Thursday, February 27, 2014

And then there were 64...

... scenarios, that is. After Wright State knocked off Valpo to complete the season sweep, CSU held off YSU in OT to complete a season split, and UIC finally knocked that 0 out of their win column with a win over Milwaukee, a lot was resolved.

With 6 games remaining, the standings are:
Team               W   L   Games Left
Green Bay         12   2   @OU, @UDM
Cleveland State   11   4   @VU
Wright State       9   6   @UIC
Valparaiso         9   6   CSU
Oakland            6   8   GB, @YSU
Detroit            6   8   UWM, GB
Milwaukee          6   9   @UDM
Youngstown State   6   9   OU
UIC                1  14   WSU
Cleveland state has now clinched the 2 seed, so the double byes are now resolved. There remains a battle between Wright State and Valpo for the 3 seed, but Valpo missed a great chance to clinch that when they lost to the Raiders. Now, WSU takes on UIC while Valpo takes on CSU. The former needs only to win to clinch the 3 seed and the single bye. Valpo needs to not only beat CSU but also have UIC beat WSU in order to get the 3 seed.

And of course, whichever of the two fails to get the 3 seed gets the 4 seed. It's either WSU then Valpo or the other way around. Oakland, Detroit, Milwaukee, and YSU will fight it out for 5 through 8.

The 5th seed will either be 8-8 or 7-9, since Milwaukee plays Detroit and YSU plays Oakland. Somebody will have to finish 7-9.

At 8-8, our scope is limited to Detroit and Oakland since Milwaukee and YSU have already lost 9. Similar to WSU-Valpo, in order for Detroit to get the 5 seed at 8-8 they need Oakland to lose at least once more, since Oakland wins the tiebreaker because of their head-to-head sweep of the Titans. So, if Oakland beats Green Bay and YSU, they clinch the 5 seed. If Detroit beats Milwaukee and Green Bay and Oakland loses one or both of their remaining games, Detroit gets the 5 seed.

At 7-9, all 4 teams are eligible. In 20 out of those 36 scenarios, Milwaukee gets the 5 seed by beating Detroit as long as they don't tie with only Detroit and YSU. Those 3 teams will each be 2-2 against the other two teams. Milwaukee and Detroit will both split with Green Bay (eliminating YSU). Both were swept by CSU, both split with WSU, but Detroit split with Valpo while Milwaukee was swept by Valpo, so in that case, Detroit gets the 5 seed, Milwaukee the 6 seed, YSU 7, and Oakland 8. They would also lose a 2-way tie with Detroit, but there is no such thing because either Oakland or YSU or both must also win 7, so we don't have to worry about that one. If Milwaukee finishes in a 2-way tie with Oakland, they win that tiebreaker because they swept Oakland. If they finish in a 2-way tie with YSU, they win that tiebreaker because of their split with Green Bay. All other 3 way ties benefit Milwaukee: with Oakland and YSU, Milwaukee wins head-to-head 3-1 to 2-2 (YSU) to 1-3 (Oakland); with Oakland Detroit, Milwaukee wins head-to-head 3-1 to 2-2 (Oakland) to 1-3 (Detroit). And in a 4-way tie (meaning both Detroit and Oakland beat Green Bay), Milwaukee is 4-2, Oakland and YSU are 3-3, and Detroit is 2-4.

In 8 of those 36 scenarios, Oakland gets the 5 seed by winning out or by finishing 7-9 in a tie with Detroit and perhaps YSU, but not with Milwaukee. In a 2-way tie with Detroit, Oakland wins because of their sweep. If YSU is also 7-9, the Penguins would finish in between Oakland and Detroit since they will be 2-2 against them, but Oakland still gets the 5 seed.

In 4 of those 36 scenarios, Detroit gets the 5 seed as long as Oakland finishes 6-10 (meaning YSU finishes 7-9). YSU beats Oakland, and Detroit loses to Milwaukee but beats Green Bay. Milwaukee, YSU, and Detroit all finish 2-2 against each other. Milwaukee and Detroit each will split with Green Bay. They each were swept by CSU. They each split with WSU, but Detroit split with Valpo while Milwaukee was swept by Valpo. Hence, Detroit gets the 5 seed. Interestingly enough, beating Milwaukee (and losing to Green Bay) kills Detroit's chance for the 5 seed because they will have to tie either with Oakland or YSU and they lose the tiebreaker in each case.

In the remaining 4 scenarios, YSU gets the 5 seed if they beat Oakland, Detroit beats Milwaukee (and loses to Green Bay), and Oakland loses to Green Bay). This leaves YSU tied with Detroit alone. Both were swept by Green Bay, but Detroit was swept by CSU while YSU split with them.

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