MAAC Projection: Iona hasn’t won yet

Much like I did for the Big East, I ran 10,000 simulations for the MAAC (and a bunch of other conferences coming up in this series this week). The MAAC is a slightly different animal because it played conference games already this season. Four teams: Iona, Fairfield, Loyola (Md.) and Manhattan are ahead of schedule at 2-0. Four teams: Siena, Rider, Niagara and Canisius are behind at 0-2. (Marist and St. Peter’s are stuck in the middle, we’ll see why that’s important in a second.) All of this means that the simulations have to take this into account. It’d be really tough for one of those four bottom teams to take the league title away from one of the top four teams, but as you’ll see, it happened twice.

Just like what happened in Ken Pomeroy’s MAAC simulations Siena (ranked 241st) tied for first in one the 10,000 simulations that I did. The Saints won 13 games that season and in an absolutely ridiculous manner ended up in first. That wasn’t the craziest occurrence of the 10,000 seasons. Nope, that happened when Marist – ranked 280th, second to last in the league – won 14 games and tied for the league title.

Because there are only four teams left without a win in conference right now, and because that set doesn’t include St. Peter’s, arguably the MAAC’s worst team, a team went winless in just 11 of the 10,000 simulations. Canisius, which is ranked 281st in Pomeroy, had the dubious distinction of going winless nine times, the most of any team. Still, nine out of 10,000 really isn’t something to be worrying about.

At the top Iona continues to be the dominant power in the conference. The Gaels won the league title outright 69.4% of the time. Add to that the 15.1% of the time they tied for the league title and it’s pretty likely that you’ll see Iona in the top spot in the league’s conference tournament. Iona still ends up going .500 in conference in even the most dire of circumstances. The Gaels also ended up going undefeated 7% of the time.

What’s interesting about that 7% mark is that it’s about the percent likelihood of the #3 team, Loyola (Md.) winning the conference title – ties included. It’s also way more than the combined chance of either the Greyhounds or Manhattan winning the title outright (4%). The league remains pretty darn top heavy. Here’s the full table:

[TABLE=7]

A few bullets on the table to finish up:
  • Because of rounding you don’t see Rider or Niagara’s winless seasons, but they’re there.
  • The same goes for Loyola’s two undefeated seasons.
  • Yes, there were scenarios in which St. Peter’s and Marist don’t win another conference game all season.
  • I have no idea how Iona managed to go 9-9 in conference one season, that’s got to be one of the craziest results in the sim.

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