Mike Kern, the Missouri Valley Conference’s associate commissioner (and expert media helper), sent out the league’s basketball tiebreaker scenarios earlier this week.
This shouldn’t be as much of an issue for UE, which moved into to sole possession of fifth place with Wednesday’s victory over Illinois State. But a cluster of teams are still vying to stay out of seventh, which would mean starting an Arch Madness run with four games in four days rather than three.
Tournament Tiebreaker System
Regular-season standings are the determining factor in setting first-round pairings for the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. All ties will be broken starting at the top of the conference standings and working down. The tie-breaking system for seeding of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, regardless of whether a tie involves two or more teams, will utilize the following factors, in order, until all ties are broken.
1. Records in head-to-head competition are compared, with the higher seed going to the team that has won the most games against the other.
2. If head-to-head competition does not break the tie, the deadlock will be broken by non-conference schedule strength as calculated by The RPI Report on the day before the final day of conference games. The team with the better non-conference schedule strength will receive the higher seed.
1. If three or more teams are tied, regular-season competition among the tied schools shall be pooled into a “mini round-robin.” Teams shall be ranked according to their position in such a round- robin.
2. If head-to-head competition does not break the tie, the deadlock will be broken by non-conference schedule strength as calculated by The RPI Report on the day before the final day of conference games. The teams will be seeded in order of their non-conference schedule strength.
With that in mind, here are official RPIs and non-conference strength of schedules entering Wednesday’s slate of games (before UE’s win):
32 Wichita St. 66
45 Creighton 109
70 Northern Iowa 29
63 Indiana St. 26
149 Evansville 121
116 Illinois St. 248
173 Bradley 342
227 Missouri St. 315
166 Drake 111
192 Southern Ill. 152
The folks over at MVCFans.com have put together a great system as well for Arch Madness seeding probabilities heading into the March 7-10 conference tournament. UE currently has a 65 percent chance to finish fifth in the league, a 15 percent chance to finish sixth and a 13 percent chance to finish fourth.