Bracketology: March 9, 2010

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 Ice Hockey Championship Committee will use the PairWise to determine the NCAA tournament bracket.

Just remember that this is not a prediction. This is a possible look into what the Committee might be thinking.

If you’re new to Bracketology, click here for the background.

Here is the top 16 of the current PairWise Rankings (PWR), and the Atlantic Hockey Champion (through all games of March 9):

1 Denver
2 Miami
3 Wisconsin
4 Boston College
5t North Dakota
5t Bemidji State
7t Alaska
7t St. Cloud State
9 Yale
10t New Hampshire
10t Cornell
12 Michigan State
13 Ferris State
14 Northern Michigan
15 Minn.-Duluth
16t Nebraska-Omaha
16t Vermont
16t Mass.-Lowell
16t Massachusetts
— Atlantic Hockey Champion

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 in any current league leaders that are not currently in the top 16. The only team that is not is the Atlantic Hockey Champion. Of course, there might be other league champions not in the Top 16, but we know this is one definite.

From there, we can start looking at the bubble in a more detailed fashion.

The bubbles consist of North Dakota and Bemidji State at 5, Alaska and St. Cloud State at 7, New Hampshire and Cornell at 10.

Looking at the head-to-head PairWise comparisons and the RPI we break all of our ties.

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

1 Denver
2 Miami
3 Wisconsin
4 Boston College
5 North Dakota
6 Bemidji State
7 Alaska
8 St. Cloud State
9 Yale
10 New Hampshire
11 Cornell
12 Michigan State
13 Ferris State
14 Northern Michigan
15 Minnesota-Duluth
16 AHA Champion

Step Two

Now it’s time to assign the seeds.

No. 1 Seeds — Denver, Miami, Wisconsin, Boston College
No. 2 Seeds — North Dakota, Bemidji State, Alaska, St. Cloud State
No. 3 Seeds — Yale, New Hampshire, Cornell, Michigan State
No. 4 Seeds — Ferris State, Northern Michigan, Minnesota-Duluth, AHA Champion

Step Three

Place the No. 1 seeds in regionals. Following the guidelines, there are no host teams in this grouping, so that rule does not need to be enforced.

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

No. 1 Denver is placed in the West Regional in St. Paul, Minn.
No. 2 Miami is placed in the Midwest Regional in Fort Wayne, Ind.
No. 3 Wisconsin is placed in the East Regional in Albany, N.Y.
No. 4 Boston College is placed in the Northeast Regional in Worcester, Mass.

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 St. Cloud is placed in No. 1 Denver’s Regional, the West Regional.
No. 7 Alaska is placed in No. 2 Miami’s Regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 6 Bemidji State is placed in No. 3 Wisconsin’s Regional, the East Regional.
No. 5 North Dakota is placed in No. 4 Boston College’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.

Therefore:

No. 9 Yale is placed in No. 8 St. Cloud’s Regional, the West Regional.
No. 10 New Hampshire is placed in No. 7 Alaska’s Regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 11 Cornell is placed in No. 6 Bemidji State’s Regional, the East Regional.
No. 12 Michigan State 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 AHA Champion is sent to No. 1 Denver’s Regional, the West Regional.
No. 15 Minnesota-Duluth is sent to No. 2 Miami’s Regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 14 Northern Michigan is sent to No. 3 Wisconsin’s Regional, the East Regional.
No. 13 Ferris State is sent to No. 4 Boston College’s Regional, the Northeast Regional.

The brackets as we have set them up:

Northeast Regional:

Ferris State vs. Boston College
Michigan State vs. North Dakota

Midwest Regional:

Minnesota-Duluth vs. Miami
New Hampshire vs. Alaska

East Regional:

Northern Michigan vs. Wisconsin
Cornell vs. Bemidji State

West Regional:

AHA Champion vs. Denver
Yale vs. St. Cloud State

Our first concern is avoiding intra-conference matchups. We have none.

Do we like the way this looks?

Actually, it seems perfect given the teams that are there. And there’s no juggling around.

It’s the perfect bracket.

If this is how it winds up, the committee will be done in five minutes.

I wish I could create some excitement or controversy by switching this or switching that. But I can’t. It’s plain and simple right now, and falls exactly where attendance is best, where geography is best, and all other factors.

So I won’t even try to throw a curve ball at you in what the committee might think.

Check the Bracketology Blog for other items and we’ll see you here next week for the next Bracketology.

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