The master spreadsheet is nearly finished. I didn’t get everything that I wanted to complete done for the day (especially teasing all the three-way tiebreakers), but I did learn some things and will do better next year. I will be able to do a full breakdown of all 243 possibilities for tomorrow night’s games.

As I noted early this morning, there are four cohorts:

- Minnesota State, Michigan Tech, and Bowling Green vying for the 1-3 spots.
- Northern Michigan and Ferris State vying for the 4-5 spot — the rights to host the other next weekend.
- Bemidji State and Lake Superior for 6-7.
- Alaska-Anchorage and Alaska for the final playoff spot.

The last three are easy to figure out, so let’s start there.

**UAA at UAF**

Simply put, Fairbanks has to win and tie to push to a tiebreaker at 19 points (they win at A) or win outright at 20. By a pure counts basis — all things being equal — a win-and-tie happens two times in six combinations. A predictions table like what’s featured in my spreadsheet shows that **the Nanooks get their favored result about 36.19% of the time**, or a little better than the 33.33% chance by pure counts. Why? BELOW says that the Nanooks are better than the Seawolves despite the green and gold having the two-point advantage in the standings table.

**BSU and LSSU**

These two teams do not play this weekend: the Beavers host the Mavericks, while the Lakers host the Bulldogs. As both opponents have something to play for this weekend, these games will certainly be contested. LSSU wins the A tiebreaker with a 2-1-1 season series record, so BSU gets to 6th anytime they have more points than LSSU. By counts, this happens 77.5% of the time; **by odds, 75.10%**. This is largely due to the fact that Mankato is a stronger team than Ferris both absolutely and in relative BELOW margin.

**NMU and FSU**

This one is the most surprising result to me. The Wildcats and Bulldogs split their season series 2-2-0, so they depend either on the B, D, or E tiebreakers. As I noted this morning, a split between NMU and Tech and Ferris winning and tying gets the teams noted at 13-10-5. By counts, this happens 9.88% of the time; by odds, 8.81%. There’s no way for NMU to win at B for any tie other the one at 31 points. **So overall, by odds, it’s 50.59% NMU, 40.60% FSU, and 8.81% a push to goal margin.**

**MSU-MTU-BGSU**

First we must consider the three-way ties that can occur. We can have three-way ties at 39, 38, and 37 points. To review, the A tiebreaker is not in play.

39: MSU splits (W-L or T-T doesn’t matter), MTU sweeps, BGSU sweeps. The B tiebreaker settles this for us: 1-MTU (18), 2-BGSU (17), 3-MSU (16 or 15).

38: MSU ties once, MTU wins and ties, BGSU wins and ties. The B tiebreaker settles this for us: 1-MTU (17), 2-BGSU (16), 3-MSU (15). Because ties are involved, this doesn’t happen very often.

37-a: MSU is swept, MTU wins and loses, BGSU wins and loses. The B tiebreaker settles this for us: 1-MTU (17), 2-BGSU (16), 3-MSU (15).

37-b: MSU is swept, MTU wins and loses, BGSU ties twice. The B tiebreaker pulls MTU into first, and we reset into the two-way tiebreaker setup for MSU and BGSU. The teams went 1-1-2 this season, and they’d have identical records, so they push to D, where BGSU wins (1-2-1 v. Tech against MSU’s 0-1-1). 1-MTU, 2-BGSU, 3-MSU.

37-c: MSU is swept, MTU ties twice, BGSU wins and loses. The B tiebreaker drops MSU out (15 v. 16-16). MTU wins at A. 1-MTU, 2-BGSU, 3-MSU.

37-d: MSU is swept, MTU ties twice, BGSU ties twice. The B tiebreaker pulls MTU out, and we’re again left with a two-way tiebreaker that BGSU wins. 1-MTU, 2-BGSU, 3-MSU.

In all, these three-way ties happen 729 times in 59,049 scenarios (1.23456789%, I kid you not). The odds of

If MSU gets 40 or 41 points, they break free of the pack.

**Two-way Tiebreakers (A, C, or D):**

**BGSU-MSU**

The teams split their season series; as noted, the Falcons win at D.

**BGSU-MTU**

MTU wins at A by virtue of going 2-1-1 in the season series.

**MSU-MTU**

MTU wins at C by virtue of going 1-0-1 in the season series.

As you can see, MTU wins *all *of the three-way ties and both of the two-way tiebreakers. MSU, despite being ahead in points by virtue of 7 ties, is also at a disadvantage for that same reason in most any tie situation.

Now here’s where I ended up running out of time, because teasing out logical arguments in Excel isn’t always very fun. Here’s what I can tell you:

Mankato can win outright by picking up three or four points this weekend. That happens 42.94% of the time against 33.33% of the counts. When this happens, MTU is second 53.77% of the time. I imagine that this spread stays the same as long as MSU is ahead of the other two schools; MTU will win most other comparisons.

Back late tonight or early in the morning for more.