Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Seeds 1 through 6 in #HLMBB with 8 games left to play.

The disclaimer I wrote here: Top 2 seed scenarios with 10 games left in #HLMBB.
This year my tiebreaker analysis is going to be less than 100% definite because I have not heard yet exactly how the Horizon League office is treating Milwaukee in it's application of the tiebreakers. Obviously they are ineligible for the NCAA tournament, therefore they are ineligible for the Horizon League tournament.

I'm going to go out on a limb and base my analysis on the following premise: all of Milwaukee's league games count for the teams they played, therefore the proper thing to do is pretend that Milwaukee is eligible and then at the very end delete them from the list and move everybody lower up one slot.
has turned out to be much ado about nothing. The only context in which things could have gotten complicated is when Detroit and Milwaukee both finish 7-9. The only top 4 team who would function as a tiebreaker for these two teams is Valpo, and in these scenarios, Detroit would win the tiebreaker anyway. There are 4 of these scenarios that also include a tie for 1st between CSU and Oakland, so procedurally we're not supposed to break this tie until we break that one, but it turns out that CSU and Oakland both split with each team, so Milwaukee-Detroit isn't breaking that tie -- in fact, as mentioned before, nobody can break that tie, it has to be broken by RPI. Moreover, it doesn't matter which of the two wins that tiebreaker, that team is not going to be able to break the Milwaukee-Detroit tie. Only Valpo can (Green Bay gets swept by both teams so they don't resolve anything either.

In short, Detroit is the 5th seed as mentioned in my previous post, and Milwaukee sits there in the middle with them, waiting to see if any other teams need it to break a tie.

To summarize the top 4: Valpo gets the 1 seed by winning one or both of their remaining games. They get the 2 seed if they lose out and Oakland loses at least once. Finally they lose a 3-way tie with CSU and Oakland to get the 3 seed.

CSU gets the 1 seed if they beat Valpo and Detroit beats Valpo and Oakland loses at least once more. If Oakland instead wins out, RPI breaks the tie.

If Valpo gets the 1 seed, CSU gets the 2 seed if they beat Valpo and Oakland loses once more or if they lose to Valpo and Oakland loses out and Green Bay loses to UIC. In either case, if they end up in a 2-way tie with Oakland, RPI will be needed to break the tie and they still could end up with the 2 seed.

If they lose to Valpo they get the 3 seed if Oakland beats Green Bay or if Green Bay wins out and YSU beats Oakland. Otherwise, they get the 4 seed.

Oakland's only shot at the 1 seed is mentioned above in the RPI tiebreaker with CSU. Likewise, if they win out and CSU beats Valpo (who in turn beats Detroit), the same RPI tiebreaker has to break this tie (Valpo is not a tiebreaker in this case because each will split with them; Green Bay is not because each will sweep them). If Oakland wins out and CSU loses to Valpo, Oakland gets the 2 seed. If they beat Green Bay or if they beat YSU and Green Bay loses to UIC, they are guaranteed at least a 3 seed via tiebreakers (head-to-head over Green Bay or Valpo as common opponent if CSU loses to Valpo). Otherwise they end up with the 4 seed.

Green Bay gets the 2 seed if they win out and Valpo beats CSU. All the tiebreakers are bad for them, so the only way is for both CSU and Oakland to finish 11-5 or worse. They get at least a 3 seed as long as they finish ahead of Oakland (if Oakland beats YSU, Green Bay has to win out). Otherwise they get the 4 seed.

Now for the lower 3: YSU has Oakland and Milwaukee remaining on their schedule, so they've already split with UIC and WSU. WSU has Milwaukee and UIC left to play and they need a win over UIC to gain a split with them. So the WSU-UIC game is only one left between these 3 teams. WSU and UIC are tied for 8th at 3-11, YSU brings up the rear at 2-12.

If WSU beats UIC, then any ties would have to resort to common opponents. If UIC beats WSU, UIC would have the upper hand in a 3-way tie or a tie with WSU.

Thus, UIC can clinch the 6 seed simply by winning out. If they lose to WSU they can still get the 6 seed if they beat Green Bay (since WSU and YSU both were swept by the Phoenix) and WSU loses to Milwaukee. If they beat WSU but lose to Green Bay, they win the 3-way tiebreaker (3-1 to 2-2 to 1-3) and they of course win a tiebreaker with WSU. They would not win a tiebreaker with YSU since the Penguins would split with Oakland while UIC was swept by them. So UIC gets the 6 seed if they win out, or if they split and YSU loses at least once more.

WSU can also clinch the 6 seed simply by winning out. If they beat UIC but lose to Milwaukee, UIC would still have to lose to Green Bay in order for WSU to gain the 6 seed. If there's a 3-way tie with YSU at 4-12 with WSU beating UIC, WSU actually wins that tiebreaker if Detroit beats Valpo because Detroit wins the tiebreaker with Milwaukee, and WSU swept Detroit while UIC and YSU each lost at least once to Detroit. So: WSU gets the 6 seed if they win out or if they beat UIC and UIC loses to Green Bay and either Detroit beats Valpo or YSU loses at least once more.

YSU can get the 6 seed if they win out and WSU beats UIC and UIC loses to Green Bay and Valpo beats Detroit (leaving Milwaukee all alone in 5th place for tiebreaker purposes). This would put YSU and WSU in a 2-way tie at 4-12 with Milwaukee as the highest common opponent that can break the tie, and WSU would be swept by Milwaukee in this scenario while YSU splits with them.

Tonight's games:

Valpo at Detroit - Valpo can clinch 1 seed, Detroit already has 5 seed but can increase their tiebreaker influence with a win in cases where Milwaukee loses out (A Valpo loss also sets up a showdown on Friday with CSU for the 1 seed).
YSU at Oakland - Oakland can maintain their slim hopes for a 1 seed (assuming Valpo loses), YSU can maintain their slim hopes for a 6 seed and right to host a first round game

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