2014 MAC Tournament: Who Are the Favorites To Win It All?

USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 Mid-American Conference Men's Basketball Tournament tips off tonight with Round 1 taking place on campus sites. With the format of the MAC Tournament (heavily weighted to favor the top teams in the regular season) it's easy to presume that WMU and Toledo are the most likely to take home the trophy (which should be a championship belt!). But is that how it actually shakes out? Sort of.

Western Michigan clinched the No. 1 overall seed in the MAC Tournament, and having won 10 of its last 11, one would think the Broncos would be the favorite to win it all. Think again.

According to TeamRankings.com's odds it's actually Toledo that is the favorite to win it all in Cleveland, and by a pretty decent margin. Toledo and WMU both receive triple-byes and therefore only have to win two games to claim a championship, but still the Rockets have a 13 percent better chance of winning the MAC Championship,

How does TeamRankings.com come up with these odds? well they have a super-double-secret formula that is kept under armed guard. No, actually, there is a formula, but it takes in things such as standings (your conference record) and home-court advantages (not relevant after Round 1) to simulate the tournament and come up with its numbers.

There's some interesting numbers here. Naturally the odds of winning the Championship decrease the higher the seed you have, for the most part. No. 12 Ball State and No. 11 CMU have almost no shot of winning it all (0.02 percent & 0.08 percent respectively). But a team such No. 8 Miami, which has a home court game against No. 9 Kent State Monday night in Round 1, has 0.36 percent chance of winning it all compared to Kent State's 1.52 percent.

Of all the teams Toledo is the heavy favorite, with WMU and Buffalo not far off from one another at two and three. Akron has a decent chance of winning it all too, with 12.81 percent odds. Ohio has the best odds of the non-Top 4 seeds. The 'Cats have a 10.13 percent chance of winning it all, not bad for a team that has to win five games to achieve that goal.

Here's a full breakdown of their odds. As you can see there are odds for a team to advance to the next round. Teams with byes automatically have 100 percent odds of advancing for those rounds (duh).

Seed Team R2 Quarter Semi Champ Win
2 Toledo 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 57.03% 32.97%
1 W Michigan 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 46.58% 19.87%
3 Buffalo 100.00% 100.00% 60.63% 27.96% 15.16%
4 Akron 100.00% 100.00% 52.22% 27.92% 12.81%
5 Ohio 92.43% 63.55% 34.69% 20.13% 10.13%
6 E Michigan 86.02% 58.92% 27.65% 11.96% 6.14%
9 Kent State 49.80% 20.19% 8.57% 3.94% 1.52%
10 Bowling Grn 40.92% 15.65% 5.03% 1.46% 0.54%
7 N Illinois 59.08% 19.51% 5.33% 1.31% 0.42%
8 Miami (OH) 50.20% 13.95% 4.09% 1.34% 0.36%
11 Central Mich 13.98% 5.92% 1.36% 0.28% 0.08%
12 Ball State 7.57% 2.30% 0.43% 0.09% 0.02%

Who do you think has the best shot of winning it all, or more importantly, who are you rooting for to win it all?

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