The zany stats from Marquette’s most improbable win

We will touch on the emotional factor of Marquette’s victory over Creighton later today, but before we do that, we have to set a baseline for just how improbable the victory itself was.

You don’t need any fancy charts to tell you what Marquette did was historic, overcoming a 5 point deficit in under a second, but seeing the numbers laid out all together really puts the awe in awesome. I’m really in awe, there’s just no better way to say.

To begin with, Marquette broke TRank’s win probability graph.

It’s not possible to have win probability drop below zero, of course. But I guess it’s not possible to overcome a 5 point deficit with less than a second to play. And yet here we are.

ESPN’s win probability was much more bullish on Marquette’s chances, giving Wojo’s squad a robust .5% chance to win after Chartouny missed


ESPN’s graph won’t let me see past that point, but needless to say, ESPN also believes Marquette’s chances were closer to none than slim.

Moving on to KenPom’s charts, you can also see it basically touching the Y-Axis, meaning 0% chance for a victory.


But it gets even better. According to KenPom, this was the most improbable win in any game this season.

I think that Tweet speaks for itself, but to get a better gauge of just what kind of odds we’re talking about I wanted to unpack it a bit.

Something that has a .1% chance of happening should happen 1 time every 1000 opportunities. So if you watch 1000 basketball games this year, you would probably only see this happen once.

But the probability is not the same as actuality. There have been 2,901 games this year and yet this is only the first time a team with a .1% probability in KenPom’s system actually won (with some D1 v D2 caveats). If you look further back, it becomes even more impressive.

Since 2010 there have been 55,815 total games in college basketball. Using some basic math, that means we could expect to have seen about 55 games won with probabilities at .1% or below. In actuality only 10 total games were won with win probabilities at .1% or lower.


So in reality, if you watched on Tuesday, you witnessed something in the .02% of games this decade.

And in case you still can’t believe it…

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