Welcome to the final weekend of regular season college basketball! Your updated NEC standings:
1. Wagner (18-9, 11-5)
2. Sacred Heart (11-16, 10-6)
Mount St. Mary’s (13-16, 10-6)
4. Fairleigh Dickinson (13-14, 9-7)
St. Francis PA (13-14, 9-7)
St. Francis Brooklyn (13-16, 9-7)
7. LIU Brooklyn (14-13, 8-8)
8. Robert Morris (9-20, 7-9)
Bryant and Central Connecticut State have been eliminated from the NEC tournament. Shoutout to my Robert Morris vs. Bryant NEC championship preseason pick!
As you can see, there’s still a ton to be determined when it comes to final seeding. The first-place team is up by one game, there’s a two-way tie for second place and a three-way tie for the remaining spots. St. Francis PA, currently a six seed, could still win the conference!
I’d like to break down a little more on what could happen for Robert Morris this weekend. Here is the official NEC tiebreaker procedure for those that want to know what I’m referencing. Robert Morris plays two road games to end the year, at Sacred Heart (Thursday) and Wagner (Saturday).
Before we get started, here are a few important things to know:
-Robert Morris is guaranteed a spot in the NEC tournament.
-Robert Morris cannot get a home game.
-Robert Morris owns head-to-head tiebreakers over LIU and Fairleigh Dickinson but not against St. Francis Brooklyn or St. Francis PA
–How to stay the eight seed: If Robert Morris loses both games or LIU wins both games, they’ll remain an eight seed. RMU needs to finish with the same conference record as LIU. That means the Blackbirds will have to lose at least once in their next two games.
LIU faces Bryant and Central Connecticut State this weekend, the two worst teams in the conference.
So, even if Robert Morris goes 1-1 this weekend, it might not be enough.
-How to be the seven seed: Two wins and a LIU loss is the easiest way.
-RMU, LIU and St. Francis PA all finish 9-9: Robert Morris would get the seven seed, LIU eight and SFU six, by head-to-head records. Robert Morris swept LIU but lost both games to St. Francis PA, who split with LIU. Follow?
-RMU, LIU and St. Francis Brooklyn all finish 9-9: Same situation as before, except St. Francis Brooklyn would be the six seed.
Figuring out what could happen next might as well be an advanced level math course. Do you know there’s a possibility of FDU, SFU, SFC, LIU and Robert Morris all finishing with the same conference record and a five-way tiebreaker determining the seeding. That would include three teams losing their remaining games, Robert Morris winning both and LIU splitting, but it’s possible. It’s possible!
-How to be the six seed: RMU, LIU and FDU all finish 9-9: Again, somehow this is possible? What a weird weekend of games. Robert Morris would be the six seed, FDU seven, LIU eight. Robert Morris swept the season series from both schools.
There’s one way RMU could finish as the six seed. Also, it’s so stupid I almost didn’t add it. But here’s how it would happen:
Robert Morris wins both of their games, LIU losses one and FDU, SFU and SFC all go 0-2 against some of the worst teams in the league. If that happens, all five teams with finish at 9-9. The order would then be:
4. St. Francis Brooklyn
That’s about it. Robert Morris can’t get more than a six seed, and even that would just be crazy unlikely. What will probably happen is Robert Morris will be an eight seed, traveling to Wagner, Mount St. Mary’s or Sacred Heart.
Let the games begin!