The top of Ken Pomeroy’s NEC projections make a ton of sense. Robert Morris and St. Francis Brooklyn are considered the class of the NEC and there they are at the top of the standings, though a little lower than the league would probably like at 177th and 198th respectively.
It’s right behind those two though where things get interesting. Wagner is rated much higher than many people expect. The Seahawks are fourth in Pomeroy’s preseason NEC rankings, but it’s really splitting hairs between Bryant, Wagner, Central Connecticut and Mount St. Mary’s in these rankings. Saint Francis U., a popular sleeper, isn’t being given much respect. The Red Flash are ranked 256th to start the season and projected to go 9-9. They finished in the league’s top four in 37% of simulations and missed the NEC tournament altogether about 10% of the time.
Well, I ran a full season Monte Carlo simulation of NEC play using Ken Pomeroy’s rankings, which is easier now considering the league is playing a full round robin, and the results support a Robert Morris or St. Francis Brooklyn title, as you can see below.
|Name||Wins||Ties||Outright||Pct. Outright||Pct. Tied||Projected Wins||Over/Under|
|St. Francis NY||3327||1338||1989||19.89%||13.38%||11||Over|
|Mount St. Mary’s||1258||703||555||5.55%||7.03%||10||Under|
|Saint Francis PA||654||381||273||2.73%||3.81%||9||Over|
The NEC is one of those rare leagues where every team truly does have a chance coming into the season. Sure the Knights only did it 10 times in 10,000 sims, but one in 1,000 is better than never! Personally, I was surprised by Wagner’s appearance in the top four. In fact, the Seahawks finished in the top four teams in the NEC in almost exactly half of the 10,000 sims. That’s a home playoff game in the NEC tournament! It would truly be an impressive accomplishment if Bashir Mason was able to steer his team to a home quarterfinal a season after losing so much depth off a roster that fell in the semifinals for the third straight season during the 2014 NEC tournament.
I’ve added my personal opinion about if certain win totals are too high or low. Maybe this is New York City bias, but I could see LIU Brooklyn outperforming expectations. Right now the Blackbirds have about a 50-50 chance of qualifying for the NEC tournament. The team right in front of them, Sacred Heart, has a 57% chance. I’d like to see those numbers flipped.
What team do you think KenPom is over or under rating? Were you surprised by anything in the NEC ratings? Let us know in the comments!