19 January 2015

2015 B1G Projections - First Trimester Edition

"Free at lastFree at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last"

 Martin Luther King Jr.I Have a Dream

Happy MLK Jr Day!  In the spirit of the day here's to hoping that someday the NCAA selection committee will be free of the scourge of such popular and misleading evaluation statistics as the RPI and Rebounding Margin.  Until that day we endeavor ever more to bring efficiency statistics to bear in evaluating B1G basketball.

We are now approximately one-third of the way through the B1G regular season.  While there is still much work to do B1G teams have already completed the early roadwork toward B1G and postseason glory.

At the top of the standings Wisconsin has held its ground since the last update and remains the favorite for winning the B1G crown.  But the Badgers are in for a battle from Maryland which has upped its odds of winning or sharing the title from 33% a week ago to 48% as things stand today.  Much of that improvement has come at the cost of the Spartans whom the Terps vanquished in style this past weekend.  Iowa has leapfrogged Ohio State as the dark horse in the B1G title race with about a 9% shot at achieving this feat.

The bottom of the standings have also seen some movement over the past week with Penn State (0-5) solidifying its status as front runner for the B1G basement.  Rutgers' surge has propelled the Scarlet Knights to dark horse status for the B1G basement (9.5% chance at finishing 14th) and left Northwestern in its dust as the second most likely 14th place finisher.

Over the weekend the Gophers managed to win their first game over Rutgers, but that expected likely outcome has done little to improve the slippage in the projected standings that occurred over their five game slide to begin B1G play.

Illinois saw its fortunes drop over the past week thanks to a bad loss to Indiana at home over the weekend.

 Iowa had the biggest upward move in its projected win total -- an increase from 10.0 wins to 11.7 wins.  Penn State had the biggest downward move in its projected win total -- the Nittany Lions are now projected to win 3.8 games which is down 1.0 win from our projections a week ago; losing a winnable home game in OT to Purdue left a mark.

In comparison to the pre-B1G play projections Iowa is the biggest winner.  The Hawkeyes are now projected to win 11.7 games vs a projection of 9.0 wins back in late December.  Maryland has also been a big winner upping their projected win total to 13.7 from 11.2.    Minnesota has been the biggest loser in B1G play with their projected fortunes decreasing from a win total of 10.4 games back in December to 7.3 wins as of today.  Penn State has endured nearly as miserable a start to B1G play with their projected win total decreasing from 6.8 to 3.8.

Northwestern and Nebraska have performed as projected in B1G play.  Other teams that haven't seen much movement in their projections are Michigan State, Rutgers.

Last but not least here again are the cumulative win probabilities...