Quantcast

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.

The field is set

Union’s win means that Western Michigan and Michigan State get the last two spots.

It’s all over except for the seeding.

See you later with our final predicted bracket.

It’s going to be a difficult one this year.

Two spots left, who gets them?

We’re almost done with the games here’s the combinations. The WCHA and Hockey East Championships only matter for seeding at this time, and Air Force has won. Northern Michigan has now been eliminated. That leaves Harvard, Western Michigan and Michigan State for the final two spots.

Harvard win, WMU win – Harvard and WMU in
Harvard win, WMU loss – Harvard and Michigan State in
Harvard loss, WMU win – WMU and Michigan State in
Harvard loss, WMU loss – WMU and Michigan State in

See you later tonight with final bracket predictions.

The bubble: Who to root for?

So you’re a fan of a team on the bubble, who do you root for?

The teams on the bubble at the moment are:

Cornell
Western Michigan
Michigan State
Northern Michigan
Merrimack

Who do you root for? Here are the simplest ways to root.

Cornell
No one but your own Big Red. A win or tie and the Big Red are in. A loss, the Big Red finish the season.

Western Michigan
A win by your team. That guarantees the autobid and doesn’t leave anything else to chance. If that doesn’t work and your team loses, then you’re rooting for Union. Why? Because then Harvard is knocked out and Western can finish no lower than 15th in the PairWise, thus guaranteeing an at-large bid.

Merrimack
Merrimack fans, you need RIT, Colgate and Union to win. If neither of these happens, Merrimack is eliminated. So you need to root for these three teams.

Michigan State and Northern Michigan
It’s really the same scenario for both teams. With only three spots left, you want to eliminate at least three teams from contention.

You know that a Cornell loss drops Cornell from contention. So you’re rooting for Colgate to beat Cornell.

An Air Force win eliminates Merrimack. Or a Cornell win. Or a Harvard win. Thus you’re rooting for Air Force and/or Cornell and/or Harvard. Of course, a Harvard win makes it a little more difficult for your teams. So maybe you want to root like below instead.

You know that a Union win eliminates Harvard. So you’re rooting for Union.

There are other combinations that get you in, but you have to wait and see.

Four more in, three spots left – What I Believe Friday Night Edition

After Friday night we can welcome four more teams into the tournament, and tell you that there are six teams battling for three spots in the NCAA Tournament.

The Locks (13)
13 teams are now in.

Boston College
Michigan
Minnesota-Duluth
Minnesota
Boston University
Ferris State
Miami
North Dakota
Union
Massachusetts-Lowell
Denver
Maine
RIT/Air Force

The Bubble (5)
Western Michigan
Northern Michigan
Michigan State
Merrimack
Cornell

Win And In (1)
Harvard

Let’s take a look at the simplest scenarios. There are three spots.

If Harvard and Western Michigan win and Cornell wins or ties, those are your three spots.

If Cornell wins or ties and Western Michigan win, they get two of the spots, Michigan State or Northern Michigan gets the other spot if Harvard does not win.

If Cornell loses, Cornell is eliminated.

If Cornell wins, Merrimack is eliminated.

Number One Seeds
Boston College and Michigan have locked up number one seeds. In fact, BC is locked into number one overall and Michigan into number two overall.

As for the remaining two spots, you have six teams that can still be number one seeds.

Union, Denver, Ferris State, Miami, North Dakota and Maine.

Union will gain a number one seed with a win, in fact, a win will lock Union into the number three overall seed in Bridgeport.

North Dakota also will gain a number one seed with a win, most likely in St. Paul.

Two gone, one in: What I Believe, Thursday night edition

Two games on Thursday and now I can update “What I Believe”.

The nitty gritty here is that Michigan Tech and St. Cloud are now eliminated from the NCAA tournament and North Dakota is in with at least an at-large bid.

And with the winner of the WCHA now looking like it will be in the top 16 of the PairWise, the cut line becomes 12. If you’re in the top 12 when it ends, you’re in.

What I Believe are the locks (9)
Boston College
Michigan
Minnesota-Duluth
Miami
Boston University
Ferris State
Minnesota
North Dakota
Atlantic Hockey Champion

I Believe this is the bubble
Union
Massachusetts-Lowell
Maine
Denver
Cornell
Michigan State
Northern Michigan
Western Michigan
Merrimack

I Know these teams have to win it to get in
Air Force
Niagara
RIT
Mercyhurst
Bowling Green
Colgate
Harvard
Providence

How?
Some people have asked how certain teams are still on the bubble and not in the tournament. Here’s a few examples for some teams; I am sure there are more.

Union
You would think that they would be in. Wrong. Two losses do not help Union at all.

Atlantic Hockey
Semifinal #2: Niagara defeats RIT
Semifinal #1: Mercyhurst defeats Air Force
Championship game: Niagara defeats Mercyhurst
CCHA
Semifinal #2: Western Michigan defeats Miami
Semifinal #1: Michigan defeats Bowling Green
Championship game: Western Michigan defeats Michigan
Consolation game: Miami defeats Bowling Green
ECAC
Semifinal #2: Cornell defeats Harvard
Semifinal #1: Colgate defeats Union
Championship game: Colgate defeats Cornell
Consolation game: Harvard defeats Union
Hockey East
Semifinal #2: Maine defeats Boston University
Semifinal #1: Providence defeats Boston College
Championship game: Providence defeats Maine
WCHA
Semifinal #2: Denver defeats Minnesota-Duluth
Semifinal #1: North Dakota defeats Minnesota
Championship game: Denver defeats North Dakota

Massachusetts-Lowell
You would also think the River Hawks are in. Wrong again. It doesn’t help that they are not playing anymore.

Atlantic Hockey
Semifinal #2: RIT defeats Niagara
Semifinal #1: Mercyhurst defeats Air Force
Championship game: RIT defeats Mercyhurst
CCHA
Semifinal #2: Western Michigan defeats Miami
Semifinal #1: Michigan defeats Bowling Green
Championship game: Western Michigan defeats Michigan
Consolation game: Miami defeats Bowling Green
ECAC
Semifinal #2: Cornell defeats Harvard
Semifinal #1: Colgate defeats Union
Championship game: Colgate defeats Cornell
Consolation game: Union defeats Harvard
Hockey East
Semifinal #2: Maine defeats Boston University
Semifinal #1: Providence defeats Boston College
Championship game: Providence defeats Maine
WCHA
Semifinal #2: Denver defeats Minnesota-Duluth
Semifinal #1: North Dakota defeats Minnesota
Championship game: Denver defeats North Dakota

Denver
Even with the win Thursday, Denver is still not there — yet.

Atlantic Hockey
Semifinal #2: Niagara defeats RIT
Semifinal #1: Mercyhurst defeats Air Force
Championship game: Niagara defeats Mercyhurst
CCHA
Semifinal #2: Miami defeats Western Michigan
Semifinal #1: Bowling Green defeats Michigan
Championship game: Bowling Green defeats Miami
Consolation game: Western Michigan defeats Michigan
ECAC
Semifinal #2: Harvard defeats Cornell
Semifinal #1: Colgate defeats Union
Championship game: Harvard defeats Colgate
Consolation game: Cornell defeats Union
Hockey East
Semifinal #2: Boston University defeats Maine
Semifinal #1: Providence defeats Boston College
Championship game: Providence defeats Boston University
WCHA
Semifinal #2: Minnesota-Duluth defeats Denver
Semifinal #1: Minnesota defeats North Dakota
Championship game: Minnesota-Duluth defeats Minnesota

Working things out before conference championship weekend

Welcome to the next installment of our Bracketology, and this is the last one until our final predictions for the bracket late Saturday night.

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

Here are the facts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• Host institutions that qualify will be placed at home.

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

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

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

Given these facts, here is the top 16 of the current PairWise Rankings (PWR), and the highest remaining seeds in their conference tournaments (through all games of March 13, 2012):

1 Boston College
2 Michigan
3 Minnesota-Duluth
4t Miami
4t Boston University
6t Union
6t Ferris State
8 Minnesota
9 Massachusetts-Lowell
10 Maine
11t North Dakota
11t Denver
13 Cornell
14t Michigan State
14t Western Michigan
16 Northern Michigan
28 Air Force

Here are the highest remaining seeds in their respective tournaments:

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

Notes

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

• I will be using the top remaining seed in each conference tournament. This team is my assumed conference tournament champion and awarded the automatic bid.

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 top remaining seeds that are not currently in the top 16. The only team that is not is Air Force.

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

The ties and bubbles consist of Miami and Boston University at 4, Union and Ferris State at 6, North Dakota and Denver at 11, and Michigan State and Western Michigan at 14.

We break all of our ties based upon the RPI.

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

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

Step two

Now it’s time to assign the seeds.

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

Step three

Place the No. 1 seeds in regionals.

No. 1 Boston College is placed in the Northeast Regional in Worcester.
No. 2 Michigan is placed in the Midwest Regional in Green Bay.
No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth is placed in the West Regional in St. Paul.
No. 4 Miami is placed in the East Regional in Bridgeport.

Step four

Now we place the other 12 teams so as to avoid intra-conference matchups if possible.

Begin by filling in each bracket by banding groups. Remember that teams are not assigned to the regional closest to their campus sites by ranking order within the banding (unless you are a host school, in which case you must be assigned to your home regional).

If this is the case, as it was last year, then the committee should seed so that the quarterfinals are seeded such that the four regional championships are played by No. 1 vs. No. 8, No. 2 vs. No. 7, No. 3 vs. No. 6 and No. 4 vs. No. 5.

We have to place Minnesota first as a host institution.

So therefore:

No. 2 seeds

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

No. 3 seeds

Our bracketing system has one regional containing seeds 1, 8, 9, and 16, another with 2, 7, 10, 15, another with 3, 6, 11, 14 and another with 4, 5, 12 and 13.

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

The brackets as we have set them up:

West Regional:
Michigan State vs. Minnesota-Duluth
Massachusetts-Lowell vs. Minnesota

Midwest Regional:
Western Michigan vs. Michigan
North Dakota vs. Union

Northeast Regional:
Air Force vs. Boston College
Maine vs. Ferris State

East Regional:
Cornell vs. Miami
Denver vs. Boston University

Our first concern is avoiding intra-conference matchups. We have Western Michigan vs. Michigan.

We can’t switch Western Michigan with anyone else but Air Force.

We now have:

West Regional:
Michigan State vs. Minnesota-Duluth
Massachusetts-Lowell vs. Minnesota

Midwest Regional:
Air Force vs. Michigan
North Dakota vs. Union

Northeast Regional:
Western Michigan vs. Boston College
Maine vs. Ferris State

East Regional:
Cornell vs. Miami
Denver vs. Boston University

I honestly like what I see here, but I think that I would like to make one more change: swapping Ferris State and Union.

West Regional:
Michigan State vs. Minnesota-Duluth
Massachusetts-Lowell vs. Minnesota

Midwest Regional:
Air Force vs. Michigan
North Dakota vs. Ferris State

Northeast Regional:
Western Michigan vs. Boston College
Maine vs. Union

East Regional:
Cornell vs. Miami
Denver vs. Boston University

I like that a lot better.

I am done. Pretty simple right now. One more weekend to go; let’s see what happens.

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


This week’s brackets

St. Paul
14 Michigan State vs. 3 Minnesota-Duluth
9 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 8 Minnesota

Green Bay
16 Air Force vs. 2 Michigan
11 North Dakota vs. 7 Ferris State

Bridgeport
13 Cornell vs. 4 Miami
12 Denver vs. 5 Boston University

Worcester
15 Western Michigan vs. 1 Boston College
10 Maine vs. 6 Union

Conference breakdowns

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

On the move

In: Western Michigan
Out: Merrimack

Attendance woes?

I like it!

Last week’s brackets

St. Paul
15 Merrimack vs. 4 Minnesota-Duluth
9 Miami vs. 7 Minnesota

Green Bay
13 North Dakota vs. 2 Michigan
11 Denver vs. 5 Ferris State

Bridgeport
14 Cornell vs. 3 Massachusetts-Lowell
12 Michigan State vs. 6 Boston University

Worcester
16 Air Force vs. 1 Boston College
10 Maine vs. 8 Union

What I Believe

Let’s play “What I Believe” again.

Before we play, I need to put out a disclaimer. There are a lot of scenarios out there and I don’t have an algorithm, or computer program to look at it (though someone should write one for me), so “What I Believe” is only what I have taken a look at thus far. I can be proven wrong, and have been known to have been.

If you find a scenario that disproves “What I Believe”, please post it or email me.

So here we go, here’s “What I Believe”

I Believe that there are eight spots already taken.

What I Believe are the Locks (8)
These teams are in the tournament regardless of what happens. I have yet to find a way for these teams to not get an at-large bid. Some can drop as low as a four seed, but, they are in.

Boston College
Michigan
Minnesota-Duluth
Miami
Boston University
Ferris State
Minnesota
Atlantic Hockey Champion

I Believe This Is The Bubble
These are teams that may or may not receive at at-large bid. They need results to fall their way if they don’t win their conference tournaments, or are already eliminated from their conference tournaments and are waiting to see if they get an at-large bid. These teams can get anywhere from four to eight remaining at-large bids.

Union
Massachusetts-Lowell
Maine
North Dakota
Denver
Cornell
Michigan State
Northern Michigan
Western Michigan
Merrimack

I Know These Teams Have To Win It To Get In It
The headline says it all. These teams have to win their tournaments to get into the NCAA Tournament.

Air Force
Niagara
RIT
Mercyhurst
Bowling Green
Colgate
Harvard
Providence
Michigan Tech
St. Cloud

So there you have it, the first edition of “What I Believe” this week.

BNY Mellon Wealth Management