Friday, March 7, 2014

Big Sky Scenarios

Well, let's take a crack at this thing. I will almost certainly get something wrong in this post, and I'm not sure I can be completely exhaustive of all the possibilities, so be sure to double check anything if you are unsure about it, and post any corrections. For a refresher, I don't think we'll need to go past these two tie breakers:

1. Head-to-Head Competition

a. Consider the head-to-head record during the Conference season. In double round robin play a team would have to sweep the opponent to break a tie with this method.

b. In the case of more than two tied teams, consider the Conference regular season record for head-to-head competition among all of the tied teams. This process is used to break ties between any of the tied teams with any remaining tied teams returning to the process at criteria 1.a. (above). (Example: Teams A, B, C, and D have identical record from a double round robin season. In head-to-head competition Team A emerges with 4-2 record against the other tied teams, team B and Team C have a 3-3 record and team D has a 2-4 record. Teams A and D can be placed in the final standings at that point while teams B and C return to criteria 1.a. If B and C have split their regular Conference season games, they will move to criteria 2. Performance against other teams in descending order.)

c. In the case of three or more teams having identical win-loss records, the normal tie-breaking procedure would be used. When one or more of these teams is eliminated by using the tie-breaking procedure, the remaining teams involved would then return to the criteria listed in a., above, to break the tie. This will be done until a team is established for that particular seeding position.

2. Performance against Conference teams in descending order of finish, beginning with the No.1 team. (Example: Teams B and C remained tied after head-to-head criteria from above. Team A has been declared the Conference Champion based on the above criteria. Team B has split the Conference season games with team A and team C has lost both of the Conference games to team A. Team B is now placed in second place ahead of team C.)

So, let's take a look at each team:

Weber State
- They have still clinched the top seed and home-court advantage, but are playing for the outright conference title.

- If they beat NAU, they are the 2 seed. If they lose, they fall to the 4 seed.

North Dakota
- They are done playing now. If Montana wins, UND is the 3 seed. If NAU beats Montana, UND is the 2 seed, so they are guaranteed a top 3 spot.

Northern Arizona
- With a win, they are the 3 seed. If they lose, where they fall will depend on tiebreakers. Either way, they are in the tournament.

Eastern Washington
- If they win, they are in.
- If they lose, they are still in if MSU wins or if UNC loses (or both). They swept both of those teams so they look good if it comes down to a tiebreaker. Consequently, they are out if with a loss and a UNC win, and a SAC win.
- If they lose, they should be rooting for PSU to win, because they don't fare as well in a tiebreaker against the Vikings.

Northern Colorado
- If they win, they are in.
- The biggest wrench in all of these scenarios involves UNC losing to SUU, which could set up 3 and 4 team tiebreakers. In these scenarios, they are out if they lose and at least one of EWU and PSU loses and Sac State wins, since they were swept by both of those teams.
- If they lose, they can survive if MSU wins, PSU wins, and EWU loses. In that case, MSU would be the team on the outside.

Portland State
- If they win, they are in.
- If they lose, they are out if EWU wins and MSU wins and UNC wins. That would put the tiebreaker between MSU and PSU, and PSU would lose.
- If they lose, they are still in good shape is MSU loses or UNC loses, since

Montana State
- Their simplest path in involves a win, and a loss by Portland State, and a win by Eastern Washington. They own the tiebreak with PSU, but would lose the tiebreak to EWU. By my calculations, they would lose the tiebreak if it was a 3 way tie.
- If they lose, they're out.
- They are in also with a win, and losses by EWU, PSU, and UNC. In that case, UNC would lose the tiebreak and be out of the tournament.

Sacramento State
- Their simplest way in is a win, and a loss by Eastern Washington. They would then beat EWU in head to head tiebreak.
- If they lose, they're out.
- They are in with a win and losses by UNC and at least one of EWU and PSU (if they both lose, that works for SAC as well).

Idaho State
-They are now out, with their loss and the wins by EWU and PSU.

I'm I will add more as the day goes on... but that is all the scenarios I can think of at the moment!

Many thanks to @corner3s who was a big help in figuring these all out!

Follow me on Twitter @bigskybball


  1. After reading this...I've got a headache...good work & thanks, but I will settle on knowing that WSU is #1 seed, ISU & SUU are for the rest, I'll wait until it's over & the results are stuff!

  2. Jon,
    You earned your paycheck with that post. Holy Cow! My head is spinning too. I think that any team that makes the tourney has a reasonable chance to walk out of Ogden with the title next week.

  3. Thanks for the summarization, Jon. Mitch Strohman gave you and a shout out on NAU's broadcast. -MTJack

    1. I heard that, that was very nice of him!

    2. It looks like the team to watch is EWU. Their game seems to affect the most outcomes.