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MAC Women's Basketball Tournament Seeding and Tiebreakers

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Matt Gritzmacher

Finally, after a few rounds of games not going right, UB got the big breaks from around the conference it needed to improve its chances of grabbing a bye in the MAC tournament. Ohio and Ball State have locked in the #1 and #2 seeds, but UB can still climb as high as #3 or fall to #7. The Bulls are indeed guaranteed a home game in the first round should they not get a bye.

The good news is UB comes as close as possible to controlling their own destiny, and the one scenario in which they don't requires a four-team parlay amongst the other games. It could happen, but it's unlikely.

First, here's where things stand now:

#1 Ohio 15 - 2
#2 Ball State 12 - 5
#3 Akron 11 - 6
#4 Toledo 10 - 7
#5 Buffalo 10 - 7
#6 EMU 10 - 7
#7 WMU 10 - 7
#8 NIU 8 - 9
#9 CMU 7 - 10
#10 Miami 4 - 13
#11 Kent 3 - 14
#12 BG 2 - 15

What we're interested in is the stretch from Akron to EMU. None of them can fall below 7, and none save maybe the Zips can rise above 3. Even better, unlike the men's side, none of them play each other. This makes the number of possible outcomes larger, but it also makes adding everything up easier.

But first, how did we come to that order among the 10-7 teams right now?

RIGHT NOW AMONG TIED TEAMS Aggregate H2H2H2H among tied teams Seed H2H Record vs #1 seed
Toledo 4 - 2 #4
Buffalo 3 - 2 #5
EMU 2 - 3 #6 H2H 1-1 1-0 vs Ohio
WMU 2 - 3 #7 H2H 1-1 1-1 vs Ohio

I've got things a little more streamlined than in the men's post. What you see in the second column is each team's combined record against the other three. The fourth column is the next tiebreaker between EMU and WMU. Neither has the advantage in head to head results, so it goes to record against the #1 seed, where EMU has the advantage.

Now, the fun. Here's where everyone involved stands against each other. Simple

Akron Buffalo Toledo EMU WMU
Akron 1 - 1 2 - 0 0-1 1 - 1
Buffalo 1 - 1 1 - 1 1 - 0 1 - 1
Toledo 0 - 2 1 - 1 1 - 1 2 - 0
EMU 1-0 0 - 1 1 - 1 1 - 1
WMU 1 - 1 1 - 1 0 - 2 1 - 1

Of note: there are so few matchups that aren't 1-1 that they become uber-valuable. EMU 1-0 over Akron while UB is 1-0 over EMU is great for the Bulls is Akron somehow loses to BG. The 2-0 records involving Toledo are equally important.

Since all five of these teams are playing other teams, there are more possible combinations of results, but it's easier to sift through. Additionally, UB absolutely needs a win to get a bye - if everyone they're tied with loses, they'd still be sitting #5 as they are now. So I omitted the 16 possibilities involving a UB loss. (Update: apparently I didn't cut out 8 of them. Oh well. Ask in the comments if you've got a question.) Here's what it looks like.

EMU (10-7) @ CMU UB (10-7) @ Kent NIU @ WMU (10-7) UT (10-7) @ Ball Akron (11-6) @ BG #3 seed #4 Seed #5 Seed #6 Seed #7 seed
EMU (11-7) UB (11-7) WMU (11-7) UT (11-7) Akron (12-6) Akron Toledo UB WMU EMU Same as now
EMU (11-7) UB (11-7) WMU (11-7) UT (11-7) BG [Akron 11-7] UB Akron EMU UT WMU Akron 4-3, UB 4-3, UT 4-4, EMU 3-3, WMU, 3-5 Akron 0-1 vs Ball, UB 1-0
EMU (11-7) UB (11-7) WMU (11-7) Ball [UT 10-8] Akron (12-6) Akron UB WMU EMU UT UB 2-1, EMU 1-2, WMU 2-2
EMU (11-7) UB (11-7) WMU (11-7) Ball [UT 10-8] BG [Akron 11-7] UB WMU EMU Akron UT Akron 2-3, UB 3-2, EMU 2-2, WMU 3-3 WMU 1-0 Ohio, EMU 1-1
EMU (11-7) UB (11-7) NIU [WMU 10-8] UT (11-7) Akron (12-6) Akron UB UT EMU WMU UB 2-1, UT 2-2, EMU 1-2
EMU (11-7) UB (11-7) NIU [WMU 10-8] UT (11-7) BG [Akron 11-7] UB Akron EMU UT WMU Akron 3-2, UB 3-2, UT 2-4, EMU 2-3
EMU (11-7) UB (11-7) NIU [WMU 10-8] Ball [UT 10-8] Akron (12-6) Akron UB EMU UT WMU UB H2H EMU UT H2H WMU
EMU (11-7) UB (11-7) NIU [WMU 10-8] Ball [UT 10-8] BG [Akron 11-7] UB EMU Akron UT WMU Akron 1-2, UB 2-1, EMU 1-1 UT H2H WMU
EMU (11-7) Kent [UB 10-8] WMU (11-7) UT (11-7) Akron (12-6) Akron (12-6) UT EMU WMU UB EMU 2-2, UT 3-1, WMU 1-3
EMU (11-7) Kent [UB 10-8] WMU (11-7) UT (11-7) BG [Akron 11-7] UB
EMU (11-7) Kent [UB 10-8] WMU (11-7) Ball [UT 10-8] Akron (12-6) Akron (12-6) UB
EMU (11-7) Kent [UB 10-8] WMU (11-7) Ball [UT 10-8] BG [Akron 11-7] UB UT
EMU (11-7) Kent [UB 10-8] NIU [WMU 10-8] UT (11-7) Akron (12-6) Akron (12-6) UB WMU UB 1-0 vs Ball, WMU 1-1
EMU (11-7) Kent [UB 10-8] NIU [WMU 10-8] UT (11-7) BG [Akron 11-7] UB WMU
EMU (11-7) Kent [UB 10-8] NIU [WMU 10-8] Ball [UT 10-8] Akron (12-6) Akron (12-6) EMU UT UB WMU UB 2-2, UT 3-1, WMU 1-3
EMU (11-7) Kent [UB 10-8] NIU [WMU 10-8] Ball [UT 10-8] BG [Akron 11-7] UT UB WMU
CMU [EMU 10-8] UB (11-7) WMU (11-7) UT (11-7) Akron (12-6) Akron UT UB WMU EMU UB 2-2, UT 3-1, WMU 1-3
CMU [EMU 10-8] UB (11-7) WMU (11-7) UT (11-7) BG [Akron 11-7] Akron UB UT WMU EMU Akron 4-2, UB 3-3, UT 3-3, WMU 2-4
CMU [EMU 10-8] UB (11-7) WMU (11-7) Ball [UT 10-8] Akron (12-6) Akron UB WMU EMU UT UB 1-0 vs Ball, WMU 1-1 EMU 1-1 vs Ohio, UT 0-1
CMU [EMU 10-8] UB (11-7) WMU (11-7) Ball [UT 10-8] BG [Akron 11-7] ?WMU ?UB ?Akron EMU UT PburwellMAC confirmed Akron 2-2, WMU 2-2, UB 2-2 WMU best win Ohio; UB Akron 1-1, UB best win Ball
CMU [EMU 10-8] UB (11-7) NIU [WMU 10-8] UT (11-7) Akron (12-6) Akron UB UT WMU EMU WMU 1-0 Ohio, EMU 1-1
CMU [EMU 10-8] UB (11-7) NIU [WMU 10-8] UT (11-7) BG [Akron 11-7] Akron UB UT WMU EMU Akron3-1, UB 2-2, UT 1-3
CMU [EMU 10-8] UB (11-7) NIU [WMU 10-8] Ball [UT 10-8] Akron (12-6) Akron UB UT EMU WMU UB 1-0 vs Ball, UT 0-2
CMU [EMU 10-8] UB (11-7) NIU [WMU 10-8] Ball [UT 10-8] BG [Akron 11-7] UB Akron UT EMU WMU UB 1-0 vs Ball, Akron 1-1

It might not be obvious if you didn't work through them all, but four things are coming up huge for the Bulls: Their win over  EMU, a 1-0 record in a table full of 1-1 head to head matchups, Toledo's 2-0 record over WMU and EMU's 1-0 against Akron (same story), and their win over Ball State when they end up in a 'best win' tiebreaker.

***

So how does UB get a bye?

This is remarkably simple considering where we were six hours ago:

  • Win and any ONE of Toledo, WMU, or Akron lose.

That was simple

Yep.

How does UB get the #3 seed?

  • Win, EMU win, and Akron loss
  • Win, all of EMU, Toledo, WMU, Akron lose
The Bulls don't quite control their own destiny, but it's damn close. We'll be watching for a win Saturday at 2:00 at Kent State.