Tuesday, March 9, 2010

2010 Men's College Basketball Conference Tournament Probabilities: Big West

Part 21 of a 30 part series. Using Sagarin's Predictor ratings in a prediction formula, I'll weigh the probability of each conference team in each possible tournament matchup and through a Markov chain determine their chances of winning the tournament.

The Big West, like the Big East, took a page from the West Coast Conference and gave their top seeds a double bye (no complaints from UC Santa Barbara's coach as of yet). #1 UC Santa Barbara and #2 Pacific won't have to play until the semifinals of the Big West tourney in Anaheim, while #3 Long Beach State and #4 UC Davis get a free ride into the quarters as the remaining #5 to #8 seeds get to duke it out in the opening round. As expected, the double bye makes the top two seeds an easy favorite, Pacific ahead at 6 to 5 (47.5%) with the Gauchos behind them at 14 to 5 (26.2%).

From there, only #3 Long Beach State has a decent shot at 5 to 1. Everyone else is facing longshot odds to get over, and that's fine. Pacific representing the Big West in the NCAA's yet again is good for the Big West, especially if they can spike an upset and sneak out of the dance with a win. The conference's participation in the Bracket Buster weekend was a big step forward despite a down year for most of the conference (only UCSB and Pacific had winning records overall), and sending a strong representative would be yet another step forward.

Here are the Big West odds for everyone involved.

1. UC Santa Barbara: 2.8 to 1 (26.2%)
2. Pacific: 6 to 5 (47.5%)
3. Long Beach State: 4.9 to 1
4. UC Davis: 34 to 1
5. CS Fullerton: 14.9 to 1
6. Cal Poly SLO: 157.8 to 1
7. UC Irvine: 182.3 to 1
8. CS Northridge: 119 to 1

Next: Conference USA

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