Thursday, February 25, 2016

#HLMBB bottom 4 seeds: YSU, NKU, CSU, UIC

Now that we have complete separation and a little bit of a break in the action, I figured I'd fill out the scenarios for the bottom 4 seeds. As a teaser, there are 2 games tonight:
        W       L       Pct.    GB
Valpo   14      2       0.875   0
OU      12      5       0.706   2.5
WSU     11      5       0.688   3
UWGB    10      6       0.625   4
UWM     9       7       0.563   5
UDM     9       8       0.529   5.5
YSU     5       10      0.333   8.5
NKU     5       11      0.313   9
CSU     3       12      0.200   10.5
UIC     3       13      0.188   11

Northern Kentucky @ Cleveland State
Wright State      @ Youngstown State
Cleveland State's situation doesn't really solidify much tonight, but Northern Kentucky can guarantee no worse than the 8 seed with a win tonight.

Wright State can guarantee no worse than a 3 seed with a win tonight at Youngstown State (they can still fall to 4th by losing tonight and Saturday). Nothing gets resolved for the Penguins with tonight's game -- they are still either the 7 or the 8.

Now on to the nitty-gritty details:

UIC and CSU cannot get the 7 seed because the best they can do is finish 5-13 and NKU and YSU are 5-11 and play each other so one has to reach at least 6 wins. NKU gets the 7 seed if they beat YSU on Saturday (for the sweep). Even if they lose to CSU and YSU beats WSU on Thursday, they tie for 7th and win the tiebreaker. Neither CSU nor UIC can reach 6-12 so there's no one else to tie with them.

YSU gets the 7 seed if they beat NKU on Saturday. In this case, NKU and YSU split with each other, and we go to common opponents. Valpo swept both. Oakland split with both. Wright State swept NKU but split with YSU. Valpo, Wright State, and Oakland make up the top 3 (if YSU is 6-12 here it is because they beat NKU and lost to WSU, eliminating GB from the 3 seed), so it doesn't matter how WSU and OU stack up in the standings, WSU breaks the tie in favor of YSU.

In other words, the 7 seed will be decided on Saturday at Beeghely Center between the Norse and the Penguins. The winner of that game will get the 7 seed.

If NKU wins the game, YSU gets the 8 seed because even if CSU and/or UIC ties them (at 5-13, meaning YSU also loses to WSU), YSU wins the tiebreaker (CSU beating WSU gives the 2 seed to OU and OU breaks the YSU-CSU tie in favor of YSU, YSU wins a tiebreaker with UIC directly because they swept the Flames, and they win the 3-way tie by going 3-1 to CSU's 2-2 and UIC's 1-3).

Since CSU split with UIC, a 2-way tie between them is broken depending on higher seeds. That's going to be Wright State because Valpo and Oakland swept both teams and if Green Bay is the 3 seed they have to sweep both teams to get there. Wright State has already split with UIC and beaten Cleveland State once. So if they sweep Cleveland State, UIC gets the 9 seed. If they end up splitting with the Vikings, then Milwaukee or Green Bay gets the honor of breaking the tie (Detroit swept both teams).

If Milwaukee is the 4 seed (see previous post for details), they can break the tie by losing to UIC on Sunday, in which case UIC again gets the 9 seed. If Green Bay is the 4 seed, they can break the tie by losing to UIC on Friday leading to the same result. If UIC loses both games, then it falls to Friday's game between Northern Kentucky and Cleveland State. If Cleveland State wins, they sweep the Norse and earning the 9 seed (UIC split with NKU). If the Norse beat the Vikings (feels like there's a joke there somewhere), then it falls to Youngstown State who breaks the tie in favor of Cleveland State as well.

To summarize in the case where NKU is 7 and YSU is 8, the team with the higher win total gets the 9 seed, and if there's a tie, UIC gets the 9 seed if -- in top down order -- Wright State sweeps Cleveland State or UIC splits with Milwaukee or Green Bay. Cleveland State gets the 9 seed if neither of those things happens.

If YSU wins the game, the 8 seed is still wide open though NKU can clinch it by beating CSU on Thursday. If they lose to CSU, that opens the door to both CSU and UIC. For either
one to contend for it, they'd have to win out, of course. If they both win out, the 3-way tie with NKU is broken in favor of CSU because they are 3-1 (sweep NKU, split with UIC),
UIC is 2-2, and NKU is 1-3). In a 2-way tie with NKU, CSU also wins by virtue of their sweep. If CSU loses to WSU, NKU gets the 8 seed if Oakland beats Detroit or YSU beats WSU
because even if they lose to CSU and UIC wins out, NKU wins the tiebreaker because they split with 2 seed Oakland (if Detroit beats Oakland and WSU beats YSU, WSU is the 2 seed
and UIC wins the tiebreaker by virtue of their split with WSU). If UIC ties NKU at 5-13 and CSU loses to WSU, UIC wins the tiebreaker because WSU is the 2 seed as mentioned.

Assuming NKU gets the 8 seed, much of the above analysis for NKU-7/YSU-8 still applies. A 2-way tie between UIC and CSU is broken first by Wright State, then either Milwaukee or Green Bay followed by the other, then in this case YSU (the buck stops there before it gets to NKU).

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