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College Hockey:
The bubble

As mentioned before, the bubble, in my eyes, comprises of the following teams:

Notre Dame

Nebraska-Omaha

Western Michigan

Dartmouth

Colorado College

Rensselaer

Boston University

Maine

That’s a total of eight teams for a total of anywhere between 2-5 slots.

Why 2-5 slots? Because there can still be automatic bids handed out to teams that are not in the Top 16 of the PairWise that can win their respective tournaments.

Four of these teams can take matter into their own hands by winning their tournaments (Notre Dame, Western Michigan, Dartmouth and Colorado College), while the other four can only sit and wait for other results.

So it makes sense that the results of the four teams still playing can make a huge difference.

Let’s take a look at this past weekend to see what someone might expect to see going forward.

Going into the weekend the bubble teams looked like this:

7 Nebraska-Omaha

10 Notre Dame

13 Dartmouth

14 Western Michigan

15 Colorado College

16 and below Rensselaer, Boston University, Maine

After Friday’s games, we saw UNO, Western Michigan, Dartmouth, Maine and Colorado College all wind up on the losing end of Game 1 (BU won Game 2 on Friday night, Notre Dame won and Rensselaer was idle).  After Friday’s games, the bubble looked like this:

10 Notre Dame

12 Nebraska-Omaha

13 Boston University

14 Dartmouth

15 Rensselaer

16 and below Colorado College, Western Michigan, Maine

Move ahead 24 hours to the completion of Saturday’s games.

On Saturday Colorado College, Western Michigan, Dartmouth all won, while Notre Dame, Maine and Nebraska-Omaha lost.  BU and Rensselaer were idle.

The bubble then looked like this:

10 Notre Dame

12 Nebraska-Omaha

13 Western Michigan

14 Colorado College

15 Dartmouth

16 and below Rensselaer, Boston University, Maine

Going into Sunday, the teams that were 1-1 (Notre Dame, Western Michigan, Dartmouth, Colorado College, Boston University) or idle (Rensselaer) stayed in the same positions. Those that were swept (Nebraska-Omaha and Maine) either dropped or stayed idle in position.

Basically we were right back where we started, with the exception of UNO, who dropped in the rankings.

Now we add in Sunday’s games.

Western Michigan, Colorado College, Dartmouth and Notre Dame all won, while Boston University lost.

Our bubble:

10 Notre Dame

12 Western Michigan

13 Nebraska-Omaha

14 Colorado College

15 Dartmouth

16 and below Rensselaer, Boston University, Maine

What’s a simple way of looking at this?

Win and you stay in.

Lose and you possibly drop out.

Let’s take Colorado College.

If CC were to lose to UAA on Thursday night, what might possibly happen?

CC’s TUC record would turn to .4700, and CC’s RPI would also go down from it’s present .5260.

This would most likely result in a comparison switch with Rensselaer, meaning CC would then lose this one comparison.

That would swap positions for Rensselaer and CC.

And depending upon what Dartmouth does, it could also result in a comparison switch there as well.

And at the same time, CC cannot play anymore to change results.  That’s difficult to pass teams once you’re not playing.

Western Michigan is in a similar boat.  A loss could possibly turn a lot of comparisons based upon RPI.

For example, a WMU loss could drop the RPI below .5280, which in turn could cause the BU comparison to change from a WMU win to a BU win.  There’s also a possibility that the RPI comparison may switch.  And also the CC comparison, based upon what CC does.

If you’re looking to see what will happen on the bubble, you have to look real carefully at what CC and WMU do on Thursday and Friday.  That is what’s going to dictate how the bubble shakes out.

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  • Suture1

    It would be too bad if UNO did not get in. Other than Bemidji they can okay with anyone. That while deal is strange?? Anyway, I think UNO would acquit themselves well if they got in. We will see…

    ND Sioux Fan

    • holy

      Were you drunk when you wrote this?

      • CO14er’s

        I thought the same thing? Drunk or high?

    • DU_Fan

      Pass us the drugs you are taking!!! Any #3 team that gets swept at home by a #10 seed deserves to watch the Frozen Five (6) and NCAA Regionals from their living room.

    • Badmanjose

      Autocorrect is a pain in the butt, isn’t it?

    • GeauxSioux

      Must’ve been in a quick hurry from a mobile device. In any case, not your most eloquent moment Suture1! Enjoy reading your comments as a rule.

  • Billinhass

    why wouldnt new hampshire be a bubble team?? their a spot below nd.

    • Brian the Brain

      I think there’s no scenario under which UNH doesn’t make the tournament (test it using the Pairwise Predictor). For the three bubble teams below UNH still playing (CC, Dartmouth, WMU) to pass UNH in the PWR, each needs to win their tournament to pass UNH, and then UNH finishes at worst 15th in the PWR. But with those three winning their tournaments, only the AH winners could displace teams in the top 16, so 16 is out but 15 (UNH in this scenario) is still in. (Note that 15 and 16 could be displaced if Northeastern won HE, but a single win by NE makes then a TUC and boosts UNH’s PWR into the safe zone.) In other words, UNH has already clinched a spot in the tourney.

      Notre Dame drops out if CC, Dartmouth, WMU, and Northeastern win their respective tournaments.

      • DU_Fan

        CC does not have to win their tournament to pass UNH. If they win Thursday and lose to #2 ND they will move to #10. WMU will pass UNH if they beat Michigan and UNH loses to Merrimack. Reason being that WMU will face a highly ranked Miami or Notre Dame next. This helps in PWR whether you win or lose. You are correct that Dartmouth needs to win out to pass UNH.

  • LGS!

    …and what happens if Bemidji wins the WCHA Final 5?

    • SiouxAlumDenver

      Hell freezes over?

      • LGS!

        LGS! stands for Let’s Go Sioux!, so don’t misinterpret as to what I believe will happen, but was curious if an upset just substitutes one WCHA team for another, or would end up with an extra WCHA team in…

        • SiouxAlumDenver

          If BSU wins the whole thing, they would get the automatic qualifer for the WCHA. They would be the 15th seed most likely and that would bump one of the bubble teams discussed here out of the picture. If that happens to be CC or UNO, then yes it would substitue one for another, but if it happens to be Dartmouth, then the WCHA would get an extra team in.

    • DU_Fan

      It will be 95 degrees in Minnesota this afternoon..

    • Gemartin

      Not going to happen!!!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/topherbaron Topher Baron

    They would make it in as a #4 seed and bump out one of the bubble teams (likely BU)

  • Wainwrightd

    R.P.I. Should not even be in this discussion..so they had a good year…they also were knocked out by Colgate….End of Story for RPI

    • Lugnut92

      There are a lot of scenarios where RPI makes the tournament, including the one where there are no upsets (by seed) in any of the 19 games remaining.

    • just sayin

      I want to agree with you but at the same time Pairwise makes no distinction between when you win and lose. Colgate was picked by the media and coaches to finish near the top of the ECAC but then had an awful season. Now they’re on a hot streak. Sucks for RPI but that alone shouldn’t be the deciding factor. If your favorite team had a premature exit from your league tournament I don’t think you’d appreciate it they were arbitrarily dropped in seeding or out of the tournament if the Pairwise suggested otherwise.

      • freakinoutMan

        the best would be if everything falls in place and RPI gets a bid, they’ll be the most well-rested team to ever play in the tournament….the last time they had a break of more than eight days they came back and went 13-3-2 in the 18 games following the layoff…just sayin…ok, I’ll wake up now

    • Angela

      I don’t know if you noticed Wainwrightd but Union was also knocked out of the ECAC championship by Colgate…

  • Badmanjose

    UNO is 6-6 against teams in the top 15 of the PWR. Bemidji owned them this year, but it doesn’t mean they won’t do some damage in the tourney. They could also go 1 and done. The point is when it comes down to one game, the past doesn’t matter.

  • peter puck is real

    A UNH loss to Merrimack Friday should knock the Wildcats out they are the host team but can be replaced by Darthmouth if they can win this weekend.BC and Merrimack will advance if BC goes to Manchester and Merrimack goes to Bridgeport.Michigan and UND will be a great matchup if they advance.

    • THE CRYING SIOUX

      Yeah ship UNH out west when they lose but I do not think the Sioux want to see another HEA team early in the tourny or Yale LOL .

      • Guest

        UND would love to play a HEA team.
        Chomping at the bit to get another shot at Yale.

      • Nm156dsf

        If UNH makes the NCAA tourney, they cannot be shipped anywhere. They are the host of the Manchester regional, and so they will play there if they play at all.

  • YALE BEAT UND LOL HA HA HA

    BC OWNS NORTH DAKOTA SINCE 2001 I HOPE BC GOES WEST. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • SiouxAlumDenver

      Owns? You are talking about a one game series in which UND had to travel east to play each time. Wait to talk trash until both teams are in St. Paul. This year’s UND team is scary good. But no matter how great a team’s record is, they need to play 60 minutes. One bad period could end a season. It’s no different for BC. This is college hockey where players change yearly. What happened in one year does not foreshadow anything to happen in the future.

      • truth hurts

        Still whining about having to travel. Sad and pathetic. Good teams win regardless of who they play and where they are sent.

        What happened in one year does not foreshadow anything to happen in the future.

        And yet a bunch of your fans have been trolling the bracketology article comments for three solid months screaming about UND’s seven titles.

    • Jason

      Can’t help but stir the pot can ya? Getting kind of sick of reading the same thing on every blog.

    • GeauxSioux

      As a UND fan, I like the enthusiasm, but lets not antagonize. In stark contrast to other comment boards about recent columns, this has pretty much been solely about the hockey aspect of hockey which is refreshing and insightful. Lets keep it that way UND fans!

  • Just Play Damm It

    Merrimack should not be underestimated in a 1 game elimination tournament.

  • BroncoFan

    Western beat Notre Dame, Miami (tiwce) and Union (twice). All teams currently in the tourny. They should be in.

    • cis

      Agree, though something tells me the sweep of Union in December will largely be forgotten by the committee.

      • simple math

        “The committee” follows the Pairwise. There is nothing subjective other than the criteria which were chosen in advance.

    • Kyle W

      You went 1-2-1 against Miami. The shootout coin flip does not count as a win.

  • minkeythewonderchimp

    Dartmouth should be in. Darmouth beat UNH, went 2-0 against Union. Their semifinal draw against Cornell is unlikely to change anything. After a solid quarter final victory over a hot Harvard (8 out of last 9), a win over a warming Cornell won’t help their standing in the pwr, the Big Red is just .500. I agree, it’s win and your in.
    HERE WE GO DARTMOUTH!