So has everyone been playing with the PairWise Predictor non-stop?
If you have I think that you might believe the same things that I believe, that 10 teams are in the NCAA Tournament no matter what happens this weekend.
Those 10 teams are:
Now, I have to put the disclaimer in place. I have not run through all 888 billion scenarios to guarantee this is the case, so this is just what I believe based on what I have tried to do with the PairWise Predictor. It is not a be all, end all declaration, as I am not the NCAA or the NCAA Championship Committee.
The team that you may wonder about is New Hampshire. After all, UNH is behind Notre Dame in the PairWise at the moment. But the Fighting Irish are on the bubble, so why isn’t New Hampshire?
If New Hampshire wins, it will solidify its spot in the tournament. But what if UNH loses? What may happen?
Let’s look at the comparisons and see what happens if UNH loses.
We look at the comparisons for the teams below UNH since a loss only means that teams can pass UNH.
Let’s start with Notre Dame. Notre Dame currently wins this comparison, 3-0. If UNH loses they will lose this comparison to Notre Dame, unless Notre Dame loses twice, in which case UNH would win the comparison, thus only helping UNH.
Western Michigan will not gain an RPI advantage on UNH, even if WMU sweeps. UNH may lose the TUC comparison, but the RPI would swing the comparison back to UNH. UNH won’t lose this comparison.
UNH holds a significant lead on UNO in RPI, so a loss does not switch this comparison.
UNH will not lose comparisons to BU, Maine or Minnesota no matter what.
Which leaves the Colorado College, Dartmouth and Rensselaer comparisons.
Against CC, UNH holds a 3-0 edge. UNH’s RPI won’t be surpassed by CC’s no matter what (UNH’s RPI is .02 higher than CC, a million miles in RPI land), and the Common Opponents line won’t change. Thus UNH will win this comparison by 2-1 at the least.
Against Dartmouth the comparison is in UNH’s favor 3-1 at the moment. The RPI comparison won’t change. At worst the TUC line will be even, so no points awarded. That makes it 2-1 in favor of UNH. Even if the Common Opponents criteria goes to Dartmouth, UNH will still win the comparison based on RPI tiebreaker.
Against Rensselaer, a UNH loss would continue to give Rensselaer this comparison win.
So to sum it up, how many comparisons can change for UNH if it loses? At most one comparison, meaning that UNH would have 17 comparison wins.
Now who can pass UNH? CC, WMU and Dartmouth can all pass UNH if they win their tournaments. If not, it really doesn’t matter, because that means UNH won’t drop any spots.
Who can’t pass UNH? UNO, Rensselaer, BU and Maine can’t pass UNH.
If you look at the PairWise, if UNO is pushed down to 15, that still leaves UNH at 14th in the PairWise. Even if UNO makes up two comparisons on UNH, that still leaves UNH at 15 at the worst. Good enough to still get in.
So if you look at it, that’s why I believe UNH is off the bubble and in the tournament.