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2016 Big Ten Tournament Seeding Scenarios: The Final Weekend

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Only three teams have locked in their seeding for the Big Ten tournament, and four others know what day they will start. Four are competing for two remaining double-byes, and three are competing for two Thursday spots.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Midweek Results

Bold is an upset according to the previous projections; italics indicate a road win.

Purdue 81, Nebraska 62
Indiana 81, Iowa 78
Michigan State 97, Rutgers 66
Wisconsin 62, Minnesota 49
Maryland 81, Illinois 55
Northwestern 71, Penn State 61

Big week for road wins, though three of them were fully expected and neither of the upsets was a major shock.

Scenarios

Here is a link to the updating Google Docs version.

Overall

tbrk-20160304-all.png

The Minnesota-Rutgers game isn't included on the chart because it makes absolutely no difference to anyone's seeding. There are a couple of spots where Northwestern and Nebraska are marked with asterisks; that's because in those cases (where MSU and Wisconsin either both win or both lose, Maryland does the opposite, and Nebraska wins), the tiebreaker falls all the way through the "record against individual teams" tiebreaker into the one that's unclear as to whether it's overall record or strength of schedule. I've assumed overall record, in which case Northwestern gets the tiebreaker; if it's strength of schedule, Nebraska gets it.

Top Eight

tbrk-20160304-top.png

Indiana

Already clinched the 1 seed and outright title.

Michigan State

MSU can clinch a double-bye either by beating Ohio State or having Iowa lose to Michigan.

  • 2 seed with win
  • 3 seed with loss, Iowa loss, Maryland loss, and Purdue loss
  • 4 seed with loss, Iowa loss, and either Maryland win or Purdue win
  • 5 seed with loss, Iowa win, Maryland loss, and Purdue loss
  • 6 seed with loss, Iowa win, and one of Maryland and Purdue loses
  • 7 seed with loss, Iowa win, Maryland win, and Purdue win
Maryland

Double-bye has been clinched.

  • 2 seed with
    • win and MSU loss, or
    • loss, MSU loss, Iowa win, and Wisconsin loss
  • 3 seed with
    • win, MSU win, and Wisconsin loss, or
    • loss, MSU win, Iowa win, and Wisconsin loss, or
    • loss, MSU loss, and exactly one of Iowa win or Wisconsin loss
  • 4 seed with
    • MSU win and Wisconsin win, or
    • loss, Iowa win, and exactly one of MSU and Wisconsin wins
Wisconsin

The Badgers can clinch a double-bye with a win.

  • 2 seed with win, MSU loss, and Maryland loss
  • 3 seed with win and either MSU or Maryland wins
  • Cannot end up as the 4 seed
  • 5 seed with loss and either MSU or Iowa loses
  • 6 seed with loss, MSU win, and Iowa win
Iowa

Iowa clinches a double-bye with a win and MSU loss, or a win, Maryland win, and Wisconsin loss.

  • 4 seed with
    • win and MSU loss, or
    • win, Maryland win, and Wisconsin loss
  • 5 seed with win, MSU win, and either Maryland loses or Wisconsin wins
  • 6 seed with loss and Wisconsin win
  • 7 seed with loss, Purdue win, and either OSU or Maryland loses
  • 8 seed with loss, Purdue win, OSU win, and Maryland win
Purdue

The Boilermakers get a double-bye if they win, unless MSU, Maryland, and Iowa all win.

  • 2 seed with win, MSU loss, Maryland loss, and Iowa loss
  • 3 seed with win and exactly one of MSU loss or (Maryland and Iowa both lose)
  • 4 seed with win, MSU win, and exactly one of Maryland and Iowa win
  • 5 seed with win, MSU win, Maryland win, and Iowa win
  • 6 seed with loss, MSU win, and Iowa win
  • 7 seed with loss and exactly one of MSU and Iowa win
  • 8 seed with loss, MSU loss, and Iowa loss
Ohio State

Guaranteed to start Thursday.

  • 5 seed with
    • Purdue loss and Iowa loss, or
    • win, Iowa win, Maryland win, and Wisconsin win
  • 6 seed with
    • Purdue win and Iowa loss, or
    • win, Iowa win, and exactly one of Maryland and Wisconsin win
  • 7 seed with
    • loss and Iowa win, or
    • win, Iowa win, Maryland loss, and Wisconsin loss
Michigan

Guaranteed to start Thursday.

  • 7 seed with win, MSU loss, and either Maryland or Wisconsin wins
  • 8 seed with
    • loss, or
    • MSU win, or
    • Maryland loss and Wisconsin loss
Percentages
Team Top 4 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Michigan State 96.89% 94.31% 0.39% 2.19% 0.47% 1.87% 0.77%
Maryland Yes 3.46% 52.52% 44.03%
Wisconsin 22.12% 0.86% 21.26% 37.78% 40.10%
Iowa 15.82% 15.82% 38.78% 10.04% 34.72% 0.64%
Purdue 65.17% 1.37% 25.83% 37.96% 12.71% 11.39% 10.16% 0.57%
Ohio State 10.26% 36.59% 53.15%
Michigan 1.21% 98.79%

9-12 Seeds

tbrk-20160304-bot.png

If Nebraska beats Northwestern, the relative finishes of the top teams has an impact on the tiebreaker. If MSU wins and Wisconsin loses, Nebraska wins the tiebreaker. If MSU loses and Wisconsin wins, Northwestern wins. If both get the same result and Maryland also gets the same result, Nebraska wins. If MSU and Wisconsin both win or both lose and Maryland does the opposite, it goes to the final tiebreaker.

If Northwestern wins, the final games for the top teams do not affect the outcome of any tiebreakers.

Northwestern

Clinch bye with win or Penn State loss to Illinois; if neither of those happen, the tiebreaker may give it to them.

  • 9 seed with
    • win, or
    • loss, Illinois win, and win tiebreaker
  • 10 seed with loss and
    • Illinois win and lose tiebreaker, or
    • Illinois loss and win tiebreaker
  • 11 seed with loss, Illinois loss, and lose tiebreaker
Nebraska

Clinch bye with Penn State loss; otherwise, they must win and get the tiebreaker over Northwestern.

  • 9 seed with win, Illinois win, and win tiebreaker
  • 10 seed with
    • loss and Illinois win, or
    • win, Illinois win, and lose tiebreaker, or
    • win, Illinois loss, and win tiebreaker
  • 11 seed with
    • win, Illinois loss, and lose tiebreaker, or
    • loss and Illinois loss
Northwestern-Nebraska Tiebreaker
  • Northwestern wins if:
    • Wisconsin wins and MSU loses, or
    • Wisconsin wins, MSU wins, and Maryland loses (*), or
    • Wisconsin loses, MSU loses, and Maryland wins (*)
  • Nebraska wins if:
    • MSU wins and Wisconsin loses, or
    • MSU, Maryland, and Wisconsin either all lose or all win
Penn State

Clinches bye with win.

  • 9 seed with win and Northwestern loss
  • 10 seed with win and Northwestern win
  • Cannot be the 11 seed
  • 12 seed with loss
Illinois

Guaranteed to start Wednesday.

  • 11 seed with win
  • 12 seed with loss
Percentages

The first value assumes that overall record is the final tiebreaker; in parentheses are the values if strength of schedule is.

Team Bottom 4 9 10 11 12
Northwestern 12.55%
(14.92%)
79.20%
(78.13%)
8.24%
(6.95%)
12.55%
(14.92%)
Nebraska 56.24%
(53.87%)
5.69%
(6.76%)
38.06%
(39.35%)
56.24%
(53.87%)
Penn State 31.21% 15.11% 53.68% 31.21%
Illinois Yes 31.21% 68.79%

13-14 Seeds

Minnesota and Rutgers are already locked in as the 13 and 14, respectively.

This Weekend's Games

All times ET. Odds are based on my margin-aware ratings, updated through Thursday's games.

Ohio State at Michigan State - Saturday, Noon, ESPN (Michigan State 94.3%, projected margin +15.5)
Minnesota at Rutgers - Saturday, 1:00, BTN (Minnesota 62%, +2.5)
Iowa at Michigan - Saturday, 8:00, BTN (Iowa 55%, +1)
Illinois at Penn State - Sunday, Noon, BTN (Penn State 69%, +4.5)
Nebraska at Northwestern - Sunday, 2:00, BTN (Northwestern 78%, +7)
Maryland at Indiana - Sunday, 4:30, CBS (Indiana 68%, +4.5)
Wisconsin at Purdue - Sunday, 7:30, BTN (Purdue 78%, +7)

Michigan has an opportunity to shore up their NCAA tournament resume with a win over reeling Iowa, while Ohio State likely needs a win at MSU to get serious consideration, barring a deep tournament run. Wins by Indiana, Iowa, Ohio State, and Purdue would result in a six-way tie for second place, three games behind Indiana and two ahead of Michigan.