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Big Ten Basketball Projections for 01/01/2020

It’s a New Year; It’s a New Decade; It’s a New Set of Big Ten Basketball Projections

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Michigan State vs Ohio State David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Happy New Year Everyone! I have a little down time tonight and never much cared for New Year’s so how about a quick update on the odds of each team to win the Men’s Big Ten basketball title?

Once again, I use Kenpom efficiency data to project win probabilities for all remaining Big Ten games and then run a Monte Carlo simulation on the season to project the expected number of conference wins and the odds to finish at least tied for 1st place. Almost all of the non-conference games are in the books and all Big Ten teams have played 2 games. Here is the current win matrix:

Based on this current data, MSU and Ohio State are in an effective dead heat with an expected win total that is within a hundredth of a win of each other. The second tier of teams currently contains Maryland, Iowa, Purdue, Michigan, and Penn State, who are all projected to win between 11 and 12 games. Then, there is a cluster of five additional teams (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Rutgers, and Illinois) who are all projected to win around 9 games. Nebraska and Northwestern are both currently projected to win only around 4 games.

As for the odds to finish in 1st place, those odds are shown below:

As expected, this data mirrors the table above, where MSU’s odds (48%) are slightly better than Ohio State’s (46%) with no other team with odds over 11%. In general, the Big Ten champ(s) is likely (odds over 75%) to have “only” 15 or 16 wins in conference play.

For reference, the following charts show the trends in expected wins over the month of December. It will be fun to see how these numbers evolve in the next 2 months. MSU has held steady. OSU has literally been up and down, while Purdue’s trend is basically just down.

Finally, here is the trend for the odds to win the Big Ten, with only the Top 5 teams showing:

That’s all for now. As always, enjoy, and Go Green.