Chances of winning the B1G, per KenPom - 2/26 update

Chances of winning the B1G, per KenPom - 2/26 update

Submitted by J. on February 27th, 2014 at 2:38 AM

OK, so that happened. The great thing about the Big Ten standings is that they don't take 19-point first-half deficits into account.  :-) Unsurprisingly, the performance in West Lafayette reduced KenPom's probabilities of Michigan victory in each of the next three games; combined with an Illinois victory over Nebraska, the remaining schedule looks a couple of percentage points harder than it did a few days ago.

Having said that, GRIII's layup turned a 74% (pregame) probability of victory into 100%, which more than makes up for the slightly smaller future percentages.  Here's an updated chart of Michigan's expected final record, again to two signficant figures:

15-3 44%
14-4 43%
13-5 12%
12-6 0.93%

Staee hasn't played; their chart is nearly unchanged:

14-4 16%
13-5 49%
12-6 31%
11-7 3.8%

Wisky, now alone in third place:

13-5 43%
12-6 44%
11-7 or worse 13%

Ohio, still up half a game on Iowa:

12-6 33%
11-7 or worse 67%


12-6 21%
11-7 or worse 79%

(Nebraska, unsuprisingly, has been eliminated from title contention).

Combining the various scenarios, we get the following chance of winning the title with the given record (i.e., the rows add up to 100% and represent the probability of each outcome if Michigan achieves the record listed).

Record Outright Title Shared Title No Title
15-3 100%    
14-4 84% 16%  
13-5 20% 64% 16%
12-6 0.26% 20% 80%

Multiplying by the data in the first table -- the chance that Michigan achieves each of these records -- gives us an 83% chance of an outright title (up from 75% on Sunday) and a 15% chance of a shared title, for a whopping 98% chance of hanging a Big Ten championship banner for 2014.

With the victory over the Boilermakers, Michigan has also locked up a first-round bye in the Big Ten tournament.  (I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say that even if they lose out, Michigan's worst possible finish is a tie for fourth, and the winning record against the top teams in the B1G standings would pay dividends in any tiebreaker).

Clinching/eliminatation scenarios for the remainder of the week and weekend:

  • Michigan cannot clinch the outright title this weekend. However, Michigan can clinch a share of the title with a win and a loss by Staee.
  • Iowa plays @Indiana and vs. Purdue and is eliminated with any loss or Michigan victory.
  • Ohio plays @PSU and @Indiana and is eliminated with any loss or Michigan victory.
  • Wisconsin plays @PSU. A loss or Michigan victory means that they can do no better than a share of the title; a loss and a Michigan victory would eliminate them entirely.
  • Staee plays at home against Illinois; if they lose and Michigan wins, they can do no better than a share of the title.

As always, Go Blue!

(Edit: corrected a typo - "play dividends" -> "pay dividends")

Chances of winning the B1G, per KenPom

Chances of winning the B1G, per KenPom

Submitted by J. on February 24th, 2014 at 1:23 PM

(Apologies if this belongs elsewhere, but I haven't seen this analysis done yet).

At 11-3, with a half-game lead on Staee and four games remaining, Michigan is obviously in the driver's seat for the B1G basketball title.  Using the game predictions from KenPom's site, I've done a quick probability analysis to see what the odds are that there's a banner to be hung.

First, Michigan's expected record, along with a percent chance:


15-3 36%
14-4 43%
13-5 18%
12-6 3.1%
11-7 0.18%

(I used two significant figures, since there were two in the KenPom data; obviously, they won't add to exactly 100%).

Here's Staee's expected record:

14-4 16%
13-5 49%
12-6 32%
11-7 3.7%


13-5 15%
12-6 40%
11-7 33%
10-8 or worse 12%


13-5 37%
12-6 44%
11-7 17%
10-8 or worse 2.4%


12-6 33%
11-7 44%
10-8 or worse 23%


12-6 5.7%
11-7 26%
10-8 or worse 68%

Put it all together, and you get the following possibilities (all chances here are conditional -- e.g., each line should add up to 100% within the limits of rounding and significant figures):

Record Outright Title Shared Title No Title
15-3 100%    
14-4 84% 16%  
13-5 19% 65% 16%
12-6 0.20% 19% 81%
11-7 < 0.01% 0.20% > 99%

When you factor in the chances that Michigan achieves each of these records (from the first table), and add it all up, and there is a 75% chance of an outright title, a 19% chance of a shared title, and a 6% chance of being bannerless.  (Coincidentally, I coded up a simulation using the same KenPom percentages, ran it 100 times, and got at least a share of the title exactly 94 times).

Long story short, even with a single loss, the odds are still in our favor to win the title outright, since KenPom doesn't think Staee is likely to run the table, and 2-2 down the stretch is likely to be enough to secure a share of the title.  Like many of you, I never would have predicted this in December.

Go Blue!

1986 UM Indiana flashback - Knight on Canham

1986 UM Indiana flashback - Knight on Canham

Submitted by k.o.k.Law on March 10th, 2013 at 11:33 AM

(If you want to skip my reminiscing, scroll to the end and click on the link for Bobby Knight good naturedly ripping into Don Canham after the final game of the 85-86 basketball season, Indiana at UM)

We won the Big Ten hoop title outright in 1984-85, and I wanted to see the games the next season.

Cheap bastard that I am, I asked a friend in the athletic department how he could get me in for free.
Well, I could assist another of his drinking buddies and guard the press parking lot, making sure only those with proper passes entered the reserved section.  The requirement was to be there at least an hour before gametime, then we could watch the game from the tunnel.

This was after the first Fab Five, Paul Jokisch, who went exclusively to football, Robert Henderson, Butch Wade, RIchard Rellford, and Roy Tarpley.

Both title teams went on to disappointing second round exits in the NCAA tournament, but enough of that.

Bill Frieder emphasized offensive efficiency, and we set a second consecutive record for team field goal percentage, 51.6%.

The Scott Skiles led MSU team swept us, the home loss ending a 24 game home win streak, and we lost one other conference game, at Minnesota, which ended the still record 10 game road winning streak.

But, Indiana came in with the chance to tie us for the title with a win.

For the only time in my memory, standing room tickets were sold, so the paid attendance was over 14,000 at a time when Crisler sat 13,609.

We crushed them.  The outcome was never in doubt.  We even had a five on zero fast break.

I had a video camera, the early edition, about two feet long, not counting the protruding microphone.  

With the demise of Dr. Strange Hayes, Bobby Knight was the reigning Big Ten villain.

I was hoping for some fireworks after the game, so I brought my camera, with tripod, and set it up in the room then used for post-game pressers.

Believing it is easier to get forgiveness than permission, I shared my plan with no one.

My pass entitled me entrance to the room, and I just tried to make sure none of the media bumped into my camera.

As luck would have it, during Knight's remarks, Don Canham entered the room and stood almost right behind the camera. 

When Knight noticed him, he directed some pointed comments his way, that, well, look at the tape, put on line by the inestimable Wolverine Historian.

1986 post-game press conference

Field Hockey Big Ten Title

Field Hockey Big Ten Title

Submitted by South Bend Wolverine on November 7th, 2010 at 7:16 PM

With a goal in each half and a solid defensive performance, the Wolverines knocked off the #5 OSU Buckeyes to grab their first Big Ten Tournament Title since 2005 after finishing as co-champions with OSU in the regular season.  The Wolverines held OSU to only 4 shots, and required only one save to preserve the win.

The win gives #11 Michigan an auto-bid into the NCAA tournament.  The Wolverines now stand at 15-6 after playing one of the toughest schedules in America, including 8 matchups against top-ten opposition.  Good luck to the team in the NCAAs!