Bracket Discussion, 2/5/07

So here’s the current state of the PWR, with about a month left to go before the NCAA selections:

Rk Team                GP  W- L- T  Win%  Rk     RPI  Rk  PWR

1 Mercyhurst          28 25- 1- 2 0.9286  1 | 0.6208  1 | 16

2 Wisconsin           30 25- 1- 4 0.9000  2 | 0.6105  2 | 15

3 Dartmouth           25 19- 4- 2 0.8000  4 | 0.6013  3 | 14

4 New Hampshire       27 20- 3- 4 0.8148  3 | 0.5950  4 | 13

5 Harvard             23 17- 4- 2 0.7826  5 | 0.5853  5 | 12

6 St. Lawrence        30 22- 6- 2 0.7667  6 | 0.5848  6 | 11

7 Minnesota           28 19- 8- 1 0.6964  8 | 0.5637  7 | 10

8 Minnesota-Duluth    28 16- 8- 4 0.6429  9 | 0.5627  8 |  9

The projection that best preserves bracket integrity is:

  • Minnesota-Duluth at (1) Mercyhurst
  • Harvard at New Hampshire
  • St. Lawrence at Dartmouth
  • Minnesota at (2) Wisconsin

It’s also worth discussing the bracket that does the best to avoid intraconference matchups while preserving bracket integrity. That would be:

  • Minnesota-Duluth at (1) Mercyhurst
  • Harvard at New Hampshire
  • Minnesota at Dartmouth
  • St. Lawrence at (2) Wisconsin

The question remains, is it worth swapping Minnesota and St. Lawrence in this scenario to avoid both ECACHL and WCHA intraconference matchups? Right now, the gap between the third-place team in the ECACHL and the second-place team in the WCHA is still large by the standards of the criteria. But if Minnesota or UMD sweep their final regular season head-to-head series, and one of the ECACHL frontrunners slips up down the stretch, it will certainly make the swap easier.

The most important game with regard to NCAA selections this week is tomorrow’s Harvard at BC Beanpot semifinal. Just like last season, BC is right outside the tournament bubble heading into the Beanpot, and a win would greatly improve the Eagles chances at an at-large berth. This season, the gap between BC and Harvard in the NCAA criteria is likely too large for BC to catch Harvard. However, a win over Harvard would be practically be as good for BC as a win over Minnesota-Duluth, who is the No. 8 team in the PWR. The reason is, BC and UMD have no common opponents yet, but UMD has already lost twice to Harvard. So a win over Harvard would give BC that common opponents edge over UMD down the stretch.

I promised a closer look at the race for the No. 1 seed. Mercyhurst does indeed control its own destiny for the No. 1 seed, even though Wisconsin does have a tougher schedule down the stretch. One Laker loss would be enough to get Wisconsin the No. 1 seed if the Badgers win out. The situation where the Lakers tie once and Wisconsin wins out is more ambiguous. In that case, which team is No. 1 could depend on whether St. Cloud State, a team Wisconsin tied twice, ends up counting as a team under consideration with an RPI above .500 — another fine quirk in the NCAA selection criteria.

20 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t know if you watched the game against Minnesota but UMD was pretty good against the top ranked Gophers. I would expect at least a split if not better against WMU. The only thing that can hurt is inconsistent goal tending.

  2. I don’t know if you watched the game against Minnesota but UMD was pretty good against the top ranked Gophers. I would expect at least a split if not better against WMU. The only thing that can hurt is inconsistent goal tending.

  3. Let’s go dogs. Time to sweep these top 20 posers and boost our pairwise! Last time I checked we’re number 14 where it counts. Uscho and USA today can keep their ridiculous rankings featuring a million ecac teams.

  4. Let’s go dogs. Time to sweep these top 20 posers and boost our pairwise! Last time I checked we’re number 14 where it counts. Uscho and USA today can keep their ridiculous rankings featuring a million ecac teams.

  5. Not that I wouldn’t mind an SCSU sweep, but Omaha was off last weekend while SCSU played, so Omaha would be the “rested team.”

  6. Not that I wouldn’t mind an SCSU sweep, but Omaha was off last weekend while SCSU played, so Omaha would be the “rested team.”

  7. Oh, oh… The writers are going to be taken to the cleaners because they didn’t give the UMD any love. He, he, he… I could see either team sweeping the other and I could see a sweep… My gut tells me WMU 5 points. Win and a shootout win.

  8. Oh, oh… The writers are going to be taken to the cleaners because they didn’t give the UMD any love. He, he, he… I could see either team sweeping the other and I could see a sweep… My gut tells me WMU 5 points. Win and a shootout win.

  9. How is SCSU the “rested team” when they played last weekend and UNO didn’t?

    That said, though, UNO is 0-3-1 in series after off weeks.

  10. How is SCSU the “rested team” when they played last weekend and UNO didn’t?

    That said, though, UNO is 0-3-1 in series after off weeks.

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