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My bracket prediction, 3/12

WMU, Dartmouth and CC are all back in, thanks to wins by all those teams.

You see how volatile it is now.  These three teams, along with BU, must win in order to have a chance.

We saw how all four of these teams jumped back into the mix with wins in their last outings.

They have to keep winning to try and give themselves a chance.

Meanwhile, Rensselaer just keeps sitting by waiting and watching.  As a quick aside, before the Wisconsin-CC, St. Cloud-UMD and Minnesota State-Denver games went final, Rensselaer was sitting in 13th in the PairWise.

UNO is now also in that same position.  The Mavericks were not hurt that badly by Minnesota State falling out of TUC range.

Speaking of which, Minnesota State falling out of TUC range really hurts Denver, who was 5-0-1 against Minnesota State this year.

After all is said and done, we can honestly say that the bubble will consist of:

Notre Dame, UNO, WMU, CC, Dartmouth, Rensselaer, BU and Wisconsin.

Don’t forget the Badgers, who were on the doorstep before losing to CC in OT on Saturday night.

A win by Wisconsin over CC keeps them alive and on the bubble and most likely finishes CC.

A loss of Sunday by WMU, Dartmouth or BU could be devastating to the chances of these teams making the NCAA Tournament.

So it’s safe to say that if you’re a fan of Notre Dame, UNO, WMU, CC, Dartmouth, Rensselaer, BU and Wisconsin, you’re rooting for everyone but your team to lose on Sunday night.

It is now also pretty safe to say that these teams must win their tournaments to get in:

Alaska-Anchorage, Ferris State, Bemidji State, Quinnipiac, Harvard, St. Lawrence, Cornell, Colgate, RIT, Air Force, Holy Cross, Canisius, Connecticut, Lake Superior, Northeastern.

Everyone else that is no longer playing is done for the season.

How I see it after Saturday’s games:

East Regional (Bridgeport)

16 RIT vs. 1 Yale

10 Notre Dame vs. 8 Union

West Regional (St. Louis)

14 Colorado College vs. 4 Michigan

12 Nebraska-Omaha vs. 5 Miami

Northeast Regional (Manchester)

15 Dartmouth vs. 3 Boston College

11 New Hampshire vs. 6 Denver

Midwest Regional (Green Bay)

13 Western Michigan vs. 2 North Dakota

9 Minnesota-Duluth vs. 7 Merrimack

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  • Mr.(Always)Right

    Nix to the Duluth / Notre Dame swap. Moy focuses way too much on attendance over bracket integrity.

    • Andylen

      I agree 100%. If the rankings matter, then use them. Moving teams for attendance purposes means maybe an extra 500′people. Keep things alone and let the fans see different teams across the country.

    • Stal102

      The USCHO prediction has never been 100% correct in the last 10 years of them doing this – there is always a difference of some sort

  • Guest

    The committee definitely places too much importance on attendance, as evidenced by the placement of U Michigan in the Fort Wayne regional last year, basically taking away Miami’s home ice advantage, even though they were the #1 overall seed. Don’t expect anything less this year. The NCAA is all about the $$$$$.

    • streaker

      I don’t see how Michigan gained took away an advantage by being placed in the the same regional as overall #1 Miami- both teams were equal distance to their fan base and still hardly anyone showed up due to the NCAA’s idiotic overpricing and poor time schedule. Not only that, Miami LOST in the conference semi’s and Michigan won it so it only made sense to put them in the midwest. Nice screw job in double OT, BTW, got Miami to the FF.

    • Hockey nut

      And the attendance was embarrassingly low anyway. So adding Michigan did nothing to help. Screw attendance and get the match ups set up.

  • BUsucks

    Northeast Regional would have great attendance, 2 teams from NH and one from Boston.

  • Nm156dsf

    See – it is a stupid system. Denver gets penalized for beating a team 5 times, because that fact knocks that team out of TUC. It’s the same for any conference – you play a team 4 times and then 2 more in the postseason. That can rack up 6 losses, knock your opponent out of TUC, and voila your 6 wins are meaningless!

    • Jason

      nature of the beast

    • ideas for today

      Play a more balanced conference schedule and more non-conference games. Hopefully we would end up with more games in the “Common Opponents” category of Pairwise so comparison wouldn’t hinge on a few games.

      • Jdorf40

        Play a more balanced schedule? The teams in the WCHA (according to the polls) play the thoughest schedule in the nation because of the depth of the league. Your argument is meaningless and makes no sense at all. Just like the PairWise. I can’t think of a system that’s more ridiculous. Even the BCS seems to be more accurate than this thing. What’s the point of even having the other polls?

        • try to keep up

          My argument makes perfect sense. You just failed to understand it. If you play games out of the conference you should have more common opponents. Right now North Dakota has one common opponent with Yale – Colorado college. Correct me if I’m wrong but Yale went 1-0 against them and UND went 1-1. Thus ND loses the comparison? Unfair? OK. Then play more non-conference games. If UND played one more ECAC team and if Yale played one more WCHA team then they would have three common opponents. If they each played the same CCHA or HE opponent it would be even more. Not surprisingly, as a WCHA fan all you can blather on about is you conference schedule. Do you understand that your high SOS comes from winning, wait for it, non-conference games. If you only played league games the collective winning percentage of your conference would be .500. Following yet?

          • Plastikjeebus

            Why should a better league be penalized for being good? It seems to me everything has gone haywire in bracketology since the WCHA sent all 4 participants to the Frozen Four!!!!!!!!!!

          • try to keep up

            If every conference played zero non-conference games how would we know which league was strongest? You would have to go by polls. If that’s the world you want than say so explicitly. FYI, the entire WCHA argument that they’re the best league relies on Strength of Schedule calculations. That relies entirely on playing non-league games.

          • Plastikjeebus

            But no comparison matters when teams are judged in the post season based upon attendance. And if a team were to run the table in Hockey East conference play but was ranked lower than a WCHA team in the pairmise everyone would be up in arms!!!!

          • try to keep up

            I’m not commenting on shifting teams between regionals for attendance reasons. You can’t predict the committee and every year someone feels they got screwed. And I don’t think it would be mathematically possible for a team to run the table in Hockey East 27-0-0 and be anything other than the top seed unless they lost all of their non-conference games. 0-7-0. You wouldn’t hear an argument from me if a WCHA team with an record close to 27-7-0 was ahead of the Hockey East team, assuming the numbers backed it up e.g. Strength of Schedule.

          • Plastikjeebus

            But does the conference strength come in to play? I think so… ND should be ahead of Yale for WINNING the WCHA. Yale placed 2nd, albeit by one point, but none the less 2nd place… If it were BC instead of ND I dont think there would even be a discussion on the matter.

          • try to keep up

            This is the like the 10th time I have explained it so please try to follow. Yale had a better overall record than Union. Finishing second is irrelevant. And winning the WCHA is irrelevant. What’s relevant to North Dakota is their overall record. Pairwise looks at RPI, Common Opponents, Head to Head Record and Record against Teams Under Consideration (TUC). North Dakota gets no advantage for winning the WCHA regular season beyond the record they compiled in achieving it.

            There is no official measurement I know of for “Conference Strength”. There is Strength of Schedule for individual teams. Pairwise tries to look at Strength of Schedule through RPI. RPI is made up of .25 times your own winning percentage plus .21 times your opponents winning percentage plus .54 times your opponent’s opponent’s winning percentage. You can think if the latter two criteria as representing strength of schedule. (Side note: KRACH calculates strength of schedule differently and I couldn’t begin to explain it here). Most people will acknowledge that the WCHA teams have higher strength of schedules mainly because their teams win more of their non-conference games than the other leagues. Right now the WCHA has a winning record in non-conference games. If they didn’t play non-conference games the overall record of the league would be .500 (every game has a winner and loser or ends in a tie). If Hockey East played no out of conference games, the league would have composite record of .500. How would you tell the two apart? You couldn’t do it with math. You would have to rely on polls. You could try to tell me the WCHA was better but you wouldn’t be able to point to an Strength of Schedule numbers.

          • Plastikjeebus

            But TUC is the perpetual circle that causes all of the confusion because any team can win the conference tourney. What if all bottom seeds won their conference tourney and the 10 -16 teams get bumped and a #3 team that beat the # 10 team gets penalized cuz that #10 team is no longer a TUC? The ‘Under Consideration’ is the problem I have.

          • try to keep up

            It’s a valid concern. I don’t know how often it has really affected the selection of seeding. Only solution is to scrap the Pairwise entirely. Or just the TUC category. OR teams should not schedule so many games against one opponent that losing them as a TUC is catastrophic. If leagues insist on four regular season games against certain opponents with the possibly of 2 or 3 more in the playoffs then they must be prepared to pay the price. Someone earlier told me to go f myself for suggesting the WCHA cut down on the league games. We could go with KRACH. But right now KRACH had Minnesota as #15. Really? Do they deserve to go to the tournament?

          • Guest

            The TUC useless variable, who “determines” and why a team is a TUC ? how can so many T U C ‘s with 1 or 2 weeks remaining in the season be under .500 ?
            Why isn’t N’EASTERN a T U C?
            Another useless variable, “your opponents’ record ” vs all other teams. Whoa, what a misleading waste. The morons who put this system together chose the path of least work. They took a non-thinking system from at least one other sport, maybe more than one, poured it into a non-thinking, strictly “calculating computer”, and said-morons, “left the building”, they are not asleep at the wheel, they left the wheel unattended by any common sense and brain power, allowing their moronic system to run itself.
            Bottom line foolishness: in the past 18 yrs , ZERO teams from the ECAC have made the final game, and only 4, count ‘em, F O U R teams from the ECAC have made the FROZEN FOUR, 4 teams out of 72 total spots. And YALE gets handed the # 1 spot in the country early, later the PWR # 1.
            J O K E, does not describe this mess. It hurts the credibility of tyhe sport.

          • Bulldog

            Bottom line foolishness: Yale was not handed the PWR ranking. They earned it. There is no voting in PWR, so no one can hand it to you.

        • ideas for today

          Also, by “balanced” I mean play each league opponent the same number of times.

      • Nm156dsf

        I see your point and see some merit in what you say. Knock it down to 24 conference games from the current 28. Two games against each of 10 teams, and 4 against your rival (e.g., DU v CC). That would mean 4 more nonconference games. Might help. But Denver might have been better served by losing once this weekend.

    • Bruins265nhl

      if dartmouth and rpi end tied rpi should get nod head to head 2-0

  • collegehockeyfan

    wow, putting 2 ECAC teams and an AH team in the same regional, someone really wants the ECAC to represent at the frozen four….

    • Siouxbetcha

      With the current rankings, that’s how if pans out without messing up the bracket integrity (1 vs 8). MD should be in there instead of Notre Dame for perfect bracket integrity.

      • B.d.

        Yeah, but I would really like a WCHA team in that eastern bracket. Just cuz

        • gosu

          But it will never happen since the all WCHA frozen four a couple years ago there has always been (and will be in the future) a bracket devoid of any WCHA teams to ensure there is not another all WCHA frozen four!!!

          • B.D.

            Harsh bummer.

  • dguest

    why not just worry about avoiding playing conference opponents and less about attendance? The bigger picture is the Frozen Four. The regional games will never get that great of attendance unless you have them at the #1 seeds home rinks.

  • Siouxbetcha

    I think the Midwest bracket is really breaching bracket integrity. The UMD/Notre Dame switch has little added benefit. Dartmouth should be in the Midwest. Attendance in the NE will be good with NH and BC. Dartmouth doesn’t carry a big enough fanbase nor do they deserve the benefits (as a 4 seed) resulting from this bold switch.

    • EagerEagle91

      Dartmouth will draw people down I-89 into Manchester. College hockey is HUGE in New England. If the Gods that be rate Merrimack a six-seed, then, the V is a two-day sellout. You don’t think a BC-UNH quarterfinal match won’t be rocking? Please….

  • YouSee

    Certainly somewhat interesting, but really meaningless discussion here until all the games are done. The top of the list is just too volatile at this stage. Signifcant changes will take place. The only thing that matters is next Sunday morning when the spots are finalized.

  • WFTiger19

    Jayson, can you please tell me which teams are absolute locks for the tournament (meaning that nothing at all could stop them from making it)? Thanks!

  • Silkrower

    You all are nuts…i don’t know about you, but personally, I’d like to go watch my team at the closest regional site possible. If they aren’t there (that being UMD playing in GB), I will not be there, period. The NCAA knows this and places a premium on location, for attendance purposes. That being said, I dont care who they draw, because to be the national champion, you should be able to beat any team in your way.

    • Hockey God

      Being able to beat any team and actually beating any team isn’t the same thing. Many times when two teams play either could win, but they both won’t.

  • Jdorf40

    I’m the biggest St. Lawrence fan on the planet today. I want Yale to lose so bad it’s not even funny. I really want to see the selection committee make them the #1 overall seed in the country after getting bounced at home in their own conference tourney. Since November 1st, BC is 24-6-1. North Dakota is 25-5-2. Yale is 23-6-1. Yale played 2 games the last weekend of October. Maybe BC and UND should eliminate the month of October from here on out. It obviously has no benefit and can actually hurt you to step on the ice and play hockey. What a joke.

    • make up more excuses

      UND took an entire weekend off last month. Tell me that isn’t so they can get healthy for the post season.

  • Du_Fan

    PWR is a crock, KRACH is much better. Look at all the WCHA teams that play the most TUC and it means nothing. Yale loses games and stays #1 in PWR, simply nonsense. DU and ND sweep games this weekend, ND stays #2 and DU drops from T4 to T6. KRACH takes the “human element” out of the formula, no polls enter into KRACH ratings.

    • http://twitter.com/SullivanHockey Brian Sullivan

      There’s no polls factored into the PairWise formula, either.

      • DU_Fan

        My mistake. You are correct, they no longer use them, PWR replaced the human polls with the TUC records. They now use “percentage of wins against TUC’s over 10 games”. If a team plays 10 games against TUC’s and wins 7, they gain a huge benefit over a team that plays 30 games against TUC’s and wins 17 or 18. There is absolutely no way to explain how Yale continues to stay #1 after losing games. Especially losing to a team with a 13-20 record Friday night.

        • crybabies

          It’s complete BS that so many WCHA teams are a TUC. Wisconsin has a high strength of schedule for showing up and getting their asses kicked by North Dakota, Denver, NO, and Duluth. Their winning record is based entirely on playing a totally weak non-conference schedule. You want it both ways.

          • Du_Fan

            Are you afraid to state what team you back? Nice to hide behind anonymity? Whatever team you are scared to man (or woman) up to, I would like to see them start the season playing their first ten games against TUC teams. See Denver’s schedule before you complain. By the way, you should also look at the non-conference schedule of the WCHA teams and the results. It is truly amazing what facts bear out.

          • crybabies

            By the way, you should also look at the non-conference schedule of the WCHA teams and the results.

            Wisconsin: BU, Holy Cross, Alabama-Hunstville x 2, Michigan, Michigan State, UMass x 2, Canisius x 2.

            Bemidji: Northern Michigan x 2, Ferris State, Union, Alabama-Huntsville x 2

            Good records against mediocre competition. Neither deserves to be a TUC. Bemidji wouldn’t be under the old system.

            What team I root for has zero bearing on the topic at hand. If you actually believe it does than you’re even dumber than I thought. But here’s a hint. It’s not Yale or BC.

          • Plastikjeebus

            Union won the ECAC over Yale so is the entire ECAC mediocre?

          • DU-Fan

            Wow, you managed to pick out 2 of the 12 WCHA teams with less than stellar competition. You really are a brain surgeon. You moron….

          • crybabies

            Name calling doesn’t bolster whatever argument you were trying to make. Do you actually have a point? Do you actually believe these teams are so great that they should be a TUC?

            I chose two WCHA teams that are currently TUCs but shouldn’t be. Want more? How about Minnesota’s awesome competition in UMass x 2, Michigan State, Michigan, Ferris and Union. Michigan has a good record and Ferris is just over .500. Union has the a decent record but you WCHA guys don’t acknowledge the ECAC so I guess that doesn’t count, right? Wait. Minnesota only played six non-conference? Lazy!

          • Du_Fan

            EVERY conference has strong and weak teams. Point being, when schedules come out there is no way to tell how strong your non-conference opponent will be. I know that Denver tries to schedule either Maine, Vermont or New Hampshire and BC or BU for home and home every other year. Singling out one or two teams for quality opposition if pretty useless in the long run.

          • crybabies

            My point was only to counter what appeared to be a chief complaint of yours: that North Dakota played more TUC games. As I explained, I don’t think some are deserving. Or maybe I just hate that half of the teams in D1 are now TUC. Not that the old way was much better.

  • fcc56

    Assuming for a moment that this is the final bracket, if I am Notre Dame or North Dakota, I’m lovin’ life. If I’m BC or Michigan, not so much. The regions as assigned here seem really unbalanced to me—but then, the bogus #1 for Yale is inherently unbalancing. If Yale were a more honest six or seven (you don’t think Merrimack can take Yale??), the regionals would almost certainly be better balanced than this.

    Right now, the thing that is keeping Yale at #1 is its 12-3 vs. TUC. Even if Yale loses to St. Lawrence today, it will still probably be #1 because St. Lawrence in not a TUC. Indeed, even if Quinnipiac beats Cornell today, and knocked Cornell out of being a TUC, costing Yale two TUC wins, Yale would till have the best win % vs TUCs in the PWR: .7692 compared to .6935 for UND and .6875 for BC.

    Both UND and BC can improve their win % vs. TUC by winning their tournaments (although if BC gets Northeastern in the semis, it will need to win that and the final to get another TUC win). In some ways, it would be better if Yale were win today and then lose to a TUC in the next round. :)

    Not bashing Yale per se, but the undeserved #1 in the PWR damages the balance of the NCAA tournament.

  • Stack

    From these brackets swap Union and Duluth and we have a real tourney.

  • Plastikjeebus

    How is yale a #1 seed overall when they didnt even win their conference????????

    • simple math

      Are you ignorant of how the Pairwise works or are you just trolling?

      • Plastikjeebus

        So you dont think a strength of Schedule matters? How is Union ahead of Yale in the standings but not in the Pairwise when they play 85% of the same teams and yet Union is 8th?

        • simple math

          Yale finished second by ONE POINT. Their ECAC records were similar: 17-3-2 (36 points) for Union, 17-4-1 (35 points) for Yale. But Pairwise looks at OVERALL RECORD. Union is currently 26-8-4 (.737 winning percentage). 25-6-1 (.797). They split head to head games. Yale has a higher RPI. Do you get it yet?

          • Plastikjeebus

            So why do we judge how strong a schedule is if we only look at 1 team when Yale and ND are concerned (CC) with comparisons? Why do teams go down in the pairwise if they sweep (see Denver)? Because then your precious winning pct. has no merit in your argument…

          • simple math

            RPI is made up of .25 times your own winning percentage plus .21 times your opponents winning percentage plus .54 times your opponent’s opponent’s winning percentage. So winning percentage is in fact an important factor.

            The Denver issue is completely different from the Union/Yale issue.

  • Bulldog

    Why does everyone hate Yale so much? They could win the ECAC Tourney and win the National Championship and some people on this board would STILL bash them and call it a fluke. It’s almost as if people are blaming them for being #1 in the Pairwise Ranking. If you think they have a soft schedule, fine. But they can’t change their conference.

    And for all the people who think they know so much about hockey, I am sure that the 50 people voting in the USCHO Poll know more than you. (I’m very sure of that, in fact.) And those 50 people had Yale #1 for about 9 weeks this season and in the top 3 for most of the year.

    And by the way, if they win tonight it won’t prove me right, and if they lose tonight it won’t prove me wrong. They’re getting in the NCAA tourney no matter what, so we’ll see how they do when that happens…

    • Hockey God

      Number 1 or number 16, it won’t matter, Yale will not win the National Championship.

      • Bulldog

        I could say that about any team.

        So whatever team you root for won’t win. I have a 15 out of 16 chance of being right…

        • Hockey God

          “So whatever team you root for won’t win. I have a 15 out of 16 chance of being right… ”

          Not really, you know nothing about odds.

      • Plastikjeebus

        but it is what have you done for me lately! Yale loses to Northeastern a team with a 13-21 record and dont move. Denver sweeps and drops 2 spots!?! Where is the logic?

        • Bulldog

          The rankings come out every Monday. This weekend’s games haven’t factored into the rankings yet.

          If you’re talking about Pairwise, well, it’s a formula and there isn’t a human element, so you might not like the formula but no one’s opinion is a factor.

          • Plastikjeebus

            OK. But why does a school who dont win their conference be #1 last week? Why even have conferences at all? Just play a bunch of random games and then an end of the year tournament?

          • Bulldog

            What are you talking about? Yale wasn’t #1 last week. They’ve been #3 in the USCHO Poll for a while now.

          • Plastikjeebus

            I am in reference to the pairwise that ‘mimics’ the selection process.

          • Bulldog

            Again, it’s a formula that determines Pairwise. It’s fine if you have a problem with it. But it’s not Yale’s “fault” that they’re number 1. If you think they shouldn’t be, then attack the formula that determines the rankings. But don’t attack Yale.

          • Plastikjeebus

            I havent said anything bad about Yale I just think the system was ‘tweaked’ after their was 4 WCHA teams in the Frozen Four and the committee is hell bent on not having that happen again.

          • Bulldog

            I don’t think the committee cares as much as everyone thinks.

          • Plastikjeebus

            They need to read our dialogue!! Good info from REAL college hockey fans!

        • try to keep up

          Yale did not play Northeastern this year. Perhaps you meant St. Lawrence. They didn’t move in the Pairwise because it didn’t drop their RPI enough to matter and St. Lawrence is not a TUC. Same thing would have happened if North Dakota had dropped a game this weekend. In other words, they wouldn’t have moved much if at all.

  • guest

    Yale made it to the regional final last year and lost 9-7 to B.C the national champs that year if it wasnt for goltending yale would have beat them now they have a sold tender there going to make a run this year even thought they have been a little sloppy against St. Lwerence they have what it takes to go all the way.

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