First, a brief Wednesday recap: Buffalo's win over Miami did a bunch of havoc. For one, it gave Kent State the championship outright. It also put Miami in a danger spot, since OHIO is a must-win. And yet it gives UB a chance to make up some ground in the MAC East. Western Michigan's win over Ball State gives them the inside track on the West — simple enough. And NIU's pounding of Eastern Michigan guarantees them the 10 seed. Why not.
Okay, so here's how much we know at the end of business Wednesday. The seeds in stone:
1. Kent State
10. Northern Illinois
11. Eastern Michigan
Everything in between? Eh, who the heckbuns knows. Let's try to sort it out.
The current standings:
Kent State 11-4
Bowling Green 7-8
Western Michigan 10-5
Ball State 9-6
Central Michigan 7-8
Northern Illinois 5-10
Eastern Michigan 4-11
OVERALL SEEDS TODAY (seeds locked highlighted in bold)
1. Kent State 11-4
2. WMU 10-5
3. Miami 10-5
4. OHIO 9-6
5. Akron 9-6
6. Ball State 9-6
7. Buffalo 8-7
8. CMU 7-8
9. BGSU 7-8
10. NIU 5-10
11. EMU 4-11
12. Toledo 1-14
The final six games this weekend:
Akron at Kent State
OHIO at Miami
Buffalo at BGSU
WMU at CMU
NIU at Ball State
Toledo at EMU (This is the only game which cannot alter seeds. But you should totally watch!)
Now, there are going to be some obvious tiebreakers. Here they are. Know them. Memorize them:
A. Head-to-head competition
B. Division Record (10 games)
C. Winning percentage* vs. ranked conference teams
(top to bottom, regardless of division, vs. common opponents regardless of the number of times played)
D. Coin flip
*Winning percentage is used instead of record because of situations where teams do not play each other the same number of times. Therefore, a team that is 1-0 (1.000) would win the tiebreaker over a team that is 1-1 (.500).
For multiple team ties:
1. Total won-lost record of games played among the tied teams
2. Two-team tie-breaker procedure goes into effect (refer to A).
NOTE: Once a three-team tie has been reduced to two teams, the two-team tiebreaker will go into effect.
Or just memorize some of the following:
Western Michigan clinches the MAC West and the #2 seed with: A win OR a Ball State loss
Ball State clinches the MAC West and the #2 seed with: A win AND a Western Michigan loss (tiebreaker B)
Miami clinches the #3 seed with: A win
Akron clinches at least a first-round bye with: A win (tiebreaker A)
Bowling Green clinches the #7 seed and plays Northern Illinois with: A win (tiebreaker A over CMU/Buffalo)
Central Michigan clinches the #8 seed with: A win (tiebreaker A over BG)
Buffalo clinches the #8 seed with: A loss AND a Central Michigan loss (tiebreaker A over CMU)
Bowling Green clinches the #9 seed with: A loss.
Central Michigan clinches the #9 seed with: A loss OR a Bowling Green win.
Buffalo clinches the #9 seed with: A loss AND a Central Michigan win.
And that's pretty much as far as I'm going to go right now. There are so many possible three-way and four-way ties to wade through. The quest continues.
Here are some of the key tiebreakers which may come into play:
• OHIO swept the season series against Akron.
• Western Michigan has a bunch of conference wins — just as many as the rest of the teams vying for first-round byes. WMU can still get one even if they lose to Central, and other teams lose. Head-to-head, WMU did beat OHIO and Miami.
• Divisional records as they stand: OHIO, Miami and Akron are at 5-4; Buffalo is at 4-5. Miami can plummet greatly if they drop a game to OHIO, even more so if Akron also beats Kent State.
• When flipping a coin, always choose heads.
I'll try to hack away at this some more before Friday's games. In the meantime, if you have any insight or possibilities, please share them. For the love of Ra.
Update: If Kent State loses, Miami wins, Ball State wins, and Western Michigan loses, then Miami gets the No. 1 seed.