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College Hockey:
Bracketology: Feb. 2, 2010

It’s time once again to do what we like to call Bracketology — college hockey style. It’s our weekly look at how I believe the NCAA Ice Hockey Championship Committee will use the PairWise to determine the NCAA tournament bracket.

If you’re new to Bracketology, click here for the background.

Here is the top 16 of the current PairWise Rankings (PWR), and the conference leaders (through all games of Feb. 2):

1 Miami
2 Denver
3 Wisconsin
4 St. Cloud State
5 Bemidji State
6 Minnesota-Duluth
7t Ferris State
7t Massachusetts
9 New Hampshire
10 Colorado College
11t Michigan State
11t Boston College
11t Cornell
14 Vermont
15t North Dakota
15t Union
15t Maine
– RIT

Current conference leaders based on winning percentage:
Atlantic Hockey: RIT
CHA: Bemidji State
CCHA: Miami
ECAC: Cornell
Hockey East: New Hampshire
WCHA: Denver

Step One

From the committee’s report, choose the 16 teams in the tournament.

We break ties in the PWR by looking at the individual comparisons among the tied teams, and add in any current league leaders that are not currently in the Top 16. The only team that is not is RIT.

From there, we can start looking at the bubble in a more detailed fashion.

The bubbles consist of Ferris and Massachusetts at 7, Michigan State, BC and Cornell at 11, and North Dakota, Union and Maine at 15.

Looking at the head-to-head PairWise comparisons we break all of our ties.

Ferris State wins the head-to-head with Massachusetts.

Michigan State beats both BC and Cornell, while BC beats Cornell. And North Dakota beats both Union and Maine, while Union beats Maine.

Therefore the 16 teams in the tournament, in rank order, are:

1 Miami
2 Denver
3 Wisconsin
4 St. Cloud State
5 Bemidji State
6 Minnesota-Duluth
7 Ferris State
8 Massachusetts
9 New Hampshire
10 Colorado College
11 Michigan State
12 Boston College
13 Cornell
14 Vermont
15 North Dakota
16 RIT

Step Two

Now it’s time to assign the seeds.

No. 1 Seeds — Miami, Denver, Wisconsin, St. Cloud State
No. 2 Seeds — Bemidji State, Minnesota-Duluth, Ferris State, Massachusetts
No. 3 Seeds — New Hampshire, Colorado College, Michigan State, Boston College
No. 4 Seeds — Cornell, Vermont, North Dakota, RIT

Step Three

Place the No. 1 seeds in regionals. Following the guidelines, there are no host teams in this grouping, so that rule does not need to be enforced.

We now place the other No. 1 seeds based on proximity to the regional sites.

No. 1 Miami is placed in the Midwest Regional in Fort Wayne, Ind.
No. 2 Denver is placed in the West Regional in St. Paul, Minn.
No. 3 Wisconsin is placed in the East Regional in Albany, N.Y.
No. 4 St. Cloud State is placed in the Northeast Regional in Worcester, Mass.

Step Four

Now we place the other 12 teams so as to avoid intra-conference matchups if possible.

Begin by filling in each bracket by banding groups. Remember that teams are not assigned to the regional closest to their campus sites by ranking order within the banding (unless you are a host school, in which case you must be assigned to your home regional).

If this is the case, as it was last year, then the committee should seed so that the quarterfinals are seeded such that the four regional championships are played by No. 1 vs. No. 8, No. 2 vs. No. 7, No. 3 vs. No. 6 and No. 4 vs. No. 5.

So therefore:

No. 2 Seeds

No. 8 Massachusetts is placed in No. 1 Miami’s Regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 7 Ferris State is placed in No. 2 Denver’s Regional, the West Regional.
No. 6 Minnesota-Duluth is placed in No. 3 Wisconsin’s Regional, the East Regional.
No. 5 Bemidji State is placed in No. 4 St. Cloud’s Regional, the Northeast Regional.

No. 3 Seeds

Our bracketing system has one Regional containing seeds 1, 8, 9, and 16, another with 2, 7, 10, 15, another with 3, 6, 11, 14 and another with 4, 5, 12 and 13.

Therefore:

No. 9 New Hampshire is placed in No. 8 Massachusetts’ Regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 10 Colorado College is placed in No. 7 Ferris State’s Regional, the West Regional.
No. 11 Michigan State is placed in No. 6 Minnesota-Duluth’s Regional, the East Regional.
No. 12 Boston College is placed in No. 5 Bemidji’s Regional, the Northeast Regional.

No. 4 Seeds

One more time, taking No. 16 v. No. 1, No. 15 v. No. 2, etc.

No. 16 RIT is sent to No. 1 Miami’s Regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 15 North Dakota is sent to No. 2 Denver’s Regional, the West Regional.
No. 14 Vermont is sent to No. 3 Wisconsin’s Regional, the East Regional.
No. 13 Cornell is sent to No. 4 St. Cloud’s Regional, the Northeast Regional.

The brackets as we have set them up:

West Regional:
North Dakota vs. Denver
Colorado College vs. Ferris State

Midwest Regional:
RIT vs. Miami
New Hampshire vs. Massachusetts

East Regional:
Vermont vs. Wisconsin
Michigan State vs. Minnesota-Duluth

Northeast Regional:
Cornell vs. St. Cloud State
Boston College vs. Bemidji State

Our first concern is avoiding intra-conference matchups. We have a few.

We have to switch out North Dakota, but the only place where North Dakota can go is to play Miami. Therefore, we switch North Dakota with RIT.

Then we have to switch out New Hampshire, which we do by switching with Colorado College.

So our tournament now becomes:

West Regional:
RIT vs. Denver
New Hampshire vs. Ferris State

Midwest Regional:
North Dakota vs. Miami
Colorado College vs. Massachusetts

East Regional:
Vermont vs. Wisconsin
Michigan State vs. Minnesota-Duluth

Northeast Regional:
Cornell vs. St. Cloud State
Boston College vs. Bemidji State

Do we like the way this looks?

We have no intraconference matchups, so we are OK. Integrity also looks OK.

Do we have an attendance issue?

Sure looks like we do.

Let’s do the same thing we did last week. If you recall, we put forth the theory that Denver has to fly, so it can be sent anywhere. If Wisconsin and St. Cloud both go east, we now have three teams flying. So to minimize the flying, we take the remainder of the top seeds and assign it to the West Regional.

In this case, we assign Wisconsin to St. Paul, then move Denver to Worcester.

Using the same bracketing procedure as above we now wind up with this bracket:

West Regional:
Vermont vs. Wisconsin
Michigan State vs. Minn.-Duluth

Midwest Regional:
North Dakota vs. Miami
Colorado College vs. Massachusetts

East Regional:
Cornell vs. St. Cloud State
Boston College vs. Bemidji State

Northeast Regional:
RIT vs. Denver
New Hampshire vs. Ferris State

Let’s take a look.

St. Paul is good with Wisconsin, UMD and Michigan State.

Fort Wayne is good with Miami and North Dakota.

Albany is good with Cornell and Boston College.

Worcester is OK with New Hampshire.

So that’s where I’ll hang my hat this week.

Check the Bracketology Blog for other items and we’ll see you here next week for the next Bracketology.


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