I had some time to kill on my flights Wednesday and started going through all of the tie-break scenarios between two teams heading into the second to last weekend. I haven't looked into a potential three way tie between MN, MI, and PSU. Ohio State, Michigan State, and Wisconsin can not finish in a three way tie due to MSU and OSU already playing and Wisconsin only being able to gain 21 points. I'm not going to look into likelihood of the ties happening, just what happens once they do. I took about 6 pages of notes so I won't share the actual numbers. After this weekend, I will post all possible scenarios.
As a refresher, the tie breaks are below:
a) Conference wins
b) Head to Head winning percentage in conference games (ties count as 0.5 wins and 0.5 losses, SOW do not factor in) between conference teams
c) Better Goal Differential in conference games between tied teams
d) Better win% against team below tied teams (I'm not sure if a tie between lower teams starts with w% against top team then works down or starts with team below, waiting to hear back on that one)
e) Coin flip
Minnesota and Michigan
As of now Minnesota has a one point lead over Michigan. The Gophers also have 2 more conference wins. Michigan outscored Minnesota and would win the third tie break as long as they can match Minnesota's wins. Minnesota wins all possible tie breaks at 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 46 and 47 and >85% of all tie breaks at 41-45.
Michigan will need to out gain Minnesota which will prove difficult. 41 points is the likely clinching number for a first round bye in the Big Ten Tournament. Minnesota clinches the top seed with 47 points.
Minnesota and Penn State
Minnesota leads Penn State by 7 points, the teams tied the season series, and Minnesota scored more goals than Penn State in their series. The Gophers eliminate Penn State by gaining 6 points (or any combination of MN pts gained and PSU pts lost adding to 6). If the teams tie at 36, or 37, 38, 39, or 40 Minnesota wins. If the teams tie at 41, it depends on if Minnesota wins one game or ties a bunch a times. If Minnesota gets to 41 without winning, Penn State would win the tie break. If Minnesota wins and ties, the Gophers win the tie break.
Michigan and Penn State
Michigan leads Penn State by 6 points, has one more conference win and swept Penn State in their only series to date. These teams still play each other one time. Michigan has currently outscored Penn State by 6 so the Nittany Lions will need to blow out Michigan twice to win a potential third tie breaker. If Penn State gets to 40 or 41 points, they will win any tie breaker with Michigan. Michigan wins any tie breaker at 35. It's a toss up at 36 or 37 while Penn State has the advantage if it's 38 or 39. Michigan needs 7 points to eliminate Penn State.
Penn State and Ohio State
Penn State leads Ohio State by 10. The two teams split the season series with Ohio State outscoring Penn State. If the teams tie at 31, OSU will win due to goal differential. If they tie at 30 or 29, Penn State will win due to more conference wins. OSU can only finish in 4th if they win out and Penn State takes 2 or less points the rest of the way or If they can take 11 points and Penn State loses out.
Ohio State and Michigan State
Ohio State leads MSU by 3 points. The teams split their first series with MSU outscoring the Buckeyes by 1. These teams will face off the last weekend of the season in a series that will likely decide 4th and 5th place. If the teams tie at 21 it is a toss up, if they tie at 26 it is MSU. Ties at 22-24 lean strongly towards the Spartans.
Ohio State and Wisconsin
The Buckeyes lead the Badgers by 10 points. OSU won twice and tied twice to win the season series and outscored Wisconsin by 3. OSU wins all tie breakers with Wisconsin. Wisconsin can only pass OSU with 11 or 12 points. The Buckeyes need two points to eliminate Wisconsin.
Michigan State and Wisconsin
MSU leads Wisconsin by 7 points and won the season series with 3 wins and a tie. MSU wins all tie breaks over Wisconsin since Wisconsin can only tie MSU in the win column. Wisconsin will again have to beat the Spartans straight up.