MAAC Simulations: Restarting Conference Play

For one final season MAAC play is a 20-game grind. The long season is ideal for Monte Carlo simulations. So that’s exactly what I’ve done.

Using my hand-coded simulator and the current ratings on KenPom.com I simulated the remainder of the MAAC regular season. Here’s who won:

Winner, % Outright Titles, % Total Titles

  1. Monmouth – 67%, 80%
  2. Iona – 8%, 16%
  3. Siena – 4%, 9%
  4. Canisius – 2%, 6%
  5. Fairfield – 2%, 5%
  6. Saint Peter’s – 0%, 1%
  7. Rider – 0%, 1%

There are some really fluky ways that someone in the “field” could end up winning a title, but it’s extremely unlikely. For instance, according to the sims it’s more likely that Monmouth goes undefeated than any one of Manhattan, Niagara, Quinnipiac or Marist even shares in the MAAC regular season title.

If you’re wondering why Monmouth has such a humongous share of the season victories it’s because of two things:

1) Monmouth is currently rated 75th in KenPom, while its next closest competitor (Iona) is rated 116th.

2) Monmouth is 2-0 in the MAAC and the next nine teams are in a giant tie at 1-1.

That one game lead combined with Monmouth’s huge advantage in KenPom makes the Hawks prohibitive favorites. But would it be enough to get King Rice’s team into the at-large conversation? It’s not likely, but possible. Monmouth wins at least 18 games in conference play about 12% of the time. That’s probably what it would take to once again be on the bubble come Selection Sunday.

No team went winless during MAAC play. Of course the only team that still could is Manhattan. Considering the Jaspers are ranked well ahead of Niagara, Quinnipiac and Marist—three teams they still play at home—there will be some wins in their future.

The games get started again this afternoon with Rider at Monmouth and Marist and Iona. It should be another fun MAAC season!

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