Fun with Numbers

This page just went up simultaneously. Check it out; it contains a list of every non-West D2 school, sorted by conference and region. It also links to the men’s basketball section of every conference website.

Since the CCAA is yet to post their schedule, there will be three separate posts regarding the D2 non-region scheduling of the GNAC, Pac-West, and CCAA respectively; look forward to the GNAC one tomorrow.

In the mean time -there’s rarely a reason to really look at the numbers because D2 is so regional, but numbers are fun!

Here are some base numbers in terms of likeliness of making the tournament, strictly by the numbers.

299 teams
64 bids
24 conferences/auto bids
8 regions

Overall, you have a 21% chance of making the tournament. Those don’t seem like bad odds, especially because every single conference receives at least one bid.

Regionally… there’s some significant variation, even just with numbers involved.

Your chance of making the tourney in each of the following regions:

East: 20.5%
Midwest: 19.5%
Central: 20%
Atlantic: 19.5%
South: 23.5%
Southeast: 22.2%
South Central: 25%
West: 22.8%

Again, not bad odds when it’s only numbers.

Making it by procuring your conference auto-bid?

Great Northwest Athletic Conference: 10%
Pacific West Conference: 7%
California Collegiate Athletic Association: 8%
Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference: 6%
Lone Star Conference: 11%
Heartland Conference: 12.5%
Peach Belt Conference: 7%
South Atlantic Conference: 8%
Conference Carolinas: 10%
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference: 7%
Sunshine State Conference: 10%
Gulf South Conference: 10%
Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association: 7%
Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference: 6%
Great American Conference: 10%
Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association: 8%
Mountain East Conference: 9%
Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference: 5%
Northeast-10 Conference: 6%
Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference: 7%
East Coast Conference: 10%
Great Lakes Valley Conference: 6%
Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference: 6%
Great Midwest Athletic Conference: 11%

Some of those odds are really variable; it looks appealing to be in the GNAC where you have a 10% chance, except… 10% of that 10% is being willing to live in Fairbanks, Alaska for most of the year, which most people don’t want to do.

In the RMAC while you only have a 6% chance of making the tournament with an auto bid, the odds of living in a very desirable locale are quite good and thus the odds of getting good enough guys that you don’t need the auto bid to make the tourney are much higher.

Remember: The numbers consist of only the numbers.

Everything’s fair when it comes math; I tend to think that there’s less bias in D2 about strong and weak regions because no one is selecting the region you’ll play in; they’re merely selecting your seed. And when it comes to your seeding… you have to beat everybody.

Period. This is can be really, really annoying at times and is basically the only thing I dislike about the D2 system.

Two years ago, on a national level, WWU, Cal Poly Pomona, and SPU were all ranked in the Top 4 overall. However, they’re all in the same region. SPU and Cal Poly Pomona played each other in the round of 32, SPU and WWU played each other in the round of 16, WWU went to the Elite Eight.

While the best eight teams aren’t necessarily playing in the Elite Eight, there’s a good argument that the best team from each region goes to the Elite Eight. If you can’t win when it counts, you are clearly not the best.

The fact that it is so regional, also makes regions that much more fun. While there’s not a particular reason to know about schools outside, the implications of what’s going on within can be huge.

Last year on January 4th, I extrapolated that San Bernardino would host and the GNAC would be a one bid league unless the regular season champion and tournament winner were different. Roughly 275 games later, I was proven correct.

Meanwhile, back in numbers land…

You have roughly a 2.7% chance overall of making the Elite Eight, therefore a 2.7% chance of seeing a team outside of your own region in March.

The numbers by region:

East: 2.5
Midwest: 2.4
Central: 2.5
Atlantic: 2.4
South: 2.9
Southeast: 2.7
South Central: 3.1
West: 2.8

This is why your region matters, but the others don’t. It also explains why this blog is so obsessed with the Pac-West and CCAA: it’s a GNAC blog; we’re in the West Region; what happens nationally matters little, and we have little control over it. What we do have control over is how our conference is viewed within the region, proving that those in-conference wins are a big deal, and therefore securing our seeding.

All the same, every D2 game is important and next we’ll take a look at the GNAC vs. the non-west D2.

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