Horizon League's Percent Chance of Making Sweet 16
The Mock Selection process completed today and the bracket is available. Apparently on Twitter there is some debate between Butler fans if actually playing in the First Four game is a good thing because it means avoiding a #1 seed before making the Sweet 16. Well I decided to run some calculations - using current Pomeroy pythagorean records - on these brackets to apply some logic to the debate. Here's the "Hardest Scenario" for Butler and Cleveland State making the Sweet 16.
- Butler - Georgia, Arizona, Connecticut -- 3.1% chance
- Cleveland State - Texas A&M, Notre Dame (home-game in Chicago) -- 7.9% chance
But what if instead of playing in the First Four Butler had received a 9 seed in the same region? Then the Bulldogs' path would be Illinois, Texas. That has about a 2.7% chance of making the Sweet 16. But there's a big caveat to that. The Illini are massively underseeded (20th in Pomeroy). So if Butler was the 8 seed and played Memphis instead that chance rises to 6.0%.
Yeah, you still probably want to be Cleveland State, but it's interesting to see how these different scenarios play out. Why is a First Four march difficult? Well, there's one more game. Even a 50/50 toss up hurts the odds.