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College basketball rankings: Looking at early Big Ten title odds

Wisconsin is an overwhelming favorite to win its first Big Ten championship since 2008.

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Well, the Super Bowl has come and gone, and the Big Ten season is about halfway over. And my kids are home from school because of a blizzard. That means it's time to run some simulations to take a look at who's got the inside track at hanging a banner.

Here are the current odds, based on 10,000 simulations of the rest of the season using both the T-Rank and the Kenpom ratings:

Team T-Rank Kenpom Avg.
Wisconsin 93% 94% 93%
Ohio State 14% 8% 11%
Maryland 4% 5% 5%
Michigan State 3% 3% 3%
Indiana 1% 1% 1%
Purdue 1% 0% 0%

As you can see, the Badgers are overwhelmingly favored to get a share of the title.

Here's the same chart with chances for an outright title:

Team T-Rank Kenpom Avg.
Wisconsin 81% 84% 82%
Ohio State 5% 2% 4%
Maryland 1% 1% 1%
Michigan State 1% 1% 1%

Unsurprisingly, the Badgers are the only that currently has a significant chance of ending up the sole champ. Even if the Badgers completely collapse, it's pretty likely unlikely that just one of those five teams currently tied for second at 6-3 will separate from all the others.

So those are the base odds. But let's play god a little. What happens if we assume that the Badgers lose their two toughest remaining games, at Maryland and at Ohio State?

Team T-Rank Kenpom Avg.
Wisconsin 74% 79% 77%
Ohio State 40% 27% 33%
Maryland 17% 21% 19%
Michigan State 6% 8% 7%
Indiana 2% 3% 3%
Purdue 2% 1% 2%
Iowa 1% 1% 1%

Even if we assume the Badgers lose those two games, they're still overwhelmingly favored win a share of the title. But at least with this experiment we can see that Ohio State and Maryland have a legitimate path to the title: beat Wisconsin, and hope that the Badgers pull another Rutgers somewhere along the way.