Monday, February 9, 2015

Calvin Clinches Extra Basketball

No actual MIAA Tournament spots have been clinched for any team, but Calvin (and Trine, for that matter) appear to have guaranteed themselves at least one extra game this season.

With four MIAA games to go (at Kalamazoo, vs. Trine, at Olivet, and at Albion), the Knights find themselves up three games on the fourth/fifth place pairing of Adrian and Alma. The Bulldogs and Scots still have one final head-to-head meeting to play (Feb. 18), so the worst the Knights could do is tie in the standings with the loser of that game.

Should such a thing occur – and let’s be clear, Calvin isn’t going 0-4 down the stretch – and should the tie be made with Adrian, Calvin would be given the fourth seed free and clear (and Adrian eliminated) due to Calvin’s 2-0 head-to-head record. Should the tie be made with Alma, a one-game playoff would occur to determine who’s in as the fourth seed, and who’s out as number five.

The MIAA’s tiebreaking procedure has traditionally been:

  • Head to head record
  • Record vs. the #1 team
  • Record vs. the #2 team
  • … etc. etc.
  • Record vs. the #7 team
  • Record vs. the #8 team
  • Coin flip

But when the MIAA went to a four-team tournament a few years back, they changed the tiebreaking procedure so that no team would be eliminated from the tournament due to anything other than head-to-head results. It might get a little funky if three teams are tied – maybe taking the total records against the tied teams – but Calvin’s 2-0 record versus Adrian, 1-1 versus Alma, and 2-0 versus Hope means they’re unlikely to lose out on any such shenanigans amongst tied teams.

So, if two teams are tied at 4th/5th, and they split the season series, the MIAA would allow for a tiebreaker game) probably played on Tuesday given the Semifinals are on Thursday. The winner would be given the fourth seed and the loser would be eliminated. Site selection would be determined using the standard tiebreaking criteria above.

All it’s going to take for Calvin to clinch an actual MIAA tournament spot is one more win (or one more loss for Alma), so we’re looking at a 90% chance of Calvin clinching a berth on Wednesday.

Magic numbers:
Fourth Seed: 1
Third Seed: 2
Second Seed: 3
Number One Seed: 4

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