02 March 2015

B1G Projections: Finals Week Edition

With all B1G teams set to play their final two regular season games this week we're about to enter "Finals Week".  It's been a long cold winter both literally-speaking and figuratively-speaking for the folks in Piscataway, State College, and Minneapolis.  

With just 14 games left on the B1G slate many questions have been answered.  Congratulations are in order to Bucky who has lived up to its billing.  Maryland is all but guaranteed to finish in second with a few teams hoping to join them in a tie.  At the bottom of the B1G Rutgers is going to finish in the B1G basement.  The Scarlet Knights have less than a 1 in 5 chance of sharing the basement with Penn State.  

Still there are many questions that still remain as attention turns to the upcoming Big Ten Tournament in Chicago next week.  Which other two teams will get a double-bye for the BTT?  Which two teams will be joining Rutgers and Penn State in their Wednesday tussles?  Which teams will claim the coveted third seed and thereby avoid the Wisconsin juggernaut until Sunday.

Unfortunately our standings projections do not take into account tie breaker rules for BTT seeding.  If NU were in the mix for an NCAA invite then we might be inclined to take that extra step.  Maybe next year.  As it stands Ohio State, Purdue, Iowa and Michigan State fans have the most vested interest in digging into those particulars.  Hoosier fans know that they can safely count on delaying their trips to Chicago until Thursday, but it's far from certain where Indiana will finish in the rankings.  

It is likely that Nebraska and Northwestern will need to play on Wednesday.  But if Goldy continues its disappointing B1G campaign and loses both games this week then it's possible the Huskers or Wildcats could avoid a Wednesday game.

Below are the win charts.  With two games left there isn't much left to say about these projections. Perhaps the most interesting part are the data in bottom section from which one can compare the current W-L projections against those from prior to the season. The biggest disappointments this B1G season are Minnesota Penn State and Rutgers while the biggest mover up the charts are Purdue Iowa and Maryland.  All other teams are expected to finish within two games of their pre-B1G expected win total.