LIU Brooklyn is still alive! The Blackbirds go into the final weekend with their opportunity to defend the NEC championship still intact thanks to a victory on Tuesday over Sacred Heart. The odds are still long though. LIU has about a 24% chance of securing the eighth and final spot in the tournament.
LIU controls its own destiny in the standings. Beating both Central Connecticut and Bryant would guarantee the Blackbirds the final slot. Considering they’ve got a 64% chance of beating CCSU and a 37% chance of beating the Bulldogs, the odds for the eighth seed sound about right.
The other thing I want to note is that St. Francis Brooklyn has taken over the third spot in the NEC standings despite being just 7-7 overall during conference play. I got into a small debate about this on Twitter, but what this means to me is that the Terriers are probably the best team after Robert Morris and Wagner. I think Glenn Braica and SFC will be able to make things difficult for whatever team they face.
Here’s the full tempo-free NEC standings:
- Robert Morris (13-1): 0.12 points per possession
- Wagner (10-4): 0.09
- St. Francis Brooklyn (7-7): 0.05
- Bryant (9-5): 0.05
- Mount St. Mary’s (8-6): 0.03
- Fairleigh Dickinson (6-8): -0.01
- Saint Francis PA (7-7): -0.02
- Central Connecticut (5-9): -0.08
- LIU Brooklyn (4-10): -0.12
- Sacred Heart (1-13): -0.12
Also, let’s look at team luck right now. From luckiest to unluckiest:
- Robert Morris: +1.9 wins
- Saint Francis PA: +0.9
- LIU Brooklyn: +0.9
- Central Connecticut: +0.8
- Bryant: +0.3
- Wagner: -0.2
- Mount St. Mary’s: -0.2
- Fairleigh Dickinson: -0.8
- Sacred Heart: -1.9
- St. Francis Brooklyn: -1.9
Considering that there are only three teams that have their expectation more than a win above or below what their in-conference efficiency margin suggests at least that piece of the NEC has played out to plan. Still, this could be an interesting weekend – all three New York schools are playing two home games this weekend. Also, RMU seems to have some magic for winning close games this season. The Colonials are 4-1 in NEC games decided by four points or fewer. Conversely the Terriers are 2-5 in similar situations. Half of SFC’s games have been within a single possession. At least they have gained a lot of experience with those situations.
Many of the middle seeds are still up for grabs. Here’s hoping for an excellent final weekend in the NEC.