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How Does C-USA Break A Tie?

Conference USA Basketball Tournament

I’m sure many of you are wondering what the C-USA Tiebreak procedures are for basketball? Since UTEP is currently in a 4-way tie for 2nd place, there are plenty of possibilities heading into the final week of the regular season. Thanks to the C-USA Basketball Office, here is the official championship formula.

CHAMPIONSHIP SEEDING FORMULA
Overall Conference record, at the conclusion of the regular season, is used to seed teams number 1 through 12.
The following procedures are set up to establish seeding for the championship and to break ties. Follow the
appropriate steps in order.
TIE-BREAKING PROCEDURE FOR SEEDING
TWO-WAY TIE
1. Regular season head-to-head results (one or two games). If the tied teams split their two games, then
proceed to Step 2 below.
2. Each team’s record vs. the team or tied teams occupying the highest position in the standings. Continue
down through the standings until one team gains an advantage. When comparing records against a single
team or collective tied teams (before ties are broken), the following may apply:
a. If the games played against the team or group are equal, winning percentage prevails.
b. If the games played against the team or group are unequal, the following scenarios apply:
1) Most wins do prevail only if the team with fewer wins could not equal that win total if they played
the same number of games. Two examples of many scenarios that do provide an advantage:
1) Team A 2-0 2) Team A 3-0
Team B 0-1 Team B 1-1
2) Most wins do not prevail if the team with fewer wins could equal or surpass the win total of the
other team. Two examples of many scenarios that do not provide an advantage:
1) Team A 1-1 2) Team A 2-0
Team B 0-1 Team B 1-0
3) Fewer losses do not prevail if the teams have the same number of wins and if the team with fewer
games could equal or surpass the loss total of the other team. Two examples of many scenarios that
do not provide an advantage:
1) Team A 1-0 2) Team A 0-1
Team B 1-1 Team B 0-2
If an advantage is not determined, proceed to the next team or group in the standings for comparison.
If the tie cannot be broken after continuing down through the last team or teams in the standings, revert
back to comparing records against the top teams in order and allow winning percentage to prevail even if
there is a comparison of unequal games. Only then, if the percentages are both 1.000, is 2-0 better than 1-0.
However, the reverse is not true – no team gains advantage when all have a .000 winning percentage (0-1
is never better than 0-2).
MULTIPLE-TEAM TIE (3 or more teams)
1. A) Teams are viewed as a “mini-conference” when comparing head-to-head results. The team with the
best record (as determined by winning percentage, even if unequal games) vs. the other teams in the miniconference
gains the advantage. If only two teams have the same best winning percentage in the miniconference,
the higher seed goes to the team winning the head-to-head series. If the two teams split their
two games, then proceed to Step 2 under Two-Way ties. To seed the remaining team(s) in this miniconference,
proceed to Paragraph B below. If three or more (but not all) teams have the same best winning
percentage in the original mini-conference, then those tied teams create a new mini-conference and follow
the same procedures as at the beginning of this paragraph. If all teams in the mini-conference have the
same mini-conference record, proceed to Step 2 below.
B) After the top team in a mini-conference is determined, the next team is ranked by its record in the
original mini-conference. If there are any remaining teams tied by their record in the mini-conference,
then head-to-head results will determine the higher seed. If the teams split two games, then proceed back
to the two-way tie breaking procedure. If there are at least three teams remaining tied by their record in
the mini-conference, they would then form a new mini-conference and follow the procedure again at the
beginning of Step 1 (Multiple-Team Tie).
2. Compare each team’s record vs. the team or group of tied teams occupying the highest position in the
standings. Continue down through the standings until one team gains an advantage. When comparing
records against a single team or collective tied teams (before ties are broken), the following may apply:
a. The games played against the team or group are equal, winning percentage prevails.
b. If the games played against the team or group are unequal, the following scenarios apply:
1) Most wins do prevail only if the team(s) with fewer wins could not equal that win total if they
played the same number of games. Two examples of many scenarios that do provide an advantage
1) Team A 2-0 2) Team A 3-1
Team B 1-1 Team B 1-2
Team C 0-1 Team C 1-2
2) Most wins do not prevail only if the team(s) with fewer wins could equal or surpass the win total
of the other team. Two examples of many scenarios that do not provide an advantage:
1) Team A 2-1 2) Team A 1-2
Team B 1-1 Team B 0-2
Team C 1-1 Team C 0-2
3) Fewer losses do not prevail if the team(s) have the same number of wins, but the team with fewer
games could equal or surpass the loss total of the other tied teams. Two examples of many scenarios
that do not provide an advantage:
1) Team A 2-0 2) Team A 0-2
Team B 2-1 Team B 0-3
Team C 2-1 Team C 0-3
If an advantage is not determined, proceed to the next team or group in the standings for comparison.
If the tie cannot be broken after continuing down through the last team or teams in the standings,
revert back to comparing records against the top teams in order and allow winning percentage to
prevail even if there is a comparison of unequal games. Only then, if the percentages are both 1.000,
than 2-0 is better than 1-0. However, the reverse is not true – no team gains advantage when all have a
.000 winning percentage (0-1 is never better than 0-2).
COIN FLIP
If any ties still exist after implementing all of the above tie-breaking procedures, a coin flip is required. The
procedure takes place at the Conference USA office immediately following the conclusion of the last regular
season conference game. The Commissioner, or designee, will administer this procedure.

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