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College Hockey:
Bracketology: Feb. 24, 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.

Just remember that this is not a prediction. This is a possible look into what the Committee might be thinking.

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. 23):

1 Miami
2 Denver
3 Wisconsin
4t St. Cloud State
4t Bemidji State
6 Yale
7 Boston College
8 North Dakota
9 New Hampshire
10 Michigan State
11 Alaska
12t Minnesota-Duluth
12t Ferris State
12t Cornell
15t Union
15t Maine
– RIT

Current conference leaders based on winning percentage:
Atlantic Hockey: RIT
CHA: Bemidji State
CCHA: Miami
ECAC: Yale
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 St. Cloud State and Bemidji State at 4, Minnesota-Duluth, Ferris State and Cornell at 12, and Union and Maine at 15.

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

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 Yale
7 Boston College
8 North Dakota
9 New Hampshire
10 Michigan State
11 Alaska
12 Minnesota-Duluth
13 Ferris State
14 Cornell
15 Union
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, Yale, Boston College, North Dakota
No. 3 Seeds — New Hampshire, Michigan State, Alaska, Minnesota-Duluth
No. 4 Seeds — Ferris State, Cornell, Union, 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 Denver is placed in the West Regional in St. Paul, Minn.
No. 2 Miami is placed in the Midwest Regional in Fort Wayne, Ind.
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 North Dakota is placed in No. 1 Denver’s Regional, the West Regional.
No. 7 Boston College is placed in No. 2 Miami’s Regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 6 Yale 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 North Dakota’s Regional, the West Regional.
No. 10 Michigan State is placed in No. 7 Boston College’s Regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 11 Alaska is placed in No. 6 Yale’s Regional, the East Regional.
No. 12 Minnesota-Duluth is placed in No. 5 Bemidji’s Regional, the Northeast Regional.

No. 4 Seeds

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

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

The brackets as we have set them up:

Northeast Regional:

Ferris State vs. St. Cloud State
Minnesota-Duluth vs. Bemidji State

Midwest Regional:

Union vs. Miami
Michigan State vs. Boston College

East Regional:

Cornell vs. Wisconsin
Alaska vs. Yale

West Regional:

RIT vs. Denver
North Dakota vs. New Hampshire

Our first concern is avoiding intra-conference matchups. We have none.

Do we like the way this looks?

We have to look at attendance, especially in the Northeast and West Regionals. The East and Midwest Regionals should be just fine.

We would be better off served by just switching the whole bracket.

We would dramatically improve St. Paul’s attendance, and slightly improve Worcester’s attendance.

So we have to do that.

Our new brackets:

West Regional:

Ferris State vs. St. Cloud State
Minnesota-Duluth vs. Bemidji State

Midwest Regional:

Union vs. Miami
Michigan State vs. Boston College

East Regional:

Cornell vs. Wisconsin
Alaska vs. Yale

Northeast Regional:

RIT vs. Denver
North Dakota vs. New Hampshire

So if I were the committee, that’s what I would put out as the bracket.

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


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