The Patriot League tips off tournament basketball Tuesday night and with that begins a series of posts with tables featuring numbers between zero and one. We’re using the low-tech log5 method and my ratings to estimate each team’s chance of winning its conference tournament. From now through next Wednesday, you’ll see periodic posts breaking down the bracket for each of the 31 conference tourneys. (Or 32 if Harvard and Yale work out an unlikely tie atop the Ivy League.)

This analysis looks beyond seeding to determine the true favorites in each league’s event. While conference tournaments have the reputation for producing fluky winners, the conference regular season is also not the fairest measure of the best team in the league. There’s no better example of that than the Patriot League where there isn’t much difference from top to bottom. Every team won at least six and lost at least five in conference play. Given the parity, an 18-game schedule isn’t enough to determine the best team, so let’s play a few more to give us additional data. Plus, single-elimination tournaments are fun. And who’s against fun? Well, it turns out a few people are, but not me.

The Patriot League rewards regular-season record by playing every game at the higher seed, so some of the parity in the league is washed out in the numbers below. Remarkably, every PL tourney since the league’s inception in 1989-90 has been won by either the one or two seeds, with 16 of the 24 events going to the top seed. There’s about a one-in-three chance of that ending this season.

Along with the log5 output, I’ll post each conference’s team as of the end of the regular season. These lists are on each conference’s page and can still change since postseason action will be included in the calculation. The Patriot League kPOY is Lehigh’s sophomore center, Tim Kempton. Tim’s dad tore it up at Notre Dame in the ‘80’s and may have been the nicest guy to play in the NBA. I can only surmise this because he saw action in parts of eight seasons while never posting a VORP greater than zero (based on Basketball-Reference’s box plus-minus statistic).

Patriot League Tim Kempton, Lehigh (kPOY); Dan Trist, Lafayette; Damon Sherman-Newsome, Colgate; Cedric Hankerson, Boston U.; Jesse Reed, American.

March 3, 5, 8, 11. All games at higher seed.

              Qtrs Semis Final Champ
 1 Bucknell    100  78.1  55.6  35.3
 2 Colgate     100  82.5  59.4  33.3
 3 Lehigh      100  70.3  26.7  13.6
 4 Lafayette   100  68.5  26.8   8.7
 6 American    100  29.7  10.0   3.4
 5 Boston U.   100  31.5  11.5   3.4
 8 Holy Cross 77.0  18.5   5.4   1.2
 7 Navy       64.6  11.2   2.5   0.6
10 Army       35.4   6.3   1.4   0.3
 9 Loyola MD  23.0   3.5   0.7   0.1