There’s one day of games left.
What do we know? What don’t we know? What are the possibilities?
Thanks to our handy-dandy PairWise Predictor, we can simulate what may happen if we hypothesize the results of games yet to be played.
So let’s give you some of the things that I believe to be the case going into the last day of games.
• There could potentially be one spot left for either Vermont, Wisconsin or Minnesota State.
If Vermont wins, it is in. If Vermont loses then either Wisconsin or Minnesota State is in — or maybe both (see below).
• Why is it “potentially” one spot?
• Because Notre Dame is out in a bizarre scenario that I found. That scenario — Northern Michigan and Notre Dame must tie their CCHA third-place game.
If either Notre Dame or Northern Michigan wins, then Notre Dame is in regardless of what else happens. But if Notre Dame and Northern Michigan tie, then Notre Dame can potentially be out.
I’ll give you an example. Princeton, BC and Miami win and Notre Dame and Northern Michigan tie.
If Northern Michigan wins, it becomes a Team Under Consideration. In that case, Minnesota State loses the comparison with NMU and therefore only has 10 comparison wins. That’s the same as Notre Dame, but Notre Dame wins the comparison with Minnesota State; therefore it breaks the tie and gets the last spot.
If Northern Michigan loses, Notre Dame jumps ahead of Wisconsin and Minnesota State, leaving the two tied for the last spot. Here, Minnesota State wins the comparison with Wisconsin and gets that last spot.
If Northern Michigan and Notre Dame tie, then NMU does not become a TUC and Minnesota State remains with 11 comparison wins while Wisconsin picks up a comparison win over Harvard to move it to 11 comparison wins. And Notre Dame remains at 10 comparison wins, leaving it out of the tournament.
There are numerous ways that I have found to put Notre Dame out of the tournament if it ties against Northern Michigan, but none if this game has a winner.
So, what does Notre Dame do here? If toward the end of the game Saturday Notre Dame and Northern Michigan are tied, does Notre Dame put the puck into its own net to lose?
After all, a tie can potentially put the Irish out of the tournament, but a win or a loss puts them into the tournament.
If this occurs, you have to wonder what Jeff Jackson will be thinking behind the bench.
• The only ways the WCHA gets seven teams into the tournament.
BC, Princeton and Miami win, while Northern Michigan and Notre Dame tie.
BC, Princeton and Michigan win and Northern Michigan and Notre Dame tie, and Minnesota and North Dakota do not both win their games.
These are the only ways.
• If Northern Michigan or Notre Dame wins, and if Boston College wins, then Princeton and Northern Michigan must win for Wisconsin to get in. If not, then Minnesota State gets in.
Remember that we said that if Northern Michigan or Notre Dame wins, then Notre Dame is in the tournament. So, if this happens, then the above comes into play.
A Northern Michigan win means that NMU becomes a TUC once again. Minnesota State then loses the comparison to Northern Michigan, meaning that Wisconsin catches Minnesota State in overall comparison wins, and since Wisconsin wins that comparison, it gets in ahead of Minnesota State.
Princeton winning would not jump it past Wisconsin or Minnesota State. A Harvard win would jump it past Wisconsin and Minnesota State.
• But, even if BC, NMU and Princeton win, and Wisconsin would have one more comparison win than Minnesota State, the committee might still consider Minnesota State over Wisconsin because Minnesota State wins the head-to-head comparison between the two, by a 4-2 margin.
Yes, this might happen. And it is a possibility. So if it works out this way, this might be a possible reason.
• Michigan, Miami and New Hampshire will be number-one seeds.
No one can turn enough comparisons with these three teams.
• The winner of North Dakota-Colorado College will claim the last number-one seed. A North Dakota win will give it the third overall seed; a Colorado College win will give it the number-four overall seed.
• Michigan, Miami, New Hampshire, Colorado College, North Dakota, Boston College, Denver, St. Cloud State, Michigan State, Clarkson, Minnesota, Niagara, Air Force and the winner of the ECAC Tournament are in the tournament.
Aside from the possible scenario I laid out above for Notre Dame, I think the Irish are in.
• If Miami defeats Michigan and Northern Michigan defeats Notre Dame, Miami is the number-one overall seed, else Michigan is the number-one overall seed.
• Michigan and Miami will be one-two in some order.
No one can catch Michigan and Miami, and the loser of this game will drop no further than second overall.
So enjoy the games and let’s see what happens!
If you find any scenarios that contradict this, please leave a comment or send me an email.