I cannot remember a year that was as crazy as 2017 on this:
I'm beginning my annual #HLMBB tiebreaker analysis, and there's a very remote (0.15%) chance of a 6-way tie for 1st at 11-7.— James Squire (@StlVUFan) February 19, 2017
@StlVUFan Goofed on the numbers. It's actually 24 scenarios and it's 0.04%. Otherwise it was correct.— James Squire (@StlVUFan) February 19, 2017
@StlVUFan There are 176 scenarios (2.7%) involving a 5-way tie for first (and 3 different 5-team groups within top 6).— James Squire (@StlVUFan) February 19, 2017
@StlVUFan Meanwhile there are 1608 scenarios (2.5%) involving a 4-way tie for 1st from 5 possible teams. OU-GB game is again major player.— James Squire (@StlVUFan) February 19, 2017
I did not finally get all the ties resolved (as much as they can be right now - yes there are a few scenarios as usual that require an RPI tiebreaker) until Wednesday night. It helps that there are only 512 scenarios left to consider.
W L Pct. GB Seed Valpo 13 3 0.813 0 1-3 OU 12 4 0.750 1 1-4 UWGB 11 5 0.688 2 1-5 WSU 10 6 0.625 3 3-5 NKU 10 6 0.625 3 3-5 UIC 7 9 0.438 6 6 UDM 5 11 0.313 8 7-10 YSU 5 12 0.294 8.5 7-10 UWM 4 12 0.250 9 7-10 CSU 4 13 0.235 9.5 7-10Thanks to Green Bay's win over UIC, the top 5 will consist of Valpo, Oakland, Green Bay, Wright State, and Northern Kentucky. UIC (7-9) will be the 6th seed because Detroit (5-11) got swept by the Flames. The bottom 4 are likewise set: Detroit, Milwaukee, Youngstown State, Cleveland State. These 4 teams will play on Friday night.
Valpo (13-3) will be the 1, 2, or 3 seed because Northern Kentucky beat Wright State on Tuesday so that only Oakland and Green Bay can reach 13 wins. They fall to 3 seed if Oakland beats Green Bay, they lose to Wright State and Northern Kentucky, Green Bay beats Detroit, and Oakland beats Milwaukee. This sets up a 3-way tie for 1st at 13-3, with Green Bay 3-1 (sweeps Oakland, splits with Valpo), Oakland 2-2 (swept by Green Bay, sweeps Valpo), and Valpo 1-3. Otherwise, Valpo will play on Saturday against one of the play-in winners from Friday.
Oakland (12-4) will be the 1, 2, 3, or 4 seed. They won't fall to #5 because they swept Northern Kentucky. If they lose to Green Bay and Valpo loses to Wright State on Friday, Detroit beats Green Bay and Milwaukee beats Oakland on Sunday, and UIC and/or Valpo beats NKU this weekend, Oakland, Wright State, and Green Bay finish in a 3-way tie for 2nd at 12-6. Green Bay would be 3-1, Wright State 2-2, Oakland 1-3, so Oakland would get the 4 seed (NKU losing at least once keeps them out of the tie). If they lose to Green Bay but beat Milwaukee, Green Bay beats both Oakland and Detroit, and Valpo beats Wright State and/or NKU, they get the 3 seed because they were swept by Green Bay. If instead they lose to Milwaukee and Wright State loses at least once more, they still get the 3 seed either for the same reason or because Green Bay finishes a game ahead. If in this case Wright State also finishes 12-6, they get the 3 seed if Valpo beats NKU and Green Bay beats Detroit thanks to their sweep of Valpo. If instead Detroit beats Green Bay and NKU beats Valpo, then we have the 4-way ties mentioned below where Oakland gets the 3 seed because of their sweep of NKU.
Wright State and Nothern Kentucky (10-6) will absolutely be playing on Sunday because their highest seed is #3. Valpo's win over Milwaukee on Tuesday eliminated both teams from a share of 1st place. A 3-way tie between Wright State, Green Bay, and Oakland at 12-6 results in the 3 seed because Green Bay will have swept Oakland while Wright State split with both. Add in Northern Kentucky at 12-6 and Wright State drops to 5 because Green Bay is 4-2, Oakland is 3-3 (split with Wright State, swept NKU), Northern Kentucky is 3-3 (split with Green Bay, swept Wright State, swept by Oakland), and Wright State is 2-4 (Green Bay is #2, Oakland is #3 because of their sweep of NKU) and NKU is #4). These are the only 2nd place opportunities Wright State has available to them, and the 3-way tie mentioned is the only way for them to get the 3 seed and play UIC on Sunday.
A 3-way tie between Green Bay, Northern Kentucky, and Oakland at 12-6 leaves NKU as the 4 seed because they were swept by Oakland and they split with Green Bay. If Green Bay loses at least one more game, Oakland wins at least one more game (putting Valpo and Oakland as the top 2 seeds in some order), NKU has the upper hand over Green Bay and Wright State for the 3 seed. In a 3-way tie, they are 3-1, Green Bay 2-2, Wright State 1-3. They swept Wright State so a 2-way tie with them favors NKU. The one exception is a 3-way tie between just NKU and Green Bay. There NKU ends up with the 4 seed because they were swept by Oakland while Green Bay beat Oakland at least once (Valpo is either neutral or they too favor Green Bay, depending on what happens at BB&T Arena on Sunday).
Green Bay (11-5) can be anywhere from 1 to 5 seed. They are the most wide open of the 5.
If they lose to Oakland, NKU beat UIC and Valpo, Wright State beats Valpo, and Detroit beats Milwaukee, Green Bay finishes alone at 11-7 and gets the 5 seed. That's the simple one. If they beat Oakland and Detroit and Valpo loses to Wright State and beats NKU, Green Bay gets the 1 seed because in a 3-way tie with Valpo and Oakland, they are 3-1, Oakland is 2-2, and Valpo is 1-3, and in a 2-way tie with Valpo, Wright State and NKU split with both teams but Oakland swept Valpo while getting swept by Green Bay. That's the next simplest. 2-4 are very complicated. I think I'm going to wait until after Friday's games to continue on with Green Bay.
Cleveland State, Youngstown State, Milwaukee, and Detroit are all bunched up and still kind of a mess too. I've broken all the ties in my spreadsheet, but I'm not sure how to describe what it takes for each time. My spreadsheet tells me that CSU can't achieve the 7 seed, but the other 3 teams are wide open within the bottom 4.