August 19, 2010

College hoops 2010 magic and elimination numbers!

Last year, we leveled up from winning percentages (which are not really tangible in determining who gets in and who is eliminated) so we leveled up on magic and elimination numbers. Since we can't level up any further, let's just recap before we go straight to the stats.

Magic number (M#): The number of wins a team has to get in order to qualify.
Elimination number (E#): The number of losses a team has to get in order to be eliminated.

Both numbers decrease as the tournament progresses, until they reach to zero (indicated here with "IN" for M# and "OUT" for E#). When that happens:
For magic numbers: The team qualifies.
For elimination numbers: The team is eliminated.

In cases of ties, the UAAP starting last year will use point differential among games of the tied teams to determine which team gets the higher seed for the #1 and thr #3 seed. For the #2 and the #4 seed, they'd figure in a playoff. For the NCAA, they'd have a playoff regardless of the point differentials.

Question: Why does a team need 6 wins when they can only play 5 more games? Isn't that... mathematically impossible? It looks like it, but it isn't.

But now for the UAAP, we're into the final round of games of the eliminations, and we know which teams are twice to beat and which are not, and which are eliminated. We are down to tiebreakers. Ever since last season, the UAAP won't hold playoff games to break ties for #1 and #3.

Guess what, the FEU vs. Ateneo game this Saturday will determine which team will be the #1 seed. And on Thursday, La Salle and Adamson will settle the #3 seed.

First, let's take Thursday's game: La Salle vs. Adamson. These two teams are currently tied with 8-5 records. That means they won't be tied after their game on Thursday, so we can throw out all of the tiebreaker stats -- the winner is #3, loser #4.

Now for Saturday's game. The winner of that game could play the loser of the Adamson-La Salle game. I say could since this is were the tiebreaker comes into play.

It is simple of FEU wins: they are #1 and Ateneo is #2. If Ateneo wins, they are tied for #1.

In their first game of the season, FEU defeated Ateneo 72-69; a margin of three points. That means in order to be clinch #1, Ateneo has to beat FEU by four points in order to be assured of the #1 seed.

What if Ateneo beats FEU by exactly three points? That means their differential is zero. What will happen? This is where it gets exciting.

The next tiebreaker is overall point differential. Here's the catch: FEU's point differential is +127. Ateneo's is +122. If Ateneo wins, they'll have a +125 differential, while FEU goes down to +124.

That means, if Ateneo wins over FEU by three points, they'll win the tiebreaker, and the #1 seed.

Essentially, the FEU-Ateneo game is like a pick your poison game -- you'd have the luxury of picking which team you'll face in the Final Four.

NCAA Season 86 men's tournament magic numbers

TeamM# 2xM# SF
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NCAA Season 86 men's tournament elimination numbers

TeamE# 2xE# SF

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