Projecting the 2014 Big Ten Basketball Race: January 21

Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Spor

A few surprises shake up the top, while the gap between the upper and lower halves widens.

In the first projections last week, the title race was neck and neck between Wisconsin and Michigan State, with Iowa and Ohio State a solid second tier just ahead of Michigan. Since then, Wisconsin (having just dropped their first game at Indiana before the initial projections) lost at home to Michigan and Ohio State dropped a pair of games at Minnesota (somewhat understandable) and Nebraska (much less understandable). After those big changes, how does the title race look? As always, ratings are here and title/bye percentages are based on 100,000 season simulations.

(Note: The Ohio State-Nebraska result is factored into the projections but ratings are through Sunday's games only.)

Basic Method

Team Avg wins 11-7 12-6 13-5 14-4 15-3 16-2 17-1 18-0 Outright Shared Top 4
Michigan State 15.10 0.42% 2.38% 8.64% 20.02% 29.02% 25.21% 11.92% 2.34% 67.53% 83.35% 99.70%
Wisconsin 12.51 15.08% 23.89% 25.70% 17.77% 7.09% 1.23% N/A N/A 4.35% 12.40% 86.42%
Michigan 12.48 16.00% 23.06% 23.29% 16.28% 7.64% 2.27% 0.38% 0.03% 6.45% 14.52% 84.81%
Iowa 12.04 19.27% 24.07% 21.10% 12.57% 4.79% 1.03% 0.09% N/A 3.97% 10.15% 78.55%
Ohio State 9.80 20.31% 9.39% 2.34% 0.24% N/A N/A N/A N/A 0.03% 0.26% 23.06%
Minnesota 9.60 17.45% 7.79% 2.12% 0.32% 0.02% N/A N/A N/A 0.03% 0.19% 19.85%
Purdue 8.10 4.92% 1.36% 0.25% 0.03% 1 in 50,500 1 in 1.75M N/A N/A 0.01% 0.05% 5.16%
Indiana 7.18 1.47% 0.27% 0.03% 1 in 54,500 1 in 2.15M N/A N/A N/A <0.01% <0.01% 1.62%
Illinois 6.31 0.33% 0.04% 1 in 37,400 1 in 1.32M N/A N/A N/A N/A <0.01% <0.01% 0.47%
Nebraska 6.08 0.25% 0.03% 1 in 63,000 1 in 2.77M N/A N/A N/A N/A <0.01% <0.01% 0.28%
Northwestern 5.66 0.04% 1 in 34,200 1 in 959k 1 in 66.8M N/A N/A N/A N/A <0.01% <0.01% 0.09%
Penn State 3.16 1 in 2.01M 1 in 133M N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A <0.01% <0.01% <0.01%

Team Avg wins 0-18 1-17 2-16 3-15 4-14 5-13 6-12 7-11 8-10 9-9 10-8
Michigan State 15.10 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1 in 3.12B 1 in 30.3M 1 in 703k 1 in 29,900 0.05%
Wisconsin 12.51 N/A N/A N/A 1 in 335M 1 in 5.46M 1 in 207k 1 in 13,800 0.07% 0.46% 2.07% 6.64%
Michigan 12.48 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1 in 452k 1 in 15,300 0.08% 0.58% 2.60% 7.77%
Iowa 12.04 N/A N/A N/A N/A 1 in 1.22M 1 in 40,500 0.03% 0.26% 1.29% 4.48% 11.00%
Ohio State 9.80 N/A N/A 1 in 3.78M 1 in 89,800 0.02% 0.19% 1.19% 4.72% 12.56% 22.44% 26.61%
Minnesota 9.60 N/A N/A N/A 1 in 107k 0.02% 0.28% 1.68% 6.27% 15.06% 23.86% 25.12%
Purdue 8.10 N/A N/A N/A 0.06% 0.72% 3.76% 10.98% 20.19% 24.76% 20.82% 12.15%
Indiana 7.18 N/A N/A 0.04% 0.60% 3.32% 10.22% 19.61% 24.87% 21.49% 12.82% 5.27%
Illinois 6.31 N/A N/A 0.26% 2.39% 8.99% 18.97% 25.26% 22.50% 13.76% 5.82% 1.69%
Nebraska 6.08 N/A 0.07% 0.81% 3.99% 11.22% 20.19% 24.51% 20.59% 12.08% 4.91% 1.36%
Northwestern 5.66 N/A N/A 0.68% 4.98% 15.23% 25.62% 26.29% 17.27% 7.42% 2.09% 0.38%
Penn State 3.16 1.89% 9.84% 21.86% 27.52% 21.89% 11.58% 4.18% 1.04% 0.17% 0.02% 1 in 75,600

What a difference a week makes. Wisconsin's loss drops them hard, taking nearly two full games off their projection while Michigan makes a similar jump (though still well back of first place because of non-conference losses dragging their rating down and a nasty remaining schedule - three of their single-plays are Northwestern, Penn State, and Illinois, and the first two already happened). Ohio State drops well off the pace as their losing streak stretched to four games.

Minnesota is now in decent shape to make the tournament after the win over Ohio State; their non-conference is nothing to write home about but the relative lack of truly awful opponents will keep their RPI in strong territory as long as they can keep pace with this projection; assuming 50-50 at 9-9 in conference and automatic if any better, they're around 2-to-1 favorites to make it. But the odds of a seventh team sneaking in are poor; Purdue is the only one that might have a shot if they beat their projections by a game, and even that probably isn't enough.

Margin-Aware Method

Team Avg wins 11-7 12-6 13-5 14-4 15-3 16-2 17-1 18-0 Outright Shared Top 4
Michigan State 15.17 0.15% 1.33% 6.89% 19.97% 31.55% 26.76% 11.42% 1.92% 62.23% 80.74% 99.67%
Iowa 13.26 8.16% 17.63% 25.91% 24.99% 14.78% 4.69% 0.57% N/A 10.00% 22.15% 90.73%
Wisconsin 12.69 13.04% 23.78% 28.01% 20.06% 7.74% 1.20% N/A N/A 3.35% 10.88% 84.82%
Michigan 12.41 16.82% 25.08% 24.65% 15.69% 6.20% 1.42% 0.17% 1 in 12,700 3.80% 10.32% 79.47%
Ohio State 10.66 30.18% 19.53% 5.97% 0.67% N/A N/A N/A N/A 0.03% 0.35% 29.68%
Minnesota 9.81 20.26% 8.69% 2.07% 0.25% 0.01% N/A N/A N/A 0.01% 0.12% 14.66%
Indiana 7.06 0.90% 0.12% 1 in 10,100 1 in 250k 1 in 16.1M N/A N/A N/A <0.01% <0.01% 0.59%
Purdue 6.73 0.40% 0.05% 1 in 28,400 1 in 650k 1 in 27.8M 1 in 2.88B N/A N/A <0.01% <0.01% 0.27%
Nebraska 6.26 0.21% 0.02% 1 in 130k 1 in 9.44M N/A N/A N/A N/A <0.01% <0.01% 0.10%
Illinois 5.28 0.02% 1 in 103k 1 in 3.37M 1 in 275M N/A N/A N/A N/A <0.01% <0.01% 0.02%
Northwestern 5.03 1 in 51,400 1 in 1.86M 1 in 138M 1 in 26.9B N/A N/A N/A N/A <0.01% <0.01% <0.01%
Penn State 3.64 1 in 2.15M 1 in 201M N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A <0.01% <0.01% <0.01%

Team Avg wins 0-18 1-17 2-16 3-15 4-14 5-13 6-12 7-11 8-10 9-9 10-8
Michigan State 15.17 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1 in 280B 1 in 1.25B 1 in 13.8M 1 in 290k 1 in 10,700
Iowa 13.26 N/A N/A N/A N/A 1 in 475M 1 in 6.20M 1 in 200k 1 in 11,900 0.09% 0.57% 2.61%
Wisconsin 12.69 N/A N/A N/A 1 in 9.24B 1 in 76.0M 1 in 1.62M 1 in 66,400 0.02% 0.20% 1.18% 4.77%
Michigan 12.41 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1 in 2.15M 1 in 47,000 0.04% 0.38% 2.12% 7.43%
Ohio State 10.66 N/A N/A 1 in 1.54B 1 in 13.9M 1 in 314k 1 in 13,500 0.10% 0.81% 4.09% 13.00% 25.64%
Minnesota 9.81 N/A N/A N/A 1 in 850k 1 in 19,600 0.09% 0.78% 3.98% 12.35% 23.59% 27.93%
Indiana 7.06 N/A N/A 0.03% 0.51% 3.20% 10.67% 21.17% 26.43% 21.46% 11.47% 4.02%
Purdue 6.73 N/A N/A N/A 0.44% 4.21% 14.51% 25.72% 26.95% 17.84% 7.70% 2.18%
Nebraska 6.26 N/A 0.03% 0.42% 2.61% 8.97% 18.91% 25.67% 22.95% 13.59% 5.30% 1.33%
Illinois 5.28 N/A N/A 1.12% 8.00% 20.68% 28.26% 23.49% 12.65% 4.53% 1.08% 0.17%
Northwestern 5.03 N/A N/A 1.68% 9.84% 23.62% 30.08% 22.10% 9.68% 2.55% 0.40% 0.04%
Penn State 3.64 0.54% 4.51% 15.19% 26.78% 27.27% 16.99% 6.72% 1.71% 0.28% 0.03% 1 in 62,100

Similar tale here. Iowa jumps over Wisconsin to claim second place, and Ohio State remains a bit further ahead of Minnesota for fifth. Then there's a huge drop-off to the bottom half; Indiana would barely be favored at home over Minnesota, and every other top-half-vs-bottom-half matchup would favor the top team even away. The margin-aware numbers are even more pessimistic about a seventh team reaching the tournament.

Michigan State's Remaining Games

Last week's games:

@ Northwestern: W 54-40 (projection: 86% to win by basic method / 92% margin-aware / +12.5 projected margin)
@ Illinois: W 78-62 (64% / 70% / +4)

Remaining schedule:

Indiana: 92% / 96% / +17 (was 88% / 94% / +14)
Michigan: 81% / 88% / +10.5 (was 84% / 90% / +11.5)
@ Iowa: 51% / 39% / -2.5 (was 47% / 32% / -4)
Penn State: 96% / 98% / +19.5 (was 95% / 98% / +18.5)
@ Wisconsin: 42% / 38% / -2.5 (was 28% / 23% / -6)
Northwestern: 96% / 98.6% / +22.5 (was 96% / 98.9% / +22.5)
Nebraska: 95% / 98% / +19.5 (was 94% / 97% / +18.5)
@ Purdue: 76% / 87% / +10 (was 76% / 86% / +9)
@ Michigan: 56% / 56% / +1.5 (was 58% / 57% / +1.5)
Illinois: 92% / 96% / +17.5 (was 87% / 94% / +14)
Iowa: 78% / 78% / +7 (was 76% / 77% / +6)
@ Ohio State: 56% / 45% / -1 (was 47% / 33% / -3.5)

Some slight improvements in projections almost across the board; the only games to take a noticeable drop are the two Michigan games (home more so due to the home-court adjustment decreasing, as it tends to start doing when top teams play more road games; early in the season home court tends to get overvalued because the model has a hard time separating that out from the fact that the better team is usually playing at home). The Purdue trip bumps up to a double-digit favorite; the five remaining games that are not are home against Iowa (moderately favored) and four toss-ups on the road. In particular, the Ohio State and Wisconsin road trips look significantly less daunting; margin-aware still has us slight underdogs in both, but they're into the toss-up range.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Only Colors

You must be a member of The Only Colors to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Only Colors. You should read them.

Join The Only Colors

You must be a member of The Only Colors to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Only Colors. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker