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2020-21 Has Been Chaotic Which Makes Seeding for WAC Vegas a Perfect Fit

WAC Vegas
Alessandro Lever and GCU need a series sweep over Utah Valley to be the outright WAC regular season champs. Courtesy GCU Athletics.

The 2020-21 college basketball season has been a chaotic mess. Cancellations due to COVID, teams going on pause, and games scheduled on the fly. Just complete chaos. Add in some teams having to relocate for a time and then not even being able to play games in their home gym. In other years, some might call this the perfect storm. But with all the chaos COVID has created, ‘perfect’ might not be the best word.

So, we will just simply stick with chaotic. And that brings us to seeding scenarios for WAC Vegas on the men’s side. In one week, the WAC Tournament takes place at the Orleans Arena. Technically, we already know that Utah Valley and Grand Canyon will be the top-2 seeds and get a bye to the semifinals. 

However, it gets really messy after that. 

So, let’s start with the easy one.

GCU or Utah Valley Sweep the Weekend

It’s simple. If either team sweeps this final regular season series, they are the top seed at WAC Vegas. It’s that simple deciding who the No. 1 seed will be.

However, seeding for the other four teams in the WAC after this scenario depends on a few things. Here are two scenarios if CBU, NMSU and UTRGV sweep the weekend.

If GCU sweeps along with CBU, NMSU and UTRGV:

  1. GCU
  2. UVU
  3. CBU
  4. NMSU
  5. UTRGV
  6. Seattle

If Utah Valley sweeps…….

  1. UVU
  2. GCU
  3. NMSU
  4. CBU
  5. UTRGV
  6. Seattle

GCU and Utah Valley Split the Weekend

This is where it gets more complicated. If GCU and Utah Valley split, they are co-champions and the No. 1 seed will be decided via tiebreaker scenario. So, I hope you follow along. There is a lot here to think about.

The usual tiebreaker in this instance depends on who finishes third. Problem is, if both CBU and NMSU sweep their weekend series, the Lancers and Aggies will be tied for third. And their tiebreaker depends on who is the No. 1 seed. But, the No. 1 seed hasn’t been decided. So, it goes through head-to-head results among common opponents. And since UVU and GCU didn’t play Seattle or UTRGV the same number of times, it goes further down to Dixie State or Tarleton State, whoever finishes higher. 

So, in this tiebreaker, GCU would be the No. 1 seed because the Lopes swept both Dixie State and Tarleton State. This in turn means UVU is the No. 2 seed. CBU would be the 3-seed due to splitting with GCU while NMSU would be the 4-seed. And UTRGV the 5-seed with Seattle as the 6-seed. 

Still following? Good, because it gets more complicated after the first two scenarios.

Series Splits Will Create a Mess

If both CBU and NMSU split, they will be tied via the equation voted on by the coaches and the WAC prior to the season. So, here comes another tiebreaker. And it will depend on who the 1-seed is. If GCU is the 1-seed, CBU is the 3-seed. If UVU is the 1-seed, NMSU is the 3-seed. 

And if CBU splits with Seattle, the Redhawks will be the 5-seed and UTRGV, even with a sweep over Tarleton State, will be the 6-seed. 

CBU/NMSU Split & GCU is 1-Seed

  1. GCU
  2. UVU
  3. CBU
  4. NMSU
  5. Seattle
  6. UTRGV

CBU/NMSU Split & UVU is 1-Seed

  1. UVU
  2. GCU
  3. NMSU
  4. CBU
  5. Seattle
  6. UTRGV
Jamison Overton and Utah Valley need at least a split with GCU to earn a share of the WAC regular season title. A series sweep makes the Wolverines the outright champs for the second time since joining the WAC in 2013-14. Courtesy Simeon Mishmash/UVU Athletics.

What Happens if NMSU and CBU are Swept?

And let’s get to the most tricky scenario of them all with regard to the 3-6 seeds. This scenario is not too likely to happen. But, we have to review it as it could happen.

Remember the equation is WAC games played/WAC games scheduled times winning percentage. 

So, here is what CBU looks at if the Lancers are swept by Seattle: .857 x .416 = .356. If you want to get technical, it’s .356512. 

Here is what NMSU looks like if it is swept: .928 x .384 = .357. Technically, it’s .356352

Here is what Seattle looks like if it sweeps CBU: .643 x .555 = .357. Technically it’s .356865

I am not sure how far into the percentage points the WAC will go. If they go as deep as this, Seattle is the 3-seed, CBU is the 4-seed and NMSU is the 5-seed.

But, do you see the issue here if the WAC doesn’t go as deep into the percentages? So it comes down to head-to-head tiebreakers. With its sweep over CBU, Seattle gets the nod as the 3-seed. The tiebreaker for CBU and NMSU is dependent on who is the 1-seed. If GCU is the 1-seed, CBU is the 4-seed, NMSU the 5-seed. If UVU is the 1-seed, NMSU is the 4-seed and CBU the 5-seed. 

WAC Vegas Will Be Fun

WAC Vegas is going to be entertaining. Perhaps more entertaining than pulling my hair out trying to figure this all out. In all reality, seeding doesn’t necessarily matter for WAC Vegas. Everyone knows everyone. The teams are the same as they were in the regular season. It’s about who wants it more at WAC Vegas. Who has the bigger heart? Who executes at the highest level?

Let’s be real….trying to figure out seeding whether it is for conference tournaments or even the NCAA Tournament is like throwing Craps. You never know what you’re going to get. 

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