Another weekend, another rough set of games for the road teams. After Sunday’s action, home teams are now 32-5 overall in Big Ten play. Unfortunately, MSU was one of those road teams on Sunday, and for those that didn’t see the game... it didn’t go well. As a results, MSU picked up it’s first loss in Big Ten play and dropped a bit in the Kenpom rankings as a result. But, how much did this impact MSU’s projected final record? The table below shows the updated win matrix and expected win totals for all 14 Big Ten teams, followed by the visual trends back to the start of Big Ten play.
MSU’s conference expected win total took a major hit, dropping from over 15.5 games to just a bit above 14. Only about a half game is that is based on the actual loss to Purdue (since in was a near toss-up game) so the other ~full game drop was due to a drop in MSU’s kenpom efficiency margin and therefore on the odds for all remaining games.
But, the good news is that both Maryland and Ohio State also had some rough games recently, so MSU still maintained a game and a half lead in expected wins over the next closest team, which is still Maryland (12.2). Purdue jumped up a bit in expected wins, as did Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana. Penn State took a bit of a tumble.
The big picture, however, is unchanged, and that is MSU has a healthy lead, followed by Maryland, and then a half-step back from that is 10 of the remaining 12 teams how all project to win between 10 and 11 games. Nebraska and Northwestern are not even on the lead lap. As always, the trick for all of these teams will be to protect home court and try to steal as many road wins as possible.
As for the actual odds to win / share the Big Ten title, those are updated below:
MSU’s odds took a big hit, yet at 66%, they are still clearly the best in the league. As expected, Maryland is 2nd at 21%, and Wisconsin (8.1%) has now surged ahead of Ohio State (7.7%) for 3rd place. It is still somewhat baffling that the Buckeyes odds are still even that high considering their 1-4 record, but with a Kenpom efficiency margin ranked in the Top 10 still, they are still projected to win a lot of games. We shall see.
Up until this weekend, it was starting to look like 16 wins might be needed to hang a banner. But, now, the math says that a record of 15-5 may still be enough. The eventual champ has 16 or more wins in only 22% of my current simulations. In almost half of them (47%) the champ(s) only got to 14 or less. Again, we shall see.
That’s all for now. Until next time, enjoy and Go Green.