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Big Ten men's basketball tournament 2016 tiebreakers, and how they impact Maryland

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Let's refresh ourselves on the Big Ten's seeding tiebreakers.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

With Maryland and a handful of other Big Ten teams are in a dead sprint to the finish line, there are dozens (or more) of plausible final outcomes for the league's regular season standings. We figured it would be useful to catch ourselves up on how the Big Ten stacks up and how it will sort out likely ties at the end of the season – and how it could impact Maryland.

Here's how the Big Ten standings stack up on Tuesday morning -- just the top, since that's what's relevant to Maryland.

TEAM CONF OVERALL
Indiana 13-3 23-6
Michigan State 11-5 24-5
Maryland 11-5 23-6
Iowa 11-5 20-8
Wisconsin 11-5 19-10
Ohio State 11-6 19-11
Purdue 10-6 22-7

Via the conference itself, here's how potential ties sort out:

In the case of a two-team tie:

1. Results of head-to-head competition during the regular-season.

Maryland has won the season series against Iowa and Ohio State.

Maryland has lost the season series against: Michigan State.

Maryland has split the season series against: Wisconsin, Michigan, Purdue.

Maryland's season series is still undecided against Indiana.

Moving on...

2. Each team's record vs. the team occupying the highest position in the final regular-season standings (or in the case of a tie for the championship, the next highest position in the regular-season standings), continuing down through the standings until one team gains an advantage.

a. When arriving at another pair of tied teams while comparing records, use each team's record against the collective tied teams as a group (prior to their own tie-breaking procedures), rather than the performance against the individual tied teams.

b. When comparing records against a single team or a group of teams, the higher winning percentage shall prevail, even if the number of games played against the team or group are unequal (i.e., 2-0 is better than 3-1, but 2-0 is not better than 1-0).

It's increasingly likely that Indiana will be the conference's top seed. This is why Maryland's last game of the season, against the Hoosiers next weekend, matters so much. A Terps win prevents them from losing this tiebreaker to anybody, and in fact would put them ahead of almost the entire Big Ten and in good position for either the No. 1 or 2 seed.

3. Won-loss percentage of all Division I opponents.

The basics are here.

4. Coin toss conducted by the Commissioner or designee.

In this extraordinarily unlikely case, we'd have chaos.

There's also a stipulation for multi-team tiebreakers:

1. Results of head-to-head competition during the regular-season.

a. When comparing records against the tied teams, the team with the higher winning percentage shall prevail, even if the number of games played against the team or group are unequal (i.e., 2-0 is better than 3-1, but 2-0 is not better than 1-0).

b. When comparing records against a single team or group of teams, the higher winning percentage shall prevail, even if the number of games played against the team or group are unequal (i.e., 2-0 is better than 3-1, but 2-0 is not better than 1-0).

2. If the remaining teams are still tied, then each tied team's record shall be compared to the team occupying the highest position in the final regular-season standings, continuing down through the standings until one team gains an advantage.

a. When arriving at another pair of tied teams while comparing records, use each team's record against the collective tied teams as a group (prior to their own tie-breaking procedures), rather than the performance against the individual tied teams.

b. When comparing records against a single team or group of teams, the higher winning percentage shall prevail, even if the number of games played against the team or group are unequal (i.e., 2-0 is better than 3-1, but 2-0 is not better than 1-0).

3. Won-loss percentage of Division I opponents.

4. Coin toss conducted by Commissioner or designee.

The second tiebreaker here makes lining up group projections a fool's errand, obviously.

We'll keep this post current as the regular season rolls toward a conclusion.