February 23, 2012 - by David Hess
We’re Calling It: Drexel Has Won The Colonial Athletic Association
posted in NCAA Basketball
“It ain’t over till it’s over.”
Or, in this case, “it ain’t over till we say there’s a 99 percent chance one team will win.”
College basketball teams across the country are competing for conference championships, with some decided far sooner than others. Once a team’s projected conference win odds hit 99%, we’ll call the race for them, and publish a chart that shows you exactly how smooth or rocky their path was.
Several conferences are already essentially in the bag; we’ll also bring you up to speed on those over the next week or two, continuing today with the Colonial Athletic Association.
Drexel’s Colonial Athletic Association Win Probability Graph
(click to enlarge)
As the Colonial season started, the conference race appeared to be shaping up as one of the most exciting around, with four teams having over a 10% shot to win. Drexel was second at 20%, behind George Mason’s 35%.
Over the first month, VCU initially seemed to take control of the race, but back to back losses to start January dropped them back to the pack. That second loss was to Drexel, and it was the start of the Dragons’ unwavering climb to the league title.
After losing their first two games, Drexel has reeled off 15 straight Colonial wins, and clinched the CAA title with a home win over James Madison last night.
Here’s a look back at Drexel’s road to the conference title.
The Slow Start
Dec. 3 — Drexel lost their opening CAA tilt to Delaware, dropping their odds from 20 percent to 11 percent..
Jan. 2 — After a month-long break in conference play, the Dragons fell to 0-2 with a loss at Georgia State. The poor start seemed to kill Drexel’s CAA chances, which fell to 6 percent.
The Turning Point
Jan. 8 and Jan. 12 — Back to back home wins over conference favorites VCU and George Mason kept Drexel alive, and dealt a blow to their top competitors. Over this five day stretch, The Dragons’ CAA odds rose from 12 to 32 percent.
Feb. 1 — In the midst of a 15-game conference win streak, a win at Northeastern coupled with a George Mason loss at Delaware provided the biggest single-day boost to Drexel’s conference win odds, as they rose from 46 to 61 percent.
Feb. 22 — A Dragons home win over James Madison plus a GMU road loss to Northeastern combined to clinch the regular season Colonial title for Drexel, and their odds rose from 87 to 100 percent. They are now one game up with only one remaining, and have the tiebreaker advantage due to their perfect 2-0 record against second place George Mason and VCU.