• Chris Jastrzembski

Conference tournament scenarios for seeds in the final week of the regular season


Courtesy: Army West Point Athletics

Yesterday we looked at scenarios for remaining spots in the Ivy League, CAA, SoCon, MAAC, and NEC Tournaments. We actually found out that the SoCon has only two teams with spots locked up (Jacksonville and Richmond). High Point, Mercer, and VMI and technically still fighting for two spots. That is in the link above.


Today, we take a look at seeding scenarios for conference tournaments who have their teams already clinched spots.


This will take a look at the Patriot League, America East, ASUN, and Big East conferences. Let's begin.


PATRIOT LEAGUE


Here's how things currently stand:

  1. Boston University (7-0) -- Locked in to #1 seed

  2. Lehigh (5-2)

  3. Army West Point (5-2)

  4. Loyola (5-2)

  5. Navy (4-3)

  6. Bucknell (3-4)

Here's the link to the Patriot League tiebreaker scenarios, which is important for multi-team ties.

Here's the slate of relevant games for the final week of Patriot League play:

  • Lehigh @ Loyola (Friday, 6 PM on CBS Sports Network)

  • Bucknell @ Navy (Friday, 7 PM on ESPN+)

  • Army West Point @ Boston University (Friday, 8 PM on ESPN+)

BU has already clinched the top spot in the conference. Army, Lehigh, and Loyola are still alive for the 2nd seed and a bye in the Patriot League Quarterfinals.


SCENARIO #1: Lehigh, Bucknell, Army West Point win

  1. Boston University (7-1)

  2. Lehigh (6-2) (Beat Army)

  3. Army West Point (6-2) (Lost to Lehigh)

  4. Loyola (5-3)

  5. Bucknell (4-4) (Beat Navy)

  6. Navy (4-4) (Lost to Bucknell)

Easy head-to-head tiebreakers. And we get Army-Navy again.


SCENARIO #2: Lehigh, Bucknell, Boston University win

  1. Boston University (8-0)

  2. Lehigh (6-2)

  3. Army West Point (5-3) (Beat Loyola)

  4. Loyola (5-3) (Lost to Army)

  5. Bucknell (4-4) (Beat Navy)

  6. Navy (4-4) (Lost to Bucknell)

Army gets the edge for the 3rd seed over Loyola with their head-to-head win. Overall, the Army-BU game is irrelevant if Lehigh and Bucknell win.


SCENARIO #3: Loyola, Bucknell, Boston University win

  1. Boston University (8-0)

  2. Loyola (6-2)

  3. Lehigh (5-3) (Beat Army)

  4. Army West Point (5-3) (Lost to Lehigh)

  5. Bucknell (4-4) (Beat Navy)

  6. Navy (4-4) (Lost to Bucknell)

Tiebreakers remain the same, but this time Loyola gets the 2nd seed and the quarterfinal bye.


SCENARIO #4: Loyola, Bucknell, Army West Point win

  1. Boston University (7-1)

  2. Army West Point (6-2) (Beat Loyola)

  3. Loyola (6-2) (Lost to Army)

  4. Lehigh (5-3)

  5. Bucknell (4-4) (Beat Navy)

  6. Navy (4-4) (Lost to Bucknell)

Same tiebreakers as already mentioned.


SCENARIO #5: Lehigh, Navy, Army West Point win

  1. Boston University (7-1)

  2. Lehigh (6-2) (Beat Army)

  3. Army West Point (6-2) (Lost to Lehigh)

  4. Loyola (5-3) (Beat Navy)

  5. Navy (5-3) (Lost to Loyola)

  6. Bucknell (3-5)

Lehigh edges Army for the 2nd seed, while Loyola gets the 4th seed thanks to their head-to-head win over Navy.


SCENARIO #6: Loyola, Navy, Army West Point win

  1. Boston University (7-1)

  2. Army West Point (6-2) (Beat Loyola)

  3. Loyola (6-2) (Lost to Army)

  4. Lehigh (5-3) (Beat Navy)

  5. Navy (5-3) (Lost to Lehigh)

  6. Bucknell (3-5)

Army gets the 2nd seed and quarterfinal bye with their head-to-head win over Loyola, while Lehigh gets home field advantage over Navy thanks to their head-to-head win.


SCENARIO #7: Loyola, Navy, Boston University win

  1. Boston University (8-0)

  2. Loyola (6-2)

  3. Lehigh (5-3) (2-0 against Army and Navy)

  4. Navy (5-3) (1-1 against Army and Lehigh)

  5. Army West Point (5-3) (0-2 against Lehigh and Navy)

  6. Bucknell (3-5)

We have our first three-way tie, with Army, Lehigh, and Navy involved. Lehigh was 2-0 against Army and Navy and get the #3 seed. Navy was 1-1 and get the #4 seed, while Army was 0-2 and get the #5 seed. This is the only scenario where Navy can get a home quarterfinal game.


SCENARIO #8: Lehigh, Navy, Boston University win

  1. Boston University (8-0)

  2. Lehigh (6-2)

  3. Loyola (5-3) (1-1 against Army and Navy; Lost to BU and Lehigh, Beat Bucknell, Colgate, Lafayette, and Holy Cross; +6 calculated goal differential vs Army and Navy)

  4. Army West Point (5-3) (1-1 against Loyola and Navy; Lost to BU and Lehigh, Beat Bucknell, Colgate, Lafayette, and Holy Cross; +1 calculated goal differential vs Loyola and Navy)

  5. Navy (5-3) (1-1 against Army and Loyola; Lost to BU and Lehigh, Beat Bucknell, Colgate, Lafayette, and Holy Cross; -7 calculated goal differential vs Army and Loyola)

  6. Bucknell (3-5)

A three-way tie for 3rd between Army, Loyola, and Navy, and it's the monster scenario.


All three teams were 1-1 against each other and lost to BU and Lehigh. We continue going down the standings with Bucknell, Colgate, Lafayette, and Holy Cross with all three teams beating each opponent.


So then we go to the conference's sport specific tie-breaking procedures, which are the following:


a. Record versus out-of-League common opponents


b. Goal differential between tied teams (the goal differential can be no greater than eight in any contest)


c. Goal differential of total League competition (goal differential can be no greater than eight in any one contest)


Rutgers and Johns Hopkins are common opponents for two of the three teams. Army and Loyola lost to Rutgers (Navy didn't play), while Loyola lost to Johns Hopkins but Navy defeated the Blue Jays (Army didn't play).


So with no common opponents for all three teams, we go to goal differential between the tied teams. And this is how it finishes:

  • Loyola: +6 (-2 vs. Army West Point, +11 vs. Navy BUT goal differential cannot be greater than eight)

  • Army West Point: +1 (+2 vs. Loyola, -1 vs. Navy)

  • Navy: -7 (-11 vs. Navy BUT goal differential cannot be greater than eight, +1 vs. Army West Point)

Which means Loyola finishes 3rd, Army finishes 4th, and Navy finishes 5th.


Overall, we get three-way ties if BU and Navy end up winning.


BIG EAST


Here's how things currently stand with the top four:

  1. Georgetown (4-0)

  2. Denver (3-1)

  3. Villanova (3-1)

  4. Marquette (2-2)

Here's the slate of notable Big East games this week:

  • Georgetown @ Villanova (Friday, 7 PM on FloSports)

  • Marquette @ Denver (Friday, 9 PM on Pioneers All-Access)

SCENARIO #1: Georgetown and Denver win

  1. Georgetown (5-0)

  2. Denver (4-1)

  3. Villanova (3-2)

  4. Marquette (2-3)

This feels like what will eventually happen. The standings also stay the same.


SCENARIO #2: Villanova and Marquette win

  1. Villanova (4-1) (Beat Georgetown)

  2. Georgetown (4-1) (Lost to Villanova)

  3. Marquette (3-2) (Beat Denver)

  4. Denver (3-2) (Lost to Marquette)

A pair of tiebreakers would decide this scenario. Villanova is the top seed with their win over Georgetown, while Marquette gets the #3 seed with their win over Denver.


SCENARIO #3: Villanova and Denver win

  1. Villanova (4-1) (1-1 against Denver and Georgetown; Beat Marquette, Providence, and St. John's; Have top two goal differential between Denver and Georgetown; Defeated Georgetown)

  2. Georgetown (4-1) (1-1 against Denver and Villanova; Beat Marquette, Providence, and St. John's; Have top two goal differential between Denver and Georgetown; Lost to Villanova)

  3. Denver (4-1) (1-1 against Georgetown and Villanova; Beat Marquette, Providence, and St. John's; Will have lowest goal differential against Georgetown and Villanova)

  4. Marquette (2-3)

The Big East multi-team tiebreaker is similar to most, where we start with the "mini-conference" followed by record against the team with the highest position outside the tie before going to the end.


Denver, Georgetown, and Villanova are 1-1 against each other and all defeated Marquette, Providence, and St. John's, the remaining three teams in the conference.


We then go to goal differential within the "mini-conference", with a maximum of seven goals per game. Here's how things currently stand:

  • Georgetown: +7 (+8 vs. Denver BUT cannot be greater than seven goals, has to play Villanova)

  • Villanova: -2 (-2 vs. Denver, has to play Georgetown)

  • Denver: -5 (-8 vs. Georgetown BUT cannot be greater than seven goals, +2 vs. Villanova)

We eliminate the lowest goal differential first. Denver's -5 goal differential cannot be caught if Villanova wins. So Denver is the #3 seed.


We then go to back to the head-to-head tiebreaker between Georgetown and Villanova. With Nova winning, they're the #1 seed while Georgetown is the #2 seed.


SCENARIO #4: Georgetown and Marquette win

  1. Georgetown (5-0)

  2. Denver (3-2) (1-1 against Marquette and Villanova; Lost to Georgetown, Beat Providence and St. John's; More to this)

  3. Villanova (3-2) (1-1 against Denver and Marquette; Lost to Georgetown, Beat Providence and St. John's; More to this)

  4. Marquette (3-2) (1-1 against Denver and Villanova; Lost to Georgetown, Beat Providence and St. John's; More to this)

Similar to the third scenario, we jump right to goal differential in the "mini-conference" involving Denver, Marquette, and Villanova. Here's how it looks as of now:

  • Denver: +2 (+2 vs. Villanova, has to play Marquette)

  • Villanova: 0 (-2 vs. Denver, +2 vs. Marquette)

  • Marquette: -2 (-2 vs. Villanova, has to play Denver)

Obviously things are still up in the air. And there's three additional scenarios in this specific scenario.


SCENARIO A: Marquette wins by 1 goal

2. Denver (+1)

3. Villanova (0)

4. Marquette (-1)


This doesn't help Marquette gain ground as they'd finish 4th. While Denver has the head-to-head over Villanova and get the #2 seed.


SCENARIO B: Marquette wins by 3 or more goals

2. Villanova (0)

3. Marquette (at least +1)

4. Denver (at most -1)


Denver would have the lowest goal differential and would finish 4th. But as we reset and go to head-to-head, Villanova gets the #2 seed thanks to their win last week over Marquette.


SCENARIO C: Marquette wins by 2 goals

2. Denver (0)

3. Villanova (0)

4. Marquette (0)


We get a three-way tie in goal differential in the mini-conference! More scenarios in this scenario that is part of an even larger scenario!


We head to the mini-conference goals for, with a maximum of seven goals per game, which are currently the following:

  • Villanova: 14 (10 vs. Denver and 10 vs. Marquette BUT cannot be greater than seven goals)

  • Denver: 7 (12 vs. Villanova BUT cannot be greater than seven goals, has to play Marquette)

  • Marquette: 7 (8 vs. Villanova BUT cannot be greater than seven goals, has to play Denver)

If Denver OR Marquette score six or fewer goals in the loss, meaning their total "goals for" is less than 14, the same result occurs from scenario B where Villanova is 2nd, Marquette is 3rd, and Denver is 4th.


If both teams reach seven goals scored (doesn't matter if they score more than that) with the Golden Eagles winning by exactly two goals, we would skip the 5th tiebreaker (mini-conference goals against with a maximum of seven goals, teams would be tied with 14) and go to the 6th tiebreaker, goal differential in the conference (maximum of seven goals per game).


Here's how those stand as of now:

  • Denver: +9 (Has to play Marquette)

  • Marquette: +3 (Has to play Denver)

  • Villanova: +12 (Has to play Georgetown)

Based on this data and the scenarios we're currently in, we know that:

  • Marquette will have a +5 goal differential

  • Denver will have a +7 goal differential

  • Villanova will have at most a goal differential of +11, with a minimum of +5

If Villanova loses by six or fewer goals, Marquette would have the lowest conference goal differential and would finish 4th. Denver has the head-to-head over Villanova and would finish 2nd. Same as in Scenario A.


But if Villanova loses by seven or more goals, they would have a +5 goal differential and tied with Marquette for the lowest among the trio of teams. Denver would claim the 2nd seed. Villanova has the head-to-head over Marquette, resulting in Nova earning the #3 seed and Marquette getting the #4 seed. Also the same as in Scenario A.


Huge thanks to Kevin Ivany over at the Big East for the tiebreakers and scenarios.


AMERICA EAST


Here's how things currently stand with the four participating teams:

  1. Vermont (5-0) -- Locked in to #1 seed

  2. Binghamton (3-2)

  3. UAlbany (3-3)

  4. UMBC (2-3)

Notably omitted is Stony Brook, who is currently 2nd and is 4-1 in conference play. However, due to their impending move to the CAA, the Seawolves are ineligible to participate in the conference tournament.


Here's the slate of relevant games for the final week of America East play:

  • NJIT @ UMBC (Friday, 7 PM on America East TV)

  • Vermont @ Stony Brook (Saturday, Noon on ESPN+)

  • UMass Lowell @ Binghamton (Saturday, 7 PM on ESPN+)

Vermont has already clinched the top spot in the conference and their game does not matter for seeding. UAlbany is done with conference play and finish with a 3-3 mark.


SCENARIO #1: UMBC and Binghamton win

  1. Vermont (record doesn't matter)

  2. Binghamton (4-2)

  3. UMBC (3-3) (Beat UAlbany)

  4. UAlbany (3-3) (Lost to UMBC)

This feels like what will eventually happen. Easy head-to-head tiebreaker with UMBC beating UAlbany.


SCENARIO #2: NJIT and Binghamton win

  1. Vermont (record doesn't matter)

  2. Binghamton (4-2)

  3. UAlbany (3-3)

  4. UMBC (2-4)

Standings stay the same.


SCENARIO #3: NJIT and UMass Lowell win

  1. Vermont (record doesn't matter)

  2. Binghamton (3-3) (Beat UAlbany)

  3. UAlbany (3-3) (Lost to Binghamton)

  4. UMBC (2-4)

Standings stay the same.


SCENARIO #4: UMBC and UMass Lowell win

  1. Vermont (record doesn't matter)

  2. Binghamton (3-3) (2-0 against UAlbany and UMBC)

  3. UMBC (3-3) (1-1 against Binghamton and UAlbany)

  4. UAlbany (3-3) (0-2 against Binghamton and UMBC)

A three-way tie for 2nd between Binghamton, UAlbany, and UMBC. Binghamton was 2-0 against UAlbany and UMBC and gets the 2nd seed. UMBC was 1-1 and claims the 3rd seed, while UAlbany was 0-2 and gets the 4th seed.


ASUN


Here's how things currently stand with the top four:

  1. Utah (4-0) -- Locked in to #1 seed

  2. Robert Morris (3-1) -- Locked in to #2 seed

  3. Air Force (2-2)

  4. Bellarmine (2-2)

Air Force plays Bellarmine this weekend. Winner gets the #3 seed, while the loser gets the #4 seed. Really easy. And we really needed it.


Enjoy the games this weekend!

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