Wednesday, March 10, 2010

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

Part 28 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.

Don't believe the hype behind Robbie Hummel's injury sinking Purdue. Aside from a home loss to surging Michigan State, Purdue hasn't lost since their star forward's season ending injury and is part of a three team horse race in the lead to win the Big Ten Tournament. Purdue, the #2 seed, is 3 to 1 (25.8%), while #4 seed Wisconsin is 5 to 2 (27.8%) and everyone's pick, Ohio State, is a bit behind them both at 3 to 1 (24.3%).

#3 Michigan State is the dark horse at 15 to 2, with no one else closer than 16 to 1 (#6 Minnesota, who by the way blew their chance at an at-large bid down the stretch).

The Big Ten has four tournament-worthy teams. Seeds are estimated according to Sagarin rating.

- Purdue's loss of Hammel may bump them from a deserved #2 seed unless they make a do-able run to the title.

- Ohio State may take that #2 seed if they indeed win out, but Wisconsin is a threat (54.4%) to take them down in the semis, while either Purdue (49.3%) or Michigan State (41.0%) could give them a serious fight in the final. Ohio State is in #4 seed territory right now and definitely needs to make the final to improve that.

- Wisconsin should be a #3 seed but loses points for being #4 in the Big Ten. They are favored in every possible matchup and could get that #3 by winning out... maybe more if the Selection Committee's impressed with the run.

- Michigan State slots as a tenuous #6 seed right now, and getting as far as the semis will solidify that, but short of winning the tournament there's not much they can do to go higher than that. A loss to Minnesota in the quarters could drop them to #7.

Speaking of Minnesota, they're definitely an NIT team, as is Illinois. Northwestern might be. An upset would turn 'might' into 'definitely will'.

Here are the Big Ten odds for every team involved:

1. Ohio State: 3.1 to 1 (24.3%)
2. Purdue: 2.9 to 1 (25.8%)
3. Michigan State: 7.4 to 1
4. Wisconsin: 2.6 to 1 (27.8%)
5. Illinois: 41.2 to 1
6. Minnesota: 15.8 to 1
7. Northwestern: 138.2 to 1
8. Michigan: 102.2 to 1
9. Iowa: 6810.3 to 1
10. Indiana: 5558.3 to 1
11. Penn State: 579.6 to 1

Next: The SEC

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