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After the results of March 1

It’s time to add to the weekly Bracketology with a quick hitting edition of what I think the bracket would look like should the season have ended after Friday, March 1, 2013.

Here goes:

Providence
15 Minnesota State vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 Denver vs. 7 Massachusetts-Lowell

Grand Rapids
16 Dartmouth vs. 2 Minnesota
10 Western Michigan vs. 8 St. Cloud State

Toledo
14 Boston University vs. 3 Miami
12 Niagara vs. 5 North Dakota

Manchester
13 Rensselaer vs. 4 Boston College
11 Yale vs. 6 New Hampshire

I swapped Lowell with St. Cloud, and then had to swap Dartmouth with Minnesota State.

Otherwise, it was pretty simple and there’s good attendance here too.

Three weeks out, and it’s a pick-and-choose situation

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 tournament will wind up come selection time.

It’s a look into what are the possible thought processes behind selecting and seeding the NCAA tournament teams.

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 — Providence, R.I.; Northeast — Manchester, N.H.; Midwest — Toledo, Ohio; West — Grand Rapids, Mich.)

• 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: Brown in Providence, New Hampshire in Manchester, Bowling Green in Toledo and Michigan in Grand Rapids.

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. 26, 2013):

1 Quinnipiac
2 Minnesota
3 Miami
4 New Hampshire
5t North Dakota
5t Boston College
7 Minnesota State
8 Niagara
9t Massachusetts-Lowell
9t Western Michigan
11 St. Cloud State
12t Denver
12t Dartmouth
14t Notre Dame
14t Yale
14t Rensselaer
25t Providence

Here are the current conference leaders based on winning percentage:

Atlantic Hockey: Niagara
CCHA: Miami
ECAC Hockey: Quinnipiac
Hockey East: Providence, based upon the first tiebreaker using percentage of head-to-head play: Providence (2-1-2) .600, Boston College (3-2-2) .570, New Hampshire (4-3-2) .550, Massachusetts-Lowell (2-5-0) .280
WCHA: St. Cloud State

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. We must add in Providence, which at 25 is not in the top 16.

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

The ties and bubbles consist of North Dakota and Boston College at 5, Massachusetts-Lowell and Western Michigan at 9, Denver and Dartmouth at 12 and then Notre Dame, Yale and Rensselaer at 14.

We break all of our ties based upon the RPI.

Therefore the 16 teams in the tournament, in rank order, are:

1 Quinnipiac
2 Minnesota
3 Miami
4 New Hampshire
5 North Dakota
6 Boston College
7 Minnesota State
8 Niagara
9 Massachusetts-Lowell
10 Western Michigan
11 St. Cloud State
12 Denver
13 Dartmouth
14 Notre Dame
15 Yale
16 Providence

Step two

Now it’s time to assign the seeds.

No. 1 seeds — Quinnipiac, Minnesota, Miami, New Hampshire
No. 2 seeds — North Dakota, Boston College, Minnesota State, Niagara
No. 3 seeds — Massachusetts-Lowell, Western Michigan, St. Cloud State, Denver
No. 4 seeds — Dartmouth, Notre Dame, Yale, Providence

Step three

Place the No. 1 seeds in regionals.

We must assign New Hampshire, a host team, first.

No. 4 New Hampshire is placed in the Northeast Regional in Manchester.
No. 1 Quinnipiac is placed in the East Regional in Providence.
No. 2 Minnesota is placed in the West Regional in Grand Rapids.
No. 3 Miami is placed in the Midwest Regional in Toledo.

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 Niagara is placed in No. 1 Quinnipiac’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 7 Minnesota State is placed in No. 2 Minnesota’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 6 Boston College is placed in No. 3 Miami’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 5 North Dakota is placed in No. 4 New Hampshire’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.

No. 9 Massachusetts-Lowell is placed in No. 8 Niagara’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 10 Western Michigan is placed in No. 7 Minnesota State’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 11 St. Cloud State is placed in No. 6 Boston College’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 12 Denver is placed in No. 5 North Dakota’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 Providence is sent to No. 1 Quinnipiac’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 15 Yale is sent to No. 2 Minnesota’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 14 Notre Dame is sent to No. 3 Miami’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 13 Dartmouth is sent to No. 4 New Hampshire’s regional, the Northeast Regional.

The brackets as we have set them up:

West Regional (Grand Rapids):
15 Yale vs. 2 Minnesota
10 Western Michigan vs. 7 Minnesota State

Midwest Regional (Toledo):
14 Notre Dame vs. 3 Miami
11 St. Cloud State vs. 6 Boston College

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
13 Dartmouth vs. 4 New Hampshire
12 Denver vs. 5 North Dakota

East Regional (Providence):
16 Providence vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 8 Niagara

Our first concern is avoiding intra-conference matchups. We have Denver vs. North Dakota and Notre Dame vs. Miami.

We swap Notre Dame and Yale to remedy one half of that.

West Regional (Grand Rapids):
14 Notre Dame vs. 2 Minnesota
10 Western Michigan vs. 7 Minnesota State

Midwest Regional (Toledo):
15 Yale vs. 3 Miami
11 St. Cloud State vs. 6 Boston College

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
13 Dartmouth vs. 4 New Hampshire
12 Denver vs. 5 North Dakota

East Regional (Providence):
16 Providence vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 8 Niagara

Now it’s time to take care of the Denver vs. North Dakota matchup. Let’s approach this in a little bit of a different way.

There are two WCHA teams in the second band and two WCHA teams in the third band. So our groupings have to be:

• North Dakota/Minnesota State vs. Massachusetts-Lowell/Western Michigan
• Boston College/Niagara vs. St. Cloud State/Denver

But the questions become where are the matchups and exactly how are they paired?

In the first grouping, you would love to have Western Michigan in Grand Rapids. And you would like to keep Massachusetts-Lowell in the eastern region.

In the second grouping, you would love to have Boston College in Manchester or Providence. And you would like to have Niagara in Toledo.

Taking into account all of the preferred locations, here’s what it looks like for preference.

• Grand Rapids — North Dakota/Minnesota State vs. Western Michigan
• Toledo — Niagara vs. St. Cloud State/Denver
• Manchester — Boston College vs. St. Cloud State/Denver or North Dakota/Minnesota State vs. Massachusetts-Lowell
• Providence — Same as Manchester

Let’s look at it from a bracket point of view.

West Regional (Grand Rapids):
14 Notre Dame vs. 2 Minnesota
10 Western Michigan vs. 5 North Dakota/7 Minnesota State

Midwest Regional (Toledo):
15 Yale vs. 3 Miami
11 St. Cloud State/12 Denver vs. 8 Niagara

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
13 Dartmouth vs. 4 New Hampshire
9 Massachusetts-Lowell/11 St. Cloud State/12 Denver vs. 6 Boston College/5 North Dakota/7 Minnesota State

East Regional (Providence):
16 Providence vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 Massachusetts-Lowell/11 St. Cloud State/12 Denver vs. 6 Boston College/5 North Dakota/7 Minnesota State

Because North Dakota is the top No. 2 seed and because of attendance considerations, we place North Dakota in Grand Rapids.

West Regional (Grand Rapids):
14 Notre Dame vs. 2 Minnesota
10 Western Michigan vs. 5 North Dakota

Midwest Regional (Toledo):
15 Yale vs. 3 Miami
11 St. Cloud State/12 Denver vs. 8 Niagara

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
13 Dartmouth vs. 4 New Hampshire
9 Massachusetts-Lowell/11 St. Cloud State/12 Denver vs. 6 Boston College/7 Minnesota State

East Regional (Providence):
16 Providence vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 Massachusetts-Lowell/11 St. Cloud State/12 Denver vs. 6 Boston College/7 Minnesota State

Let’s take a look at St. Cloud State or Denver in the Midwest. Based on attendance, once again we will put St. Cloud State in Toledo.

West Regional (Grand Rapids):
14 Notre Dame vs. 2 Minnesota
10 Western Michigan vs. 5 North Dakota

Midwest Regional (Toledo):
15 Yale vs. 3 Miami
11 St. Cloud State vs. 8 Niagara

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
13 Dartmouth vs. 4 New Hampshire
9 Massachusetts-Lowell/12 Denver vs. 6 Boston College/7 Minnesota State

East Regional (Providence):
16 Providence vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 Massachusetts-Lowell/12 Denver vs. 6 Boston College/7 Minnesota State

Now we are left with the matchups of:

• Massachusetts-Lowell vs. Minnesota State
• Denver vs. Boston College

Where to put them? Attendance won’t make much of a difference as you have good attendance from the other two teams in each regional. So I am going to say the committee goes with bracket integrity here.

West Regional (Grand Rapids):
14 Notre Dame vs. 2 Minnesota
10 Western Michigan vs. 5 North Dakota

Midwest Regional (Toledo):
15 Yale vs. 3 Miami
11 St. Cloud State vs. 8 Niagara

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
13 Dartmouth vs. 4 New Hampshire
12 Denver vs. 6 Boston College

East Regional (Providence):
16 Providence vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 7 Minnesota State

And there’s our bracket. It’s another way to get to the end result, but I like it.

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

Grand Rapids
14 Notre Dame vs. 2 Minnesota
10 Western Michigan vs. 5 North Dakota

Toledo
15 Yale vs. 3 Miami
11 St. Cloud State vs. 8 Niagara

Manchester
13 Dartmouth vs. 4 New Hampshire
12 Denver vs. 6 Boston College

Providence
16 Providence vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 7 Minnesota State

Conference breakdowns

WCHA — 5
HEA — 4
CCHA — 3
ECAC — 3
AHA — 1

On The Move

In: Dartmouth, Providence
Out: Boston University, Merrimack

Attendance woes?

I like it.

Last week’s brackets

Grand Rapids
14 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 2 Minnesota
9 St. Cloud State vs. 8 Western Michigan

Toledo
13 Boston University vs. 3 Miami
10 Niagara vs. 6 North Dakota

Manchester
15 Notre Dame vs. 4 New Hampshire
11 Denver vs. 5 Boston College

Providence
16 Merrimack vs. 1 Quinnipiac
12 Yale vs. 7 Minnesota State

Tidbits

• Can Niagara get to 10 TUC results? Yes. Two games against Air Force this weekend could be important. If Air Force can get above .5000 in the RPI, that would get the Purple Eagles to eight games. Then, depending on who moves forward in the Atlantic Hockey tournament, you could see that come into play. In the meantime, Niagara is being boosted by its RPI, thus its high ranking.

• This is an important weekend for Rensselaer, Union and St. Lawrence. As the Saints visit Rensselaer and Union, this could determine who moves up into the top 15 or 16. SLU was at 15 after Friday night but the loss on Saturday brought them right back down. Rensselaer can get off the bubble by continuing to win. Two wins this weekend brings the bye for the Engineers, improves the RPI and gives it one more TUC result. Likewise for Union, which can also improve its situation. And for the Saints, two wins against Rensselaer and Union boosts their chances as well.

• Yale has games against Colgate and Cornell this weekend and must find a way to get back on the right foot. The win over Princeton snapped a five-game skid, so the Bulldogs must keep that up. And Dartmouth has Princeton and Quinnipiac this weekend. Two wins would be a great foundation for the Big Green. The quarterfinal weekend in the ECAC tournament will be something to watch as you could have potentially great 3-6 and 4-5 matchups with at-large berths on the line.

• What is going on in Hockey East? Providence will surely find its way after the next two weekends with Boston College and Massachusetts-Lowell on the schedule. The Friars are in win-to-get-in mode right now. Can Boston University get back up into the top 16? It’s not a good time to go slumping. With Vermont and Northeastern left on the schedule, losses will not be kind to the Terriers. Merrimack has a Valley battle with Massachusetts-Lowell coming up this weekend.

• In the CCHA, Alaska’s six losses in the last eight games has dropped it out. The Nanooks need to recover in the playoffs. A loss or two to Alaska-Anchorage this weekend will be very unkind. Notre Dame needs a strong finish, while everyone else besides Miami and Western Michigan must win to get in.

• In the WCHA there are teams fighting to move up, while Nebraska-Omaha and Wisconsin are almost certainly in win-to-get-in mode right now. Denver can help solidify its position with wins at Minnesota this weekend but then can’t slip up against Alaska-Anchorage the following week.

Four weeks out, and a lot of teams are on the move

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 tournament will wind up come selection time.

It’s a look into what are the possible thought processes behind selecting and seeding the NCAA tournament teams.

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 — Providence, R.I.; Northeast — Manchester, N.H.; Midwest — Toledo, Ohio; West — Grand Rapids, Mich.)

• 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: Brown in Providence, New Hampshire in Manchester, Bowling Green in Toledo and Michigan in Grand Rapids.

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. 19, 2013):

1 Quinnipiac
2 Minnesota
3 Miami
4t New Hampshire
4t Boston College
6 North Dakota
7t Minnesota State
7t Western Michigan
9 St. Cloud State
10 Niagara
11 Denver
12 Yale
13 Boston University
14t Massachusetts-Lowell
14t Notre Dame
14t Union
17t Merrimack

Here are the current conference leaders based on winning percentage:

Atlantic Hockey: Niagara
CCHA: Miami (over Western Michigan based on total goals in series)
ECAC Hockey: Quinnipiac
Hockey East: Merrimack
WCHA: St. Cloud State

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. We must add in Merrimack, which at 17 is not in the top 16.

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

The ties and bubbles consist of New Hampshire and Boston College at 4, Minnesota State and Western Michigan at 7, and Massachusetts-Lowell, Notre Dame and Union at 14.

We break all of our ties based upon the RPI.

Therefore the 16 teams in the tournament, in rank order, are:

1 Quinnipiac
2 Minnesota
3 Miami
4 New Hampshire
5 Boston College
6 North Dakota
7 Minnesota State
8 Western Michigan
9 St. Cloud State
10 Niagara
11 Denver
12 Yale
13 Boston University
14 Massachusetts-Lowell
15 Notre Dame
16 Merrimack

Step two

Now it’s time to assign the seeds.

No. 1 seeds — Quinnipiac, Minnesota, Miami, New Hampshire
No. 2 seeds — Boston College, North Dakota, Minnesota State, Western Michigan
No. 3 seeds — St. Cloud State, Niagara, Denver, Yale
No. 4 seeds — Boston University, Massachusetts-Lowell, Notre Dame, Merrimack

Step three

Place the No. 1 seeds in regionals.

We must assign New Hampshire, a host school, first.

No. 4 New Hampshire is placed in the Northeast Regional in Manchester.
No. 1 Quinnipiac is placed in the East Regional in Providence.
No. 2 Minnesota is placed in the West Regional in Grand Rapids.
No. 3 Miami is placed in the Midwest Regional in Toledo.

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 Western Michigan is placed in No. 1 Quinnipiac’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 7 Minnesota State is placed in No. 2 Minnesota’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 6 North Dakota is placed in No. 3 Miami’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 5 Boston College is placed in No. 4 New Hampshire’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.

No. 9 St. Cloud State is placed in No. 8 Western Michigan’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 10 Niagara is placed in No. 7 Minnesota State’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 11 Denver is placed in No. 6 North Dakota’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 12 Yale is placed in No. 5 Boston College’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 Merrimack is sent to No. 1 Quinnipiac’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 15 Notre Dame is sent to No. 2 Minnesota’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 14 Massachusetts-Lowell is sent to No. 3 Miami’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 13 Boston University is sent to No. 4 New Hampshire’s regional, the Northeast Regional.

The brackets as we have set them up:

West Regional (Grand Rapids):
15 Notre Dame vs. 2 Minnesota
10 Niagara vs. 7 Minnesota State

Midwest Regional (Toledo):
14 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 3 Miami
11 Denver vs. 6 North Dakota

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
13 Boston University vs. 4 New Hampshire
12 Yale vs. 5 Boston College

East Regional (Providence):
16 Merrimack vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 St. Cloud State vs. 8 Western Michigan

Our first concern is avoiding intra-conference matchups. We have Denver vs. North Dakota and Boston University vs. New Hampshire.

We can only swap Denver to play Boston College or Western Michigan, but we can’t make a Minnesota State vs. Denver matchup. So we move Denver to play BC.

West Regional (Grand Rapids):
15 Notre Dame vs. 2 Minnesota
10 Niagara vs. 7 Minnesota State

Midwest Regional (Toledo):
14 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 3 Miami
12 Yale vs. 6 North Dakota

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
13 Boston University vs. 4 New Hampshire
11 Denver vs. 5 Boston College

East Regional (Providence):
16 Merrimack vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 St. Cloud State vs. 8 Western Michigan

Now we have to swap out BU. Since there are three Hockey East teams in the fourth band, only Notre Dame can play New Hampshire.

West Regional (Grand Rapids):
13 Boston University vs. 2 Minnesota
10 Niagara vs. 7 Minnesota State

Midwest Regional (Toledo):
14 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 3 Miami
12 Yale vs. 6 North Dakota

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
15 Notre Dame vs. 4 New Hampshire
11 Denver vs. 5 Boston College

East Regional (Providence):
16 Merrimack vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 St. Cloud State vs. 8 Western Michigan

Now the intra-conference matchups are all taken care of.

Can we make it better? Where can we get better attendance?

Western Michigan is in the east, when we want it in Grand Rapids. There’s a fix there.

Let’s swap the entire matchup of Western Michigan vs. St. Cloud State and Minnesota State vs. Niagara.

West Regional (Grand Rapids):
13 Boston University vs. 2 Minnesota
9 St. Cloud State vs. 8 Western Michigan

Midwest Regional (Toledo):
14 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 3 Miami
12 Yale vs. 6 North Dakota

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
15 Notre Dame vs. 4 New Hampshire
11 Denver vs. 5 Boston College

East Regional (Providence):
16 Merrimack vs. 1 Quinnipiac
10 Niagara vs. 7 Minnesota State

Is there anything else that we can do? How about swapping Niagara and Yale? Niagara is closer to Toledo than Providence as per Google Maps.

West Regional (Grand Rapids):
13 Boston University vs. 2 Minnesota
9 St. Cloud State vs. 8 Western Michigan

Midwest Regional (Toledo):
14 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 3 Miami
10 Niagara vs. 6 North Dakota

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
15 Notre Dame vs. 4 New Hampshire
11 Denver vs. 5 Boston College

East Regional (Providence):
16 Merrimack vs. 1 Quinnipiac
12 Yale vs. 7 Minnesota State

I like that from an attendance standpoint too, as well as geography.

Anything else?

How about competitive balance. We always talk about protecting the No. 1 seed, how about the No. 2 seed? We should swap Boston University and Massachusetts-Lowell because of this.

West Regional (Grand Rapids):
14 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 2 Minnesota
9 St. Cloud State vs. 8 Western Michigan

Midwest Regional (Toledo):
13 Boston University vs. 3 Miami
10 Niagara vs. 6 North Dakota

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
15 Notre Dame vs. 4 New Hampshire
11 Denver vs. 5 Boston College

East Regional (Providence):
16 Merrimack vs. 1 Quinnipiac
12 Yale vs. 7 Minnesota State

And I think we’re done. Toledo is a little worrisome from attendance, but the rest of the regionals look good to me.

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

Grand Rapids
14 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 2 Minnesota
9 St. Cloud State vs. 8 Western Michigan

Toledo
13 Boston University vs. 3 Miami
10 Niagara vs. 6 North Dakota

Manchester
15 Notre Dame vs. 4 New Hampshire
11 Denver vs. 5 Boston College

Providence
16 Merrimack vs. 1 Quinnipiac
12 Yale vs. 7 Minnesota State

Conference breakdowns

WCHA — 5
HEA — 5
CCHA — 3
ECAC — 2
AHA — 1

On the move

In: Merrimack, Massachusetts-Lowell
Out: Alaska, Dartmouth

Attendance woes?

I like it. Toledo could use a boost.

Last week’s brackets

Grand Rapids
13 Notre Dame vs. 2 Minnesota
10 Minnesota State vs. 7 Western Michigan

Toledo
14 Dartmouth vs. 3 Miami
11 Niagara vs. 6 North Dakota

Manchester
15 Alaska vs. 4 Boston College
12 Denver vs. 5 New Hampshire

Providence
16 Boston University vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 Yale vs. 8 St. Cloud State

Five weeks out, and not a lot needs to be done to the bracket

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 tournament will wind up come selection time.

It’s a look into what are the possible thought processes behind selecting and seeding the NCAA tournament teams.

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 — Providence, R.I.; Northeast — Manchester, N.H.; Midwest — Toledo, Ohio; West — Grand Rapids, Mich.)

• 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: Brown in Providence, New Hampshire in Manchester, Bowling Green in Toledo and Michigan in Grand Rapids.

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. 12, 2013):

1 Quinnipiac
2 Minnesota
3t Miami
3t Boston College
5 New Hampshire
6t North Dakota
6t Western Michigan
8 St. Cloud State
9 Yale
10 Minnesota State
11 Niagara
12t Denver
12t Notre Dame
12t Dartmouth
12t Alaska
12t Boston University

Here are the current conference leaders based on winning percentage:

Atlantic Hockey: Niagara
CCHA: Western Michigan
ECAC Hockey: Quinnipiac
Hockey East: Boston College
WCHA: St. Cloud State

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. There are none.

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

The ties and bubbles consist of Miami and Boston College at 3, Western Michigan and North Dakota at 6, and the huge logjam at 12.

We break all of our ties based upon the RPI.

Therefore the 16 teams in the tournament, in rank order, are:

1 Quinnipiac
2 Minnesota
3 Miami
4 Boston College
5 New Hampshire
6 North Dakota
7 Western Michigan
8 St. Cloud State
9 Yale
10 Minnesota State
11 Niagara
12 Denver
13 Notre Dame
14 Dartmouth
15 Alaska
16 Boston University

Step two

Now it’s time to assign the seeds.

No. 1 seeds — Quinnipiac, Minnesota, Miami, Boston College
No. 2 seeds — New Hampshire, North Dakota, Western Michigan, St. Cloud State
No. 3 seeds — Yale, Minnesota State, Niagara, Denver
No. 4 seeds — Notre Dame, Dartmouth, Alaska, Boston University

Step three

Place the No. 1 seeds in regionals.

No. 1 Quinnipiac is placed in the East Regional in Providence.
No. 2 Minnesota is placed in the West Regional in Grand Rapids.
No. 3 Miami is placed in the Midwest Regional in Toledo.
No. 4 Boston College is placed in the Northeast Regional in Manchester.

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 it is a host school, in which case it must be assigned to its 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

We must assign New Hampshire, a host, first.

No. 5 New Hampshire is placed in No. 4 Boston College’s regional, the Northeast Regional.
No. 8 St. Cloud State is placed in No. 1 Quinnipiac’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 7 Western Michigan is placed in No. 2 Minnesota’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 6 North Dakota is placed in No. 3 Miami’s regional, the Midwest 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 Yale is placed in No. 8 St. Cloud State’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 10 Minnesota State is placed in No. 7 Western Michigan’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 11 Niagara is placed in No. 6 North Dakota’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 12 Denver is placed in No. 5 New Hampshire’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 Boston University is sent to No. 1 Quinnipiac’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 15 Alaska is sent to No. 2 Minnesota’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 14 Dartmouth is sent to No. 3 Miami’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 13 Notre Dame is sent to No. 4 Boston College’s regional, the Northeast Regional.

The brackets as we have set them up:

West Regional (Grand Rapids):
15 Alaska vs. 2 Minnesota
10 Minnesota State vs. 7 Western Michigan

Midwest Regional (Toledo):
14 Dartmouth vs. 3 Miami
11 Niagara vs. 6 North Dakota

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
13 Notre Dame vs. 4 Boston College
12 Denver vs. 5 New Hampshire

East Regional (Providence):
16 Boston University vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 Yale vs. 8 St. Cloud State

Our first concern is avoiding intra-conference matchups. We have none. Zero, zip, nada, none.

Can we make it better?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: attendance, attendance, attendance.

Where can we get better attendance?

I would like to bring Dartmouth back to New Hampshire and move Notre Dame to Toledo or Grand Rapids. Can we do that?

We can’t put Notre Dame in Toledo because of the CCHA-CCHA matchup it creates. We can put it in Grand Rapids, though.

But we can’t move Alaska to Toledo, either, so Dartmouth looks like the odd team out here and it can’t be moved.

So our new bracket:

West Regional (Grand Rapids):
13 Notre Dame vs. 2 Minnesota
10 Minnesota State vs. 7 Western Michigan

Midwest Regional (Toledo):
14 Dartmouth vs. 3 Miami
11 Niagara vs. 6 North Dakota

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
15 Alaska vs. 4 Boston College
12 Denver vs. 5 New Hampshire

East Regional (Providence):
16 Boston University vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 Yale vs. 8 St. Cloud State

I can’t make any other moves than that. I really like the way it has shaped up.

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

Grand Rapids
13 Notre Dame vs. 2 Minnesota
10 Minnesota State vs. 7 Western Michigan

Toledo
14 Dartmouth vs. 3 Miami
11 Niagara vs. 6 North Dakota

Manchester
15 Alaska vs. 4 Boston College
12 Denver vs. 5 New Hampshire

Providence
16 Boston University vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 Yale vs. 8 St. Cloud State

Conference breakdowns

WCHA — 5
CCHA — 4
ECAC — 3
HEA — 3
AHA — 1

On the move

In: None
Out: None

Attendance woes?

I like it. I’d just like Dartmouth in Manchester for more attendance.

Last week’s brackets

Grand Rapids
14 Alaska vs. 2 Minnesota
11 Denver vs. 6 Western Michigan

Toledo
13 Boston University vs. 3 Miami
10 North Dakota vs. 7 Yale

Manchester
15 Dartmouth vs. 4 Boston College
12 Minnesota State vs. 5 New Hampshire

Providence
16 Notre Dame vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 Niagara vs. 8 St. Cloud State

Six weeks out, and the decisions are in moving and protecting teams

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 tournament will wind up come selection time.

It’s a look into what are the possible thought processes behind selecting and seeding the NCAA tournament teams.

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 — Providence, R.I.; Northeast — Manchester, N.H.; Midwest — Toledo, Ohio; West — Grand Rapids, Mich.)

• 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: Brown in Providence, New Hampshire in Manchester, Bowling Green in Toledo and Michigan in Grand Rapids.

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. 5, 2013):

1 Quinnipiac
2 Minnesota
3t Miami
3t Boston College
5 New Hampshire
6 Western Michigan
7 Yale
8 St. Cloud State
9t Niagara
9t North Dakota
11 Denver
12t Minnesota State
12t Boston University
12t Alaska
15t Dartmouth
15t Notre Dame

Here are the current conference leaders based on winning percentage:

Atlantic Hockey: Niagara
CCHA: Miami
ECAC Hockey: Quinnipiac
Hockey East: Boston College
WCHA: St. Cloud State

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. There are none.

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

The ties and bubbles consist of Miami and Boston College at 3, Niagara and North Dakota at 9, Minnesota State, Boston University and Alaska at 12 and Dartmouth and Notre Dame at 15.

We break all of our ties based upon the RPI.

Therefore the 16 teams in the tournament, in rank order, are:

1 Quinnipiac
2 Minnesota
3 Miami
4 Boston College
5 New Hampshire
6 Western Michigan
7 Yale
8 St. Cloud State
9 Niagara
10 North Dakota
11 Denver
12 Minnesota State
13 Boston University
14 Alaska
15 Dartmouth
16 Notre Dame

Step two

Now it’s time to assign the seeds.

No. 1 seeds — Quinnipiac, Minnesota, Miami, Boston College
No. 2 seeds — New Hampshire, Western Michigan, Yale, St. Cloud State
No. 3 seeds — Niagara, North Dakota, Denver, Minnesota State
No. 4 seeds — Boston University, Alaska, Dartmouth, Notre Dame

Step three

Place the No. 1 seeds in regionals.

No. 1 Quinnipiac is placed in the East Regional in Providence.
No. 2 Minnesota is placed in the West Regional in Grand Rapids.
No. 3 Miami is placed in the Midwest Regional in Toledo.
No. 4 Boston College is placed in the Northeast Regional in Manchester.

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

We must assign New Hampshire, a host school, first.

No. 5 New Hampshire is placed in No. 4 Boston College’s regional, the Northeast Regional.
No. 8 St. Cloud State is placed in No. 1 Quinnipiac’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 7 Yale is placed in No. 2 Minnesota’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 6 Western Michigan is placed in No. 3 Miami’s regional, the Midwest 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 Niagara is placed in No. 8 St. Cloud State’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 10 North Dakota is placed in No. 7 Yale’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 11 Denver is placed in No. 6 Western Michigan’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 12 Minnesota State is placed in No. 5 New Hampshire’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 Notre Dame is sent to No. 1 Quinnipiac’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 15 Dartmouth is sent to No. 2 Minnesota’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 14 Alaska is sent to No. 3 Miami’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 13 Boston University is sent to No. 4 Boston College’s regional, the Northeast Regional.

The brackets as we have set them up:

West Regional (Grand Rapids):
15 Dartmouth vs. 2 Minnesota
10 North Dakota vs. 7 Yale

Midwest Regional (Toledo):
14 Alaska vs. 3 Miami
11 Denver vs. 6 Western Michigan

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
13 Boston University vs. 4 Boston College
12 Minnesota State vs. 5 New Hampshire

East Regional (Providence):
16 Notre Dame vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 Niagara vs. 8 St. Cloud State

Our first concern is avoiding intra-conference matchups. We have two in Boston University vs. Boston College and Alaska vs. Miami.

To avoid this, we can switch Boston University with Alaska, with which it is tied in the PWR.

Our brackets are now:

West Regional (Grand Rapids):
15 Dartmouth vs. 2 Minnesota
10 North Dakota vs. 7 Yale

Midwest Regional (Toledo):
13 Boston University vs. 3 Miami
11 Denver vs. 6 Western Michigan

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
14 Alaska vs. 4 Boston College
12 Minnesota State vs. 5 New Hampshire

East Regional (Providence):
16 Notre Dame vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 Niagara vs. 8 St. Cloud State

We now have a bracket that does not have any intra-conference matchups.

Can we make it better?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Attendance, attendance, attendance.

Where can we get better attendance?

One obvious spot is to get Western Michigan to Grand Rapids so we can draw better there.

We swap the entire matchup of WMU-Denver and Yale-North Dakota.

West Regional (Grand Rapids):
15 Dartmouth vs. 2 Minnesota
11 Denver vs. 6 Western Michigan

Midwest Regional (Toledo):
13 Boston University vs. 3 Miami
10 North Dakota vs. 7 Yale

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
14 Alaska vs. 4 Boston College
12 Minnesota State vs. 5 New Hampshire

East Regional (Providence):
16 Notre Dame vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 Niagara vs. 8 St. Cloud State

Is there anything else that we can do?

There is one more switch which I would like to make: swapping Alaska and Dartmouth.

West Regional (Grand Rapids):
14 Alaska vs. 2 Minnesota
11 Denver vs. 6 Western Michigan

Midwest Regional (Toledo):
13 Boston University vs. 3 Miami
10 North Dakota vs. 7 Yale

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
15 Dartmouth vs. 4 Boston College
12 Minnesota State vs. 5 New Hampshire

East Regional (Providence):
16 Notre Dame vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 Niagara vs. 8 St. Cloud State

I need some more attendance in Providence, but the hands are a little tied. I want to bring Yale back to Providence, but there is limited movement as there are three WCHA teams in the third seeded band, so we have to move entire matchups. And that would mean moving North Dakota out of Toledo, which would decrease the attendance in Toledo. Niagara could draw well in Toledo, though.

I could bring BU back to Providence, but I can’t do that without creating a CCHA-CCHA matchup in either of the western brackets.

So maybe the question becomes which team should I bring back, Boston University or Dartmouth?

Manchester will do OK with both Boston College and New Hampshire. Getting Dartmouth there would be nice, but would having BU in Providence make attendance better than bringing Dartmouth back east?

If we hadn’t made the Dartmouth move but instead brought BU back east, what would we have? We would have to make some switches to avoid an intraconference matchup.

West Regional (Grand Rapids):
16 Notre Dame vs. 2 Minnesota
11 Denver vs. 6 Western Michigan

Midwest Regional (Toledo):
15 Dartmouth vs. 3 Miami
10 North Dakota vs. 7 Yale

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
14 Alaska vs. 4 Boston College
12 Minnesota State vs. 5 New Hampshire

East Regional (Providence):
13 Boston University vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 Niagara vs. 8 St. Cloud State

I’m a little happier with this attendance situation. But there is one huge question here. This is not protecting the No. 1 seed, as has been the case in years past.

The committee has shown a pattern of protecting the No. 1 seed, leaving the 1-16 matchup in place.

Now, you can argue that in years past, the 16 seed was always the Atlantic Hockey autobid, thus, there was the perception that this autobid should always play the overall No. 1 seed. But this year, the 16 seed is not the AHA autobid.

So what do you do?

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

I think if you’re the committee, you cannot “slight” Atlantic Hockey and make this move. You have to protect the No. 1 seed as in the past.

So we don’t go this way. We stay with this.

West Regional (Grand Rapids):
14 Alaska vs. 2 Minnesota
11 Denver vs. 6 Western Michigan

Midwest Regional (Toledo):
13 Boston University vs. 3 Miami
10 North Dakota vs. 7 Yale

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
15 Dartmouth vs. 4 Boston College
12 Minnesota State vs. 5 New Hampshire

East Regional (Providence):
16 Notre Dame vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 Niagara vs. 8 St. Cloud State

I really wish there could be some more moves made but this is about the best I can get it while keeping in place the principles of how the bracket is created.

That is about all we can do with this bracket.

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

Grand Rapids
14 Alaska vs. 2 Minnesota
11 Denver vs. 6 Western Michigan

Toledo
13 Boston University vs. 3 Miami
10 North Dakota vs. 7 Yale

Manchester
15 Dartmouth vs. 4 Boston College
12 Minnesota State vs. 5 New Hampshire

Providence
16 Notre Dame vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 Niagara vs. 8 St. Cloud State

Conference breakdowns

WCHA — 5
CCHA — 4
ECAC — 3
HEA — 3
AHA — 1

On the move

In: Minnesota State
Out: Massachusetts-Lowell

Attendance woes?

I am OK at the present moment, though I wish Toledo was a little stronger.

Last week’s brackets

Grand Rapids
14 Notre Dame vs. 2 Minnesota
9 St. Cloud State vs. 8 Western Michigan

Toledo
13 Denver vs. 4 Miami
10 North Dakota vs. 7 Massachusetts-Lowell

Manchester
15 Dartmouth vs. 3 New Hampshire
12 Alaska vs. 6 Boston College

Providence
16 Niagara vs. 1 Quinnipiac
11 Boston University vs. 5 Yale

Interesting …

Niagara is so high in the PWR right now because of its RPI and that the Teams Under Consideration criteria is not in play with Niagara, with only four games played against TUCs at the moment.

Seven weeks out, and the bracket is intriguing

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 tournament will wind up come selection time.

It’s a look into what are the possible thought processes behind selecting and seeding the NCAA tournament teams.

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 — Providence, R.I.; Northeast — Manchester, N.H.; Midwest — Toledo, Ohio; West — Grand Rapids, Mich.)

• 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: Brown in Providence, New Hampshire in Manchester, Bowling Green in Toledo and Michigan in Grand Rapids.

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 Jan. 29, 2013):

1 Quinnipiac
2 Minnesota
3t New Hampshire
3t Miami
5t Yale
5t Boston College
7 Massachusetts-Lowell
8 Western Michigan
9 St. Cloud State
10 North Dakota
11t Boston University
11t Alaska
13 Denver
14t Notre Dame
14t Dartmouth
16 Minnesota State
17 Niagara

Here are the current conference leaders based on winning percentage:

Atlantic Hockey: Niagara
CCHA: Western Michigan
ECAC Hockey: Quinnipiac
Hockey East: Boston College
WCHA: St. Cloud State

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. There are none.

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

The ties and bubbles consist of New Hampshire and Miami at 3, Yale and Boston College at 5, Boston University and Alaska at 11 and Notre Dame and Dartmouth at 14.

We break all of our ties based upon the RPI.

Therefore the 16 teams in the tournament, in rank order, are:

1 Quinnipiac
2 Minnesota
3 New Hampshire
4 Miami
5 Yale
6 Boston College
7 Massachusetts-Lowell
8 Western Michigan
9 St. Cloud State
10 North Dakota
11 Boston University
12 Alaska
13 Denver
14 Notre Dame
15 Dartmouth
16 Niagara

Step two

Now it’s time to assign the seeds.

No. 1 seeds — Quinnipiac, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Miami
No. 2 seeds — Yale, Boston College, Massachusetts-Lowell, Western Michigan
No. 3 seeds — St. Cloud State, North Dakota, Boston University, Alaska
No. 4 seeds — Denver, Notre Dame, Dartmouth, Niagara

Step three

Place the No. 1 seeds in regionals.

As a host, New Hampshire must be placed first.

No. 3 New Hampshire is placed in the Northeast Regional in Manchester.
No. 1 Quinnipiac is placed in the East Regional in Providence.
No. 2 Minnesota is placed in the West Regional in Grand Rapids.
No. 4 Miami is placed in the Midwest Regional in Toledo.

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 Western Michigan is placed in No. 1 Quinnipiac’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 7 Massachusetts-Lowell is placed in No. 2 Minnesota’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 6 Boston College is placed in No. 3 New Hampshire’s regional, the Northeast Regional.
No. 5 Yale is placed in No. 4 Miami’s regional, the Midwest 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 St. Cloud State is placed in No. 8 Western Michigan’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 10 North Dakota is placed in No. 7 Massachusetts-Lowell’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 11 Boston University is placed in No. 6 Boston College’s regional, the Northeast Regional.
No. 12 Alaska is placed in No. 5 Yale’s regional, the Midwest Regional.

No. 4 seeds

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

No. 16 Niagara is sent to No. 1 Quinnipiac’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 15 Dartmouth is sent to No. 2 Minnesota’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 14 Notre Dame is sent to No. 3 New Hampshire’s regional, the Northeast Regional.
No. 13 Denver is sent to No. 4 Miami’s regional, the Midwest Regional.

The brackets as we have set them up:

West Regional (Grand Rapids):
15 Dartmouth vs. 2 Minnesota
10 North Dakota vs. 7 Massachusetts-Lowell

Midwest Regional (Toledo):
13 Denver vs. 4 Miami
12 Alaska vs. 5 Yale

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
14 Notre Dame vs. 3 New Hampshire
11 Boston University vs. 6 Boston College

East Regional (Providence):
16 Niagara vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 St. Cloud State vs. 8 Western Michigan

Our first concern is avoiding intra-conference matchups. We have one in Boston University vs. Boston College.

To avoid this, we can switch Boston University with Alaska, the team with which it is tied in the PWR.

Our brackets are now:

West Regional (Grand Rapids):
15 Dartmouth vs. 2 Minnesota
10 North Dakota vs. 7 Massachusetts-Lowell

Midwest Regional (Toledo):
13 Denver vs. 4 Miami
11 Boston University vs. 5 Yale

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
14 Notre Dame vs. 3 New Hampshire
12 Alaska vs. 6 Boston College

East Regional (Providence):
16 Niagara vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 St. Cloud State vs. 8 Western Michigan

We now have a bracket that does not have any intra-conference matchups.

Can we make it better? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: attendance, attendance, attendance.

Where can we get better attendance?

One obvious spot is to get Western Michigan to Grand Rapids so we can draw better there.

We swap the entire matchup of SCSU vs. WMU and BU vs. Yale. In doing this we bring two Eastern teams east and two Western teams west. But that only gets WMU to Toledo. We need to get them to Grand Rapids. So we swap the entire matchups again, this time SCSU vs. WMU and North Dakota vs. Massachusetts-Lowell.

West Regional (Grand Rapids):
15 Dartmouth vs. 2 Minnesota
9 St. Cloud State vs. 8 Western Michigan

Midwest Regional (Toledo):
13 Denver vs. 4 Miami
10 North Dakota vs. 7 Massachusetts-Lowell

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
14 Notre Dame vs. 3 New Hampshire
12 Alaska vs. 6 Boston College

East Regional (Providence):
16 Niagara vs. 1 Quinnipiac
11 Boston University vs. 5 Yale

Is there anything else that we can do?

There is one more switch which I would like to make: swapping Notre Dame with Dartmouth. These two teams are tied in the PWR, and neither is playing the No. 1 seed. So I like this swap. It gets Dartmouth to New Hampshire and it brings Notre Dame closer to its fan base.

West Regional (Grand Rapids):
14 Notre Dame vs. 2 Minnesota
9 St. Cloud State vs. 8 Western Michigan

Midwest Regional (Toledo):
13 Denver vs. 4 Miami
10 North Dakota vs. 7 Massachusetts-Lowell

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
15 Dartmouth vs. 3 New Hampshire
12 Alaska vs. 6 Boston College

East Regional (Providence):
16 Niagara vs. 1 Quinnipiac
11 Boston University vs. 5 Yale

Wow, does this bracket look so good to me.

I wish I could bring Notre Dame to Toledo, but that can’t be done.

That is about all we can do with this bracket.

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

Grand Rapids
14 Notre Dame vs. 2 Minnesota
9 St. Cloud State vs. 8 Western Michigan

Toledo
13 Denver vs. 4 Miami
10 North Dakota vs. 7 Massachusetts-Lowell

Manchester
15 Dartmouth vs. 3 New Hampshire
12 Alaska vs. 6 Boston College

Providence
16 Niagara vs. 1 Quinnipiac
11 Boston University vs. 5 Yale

Conference breakdowns

WCHA — 4
HEA — 4
CCHA — 4
ECAC — 3
AHA — 1

On the move

In: Alaska
Out: Minnesota State

Attendance woes?

I am OK at the present moment, though I wish Toledo was a little stronger.

Last week’s brackets

Grand Rapids
13 Boston University vs. 2 Minnesota
12 Western Michigan vs. 7 Massachusetts-Lowell

Toledo
14 St. Cloud State vs. 3 Boston College
10 Notre Dame vs. 6 North Dakota

Manchester
15 Minnesota State vs. 4 New Hampshire
9 Dartmouth vs. 8 Miami

Providence
16 Niagara vs. 1 Quinnipiac
11 Denver vs. 5 Yale

Interesting …

Miami is west!

Eight weeks out, and attendance again forces some changes

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 tournament will wind up come selection time.

It’s a look into what are the possible thought processes behind selecting and seeding the NCAA tournament teams.

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 — Providence, R.I.; Northeast — Manchester, N.H.; Midwest — Toledo, Ohio; West — Grand Rapids, Mich.)

• 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: Brown in Providence, New Hampshire in Manchester, Bowling Green in Toledo and Michigan in Grand Rapids.

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 Jan. 22, 2013):

1 Quinnipiac
2 Minnesota
3 Boston College
4 New Hampshire
5 Yale
6t North Dakota
6t Massachusetts-Lowell
8 Miami
9t Dartmouth
9t Notre Dame
11 Denver
12 Western Michigan
13 Boston University
14 St. Cloud State
15 Minnesota State
16t Niagara
16t Northern Michigan

Here are the current conference leaders based on winning percentage:

Atlantic Hockey: Niagara
CCHA: Notre Dame (by virtue of more conference wins over Western Michigan)
ECAC Hockey: Quinnipiac
Hockey East: Boston College
WCHA: St. Cloud State (by virtue of second tiebreaker, most conference wins)

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. There are none.

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

The ties and bubbles consist of North Dakota and Massachusetts-Lowell at 6 and Dartmouth and Notre Dame at 9.

We break all of our ties based upon the RPI.

Therefore the 16 teams in the tournament, in rank order, are:

1 Quinnipiac
2 Minnesota
3 Boston College
4 New Hampshire
5 Yale
6 North Dakota
7 Massachusetts-Lowell
8 Miami
9 Dartmouth
10 Notre Dame
11 Denver
12 Western Michigan
13 Boston University
14 St. Cloud State
15 Minnesota State
16 Niagara

Step two

Now it’s time to assign the seeds.

No. 1 seeds — Quinnipiac, Minnesota, Boston College, New Hampshire
No. 2 seeds — Yale, North Dakota, Massachusetts-Lowell, Miami
No. 3 seeds — Dartmouth, Notre Dame, Denver, Western Michigan
No. 4 seeds — Boston University, St. Cloud State, Minnesota State, Niagara

Step three

Place the No. 1 seeds in regionals.

As a host, we must place New Hampshire first.

No. 4 New Hampshire is placed in the Northeast Regional in Manchester.
No. 1 Quinnipiac is placed in the East Regional in Providence.
No. 2 Minnesota is placed in the West Regional in Grand Rapids.
No. 3 Boston College is placed in the Midwest Regional in Toledo.

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 Miami is placed in No. 1 Quinnipiac’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 7 Massachusetts-Lowell is placed in No. 2 Minnesota’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 6 North Dakota is placed in No. 3 Boston College’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 5 Yale is placed in No. 4 New Hampshire’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.

No. 9 Dartmouth is placed in No. 8 Miami’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 10 Notre Dame is placed in No. 7 Massachusetts-Lowell’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 11 Denver is placed in No. 6 North Dakota’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 12 Western Michigan is placed in No. 5 Yale’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 Niagara is sent to No. 1 Quinnipiac’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 15 Minnesota State is sent to No. 2 Minnesota’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 14 St. Cloud State is sent to No. 3 Boston College’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 13 Boston University is sent to No. 4 New Hampshire’s regional, the Northeast Regional.

The brackets as we have set them up:

West Regional:
15 Minnesota State vs. 2 Minnesota
10 Notre Dame vs. 7 Massachusetts-Lowell

Midwest Regional:
14 St. Cloud State vs. 3 Boston College
11 Denver vs. 6 North Dakota

Northeast Regional:
13 Boston University vs. 4 New Hampshire
12 Western Michigan vs. 5 Yale

East Regional:
16 Niagara vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 Dartmouth vs. 8 Miami

Our first concern is avoiding intra-conference matchups. We have three in Boston University vs. New Hampshire, Denver vs. North Dakota and Minnesota State vs. Minnesota.

To avoid this, we can switch Boston University with Minnesota State to solve this in the 1 vs. 4 bracketing. And then we switch Notre Dame with Denver to solve that conflict.

Our brackets are now:

West Regional:
13 Boston University vs. 2 Minnesota
11 Denver vs. 7 Massachusetts-Lowell

Midwest Regional:
14 St. Cloud State vs. 3 Boston College
10 Notre Dame vs. 6 North Dakota

Northeast Regional:
15 Minnesota State vs. 4 New Hampshire
12 Western Michigan vs. 5 Yale

East Regional:
16 Niagara vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 Dartmouth vs. 8 Miami

We now have a bracket that does not have any intra-conference matchups.

Can we make it better? Attendance is always a concern. Where can we get better attendance?

One obvious spot is to swap out Western Michigan with Denver, so that we can draw better in Grand Rapids.

West Regional:
13 Boston University vs. 2 Minnesota
12 Western Michigan vs. 7 Massachusetts-Lowell

Midwest Regional:
14 St. Cloud State vs. 3 Boston College
10 Notre Dame vs. 6 North Dakota

Northeast Regional:
15 Minnesota State vs. 4 New Hampshire
11 Denver vs. 5 Yale

East Regional:
16 Niagara vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 Dartmouth vs. 8 Miami

We can’t bring Miami back West, because we would create a CCHA-CCHA matchup.

Should we switch the 2 vs. 3 matchups in the Eastern brackets? Moving Dartmouth to Manchester would certainly boost some attendance, and then moving Yale to Providence might boost some also.

So let’s do that.

West Regional:
13 Boston University vs. 2 Minnesota
12 Western Michigan vs. 7 Massachusetts-Lowell

Midwest Regional:
14 St. Cloud State vs. 3 Boston College
10 Notre Dame vs. 6 North Dakota

Northeast Regional:
15 Minnesota State vs. 4 New Hampshire
9 Dartmouth vs. 8 Miami

East Regional:
16 Niagara vs. 1 Quinnipiac
11 Denver vs. 5 Yale

That looks good to me.

That is about all we can do with this bracket. 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

West Regional (Grand Rapids)
13 Boston University vs. 2 Minnesota
12 Western Michigan vs. 7 Massachusetts-Lowell

Midwest Regional (Toledo)
14 St. Cloud State vs. 3 Boston College
10 Notre Dame vs. 6 North Dakota

Northeast Regional (Manchester)
15 Minnesota State vs. 4 New Hampshire
9 Dartmouth vs. 8 Miami

East Regional (Providence)
16 Niagara vs. 1 Quinnipiac
11 Denver vs. 5 Yale

Conference breakdowns

WCHA — 5
HEA — 4
ECAC — 3
CCHA — 3
AHA — 1

On The Move

In: St. Cloud State
Out: Colgate

Attendance woes?

I am OK at the present moment.

Last week’s brackets

West Regional (Grand Rapids)
13 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 4 Minnesota
11 Western Michigan vs. 7 North Dakota

Midwest Regional (Toledo)
15 Minnesota State vs. 3 Quinnipiac
12 Dartmouth vs. 6 Notre Dame

Northeast Regional (Manchester)
16 Colgate vs. 1 New Hampshire
9 Yale vs. 8 Denver

East Regional (Providence)
14 Niagara vs. 2 Boston College
10 Miami vs. 5 Boston University

Interesting …

The teams just below .5000 in the RPI are Rensselaer, Ohio State and Minnesota-Duluth. Watch them and see how the PWR is affected if those teams move above .5000.

Nine weeks out, and some teams can’t get closer to home

We’re at that time of the year where one thing is on everyone’s minds.

Will my team make the NCAA tournament?

Those of you that are veterans of the college hockey scene know that it is all about the PairWise Rankings. This is USCHO’s numerical approach that simulates the way the NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey committee chooses the at-large teams that make the NCAA tournament.

The criteria are set by the committee. It is set in stone, so there is no objectivity in the selections of which schools are selected to play in the tournament.

The only objectivity comes when deciding the brackets and where each team will play.

For more on this please check out our FAQ.

Since USCHO has begun the PairWise Rankings, we have correctly identified all of the teams that have been selected to the NCAA tournament.

For the past two years, I have correctly predicted the exact brackets for the NCAA tournament, meaning that I have predicted how the NCAA committee thought when putting together the brackets.

With that in mind, 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 tournament will wind up come selection time.

It’s a look into what are the possible thought processes behind selecting and seeding the NCAA tournament teams.

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 — Providence, R.I.; Northeast — Manchester, N.H.; Midwest — Toledo, Ohio; West — Grand Rapids, Mich.).

• 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: Brown in Providence, New Hampshire in Manchester, Bowling Green in Toledo and Michigan in Grand Rapids.

• 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 Jan. 15, 2013):

1t New Hampshire
1t Boston College
1t Quinnipiac
4 Minnesota
5t Boston University
5t Notre Dame
7 North Dakota
8 Denver
9 Yale
10t Miami
10t Western Michigan
12 Dartmouth
13 Massachusetts-Lowell
14 Niagara
15t Minnesota State
15t Colgate

Here are the current conference leaders based on winning percentage:

Atlantic Hockey: Niagara
CCHA: Notre Dame
ECAC Hockey: Quinnipiac
Hockey East: Boston College
WCHA: Denver (by virtue of 1-0-1 head-to-head record versus Nebraska-Omaha)

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. There are none.

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

The ties and bubbles consist of New Hampshire, Boston College and Quinnipiac at 1, Boston University and Notre Dame at 5, Miami and Western Michigan at 10 and Minnesota State and Colgate at 16.

We break all of our ties based upon the RPI.

Therefore the 16 teams in the tournament, in rank order, are:

1 New Hampshire
2 Boston College
3 Quinnipiac
4 Minnesota
5 Boston University
6 Notre Dame
7 North Dakota
8 Denver
9 Yale
10 Miami
11 Western Michigan
12 Dartmouth
13 Massachusetts-Lowell
14 Niagara
15 Minnesota State
16 Colgate

Step two

Now it’s time to assign the seeds.

No. 1 seeds — New Hampshire, Boston College, Quinnipiac, Minnesota
No. 2 seeds — Boston University, Notre Dame, North Dakota, Denver
No. 3 seeds — Yale, Miami, Western Michigan, Dartmouth
No. 4 seeds — Massachusetts-Lowell, Niagara, Minnesota State, Colgate

Step three

Place the No. 1 seeds in regionals.

As a host, we must place New Hampshire first.

No. 1 New Hampshire is placed in the Northeast Regional in Manchester.
No. 2 Boston College is placed in the East Regional in Providence.
No. 3 Quinnipiac is placed in the Midwest Regional in Toledo.
No. 4 Minnesota is placed in the West Regional in Grand Rapids.

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 Denver is placed in No. 1 New Hampshire’s regional, the Northeast Regional.
No. 7 North Dakota is placed in No. 2 Boston College’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 6 Notre Dame is placed in No. 3 Quinnipiac’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 5 Boston University is placed in No. 4 Minnesota’s regional, the West 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 Yale is placed in No. 8 Denver’s regional, the Northeast Regional.
No. 10 Miami is placed in No. 7 North Dakota’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 11 Western Michigan is placed in No. 6 Notre Dame’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 12 Dartmouth is placed in No. 5 Boston University’s regional, the West Regional.

No. 4 seeds

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

No. 16 Colgate is sent to No. 1 New Hampshire’s regional, the Northeast Regional.
No. 15 Minnesota State is sent to No. 2 Boston College’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 14 Niagara is sent to No. 3 Quinnipiac’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 13 Massachusetts-Lowell is sent to No. 4 Minnesota’s regional, the West Regional.

The brackets as we have set them up:

West Regional:
13 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 4 Minnesota
12 Dartmouth vs. 5 Boston University

Midwest Regional:
14 Niagara vs. 3 Quinnipiac
11 Western Michigan vs. 6 Notre Dame

Northeast Regional:
16 Colgate vs. 1 New Hampshire
9 Yale vs. 8 Denver

East Regional:
15 Minnesota State vs. 2 Boston College
10 Miami vs. 7 North Dakota

Our first concern is avoiding intra-conference matchups. We have one in Western Michigan vs. Notre Dame.

To avoid this, we switch Western Michigan with Dartmouth.

Our brackets are now:

West Regional:
13 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 4 Minnesota
11 Western Michigan vs. 5 Boston University

Midwest Regional:
14 Niagara vs. 3 Quinnipiac
12 Dartmouth vs. 6 Notre Dame

Northeast Regional:
16 Colgate vs. 1 New Hampshire
9 Yale vs. 8 Denver

East Regional:
15 Minnesota State vs. 2 Boston College
10 Miami vs. 7 North Dakota

We now have a bracket that does not have any intra-conference matchups.

Can we make it better? Attendance is always a concern. Where can we get better attendance?

We want to bring North Dakota back West and Boston University to the East. We would love to get Dartmouth in New Hampshire and Miami in Toledo. Can we accomplish any of this?

An easy one is to swap North Dakota with Boston University. We have now accomplished task one.

West Regional:
13 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 4 Minnesota
11 Western Michigan vs. 7 North Dakota

Midwest Regional:
14 Niagara vs. 3 Quinnipiac
12 Dartmouth vs. 6 Notre Dame

Northeast Regional:
16 Colgate vs. 1 New Hampshire
9 Yale vs. 8 Denver

East Regional:
15 Minnesota State vs. 2 Boston College
10 Miami vs. 5 Boston University

Can we bring Miami west? We can’t put it in Toledo because Notre Dame is there, and that’s a good draw for Toledo. We can’t put it in Grand Rapids because Western Michigan is perfect there. So there’s not much we can do there.

How about bringing Dartmouth to New Hampshire? We can swap Dartmouth with Yale, but that doesn’t really accomplish much and we mess up bracket integrity because of it. And we’re limited because we want to avoid the CCHA-CCHA matchup. Thus, we won’t make any move there.

We can’t bring Massachusetts-Lowell east because that would create a Hockey East-Hockey East matchup. But we can bring Niagara east and send Minnesota State west. Let’s do that.

West Regional:
13 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 4 Minnesota
11 Western Michigan vs. 7 North Dakota

Midwest Regional:
15 Minnesota State vs. 3 Quinnipiac
12 Dartmouth vs. 6 Notre Dame

Northeast Regional:
16 Colgate vs. 1 New Hampshire
9 Yale vs. 8 Denver

East Regional:
14 Niagara vs. 2 Boston College
10 Miami vs. 5 Boston University

That is about all we can do with this bracket.

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

West Regional (Grand Rapids)
13 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 4 Minnesota
11 Western Michigan vs. 7 North Dakota

Midwest Regional (Toledo)
15 Minnesota State vs. 3 Quinnipiac
12 Dartmouth vs. 6 Notre Dame

Northeast Regional (Manchester)
16 Colgate vs. 1 New Hampshire
9 Yale vs. 8 Denver

East Regional (Providence)
14 Niagara vs. 2 Boston College
10 Miami vs. 5 Boston University

Conference breakdowns

Hockey East — 4
WCHA — 4
ECAC Hockey — 4
CCHA — 3
Atlantic Hockey — 1

On the move

In: New Hampshire, Quinnipiac, Notre Dame, Yale, Dartmouth, Minnesota State, Niagara, Colgate

Out: Cornell, Michigan, Ferris State, Michigan State, Union, Air Force, Maine, Minnesota-Duluth

Attendance woes?

Toledo has three Eastern teams and Notre Dame, but there’s nothing we can really do about that.

Last week’s brackets

(Final brackets from 2012)

West Regional (St. Paul)
14 Western Michigan vs. 4 North Dakota
9 Boston University vs. 8 Minnesota

Midwest Regional (Green Bay)
13 Cornell vs. 2 Michigan
11 Denver vs. 6 Ferris State

East Regional (Bridgeport)
15 Michigan State vs. 3 Union
12 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 5 Miami

Northeast Regional (Worcester)
16 Air Force vs. 1 Boston College
10 Maine vs. 7 Minnesota-Duluth

Interesting …

It’s nice to see some variety, or maybe it’s called parity? Eight new teams in thus far this year. And then there’s Miami. Why does it seem like the RedHawks come east every year?

Bracketology – Final analysis of the selections

Well, the NCAA just announced this year’s NCAA Tournament and I hit it on the button.

For an explanation as to how I came about with the bracket please refer to last night’s Final Bracketology.

Just to follow up on a few points that have been floating around in regards to why and some answers to questions.

Five Team Rule?
Some people mentioned that they could enforce the five-team rule, which says that the committee can keep intra-conference matchups in the first round should there be five or more teams from one conference that are selected to play in the tournament.

Because of this, people thought that they could keep the Michigan-Michigan State matchup and just let bracket integrity play out.

The key here is that this rule gives the committee the right to do it. It is not a hard and fast rule.

The way that I have always interpreted this rule is that if you can avoid the intra-conference matchup, you don’t invoke the rule.

This year, you could avoid it, and thus, you didn’t need to invoke it.

How To Break Ties
Once again, we saw a strong indication that ties are broken by the RPI.

How else do you explain Michigan State getting the last at-large spot when it was tied with Northern Michigan and Merrimack in the comparison?

Or how Boston University is the nine seed and Maine is the 10 seed?

I think we now know that ties are broken by the RPI, and not a combination of the comparison itself, or any other factors.

Protecting The Number One Seed
We see that this is the case once again. Or else you could have just switched Michigan State with Air Force. Instead, the committee left the 1-16 matchup and switched Michigan State out.

Thanks again for a great year, I’ve loved making you guys think and I hope that it helps you in your understanding on how the selection process works for the tournament.

Have a great Tournament!

Our final prediction for the 2012 NCAA tournament

Let’s put the bracket prediction down first, and then we’ll explain how we got there after that.

My predicted NCAA tournament bracket is as follows:

West Regional (St. Paul, Minn.):
14 Western Michigan vs. 4 North Dakota
9 Boston University vs. 8 Minnesota

Midwest Regional (Green Bay, Wis.):
13 Cornell vs. 2 Michigan
11 Denver vs. 6 Ferris State

East Regional (Bridgeport, Conn.):
15 Michigan State vs. 3 Union
12 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 5 Miami

Northeast Regional (Worcester, Mass.):
16 Air Force vs. 1 Boston College
10 Maine vs. 7 Minnesota-Duluth

How did we get there?

Here is the top 16 of the current PairWise Rankings (PWR), and the other autobids that are not in the top 16:

1 Boston College
2 Michigan
3 Union
4 North Dakota
5 Miami
6 Ferris State
7 Minnesota-Duluth
8 Minnesota
9t Boston University
9t Maine
11 Denver
12t Massachusetts-Lowell
12t Cornell
14 Western Michigan
15t Michigan State
15t Northern Michigan
15t Merrimack
22t Air Force

Autobids:

Atlantic Hockey: Air Force
CCHA: Western Michigan
ECAC Hockey: Union
Hockey East: Boston College
WCHA: North Dakota

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 any autobids not in the top 16 of the PairWise. The only team that is not is Air Force.

We break all of our ties based upon the RPI.

Therefore the 16 teams in the tournament, in rank order, are:

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

Step two

Now it’s time to assign the seeds.

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

Step three

Place the No. 1 seeds in regionals.

We now place the other No. 1 seeds based on proximity to the regional sites.

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 Union is placed in the East Regional in Bridgeport.
No. 4 North Dakota 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.

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 the host institution first, so we place Minnesota first in St. Paul.

So therefore:

No. 2 seeds

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

Therefore:

No. 9 Boston University is placed in No. 8 Minnesota’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 10 Maine is placed in No. 7 Minnesota-Duluth’s regional, the Northeast Regional.
No. 11 Denver is placed in No. 6 Ferris State’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 12 Massachusetts-Lowell is placed in No. 5 Miami’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 Michigan State is sent to No. 2 Michigan’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 14 Western Michigan is sent to No. 3 Union’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 13 Cornell is sent to No. 4 North Dakota’s regional, the West Regional.

The brackets as we have set them up:

West Regional (St. Paul):
13 Cornell vs. 4 North Dakota
9 Boston University vs. 8 Minnesota

Midwest Regional (Green Bay):
15 Michigan State vs. 2 Michigan
11 Denver vs. 6 Ferris State

East Regional (Bridgeport):
14 Western Michigan vs. 3 Union
12 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 5 Miami

Northeast Regional (Worcester):
16 Air Force vs. 1 Boston College
10 Maine vs. 7 Minnesota-Duluth

Our first concern is avoiding intra-conference matchups. We have one, Michigan State vs. Michigan. We swap Michigan State with Cornell.

West Regional (St. Paul):
15 Michigan State vs. 4 North Dakota
9 Boston University vs. 8 Minnesota

Midwest Regional (Green Bay):
13 Cornell vs. 2 Michigan
11 Denver vs. 6 Ferris State

East Regional (Bridgeport):
14 Western Michigan vs. 3 Union
12 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 5 Miami

Northeast Regional (Worcester):
16 Air Force vs. 1 Boston College
10 Maine vs. 7 Minnesota-Duluth

Looks about right, doesn’t it? Let’s look at bracket integrity.

Within each regional, it is pretty shot. We don’t have the perfect matchup because of where Minnesota fell, but that’s OK. We try to maintain the best semblance of what we have in the first-round games.

This means that we try to align 1 vs. 16, 7 vs. 10, etc.

I see where we can swap Michigan State and Western Michigan to have a bracket with truer integrity.

West Regional (St. Paul):
14 Western Michigan vs. 4 North Dakota
9 Boston University vs. 8 Minnesota

Midwest Regional (Green Bay):
13 Cornell vs. 2 Michigan
11 Denver vs. 6 Ferris State

East Regional (Bridgeport):
15 Michigan State vs. 3 Union
12 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 5 Miami

Northeast Regional (Worcester):
16 Air Force vs. 1 Boston College
10 Maine vs. 7 Minnesota-Duluth

After that switch, I think the bracket integrity within the first-round games look good to me.

Now let’s look at attendance issues.

Green Bay looks a little iffy at the moment. It would be great to get Minnesota-Duluth there. Can we do that?

If we do switch Minnesota-Duluth there, that means we have to move Denver out. And the only place Denver can go is East. With four Western teams in the second-seeded band, you create a regional in the East with three Western teams and one Eastern team.

So basically you swap one attendance issue for another. So we leave Minnesota-Duluth where it is.

How about trying to get North Dakota to Green Bay? That only means that you swap the Michigan-Cornell matchup with the North Dakota-Western Michigan matchup. At the same time, you create a potential 2-8 in St. Paul and potential 4-6 in Green Bay. Not a bad proposition.

Michigan is flying either way, but North Dakota would fly to Green Bay and bus to St. Paul.

Let’s see what it would look like on paper.

West Regional (St. Paul):
13 Cornell vs. 2 Michigan
9 Boston University vs. 8 Minnesota

Midwest Regional (Green Bay):
14 Western Michigan vs. 4 North Dakota
11 Denver vs. 6 Ferris State

East Regional (Bridgeport):
15 Michigan State vs. 3 Union
12 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 5 Miami

Northeast Regional (Worcester):
16 Air Force vs. 1 Boston College
10 Maine vs. 7 Minnesota-Duluth

I’ll wait on making this decision.

One other consideration would be to swap Boston University with Massachusetts-Lowell. The only consideration here would be attendance and the notion of “deservedness” to stay closer to home.

BU did make the Hockey East final four, whereas Massachusetts-Lowell did not.

But this messes up our nice bracket integrity in the 2-3 seeded band, so I don’t think I’ll do that.

So we’re back to the North Dakota and Michigan swapping issue.

It’s not a matter of keeping one team closer, as both teams would be going farther away. If we wanted to keep North Dakota closer, we could also make the argument that North Dakota won its tournament whereas Michigan did not.

So it’s purely an attendance issue.

In the end, I can’t see it breaking that way.

So the final projected bracket is:

West Regional (St. Paul):
14 Western Michigan vs. 4 North Dakota
9 Boston University vs. 8 Minnesota

Midwest Regional (Green Bay):
13 Cornell vs. 2 Michigan
11 Denver vs. 6 Ferris State

East Regional (Bridgeport):
15 Michigan State vs. 3 Union
12 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 5 Miami

Northeast Regional (Worcester):
16 Air Force vs. 1 Boston College
10 Maine vs. 7 Minnesota-Duluth

We’ll see what the committee comes out with on Sunday.

BNY Mellon Wealth Management