Quantcast

College Hockey:
Some location switches make sense for boosting attendance

Welcome to the next installment of our Bracketology, and we’ll keep bringing you a new one every week until we make our final picks before the field is announced.

If you want to skip the inner workings and get to the results of the analysis, then click here.

Here are the facts:

• Sixteen teams are selected to participate in the national tournament.

• There are four regional sites (East — Bridgeport, Conn.; Northeast — Worcester, Mass.; Midwest — Green Bay, Wis.; West — St. Paul, Minn.)

• A host institution which is invited to the tournament plays in the regional for which it is the host, and cannot be moved. There are four host institutions this year: Yale in Bridgeport, Holy Cross in Worcester, Michigan Tech in Green Bay and Minnesota in St. Paul.

• Seedings will not be switched, as opposed to years past. To avoid undesirable first-round matchups, including intra-conference games (see below), teams will be moved among regionals, not reseeded.

Here are the NCAA’s guidelines on the matter, per a meeting of the championship committee:

In setting up the tournament, the committee begins with a list of priorities to ensure a successful tournament on all fronts including competitive equity, financial success and likelihood of playoff-type atmosphere at each regional site. For the model, the following is a basic set of priorities:

• The top four teams as ranked by the committee are the four No. 1 seeds and will be placed in the bracket so that if all four teams advance to the Men’s Frozen Four, the No. 1 seed will play the No. 4 seed and the No. 2 seed will play the No. 3 seed in the semifinals.

• Host institutions that qualify will be placed at home.

• No. 1 seeds are placed as close to home as possible in order of their ranking 1-4.

• Conference matchups in first round are avoided, unless five or more teams from one conference are selected, then the integrity of the bracket will be preserved.

• Once the five automatic qualifiers and 11 at-large teams are selected, the next step is to develop four groups from the committee’s ranking of 1-16. The top four teams are the No. 1 seeds. The next four are targeted as No. 2 seeds. The next four are No. 3 seeds and the last four are No. 4 seeds. These groupings will be referred to as “bands”.

Given these facts, here is the top 16 of the current PairWise Rankings (PWR), and the conference leaders (through all games of Feb. 21, 2012):

1 Boston College
2t Michigan
2t Massachusetts-Lowell
4 Ferris State
5 Minnesota-Duluth
6 Boston University
7 Union
8t Minnesota
8t Maine
10 Michigan State
11t Miami
11t Denver
13 Ohio State
14 North Dakota
15 Cornell
16 Merrimack
28 Air Force

Here are the current conference leaders based on winning percentage:

Atlantic Hockey: Air Force
CCHA: Ferris State
ECAC Hockey: Union
Hockey East: Boston College
WCHA: Minnesota

Notes

• Bracketology assumes that the season has ended and there are no more games to be played. i.e., the NCAA tournament starts tomorrow.

• Because there are an uneven amount of games played inside each conference, I will be using winning percentage, not points accumulated, to determine who the current leader in each conference is. This team is my assumed conference tournament champion.

Step one

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

We break ties in the PWR by looking at how the teams rank in the Ratings Percentage Index, and add in any current league leaders that are not currently in the top 16. The only team that is not is Air Force.

From there, we can start looking at the ties and bubbles in a more detailed fashion.

The ties and bubbles consist of Michigan and Massachusetts-Lowell at 2, Minnesota and Maine at 8, and Miami and Denver at 11.

We break all of our ties based upon the RPI.

Therefore the 16 teams in the tournament, in rank order, and adding in any conference leaders not already in the Top 16, are:

1 Boston College
2 Michigan
3 Massachusetts-Lowell
4 Ferris State
5 Minnesota-Duluth
6 Boston University
7 Union
8 Minnesota
9 Maine
10 Michigan State
11 Miami
12 Denver
13 Ohio State
14 North Dakota
15 Cornell
16 Air Force

Step two

Now it’s time to assign the seeds.

No. 1 seeds — Boston College, Michigan, Massachusetts-Lowell, Ferris State
No. 2 seeds — Minnesota-Duluth, Boston University, Union, Minnesota
No. 3 seeds — Maine, Michigan State, Miami, Denver
No. 4 seeds — Ohio State, North Dakota, Cornell, Air Force

Step three

Place the No. 1 seeds in regionals.

No. 1 Boston College is placed in the Northeast Regional in Worcester.
No. 2 Michigan is placed in the Midwest Regional in Green Bay.
No. 3 Massachusetts-Lowell is placed in the East Regional in Bridgeport.
No. 4 Ferris State is placed in the West Regional in St. Paul.

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.

We have to place Minnesota first as a host institution.

So therefore:

No. 2 seeds

No. 8 Minnesota is placed in No. 4 Ferris State’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 7 Union is placed in No. 1 Boston College’s regional, the Northeast Regional.
No. 6 Boston University is placed in No. 2 Michigan’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 5 Minnesota-Duluth is placed in No. 3 Massachusetts-Lowell’s regional, the East 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.

No. 9 Maine is placed in No. 8 Minnesota’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 10 Michigan State is placed in No. 7 Union’s regional, the Northeast Regional.
No. 11 Miami is placed in No. 6 Boston University’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 12 Denver is placed in No. 5 Minnesota-Duluth’s regional, the East Regional.

No. 4 seeds

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

No. 16 Air Force is sent to No. 1 Boston College’s regional, the Northeast Regional.
No. 15 Cornell is sent to No. 2 Michigan’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 14 North Dakota is sent to No. 3 Massachusetts-Lowell’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 13 Ohio State is sent to No. 4 Ferris State’s regional, the West Regional.

The brackets as we have set them up:

West Regional:
Ohio State vs. Ferris State
Maine vs. Minnesota

Midwest Regional:
Cornell vs. Michigan
Miami vs. Boston University

Northeast Regional:
Air Force vs. Boston College
Michigan State vs. Union

East Regional:
North Dakota vs. Massachusetts-Lowell
Denver vs. Minnesota-Duluth

Our first concern is avoiding intra-conference matchups. We have Ohio State vs. Ferris State in the 1-4 seeding band.

Thus we make a quick switch of North Dakota and Ohio State.

So our bracket is now:

West Regional:
North Dakota vs. Ferris State
Maine vs. Minnesota

Midwest Regional:
Cornell vs. Michigan
Miami vs. Boston University

Northeast Regional:
Air Force vs. Boston College
Michigan State vs. Union

East Regional:
Ohio State vs. Massachusetts-Lowell
Denver vs. Minnesota-Duluth

Now we have to break the other intra-conference matchup in Denver vs. Minnesota-Duluth.

We swap Denver with Miami.

West Regional:
North Dakota vs. Ferris State
Maine vs. Minnesota

Midwest Regional:
Cornell vs. Michigan
Denver vs. Boston University

Northeast Regional:
Air Force vs. Boston College
Michigan State vs. Union

East Regional:
Ohio State vs. Massachusetts-Lowell
Miami vs. Minnesota-Duluth

Is there anything else that we can do?

Let’s look at some attendance considerations vs. bracket integrity again.

There is a possible swap of locations for two matchups.

We can look at swapping the Denver vs. BU matchup with Miami and UMD. This looks good on paper because Miami and UMD will bring more fans to Green Bay and moving BU to Bridgeport will bring more fans there.

So let’s do that.

West Regional:
North Dakota vs. Ferris State
Maine vs. Minnesota

Midwest Regional:
Cornell vs. Michigan
Miami vs. Minnesota-Duluth

Northeast Regional:
Air Force vs. Boston College
Michigan State vs. Union

East Regional:
Ohio State vs. Massachusetts-Lowell
Denver vs. Boston University

How about swapping Maine with Michigan State? This will draw some attendance over to Worcester and possibly more attendance to St. Paul.

We are breaking up an 8-9 and a 7-10 matchup. These are two perfect matched games in terms of bracket integrity. But we don’t sacrifice much by just making it a 8-10 and 7-9 matchup.

So I am going to do it.

West Regional:
North Dakota vs. Ferris State
Michigan State vs. Minnesota

Midwest Regional:
Cornell vs. Michigan
Miami vs. Minnesota-Duluth

Northeast Regional:
Air Force vs. Boston College
Maine vs. Union

East Regional:
Ohio State vs. Massachusetts-Lowell
Denver vs. Boston University

If I could find a way to bring Cornell to the East or Northeast, I would do that.

Let’s see what a bracket looks like if we do that.

West Regional:
North Dakota vs. Ferris State
Michigan State vs. Minnesota

Midwest Regional:
Air Force vs. Michigan
Miami vs. Minnesota-Duluth

Northeast Regional:
Cornell vs. Boston College
Maine vs. Union

East Regional:
Ohio State vs. Massachusetts-Lowell
Denver vs. Boston University

or

West Regional:
North Dakota vs. Ferris State
Michigan State vs. Minnesota

Midwest Regional:
Air Force vs. Michigan
Miami vs. Minnesota-Duluth

Northeast Regional:
Ohio State vs. Boston College
Maine vs. Union

East Regional:
Cornell vs. Massachusetts-Lowell
Denver vs. Boston University

The second one is actually preferred, because then we can bring more attendance into Bridgeport with three Eastern teams, rather than only two.

But in this case, I can’t do it because it would mean breaking up the 1-16 matchup of BC and Air Force. That I will not do to protect the No. 1 seed.

So for this week, we leave Cornell in its place.

So that is it. My bracket for the week.

See you here next week for the next Bracketology.

Here’s a summary of everything that we have covered.


This week’s brackets

St. Paul
14 North Dakota vs. 4 Ferris State
10 Michigan State vs. 8 Minnesota

Green Bay
15 Cornell vs. 2 Michigan
11 Miami vs. 5 Minnesota-Duluth

Bridgeport
13 Ohio State vs. 3 Massachusetts-Lowell
12 Denver vs. 6 Boston University

Worcester
16 Air Force vs. 1 Boston College
9 Maine vs. 7 Union

Conference breakdowns

CCHA — 5
HEA — 4
WCHA — 4
ECAC — 2
AHA — 1

On The Move

In: Cornell, North Dakota
Out: Merrimack, Northern Michigan

Attendance woes?

I am quite comfortable.

Last week’s brackets

St. Paul
14 Minnesota vs. 1 Ferris State
11 Merrimack vs. 5 Michigan

Green Bay
13 Miami vs. 4 Minnesota-Duluth
9 Northern Michigan vs. 7 Denver

Bridgeport
15 Ohio State vs. 3 Boston University
12 Michigan State vs. 6 Massachusetts-Lowell

Worcester
16 Air Force vs. 2 Boston College
10 Union vs. 8 Maine

The following is a self-policing forum for discussing views on this story. Comments that are derogatory, make personal attacks, are abusive, or contain profanity or racism will be removed at our discretion. USCHO.com is not responsible for comments posted by users. Please report any inappropriate or offensive comments by clicking the “Flag” link next to that comment in order to alert the moderator.

Please also keep “woofing,” taunting, and otherwise unsportsmanlike behavior to a minimum. Your posts will more than likely be deleted, and worse yet, you reflect badly on yourself, your favorite team and your conference.

  • Maineroadstar

    so glad you forecast moving Maine back to the East.  As a Black Bear fan, I know all too well that nothing good ever comes when playing the Gophers at Xcel.

    • Fan Man

       What would you be scared of playing the Goofers on the road?  The Xcel as we all know is the SIoux’s home ice during playoffs!

      • Guest

        Always interesting to see that many people with their hands around their necks!

        • Fan Man

           Huh?  Please elaborate…

        • GodsSquadForever

          Haha….yes but I think this is our year. If we can get a little lady luck.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/WXIGD64ZXC4CPCWKBL5X5X5LMQ Just Bob

        Sure wasn’t at last year’s Frozen Four

      • Taylor Birkelo

        Yeah, you Sioux fans need to learn your place, the Xcel Belongs to the Minnesotans and North Dakotans can stay where they came from!!! I didn’t see a UND sign on the ice on there and funny because the two times the frozen four has been at the Xcel it was a Minnesota team who won. 2002- Minnesota, 2011- Minnesota- Duluth

        • UNDNorthStars

          Also didnt see very many Minnesota fans the past few years there either… both Frozen Four and Final Five…. and Sioux were by far the “Home Crowd” including cheering on UMD to win it last year.  hope the Golden Chokers can actually make it into the post season this year :-x

          • Taylor Birkelo

            Your avoiding the point of this conversation, you all do this. Just because theres a few Sioux fans at the National Championship game doesn’t make them the home team or anything to do with who won. Also glad to hear you guys cheered for the Dogs cause I was hopeing the Sioux would take down Michigan. 

        • GodsSquadForever

          To the management: Is this offensive?

        • nogofer

          Hello Pot?  This is Kettle…

  • GodsSquadForever

    Nope, I think you hit in on the head.  I like this weeks bracketololgy and I like the layout of the West bracket. That one would be fun to watch! I really don’t think you would have to worry about the West’s attendence at all with UofUM and UND in there.

  • Greenbayguy

    My only question is why we couldn’t send Michigan to St. Paul, for a 2/8 matchup with Minnesota, and then Ferris State to Green Bay, with UMD, Miami and North Dakota.  Quite a draw there.  Seems the 4/8 Ferris State, Minnesota matchup is really unfair to Michigan.

    • sparta

      i agree, why shouldn’t you shoot for a 2-8 and a 4-5 matchup??

    • I Bleed Maroon And Gold

      My reasoning would be that Michigan is closer to Green Bay and is a higher overall seed than Ferris St, so they get placed first and get placed closer to home.  Based on seedings it would seem unfair to Michigan, but you could also argue that getting sent further away from home and being in the same bracket as a host institution is just as unfair.  My guess would be that most Wolverine fans would want to be closer to Ann Arbor and not have a match up against UND in the first round?

      On a separate note, it would have been interesting to have Minnesota, Maine, and Michigan there because ten years ago they were 3 of the 4 Frozen Four teams that played at the X.  Only New Hampshire would be missing.

  • HUGE HOCKEY FAN

    I too like this week’s brackets.  It’d be fun to watch a Minnesota vs North Dakota championship to see who gets the Frozen Four entry.

    • I Bleed Maroon And Gold

      Interesting that you assume both teams would get past the first round.  After all, Michigan St has already beat and tied Minnesota this year and Ferris St is the current number 1 in the polls.  As a gopher fan, I’d obviously like to see my team in the regional final. I don’t care who the other team is, but it would be an amazing atmosphere to have the two rivals play for a spot in Tampa.  

  • Unlikely attendance issue

    Adding Mich St to St Paul will help attendance?  That was a joke right?  You have UND and the MN there.  Mich St won’t even be able to get tickets

    • Stealthgecko

      He has apparently never seen the “Sea of Green” that appears anywhere that UND plays. Add in Minnesota and there will be tickets being sold at 400 dollars a game if you dont get them early.

    • collegehockeyrocks

      They’re hoping to get one team from the East to the frozen four. Go Air Force.

    • Decatur Spartan.

       Totally agree. It has to be a joke. Neither Michigan State or the number one seed Ferris State will be able to get tickets.

  • BBear94

    Wow the best an AHA team can do is 28th pairwise and they still get an autobid.  Last time it was also AF and I believe they were 31st PWR.  This conference is not on par with the others because they don’t offer the scholarships.  Until they do they should lose their autobid because for this year, there are 12 more deserving teams.
     

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6IGPAF6OVQLRDZAXUEK223Y7O4 Carlos

      The Ivies dont give schoarships and they usually aquit themselves pretty well. Harvard, Cornell have a couple banners if I remember right.

      • collegehockeyrocks

        Another was at the old civic center in St. Paul. Harvard 4 Minnesota 3 in OT. SUCKED, but a great game.

        • FightingSioux4ever

          ’88 championship.  That was a great game.  I was 9!

          • collegehockeyrocks

            ’84 as well. tho heartbreaking. Bowling Green beat UMD in 4 or 5 overtimes. Thought it would never end.

    • BeerMoney

      there are 12 more deserving teams

      Those teams had their chance to play themselves into the tournament.  Even if it only happens once every five years or so I would rather see Holy Cross take out Minnesota or RIT knock off Denver than see another midpack team from the WCHA or HE. 

      • beefheart

        Hey BM (can I call you that ? ) , as much as it broke my heart to see that Holy Cross upset of the Gophers, I completely agree with you. It is refreshing, and I will infer from your moniker that you enjoy refreshments…….

    • GodsSquadForever

      This is very true….however it makes things interesting when they do win (AF over UofM, Holy Cross over UofM).  Anything can happen in hockey….the best team dosen’t always win.

      • nogofer

        The best team doesn’t always win, so true.  Just witness last year’s ff!

  • UnionFan

    Can you explain the role of the “host institution” in your next column please?  It seems funny that there seems to be only one or two “hosts” each year that make the tournament.  Instead of a specific team why not have a “league” be the host.    Pick the team with the highest seed in a league when there are several.  I know there are 5 leagues so with a rotation each one is dropped out once every 5 years.

  • Avaak

    I don’t get why UND was 13th in PWR last week and were out and this week are 14th and in. What am I missing?

  • Millec19

    I don’t understand why you deem it necessary to screw the #1 team in the nation?

    • Sioux4ever

      If you are truly the #1 team in the nation, it shouldn’t matter who you play.

    • Taylor Birkelo

      Ferris State will not win the tourny this year, it’s just not going to happen.

  • Anti-NCAA

    Three east teams and one AHA team in the regional??  Seems like you want BC to only play another east team…..  You were afraid to pair them up to a Mich., Denver, UND, UM-Duluth???   Why not just hand them a golden chocolate bar?

    • Lake19

      Because the year 2005 when it was 4 WCHA teams in the frozen four, the NCAA does not want that to happen again.  Each year a WCHA team is usually screwed to appease the east teams.

      • TwoCents

        First, this is a bracketology column by Jayson Moy, not the final bracket from the NCAA.  Chill out. 

        More importantly, the entire conspiracy thing has got to stop.  2005 was a long time ago.  And it seems you guys find a unfairness in everything.  In 2008 they put three WCHA teams in one bracket with Princeton as a 4 seed thereby pretty much ensuring at least one team would get through.  Even though that sounds suspiciously like what you saying here I bet someone thought they were trying to limit the number of WCHA in the 2008 Frozen Four by overloading one regional – even though each of the other three regionals had one WCHA team each.

        In the end, most of these moves are for attendance.    

        • Lakes19

          The NCAA tournament is and should not be about attendance, its about selecting the best teams in the nation to play in the tournament.

          Yes we all know how great March Madness is in basketball, but it truly is not the best 68 teams in the nation playing for the championship. 

          The underdog story is a great story and refreshing, but if your talking about attandance as an issue for College Hockey, then there should be no automatic bids and the top 16 teams should compete for the Championship. 

          Lets be honest, a team like RIT, Dartmouth, Clarkson, Air Force, may have great dedicated fans, but do not attract the number of fans  ( attandance ) that the NCAA is using as an excuse. 

          Sorry reality is teams like Maine, BC, BU, Minnesota, Michigan, North Dakota, New Hampshire, bring fans ( attendance ) then the others.

          Just a thought

          • TwoCents

            The moves for attendance are made AFTER the field is selected.  The top teams as determined by Pairwise are the ones in the field plus the AHA autobid.  You seem to think the teams in the tournament are chosen for the size of their traveling fanbase which simply isn’t the case.

          • Lakes19

            Wrong…  You were missing the point.  I know the selection is based on Pairwise rankings. 

            If you want the argument based on attendance, then there should be NO Pairwise Rankings that the NCAA uses, and just take the top 16 attendance teams and rank them 1-16 from there.

            If your going to truly play a championship tournament then keep the integrity of the 1-16 pairwise rankings and play the tournament that way. 1 plays 16 .. 2 plays 15 and so on…..

            Yes there are so called host institutions, but somebody has to host and if there team doesn’t end up there so be it.  Only the top 4 seeds should be assigned to there closet regional.  This no one can complain about the same sites hosting and having a home field advantage. 

            Just a thought

          • Lakes19

            Learn to understand the meaning of the context of the post!  

  • Sioux Fan 4 life

    Switch Michigan State and Miami and you have a lot of potential for some fun games in Regional Finals.

    • Sioux Fan 4 life

      Btw I personally like UND as the 14th seed, i hope they don’t move up too much and get sent out East again, we all know how much we struggle out there! Denver could be in rough shape out there as it is so maybe a split isn’t a bad thing for us this weekend.

  • collhockfan4eva

    i dont think u want nodak at a 14 seed conference tournys always seem to have an upset winner somewhere or another (ex merrimack wins hockey east) if that happens nodak woud be watchin the games at home. also im kinda jumpin the gn with how much everything changes weekly and especially in the conf tournys the amount of changes in pairwise will be wild

  • Enchanted_Tiki_Room

    Isn’t it too early to do this bracketology stuff? All of this would be meaningless by Saturday because PWR will shift again. 

  • bluetell

    There need to be more regionals in the CCHA footprint and less in the XCel Center. Every year the CCHA gets shipped to New England or to WCHA country

    • Agree

      Get your schools to bid to host.

    • jdhockeyboyz

      The NCAA places tournaments at XCel because it is a great venue and attendance is dependable.  St. Paul packs them in for amatuer hockey.  In March, more than 100,000 will attend the 16 team State High School tournament.  In case you haven’t figured it out, the NCAA plays where they can turn a buck and St. Paul delivers.

    • collhockfan4eva

      ccha needs to make the bid like when mich had back to back years at yost i believe western had a bid in grand rapids not to long ago but jd is right xcel will pack it in and make a good buck you dont get that happening at grand rapids to often

    • Lakes19

      Get a Arena and get a school to bid on it….  Its that simple!

  • RITjoe

    Moy will have little chance of predicting the bracket this year if he keeps ignoring the rule about…

     ”Conference matchups in first round are avoided, unless five or more teams from one conference are selected, then the integrity of the bracket will be preserved.”

    I think the committee would keep the Ferris St./Ohio St. matchup.

  • Wolverineneshl

    The current brackets look good but we’ll find out after the conference tournaments.

  • Nm156dsf

    If the PWR is a good indicator of who will make the tournament, then the NCAA selection is a joke.  After, the Friday Feb. 24 games, MSU and NMU are still in at 11 and 12 in the PWR.  Look at their records against TUC.  What a joke of a system