What Happens In A Three-Way Tie Between the Washington Mystics, Dallas Wings, and Atlanta Dream?

By: Zachary Diamond
Posted: September 12, 2020

With two days left in the 2020 WNBA regular season, the Washington Mystics, Dallas Wings, and Atlanta Dream are all neck and neck for that last playoff spot in what should be a wild finish.

The Mystics currently occupy the 8th seed at 7-13. The Wings and Dream are 7-14 and half a game back behind the Mystics. The end of the regular season can be pretty straightforward, but it also can great freakin’ crazy.

The Mystics control their own destiny. The Mystics play the Liberty and the Dream to finish off the season. If the Mystics win both of those games and finish 2-0, they make the playoffs, regardless of the Wings and Dream.

However, madness erupts if the Mystics win against the Liberty but lose to the Dream, finishing 1-1. That gives both the Dream and the Wings a shot at the playoffs. The Wings play their final game of the season on Sunday against the last place Liberty in what should be a guaranteed win for Dallas.

With a Dallas win and the Dream beating the Mystics, everyone finishes 8-14. **CHAOS ENSUES**

With an 8-14 tie for the 8th seed between three teams, here are WNBA’s criteria for tiebreakers:

(1) Better record in head-to-head games.
(2) Better winning percentage against all teams with .500 or better record at the end of the season.
(3) Better point differential in games net result of total points scored less total points allowed head-to-head.
(4) Better point differential net result of total points scored less total points allowed against all opponents.

For head-to-head matchups, the Dallas Wings are 2-0 against the Mystics, while the Dream are 1-1 with the Wings and 0-1 against the Mystics. I think that means that the Mystics are eliminated, since they have the worst head-to-head record, and then there is a tie between Atlanta and Dallas head-to-head.

Onto the next criteria, better winning percentage against .500 teams or better, the Dream matchup against the Wings. The Dream is 2-12 against .500 or better teams this season while the Wings are 1-11, giving the Dream an advantage and that last playoff spot.

I am pretty sure but maybe wrong that the math gives Atlanta the last playoff spot if there was a three-way tie at the end of the season. Considering their lack of success against .500 or better teams, I don’t see Atlanta making any serious noise in the playoffs.

Regardless of the outcome, the next two days in the WNBA are sure to be an entertaining finish.

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For more thoughts and opinions from Zachary Diamond, check out his author page or Twitter.

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