Here are the facts used in the Bracketology feature:
Sixteen teams are selected to participate in the national tournament.
There are four regional sites (East — Albany, N.Y.; Northeast — Worcester, Mass.; Midwest — Fort Wayne, Ind.; 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: Rensselaer in Albany, Holy Cross in Worcester, Notre Dame in Fort Wayne 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 six automatic qualifiers and 10 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.”
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, we will be use winning percentage, not points accumulated, to determine who the current leader in each conference is. This team is the assumed conference tournament champion.