milwaukee beats CSU and loses to YSU). If Valpo ties CSU at 13-5, this either puts Butler ahead of Milwaukee (giving Valpo the tiebreaker as mentioned before), or it puts Milwaukee and Butler at 12-6, and as mentioned before, they cancel each other out forcing us to look below them for the tiebreaker. If Valpo ties Butler at 13-5 and Milwaukee loses to YSU, then CSU and Milwaukee tie for 3rd at 12-6. Both teams are 2-2 against Milwaukee/CSU, so again we have to look below them for the tiebreaker.

In the CSU case, if Detroit beats WSU, Valpo wins the tiebreaker because CSU lost to Detroit. Likewise, if WSU beats Detroit, WSU got swept by both teams, so we have to look lower. Unless Green Bay wins out, Detroit remains the tiebreaker that favors Valpo.

As mentioned above, if Green Bay wins out in this scenario, no common opponent is able to break the tie and therefore it falls to RPI, which CSU probably would win.

In the Butler case, if Detroit beats WSU, Valpo wins the tiebreaker because Butler split with WSU while Valpo swept them. If Detroit beats WSU, the same thing holds true because both teams swept Detroit. In this case Green Bay and all the bottom feeders don't enter into the picture.

WSU can clinch the 5 seed by beating Detroit, otherwise they end up with the 6 seed (and Detroit gets the 5 seed). As seen, Detroit can still fall to the 7 seed if they tie with Green Bay at 9-9 because they both were swept by Butler and they both split with CSU, but Green Bay split with Milwaukee while Detroit was swept by them, and Green Bay swept Valpo while Detroit was swept by them. WSU is the only team above them that breaks the tie in favor of Detroit, but the Raiders won't finish high enough to be the tiebreaker used.

Loyola has clinched at least the 8 seed, and can grab the 7 seed if they beat Loyola and Green Bay loses out. Green Bay split with Loyola, but at 7-11 the only tiebreaker that favors Loyola is Butler (if they beat them), and Butler can't finish first if Loyola beats them. CSU is neutral in this case, having swept both teams. However, if CSU gets the 1 seed and Butler gets the 2 seed, that would give the 7 seed to Loyola since Green Bay was swept by Butler. However, if Milwaukee or Valpo finishes 2nd behind CSU, that would favor Green Bay. Likewise if either Milwaukee or Valpo finishes 1st, that would favor Green Bay.

If they tie at 8-10, this means Loyola beats both Valpo and Butler and Green Bay beats either CSU or YSU. It also means either Milwaukee or CSU finishes 1st. If it is CSU and Green Bay beats them, Green Bay wins the tiebreaker. If CSU finishes first and Green Bay loses to them, then either Milwaukee or Butler will finish 2nd. If it is Milwaukee, Green Bay wins the tiebreaker. If it is Butler, Loyola wins the tiebreaker. Obviously, if Milwaukee finishes first, Green Bay wins the tiebreaker no matter who finishes 2nd.

YSU and UIC get to fight over the 9th and 10th seeds. At the moment, YSU has a pretty good grip on the 9th seed because of their win over Butler (now that UIC has been swept by Butler). One of each team's wins came against the other. UIC's other win came against Green Bay while YSU's other win came against Butler who will absolutely finish higher than Green Bay. However, UIC plays Valpo who could still finish higher than Butler. So if UIC beats Valpo and Loyola beats Butler and YSU loses to Milwaukee (because they would finish higher than Valpo in this case), UIC gets the 9 seed. Otherwise, YSU has the 9 seed and UIC the 10 seed.

I know: clear as mud, right?

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