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TheTastyGreek

One Game Left- Here's What Can Happen

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First, the easy stuff. By beating ULL tonight, there's only one team in the West within 1 loss of us. Our worst possible record is 12-6, the only team that could possibly match that is Arkansas State.

If we win on Saturday, we clinch the West Division title and, at worst, the 2nd seed in the SBC Tournament.

If we lose on Saturday, we still clinch the West and the 2nd seed if Arkansas State loses at home to Troy.

The only way we lose the division is if we lose at Monroe and Troy loses at Jonesboro. Otherwise, win or lose, we still win the division and the 2 seed and the guaranteed bye.

That's the easiest part. I'll break down what can happen for the 1 seed in a follow up post.

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Troy and Middle both won tonight, so there are still 3 teams that could potentially finish 13-5 and clinch the top seed.

NOTE: Everyone's scenario is based on the assumption that their team wins on Saturday and finishes 13-5.

North Texas wins the conference title and the 1 seed if Middle Tennessee loses at FAU. If Middle wins, then we'll either lose a head-to-head tiebreaker against them as the East champ, or we'll lose a 3-way tiebreaker (don't get me started... it's stupid and inconsistent and complete bullfeces) to Troy.

No matter what Troy does, the only thing that's relevant to us is MTSU at FAU. If we win and Middle loses, we can't lose the SBC title. If the Blue Raiders win, we can't get the 1 seed. So on Saturday night, you're all Florida Atlantic Owls fans.

Middle Tennessee wins the conference title and the 1 seed if Troy loses to Arkansas State. We can't beat Middle in a head-to-head tiebreaker, and they can't beat Troy in a head-to-head tiebreaker. If Troy loses, Middle gets the 1 seed no matter what we do.

Troy wins the conference title if North Texas loses or if all three teams win (a.k.a., the "Wright Waters gets violently beaten by an angry Mean Green mob in Hot Springs" scenario). If we lose, then Troy can't lose no matter what Middle does. If we win, then Troy needs MTSU to win, because the people interpreting the tiebreaker rules are complete imbeciles.

If all three teams lose and finish 12-6... Then it gets very complicated with at best a 4-way tiebreak involving two teams from both conferences, or a 5-way tiebreak involving Troy, MTSU, ASU, WKU, and us.

That's a very unlikely situation, but I'll break it down in another post.

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Troy and Middle both won tonight, so there are still 3 teams that could potentially finish 13-5 and clinch the top seed.

NOTE: Everyone's scenario is based on the assumption that their team wins on Saturday and finishes 13-5.

North Texas wins the conference title and the 1 seed if Middle Tennessee loses at FAU. If Middle wins, then we'll either lose a head-to-head tiebreaker against them as the East champ, or we'll lose a 3-way tiebreaker (don't get me started... it's stupid and inconsistent and complete bullfeces) to Troy.

No matter what Troy does, the only thing that's relevant to us is MTSU at FAU. If we win and Middle loses, we can't lose the SBC title. If the Blue Raiders win, we can't get the 1 seed. So on Saturday night, you're all Florida Atlantic Owls fans.

Middle Tennessee wins the conference title and the 1 seed if Troy loses to Arkansas State. We can't beat Middle in a head-to-head tiebreaker, and they can't beat Troy in a head-to-head tiebreaker. If Troy loses, Middle gets the 1 seed no matter what we do.

Troy wins the conference title if North Texas loses or if all three teams win (a.k.a., the "Wright Waters gets violently beaten by an angry Mean Green mob in Hot Springs" scenario). If we lose, then Troy can't lose no matter what Middle does. If we win, then Troy needs MTSU to win, because the people interpreting the tiebreaker rules are complete imbeciles.

If all three teams lose and finish 12-6... Then it gets very complicated with at best a 4-way tiebreak involving two teams from both conferences, or a 5-way tiebreak involving Troy, MTSU, ASU, WKU, and us.

That's a very unlikely situation, but I'll break it down in another post.

If all three teams win out, it will be so funny to see UNT hanging a 09/10 West Division Sun Belt banner, Troy hanging a 09/10 East Division Sun Belt Banner, and MTSU hanging a 09/10 Sun Belt Regular Season Championship banner in their respective gyms next year.

So F'n stupid.

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If all three teams win out, it will be so funny to see UNT hanging a 09/10 West Division Sun Belt banner, Troy hanging a 09/10 East Division Sun Belt Banner, and MTSU hanging a 09/10 Sun Belt Regular Season Championship banner in their respective gyms next year.

So F'n stupid.

That actually can't happen. If Troy wins, MTSU can't win the division or the conference.

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The 4-way tie scenario:

If Troy, MTSU, and North Texas all lose, the conference champion would come from a 4 or 5 way tiebreaker. Both situations would involve Arkansas State, as ASU would have to beat Troy (and also finish 12-6) for this situation to happen.

If Western Kentucky loses to FIU and the other three games end as described (with NT/Troy/MTSU losing), then it's a 4 way tie.

Here's how that works out:

Under the rules that would screw us over if Troy and MTSU both finish 13-5 with us, the first tiebreaker is to resolve the 1st seed. That's determined by total win % against all other teams involved in the tie.

In that situation, here's how the 4 teams would have fared against each other:

ASU: 4-0, 1.000

Troy: 2-2, .500

MTSU and NT: 1-3, .250

In the four way tie, ASU wins the SBC championship, the 1 seed, and the NIT auto-bid.

Then, Troy wins the East by virtue of their head-to-head sweep of MTSU. Troy gets the East division title and the 2 seed.

MTSU owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over us, so they would get the 3rd seed and the final bye.

We'd finish 4th and play either UNO or UALR in the first round on Saturday.

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That actually can't happen. If Troy wins, MTSU can't win the division or the conference.

So the East is decided with us in a three way tie breaker, only because it affects the overall conference winner?

So F'n stupid.

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The 4-way tie scenario:

If Troy, MTSU, and North Texas all lose, the conference champion would come from a 4 or 5 way tiebreaker. Both situations would involve Arkansas State, as ASU would have to beat Troy (and also finish 12-6) for this situation to happen.

If Western Kentucky loses to FIU and the other three games end as described (with NT/Troy/MTSU losing), then it's a 4 way tie.

Here's how that works out:

Under the rules that would screw us over if Troy and MTSU both finish 13-5 with us, the first tiebreaker is to resolve the 1st seed. That's determined by total win % against all other teams involved in the tie.

In that situation, here's how the 4 teams would have fared against each other:

ASU: 4-0, 1.000

Troy: 2-2, .500

MTSU and NT: 1-3, .250

In the four way tie, ASU wins the SBC championship, the 1 seed, and the NIT auto-bid.

Then, Troy wins the East by virtue of their head-to-head sweep of MTSU. Troy gets the East division title and the 2 seed.

MTSU owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over us, so they would get the 3rd seed and the final bye.

We'd finish 4th and play either UNO or UALR in the first round on Saturday.

Wha about the 5 way tie that includes WKU?

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So the East is decided with us in a three way tie breaker, only because it affects the overall conference winner?

So F'n stupid.

Yep. It's dumb as hell.

Logically, there can't be a 3 way tie for 1st. There's an East champion, and a West champion. Whoever has the best record (or owns the head-to-head tiebreaker) should be the 1 seed (and overall champion) and whoever doesn't is the 2 seed.

But that's not the way they're handling it.

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And doesn't this completely negate having two divisions?

What are the advantages to dividing into divisions if you ignore the divisions when it comes to tie breakers.

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The 5 way tie scenario:

If Western beats FIU, Arkansas State beats Troy, and Middle and North Texas both lose to FAU and ULM, respectively... Then we get a 5 way tie for 1st at 12-6.

Here's how that plays out:

ASU: 4-2, .667

Troy: 3-3, .500

MTSU: 3-3, .500

WKU: 3-4, .429

NT: 2-3, .400

Arkansas State again wins the conference, the 1 seed, and the NIT bid.

Then, it goes to the Eastern teams to decide their division champion. Here's what that tie looks like:

Troy: 3-1, .750

MTSU: 2-2, .500

WKU: 1-3, .250

Troy gets the East title, and the 2 seed.

The 3 seed goes to a multi-way tiebreaker between North Texas, Middle Tennessee, and Western Kentucky. Here's how that plays out:

MTSU: 3-0, 1.000

NT: 1-1, .500

WKU: 0-3, .000

MTSU gets the 3 seed and the final bye.

North Texas would be the 4 seed thanks to our head-to-head win, and WKU would be the 5 seed (and our likely opponent in the Quarterfinals on Sunday).

Edited by TheTastyGreek

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That covers the 4 teams that can possibly win the conference, how they can get there, and what happens to North Texas in each scenario.

If anyone has any other questions for possible outcomes, fire away and I'll do my best to figure it out quickly.

Basically... Nobody controls their own destiny for the overall conference. Troy and North Texas control their own destiny for the division titles, but neither can do anything to ensure an overall conference championship and NIT bid.

Everyone needs something else to happen in order to make sure they win the conference. ASU, MTSU, Troy, and North Texas will all have to watch the scoreboard to know their fate.

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North Texas would be the 4 seed based on the head-to-head tiebreaker, and WKU would be the 5 seed (and our likely opponent in the Semifinals on Sunday).

You mean the quarters.

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That covers the 4 teams that can possibly win the conference, how they can get there, and what happens to North Texas in each scenario.

If anyone has any other questions for possible outcomes, fire away and I'll do my best to figure it out quickly.

Basically... Nobody controls their own destiny for the overall conference. Troy and North Texas control their own destiny for the division titles, but neither can do anything to ensure an overall conference championship and NIT bid.

Everyone needs something else to happen in order to make sure they win the conference. ASU, MTSU, Troy, and North Texas will all have to watch the scoreboard to know their fate.

Actually, doesn't MTSU control their own destiny? Win Saturday and win conference?

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Actually, doesn't MTSU control their own destiny? Win Saturday and win conference?

Nope, because Troy owns the tiebreak on the Blue Raiders.

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Nope, because Troy owns the tiebreak on the Blue Raiders.

Got it. We would have to win, also...

Sleepy

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Here's one question that's come up on the SBC forum:

Can Western Kentucky earn a first round bye? YES.

Here's what they need to happen (besides beating FIU):

If Middle Tennessee, North Texas, and Arkansas State win, then the Blue Raiders and Mean Green finish tied at 13-5, while ASU, Troy, and WKU finish tied at 12-6.

MTSU gets the 1 seed through head-to-head. NT gets the 2 seed by winning the West division title.

The 3 seed comes down to a 3 way tiebreaker between ASU, Troy, and WKU. Under the results necessary to cause this tie, the cumulative win % for each team in the tiebreaker looks like this:

WKU: 3-1, .750

ASU: 1-2, .333

Troy: 1-2, .333

WKU gets the 3 seed and the bye, ASU gets the 4 seed, and Troy drops to 5th.

Edited by TheTastyGreek

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Can we get the 1 seed and NOT have to face WKU in the semis? I'm starting to wonder if the 2 seed might not be a better draw - WKU seems likely to be either the 4/5.

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Can we get the 1 seed and NOT have to face WKU in the semis? I'm starting to wonder if the 2 seed might not be a better draw - WKU seems likely to be either the 4/5.

Give me a few minutes to game it out. I'm also answering some questions for KAjun Raider on the SBC forum.

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To answer Courtland's question: Can North Texas get the 1 seed and still avoid WKU until the finals? No. Even if WKU loses to FIU on Saturday.

WKU can finish anywhere from 3rd to 5th. No higher, and no lower. In an MTSU loss scenario (the situation necessary for us to get the 1 seed), WKU can only finish 4th or 5th, putting them on the same side of the bracket as us.

To explain:

If we win the overall conference, then WKU's best case scenario is 4th place (if WKU, NT, and Troy win, ASU and MTSU lose). Their worse case scenario assuming a win is 5th place (if NT, ASU, and WKU win, and Troy and MTSU lose).

Even if WKU loses, they can't get lower than 5th, because they'll finish 11-7 at worst and they can only tie with FAU and potentially also ULL.

Even if WKU loses and FAU beats Middle (which must already have happened for us to get the 1 seed), AND ULL wins at Denver, WKU can't finish any lower than 5th, because the Hilltoppers swept FAU and ULL in the three games they played against the Owls and Cajuns.

Whether WKU wins or loses... If we win the 1 seed, they'll finish 5th at worst. If we win the conference, we'll have to play them in the semifinals unless they lose along the way.

On the plus side, they'll be facing us for their 3rd game in 3 days, while we'll have had an extra day of rest before getting started.

Edited by TheTastyGreek

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Damn it.

Well, maybe being the #2 seed wouldn't be the worst thing afterall. I'd still like to be #1 to assure ourselves of an NIT bid, but the #2 definitely seems like the better path to the NCAA bid.

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To answer a question for chiefsfan from the SBC forum: Is there any way that ASU beats Troy on Saturday and DOESN'T get a bye? (Meaning, at least the 3rd seed?)

I already covered how ASU can win the conference outright (through a 4 or 5 way 12-6 tie) if they win and MTSU and UNT both lose.

What happens if one or both of those teams win?

If just MTSU wins, then ASU will finish tied at 12-6 with UNT for the West division, and the Red Wolves would take the division and the 2 seed because they swept the Mean Green.

----------

If MTSU and UNT both win, then ASU's win would put them in a 12-6 head-to-head tie with Troy OR a 3 way tie with Troy and WKU (depending on the outcome of the WKU/FIU game) for the 3rd seed.

With a WKU loss and a head-to-head tie with Troy, ASU would earn the 3rd seed because the scenario would require them to have beaten Troy and own the tiebreaker.

If WKU wins, then the 3 way tiebreaker with Troy, ASU, and WKU looks like this:

WKU: 3-1, .750

ASU: 1-2, .333

Troy: 1-2, .333

WKU would get the 3 seed, ASU would get the 4, and Troy would get the 5.

----------

If North Texas wins and MTSU loses to FAU, then the first tiebreaker to be resolved would be for the East division and the 2nd seed, which would include MTSU and Troy (and possibly WKU). Whether WKU factors in or not, Troy wins that tiebreaker and gets the 2 seed.

Then, ASU finds itself in a head-to-head tie with MTSU or a 3 way tie with MTSU and WKU at 12-6 (again, depending on the WKU/FIU outcome).

In a head-to-head with MTSU, Arkansas State gets the 3 seed because they beat the Blue Raiders in their only game of the season.

If WKU wins, then the 3 way tie looks like this:

MTSU: 2-1, .667

WKU: 2-2, .500

ASU: 1-2, .333

MTSU gets the 3 seed, WKU gets the 4, and ASU gets the 5.

----------

So, to answer the question: Yes. ASU can win on Saturday and still not get a bye.

But only if North Texas AND WKU both win their games.

If either or both lose, then the Red Wolves will finish with the 2 or 3 seed, at worst.

Edited by TheTastyGreek

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It seems to me that if WKU wins, MT gets a bye (regardless of a win or loss). Is this correct ?

BTW, You've already answered my last question on the SBC board in this thread. Thankfully I'm off of work tomorrow or I'd be one tired mofo staying up this late trying to figure out the scenarios.

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One other note for Red Wolves fans- It's actually still possible for ASU to fall as low as the 7 seed.

If ASU and WKU lose to Troy and FIU, respectively, and ULL and FAU win at Denver and against MTSU, respectively... Then ASU would find itself at the bottom of a 4-way tie at 11-7 for the 4th seed.

WKU: 5-0, 1.000

FAU: 2-2, .500

ULL: 1-3, .250

ASU: 1-4, .200

If this situation comes to pass, NT gets the 1, Troy gets the 2, MTSU gets the 3, WKU gets the 4, FAU gets the 5, ULL gets the 6, and ASU falls all the way down to the 7.

So the Red Wolves can win the conference, win the division, earn a bye, finish 4th... Or even fall all the way down to 7th place. It all depends on if they win or lose, and what else happens on Saturday.

Given that it requires ULL to win on the road at Denver AND WKU to lose to FIU, it's a pretty unlikely scenario. But an ASU loss and an FAU win would put ASU in 6th place, and that's not too improbable.

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It seems to me that if WKU wins, MT gets a bye (regardless of a win or loss). Is this correct ?

BTW, You've already answered my last question on the SBC board in this thread. Thankfully I'm off of work tomorrow or I'd be one tired mofo staying up this late trying to figure out the scenarios.

Yes. If WKU wins, Middle Tennessee can finish no lower than 3rd, no matter what else happens.

Even if Troy loses, MTSU's loss puts the Trojans on top of the Eastern division.

If North Texas loses, then Middle Tennessee can't finish any lower than 3rd, because in one scenario, ASU will lose (and North Texas will win the West, while MTSU will finish 12-6 and ASU will finish 11-7, giving MTSU the edge) and the only team Middle can tie with for 3rd is WKU, and the Raiders swept the Hilltoppers.

In the other scenario, ASU wins, giving them the West division and meaning that MTSU can only finish tied with North Texas and/or WKU, both teams that MTSU swept in the regular season.

There's only one possible situation where Middle Tennessee doesn't get a bye:

Middle must lose, Arkansas State must win, North Texas must win, and WKU must lose.

That puts MTSU in a head-to-head with ASU for the 3rd seed, and ASU owns that tiebreaker.

Anything else that happens puts MTSU in the 1 or 3 seed. Only that very specific scenario puts MTSU out of a bye.

There is no scenario where MTSU could possibly finish with the 2nd seed.

Edited by TheTastyGreek

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