By The Numbers

Top four seed still in play despite weekend split

The Green Bay Phoenix entered last weekend sitting in a third place tie with the UIC Flames at 8-6 in the conference standings.

Not much has changed after Green Bay split a pair of road games over the weekend, overcoming a 19-point second half deficit to post a thrilling 63-62 victory over UIC on Friday before following it up with a disappointing 79-68 loss at IUPUI on Sunday afternoon.

After Oakland defeated rival Detroit Mercy on Saturday and UIC bounced back with a victory over Milwaukee on Sunday, that means Green Bay, Oakland, and UIC are all tied for third place at 9-7 in the Horizon League, two games behind second place Northern Kentucky (11-5) and three behind league-leading Wright State (12-4).

“This is definitely one we wanted coming down the stretch here,” assistant coach Ben Swank told Brian Kuklinski on WDUZ radio after Green Bay’s loss on Sunday. “With the conference standings the way they are we definitely wanted to get this one and try and steal two on the road this trip.  Now we’ve got to come home and play well this upcoming weekend.”

“It’s going to be a big challenge for us with two good teams coming in.”

Brian Drumm IUPUI.JPG

Photo: Brian Drumm / IUPUI Jaguars

That may be a bit of an understatement as the top two teams in the conference come to the Resch Center this week to finish out the regular season with Wright State (12-4) coming to town Thursday night and Northern Kentucky (11-5) coming for the regular season finale on Saturday afternoon.

Green Bay would be the three seed if the tournament started today thanks to a 3-1 record against the other two teams it is tied with (2-0 vs UIC, 1-1 vs Oakland). Oakland is 2-1 (1-1 vs Green Bay, 1-0 vs UIC) and UIC is 0-3 against the other two teams currently tied for third, though the Grizzlies and Flames play each other in a massive game on Thursday night a the O’rena in suburban Detroit.

With Milwaukee (4-12) and Cleveland State (4-13) both officially eliminated from conference tournament contention, the eight remaining teams will fight it out this weekend for tournament seeding.  The top four seeds will host quarterfinal games with the winners advancing to the semifinals and finals at Little Caesers Arena in Detroit.

Wright State and Northern Kentucky have each already locked in a home quarterfinals game.

Green Bay can no longer reach the #1 seed or regular season championship, but it can reach the #2 seed by winning its final two games and having Northern Kentucky lose at Milwaukee on Thursday night and then winning the tiebreaker with the Norse. In this scenario, both teams would be 11-7 and the teams would have split the season series so the tiebreaker would move to record against teams in order of the standings.

Both teams would have split with Wright State in this scenario and both teams also split with Oakland and Youngstown State.  The Phoenix would win the tiebreaker based on their 2-0 record vs UIC (NKU is 1-1 against the Flames) unless IUPUI (8-8) somehow jumps UIC in which case the Norse would win the tiebreaker thanks to their split with the Jaguars (GB is 0-2 against them).

Oakland can also join the #2 seed mix in this scenario if they win out to get to 11-7 in which a three team tie gets broken by determining the records against the teams tied. Green Bay, Northern Kentucky, and Oakland would have all split with each other so they’d have equal 2-2 records meaning the next step would be to take the teams records against the top team (Wright State) and whittle down that way.

Assuming the Phoenix win out in this scenario, GB and NKU would both be 1-1 against the Raiders while Oakland is 0-2 meaning the Grizzlies would lose the tiebreaker and be the #4 seed with the next step of the tiebreaker being the same as above with Green Bay winning based on its 2-0 record vs UIC or NKU winning based on its split with IUPUI, whichever finishes higher in the standings.

That’s a lot of words typed for a fairly unrealistic scenario. Even if the Phoenix were to win both games this weekend against the league’s top two teams, Green Bay will need Milwaukee – which has lost 9 straight games and hasn’t won a game January 19th – to knock off Northern Kentucky on Thursday night.

The Phoenix can clinch at least the #3 seed by winning both games this weekend no matter how Oakland and/or UIC fares in their games thanks to owning the tiebreaker over both teams. Green Bay swept the Flames and would also own the tiebreaker over the Grizzlies in this case since Green Bay would have split with Wright State while Oakland went 0-2 against them.

A four way tie for third is possible if Green Bay, Oakland, and UIC all split their two games this weekend while IUPUI wins both of its games. In this crazy scenario, IUPUI would actually be the #3 seed thanks to their 5-1 record against the other three teams in the tie (2-0 vs GB, 2-0 vs Oakland, 1-1 vs UIC). UIC would be the #6 seed since they’d be just 1-5 against the tied teams.

Green Bay and Oakland would both be 3-3 against the tied teams meaning they’d determine the tiebreaker by comparing records against the teams highest in the standings. Depending on who GB beat in this weekend-split scenario would determine the tiebreaker as Oakland is 0-2 against Wright State and 1-1 against Northern Kentucky. Green Bay would win the tiebreaker if they beat WSU to get to get to 1-1 against the Raiders.

Green Bay would fall to at least the #5 seed and lose out on hosting a home game if they lost both games this weekend to fall to 9-9 while Oakland, UIC, and IUPUI all win at least once. They could fall further if Youngstown State also wins its game against Cleveland State on Saturday to get to 9-9.

There are plenty of other scenarios that could play out this weekend that could see Green Bay finishing anywhere from 2nd to  8th due to tiebreakers.  If the Phoenix take care of business at the Resch Center they will be no worse than the #3 seed and have some momentum to build off of.

“We’ve got to do the best we can down the stretch here at home and try and defend our homecourt to get the best possible seed we can going into the playoffs,” Swank said.


Operating Regulation – Men’s Basketball Tie-Breaking Formula (last update 2013):     

  • If two tied teams met twice during the regular season and one of the two won both games, the winner shall be awarded the higher seed.


  • If two tied teams split in two games during the regular season, compare each team’s record against the team occupying the highest position in the standings and continue down through the standings until one team gains the advantage, thereby winning the higher position.


  • If three or more teams are tied, compare the combined record of each of the tied teams against the other teams involved in the tie until an advantage is gained.  (Example: Team A’s combined record against both Team B and Team C as compared to Team B’s combined record against both A and C, etc.)


  • If the provision of (3) above fail to resolve a tie involving three or more teams, compare each of the tied team’s records against the team occupying the highest position in the standings and continue down through the standings until the tie is reduced to a two-team tie, at which time revert to items (1) and (2) above or until the tie is broken.


  • If the above provisions fail to resolve a tie, the team with the higher RPI for that season will receive a higher seed (source for RPI: Collegiate Basketball News).



Remaining schedules:


Thursday, 2/28 Saturday, 3/2

Wright State (12-4)

at GB at UWM

Northern Kentucky (11-5)

at UWM

at GB

Green Bay (9-7) WSU


Oakland (9-7)

UIC (9-7) at OU

at UDM

IUPUI (8-8)

at UDM at OU
Youngstown State (8-9)


Detroit Mercy (7-9)

Milwaukee (4-12) NKU


Cleveland State (4-13)

at YSU


Tiebreaker data:


Tiebreaker Data

Wright State

NKU (1-1), GB (1-0), UIC (0-2),

OU (2-0), IUPUI (2-0), YSU (2-0)

Northern Kentucky

WSU (1-1), GB (1-0), UIC (1-1),

OU (1-1), IUPUI (1-1), YSU (1-1)

Green Bay

WSU (0-1), NKU (0-1), UIC (2-0),

OU (1-1), IUPUI (0-2), YSU (1-1)


WSU (0-2), NKU (1-1), GB (1-1),

UIC (1-0), IUPUI (0-1), YSU (1-1)


WSU (2-0), NKU (1-1), GB (0-2),

OU (0-1), IUPUI (1-1), YSU (1-1)


WSU (0-2), NKU (1-1), GB (2-0),

UIC (1-1), OU (1-0), YSU (0-2)

Youngstown State

WSU (0-2), NKU (1-1), GB (1-1),

UIC (1-1), OU (1-1), IUPUI (2-0)

Detroit Mercy

WSU (1-1), NKU (0-2), GB (1-1),

UIC (0-1), OU (0-2), IUPUI (0-1)






Categories: By The Numbers

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