Four weeks out, and either Michigan or North Dakota has to move East

Michigan lost twice at Minnesota last weekend but is still in line for a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament (photo: Michelle Bishop).

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

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.

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 teams that make the NCAA tournament.

The criteria are tweaked every so often — every so often being every year lately — in order to give what the committee believes will be the best tournament.

There were some major changes this year to the selection criteria. In short:

• PairWise comparisons are now done against all teams. There is no cutoff for the amount of teams, so the most PWR comparison wins that a team can have is 58 since there are 59 teams.

• There is now a home and away wins weighting applied to the Ratings Percentage Index. In calculation of the index, wins on the road and losses at home have a weighting factor of 1.2. Wins at home and losses on the road have a weighting factor of 0.8. All neutral-site games have a weighting factor of 1.0. A tie is one-half of a win and one-half of a loss, so home/road ties are treated accordingly for the teams involved.

• There is a quality wins bonus for wins against teams in the top 20 of the RPI. A win against the No. 1 team in the RPI is worth 0.05 points, and is scaled down by 0.0025 points for each place until you reach No. 20, where a bonus of 0.0025 points will be given.

The changes are a little complicated, so it is best to 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 three years, I am the only prognosticator to have correctly predicted the exact brackets for the NCAA tournament, meaning that I have predicted how the committee thought when putting together the brackets.

This is the next installment of our Bracketology, and we’ll be bringing you a new one every week until we make our final picks before the field is announced on March 23.

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 — Cincinnati; West — St. Paul, Minn.)

• A host institution that 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, Miami in Cincinnati and Minnesota in St. Paul.

• Seedings will not be switched. 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, from the 2014 pre-championship manual:

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 the likelihood of a playoff-type atmosphere at each regional site. For this model, the following is a basic set of priorities:

1. Once the six automatic qualifiers and 10 at-large teams are selected, the next step is to develop four groups from the committee’s rankings of 1-16. The top four teams are 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. The next four are targeted as No. 2 seeds. The next four are No. 3 seeds and the last four are No. 4 seeds.

2. Step two is to place the home teams. Host institutions that qualify will be placed at home.

3. Step three is to fill in the bracket so that first-round conference matchups are avoided, unless it corrupts the integrity of the bracket. If five or more teams from one conference are selected to the championship, then the integrity of the bracket will be protected (i.e., maintaining the pairing process according to seed will take priority over avoidance of first-round conference matchups). To complete each regional, the committee assigns one team from each of the remaining seeded groups so there is a No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 seed at each regional site.

Given these facts, here is the top 16 of the current PairWise Rankings (PWR), and the conference leaders through all games of Feb. 18:

1 Boston College
2 Minnesota
3t Union
3t St. Cloud State
5 Ferris State
6 Quinnipiac
7 Wisconsin
8 Massachusetts-Lowell
9 Northeastern
10 Michigan
11t Maine
11t North Dakota
11t Vermont
14 Cornell
15 Notre Dame
16t Minnesota-Duluth
16t Colgate
— Mercyhurst

Current conference leaders based on winning percentage:

Atlantic Hockey: Mercyhurst
Big Ten: Minnesota
ECAC Hockey: Union
Hockey East: Boston College
NCHC: St. Cloud State
WCHA: Ferris 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 the current leader in each conference. 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 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 Mercyhurst.

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

The ties and bubbles consist of Union and St. Cloud State at 3, and Maine, North Dakota and Vermont at 11.

We break all of our ties based upon the RPI.

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

1 Boston College
2 Minnesota
3 Union
4 St. Cloud State
5 Ferris State
6 Quinnipiac
7 Wisconsin
8 Massachusetts-Lowell
9 Northeastern
10 Michigan
11 Maine
12 North Dakota
13 Vermont
14 Cornell
15 Notre Dame
16 Mercyhurst

Step two

Now it’s time to assign the seeds.

No. 1 seeds: Boston College, Minnesota, Union, St. Cloud State

No. 2 seeds: Ferris State, Quinnipiac, Wisconsin, Massachusetts-Lowell

No. 3 seeds: Northeastern, Michigan, Maine, North Dakota

No. 4 seeds: Vermont, Cornell, Notre Dame, Mercyhurst

Step three

Place the No. 1 seeds in regionals.

Minnesota, as a host school, is placed first.

No. 2 Minnesota is placed in the West Regional in St. Paul.
No. 1 Boston College is placed in the Northeast Regional in Worcester.
No. 3 Union is placed in the East Regional in Bridgeport.
No. 4 St. Cloud State is placed in the Midwest Regional in Cincinnati.

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 would be 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 Massachusetts-Lowell is placed in No. 1 Boston College’s regional, the Northeast Regional.
No. 7 Wisconsin is placed in No. 2 Minnesota’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 6 Quinnipiac is placed in No. 3 Union’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 5 Ferris State is placed in No. 4 Ferris State’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 and 15; another with 3, 6, 11 and 14; and another with 4, 5, 12 and 13.

No. 9 Northeastern is placed in No. 8 Massachusetts-Lowell’s regional, the Northeast Regional.
No. 10 Michigan is placed in No. 7 Wisconsin’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 11 Maine is placed in No. 6 Quinnipiac’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 12 North Dakota is placed in No. 5 Ferris State’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 Mercyhurst is sent to No. 1 Boston College’s regional, the Northeast Regional.
No. 15 Notre Dame is sent to No. 2 Minnesota’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 14 Cornell is sent to No. 3 Union’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 13 Vermont is sent to No. 4 St. Cloud State’s regional, the Midwest Regional.

The brackets as we have set them up:

West Regional (St. Paul):
15 Notre Dame vs. 2 Minnesota
10 Michigan vs. 7 Wisconsin

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
13 Vermont vs. 4 St. Cloud State
12 North Dakota vs. 5 Ferris State

Northeast Regional (Worcester):
16 Mercyhurst vs. 1 Boston College
9 Northeastern vs. 8 Massachusetts-Lowell

East Regional (Bridgeport):
14 Cornell vs. 3 Union
11 Maine vs. 6 Quinnipiac

Our first concern is avoiding intraconference matchups. We have a few in Michigan vs. Wisconsin, Cornell vs. Union and Northeastern vs. Massachusetts-Lowell.

Swapping Cornell with Vermont will solve that matchup.

West Regional (St. Paul):
15 Notre Dame vs. 2 Minnesota
10 Michigan vs. 7 Wisconsin

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
14 Cornell vs. 4 St. Cloud State
12 North Dakota vs. 5 Ferris State

Northeast Regional (Worcester):
16 Mercyhurst vs. 1 Boston College
9 Northeastern vs. 8 Massachusetts-Lowell

East Regional (Bridgeport):
13 Vermont vs. 3 Union
11 Maine vs. 6 Quinnipiac

Now we can make a straight switch of Michigan and Northeastern to fix that matchup.

West Regional (St. Paul):
15 Notre Dame vs. 2 Minnesota
9 Northeastern vs. 7 Wisconsin

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
14 Cornell vs. 4 St. Cloud State
12 North Dakota vs. 5 Ferris State

Northeast Regional (Worcester):
16 Mercyhurst vs. 1 Boston College
10 Michigan vs. 8 Massachusetts-Lowell

East Regional (Bridgeport):
13 Vermont vs. 3 Union
11 Maine vs. 6 Quinnipiac

Looking at this, I really don’t want to take Michigan away from a western regional.

But I also don’t want to take North Dakota away from a western regional.

What to do?

It’s one or the other. So I will preserve bracket integrity and go this way.

Now to address attendance issues. What can I do?

I would like a little more attendance in Cincinnati, so I think I can swap Cornell and Notre Dame, just to bring some more people to Cincinnati.

West Regional (St. Paul):
14 Cornell vs. 2 Minnesota
9 Northeastern vs. 7 Wisconsin

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
15 Notre Dame vs. 4 St. Cloud State
12 North Dakota vs. 5 Ferris State

Northeast Regional (Worcester):
16 Mercyhurst vs. 1 Boston College
10 Michigan vs. 8 Massachusetts-Lowell

East Regional (Bridgeport):
13 Vermont vs. 3 Union
11 Maine vs. 6 Quinnipiac

I like that. So that is it.

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 (St. Paul):
14 Cornell vs. 2 Minnesota
9 Northeastern vs. 7 Wisconsin

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
15 Notre Dame vs. 4 St. Cloud State
12 North Dakota vs. 8 Ferris State

Northeast Regional (Worcester):
16 Mercyhurst vs. 1 Boston College
10 Michigan vs. 8 Massachusetts-Lowell

East Regional (Bridgeport):
13 Vermont vs. 3 Union
11 Maine vs. 6 Quinnipiac

Conference breakdowns

Hockey East — 6
ECAC Hockey — 3
Big Ten — 3
NCHC — 2
Atlantic Hockey — 1
WCHA — 1

On the move

In: North Dakota, Notre Dame, Maine

Out: Minnesota-Duluth, Colgate, Providence

Attendance woes?

No issues for me.

Last week’s brackets

West Regional (St. Paul):
13 Minnesota-Duluth vs. 2 Minnesota
12 Vermont vs. 7 Wisconsin

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
14 Colgate vs. 4 Ferris State
10 Michigan vs. 8 St. Cloud State

Northeast Regional (Worcester):
16 Mercyhurst vs. 1 Boston College
9 Cornell vs. 6 Massachusetts-Lowell

East Regional (Bridgeport):
15 Providence vs. 3 Union
11 Northeastern vs. 5 Quinnipiac

Interesting …

Hockey East is ruling the roost with six teams, but down the stretch here, as teams play each other, what is going to happen? There are other teams on the bubble, and some just need to get hot.

138 COMMENTS

  1. Why not shift North Dakota and Northeastern? Brings North Dakota to St. Paul, and shifts Northeastern further east in Cincinnati.

  2. Why not shift North Dakota and Northeastern? Brings North Dakota to St. Paul, and shifts Northeastern further east in Cincinnati.

    • Northeastern should be in the Midwest and NoDak should be in the west matched up against Wisconsin – putting NoDak only proves that UND travels better because they don’t have to be in the closest regional to get fans to show up.

      • They don’t have to be in the closest regional because not many alumni could ever think of finding a job that pays good $ in the stink hole of a town the no names are based out of. So saying that the no name fans travel well is very misleading when so many never stay past graduation or even make it to graduation.

    • Northeastern should be in the Midwest and NoDak should be in the west matched up against Wisconsin – putting NoDak only proves that UND travels better because they don’t have to be in the closest regional to get fans to show up.

      • They don’t have to be in the closest regional because not many alumni could ever think of finding a job that pays good $ in the stink hole of a town the no names are based out of. So saying that the no name fans travel well is very misleading when so many never stay past graduation or even make it to graduation.

  3. Yes, Wisconsin has a 60 mile advantage to North Dakota, but in my scenario they both could end up in St. Paul. As to traveling well, you’d be hard pressed to find a fan base that travels better than North Dakota.

  4. Why does Hockey East continue to get 6 teams – that is such crap – other than BC and Mass-Lowell all the other hockey east teams pile up non-conference wins early in the season against the Alabama-Huntsville’s of college hockey and then beat the crappy teams in their own conference. I would give the edge to any of the top 6 teams in the NCHC over any of the other 4 from hockey east

    • Well, that’s how things shake out, given the current PairWise. If you look at the KRACH ratings, the top 16 teams also include 6 from HE (albeit that New Hampshire replaces Maine, there). If you look at the Inter-Conference stats, HE has the best Inter-Conference record and is >.500 against every other conference. They’re just having an overall great year.

      • yeah but who are your inter-conference wins coming against? Looks like most of them are from the ECAC and the WCHA the two worst conferences – what is your guys record against the NCHC and the Big Ten – probably pretty bad but that is how you have to improve your pairwise don’t play good teams because it isn’t worth taking a loss. I am not trying to knock HE because honestly I like most of the HE teams maybe not BC because they have ended UND’s seasons too often when I was in college.

        • Hockey East is 10-5-5 against the NCHC, and 12-7-2 against the Big 10.

          The ECAC, one of “the two worst conferences” in your book (major loss in credibility with that statement, have you paid a lick of attention to recent years?), is boasting 5 of the top 21 teams in the polls entering this week — and they were more competitive against hockey east.

          Your credibility continues to take a hit when you theorize that your pairwise standings improve by playing lousy teams.

          Keep on digging and scraping at that barrel, you’ll eventually get to some single anecdote that will make you feel better and think that eastern hockey’s dominance this year is just based on loopholes, technicalities, scheduling tricks, how apparently everyone is just riding BC’s coattails…. rather than having a wealth of depth in terms of legit competitors.

          • Inter-conference records are skewed. AHA is obviously the weakest conference and the Big 10, HE, and ECAC all beat up on them. In comparison the NCHC played only 9 games against AHA, compared to 20+ for the eastern leagues and Big 10. The Big 10, for instance, has the second-best winning percentage of all the conferences, yet is only 2 games above .500 when taking out games played against AHA opponents. And I believe all but one of those Big 10-AHA games were played in a Big 10 home rink (Mich-RIT at Blue Cross Arena). So those interconference numbers are certainly skewed (not to forgive the NCHC, who didn’t shine in inter-conference games against the “big boys,” but they did play stronger non-conference competition as a whole, plus were more willing to go on the road).

          • OK. So again. Hockey East is 10-5-5 against the NCHC this year, and they have a collective winning % above .500 against each and every other conference this year, a total of .621%.
            For analogy sake: .621 team in baseball is a 100 game winner. You can focus on specific anecdotes like: “Well, some of their teams had games against UAH, we didn’t have as many” , but at the end of the day, Hockey East had a near equal sample size in terms of games played against the NCHC (20), the Big 10 (21) and AHA (25).

            You want to discredit them for who they played? That is not only a misrepresentation because you don’t put 6 teams in the hypothetical 16 without significant OOC competition… but you can only play who is in front of you. They have, and they’ve done well at it. Better than the rest collectively, this year.

          • I strongly believe hockey east is the best conference in the country after the breakup of the wcha . It will prove itself by sending a slew of teams to the tourney. I just warn against using inter conference records in determining whos the “best”. Home/road disparity and level of competition will never be equal across the board.

          • Also 5 of those Big Ten wins came against Penn State so basically Hockey East is 7-7-2 against Big Ten teams that have has a program for more than 2 years – record not looking as good.

          • I love when people do that. First up, It’s in the same realm as saying… “Well, if you took Boston College’s wins away from Hockey East, they’re not looking as good”

            Sorry, but if you’re talking about a whole, you take the good and the bad. We could cherry pick teams back and forth all day. I’m sure you’ll think it’s totally different because PSU is still a toddler, but it was almost five years ago now that they had $100 million dollars thrown their way for resources a lot of other hockey schools can only dream about. Back that up with a nationally recognized “brand” and the fact that the mid-Atlantic has been producing a ton of impressive college hockey players… and you have a concoction that doesn’t make you feel too badly if they don’t quite have themselves together yet.

            And at anything, the Big 10 SHOULD have a CLEAR advantage. They consolidated into a 6 team group that is DENSE in featuring some of the most successful programs of all time. This analogy isn’t perfect timing wise, because BU is having a rare rebuilding year… but if I made a new conference that featured BC, BU, UNH, and North Dakota… and I said: “Well, if you just ignore how the new guy/basement dweller did, we’re all the way up to .500….” That would NOT be very impressive given the squads I’m almost entirely made up by.

            The fact that you’re talking about an 11 team conference… And you have 8 teams in ranked in the top 25…. and one of them ISN’T Boston University…. and you talk about teams who (these days) are not perennial powers like Northeastern and Providence having the seasons they’re having…. state schools with limited financial resources like Vermont and Maine righting their ships at the same time…. These guys don’t have the brand recognition or the resources that those Big 10 schools and 8 of their 11 are playing at a level that could stand toe to toe with anyone else out there.

            When you factor everything together, and still want to cherry pick some things to try to discredit that fact that Hockey East has been the best conference going in 2013/2014… you’re just looking through biased goggles.

    • Look at history – In the last 20 years, Hockey East teams have won 8 national titles and were runner- up 12 years !!!! SOOO, EVERY YEAR FOR TWO DECADES, HE has been either Champions or # 2 !!!! Consistently GREAT teams !!!!

          • This doesn’t have anything to do with Atlantic Hockey. It has to do with you being a moron and saying HE has had a team in the championship for 20 years straight. Maybe you should Google it.

      • That is not correct. In the last 20 years (since 1993), there have been 4 years where a HE team was not the champion or runner-up:

        – 1996: Michigan (1st) vs. Colorado College (2nd)
        – 2005: Denver (1st) vs. North Dakota (2nd)
        – 2011: Minnesota Duluth (1st) vs. Michigan (2nd)
        – 2013: Yale (1st) vs. Quinnipiac (2nd)

        It’s true that HE has won 8 national titles and were runner-ups 12 times (only 11 times if you don’t count Notre Dame who just joined HE this year). Again, if you include Notre Dame, there were 3 years where both teams in the title game were from HE…1995 (BU vs. Maine), 1999 (Maine vs. NH), and 2008 (BC vs. Notre Dame).

          • Actually…no, it is not correct. You cant just add the two together and say they have had one team in the championship game for all those years. We have clearly pointed out at least 4 times that did not happen. Pay attention idiot.

          • Well, IDIOT: I merely stated the number of titles & runner ups !!! YOU set the parameters which YOU want to deny !!!….Did I use TOOOO BIG OF WORDS FOR YOU???…..GOOGLE IT !!!!

          • Here is your exact comment as copied from above:

            SOOO, EVERY YEAR FOR TWO DECADES, HE has been either Champions or # 2 !!!!

            This couldn’t be more false. Again, your “facts” are crap. But I am sure once again you will try and spin something on how you are not a moron……

      • Yeah thanks Boston College, Boston University, and Maine – hard to say a conference is consistently great when most of that greatness has come from 3 teams.

    • Really. I know you western fans still believe that the NCHC is a great conference. It isn’t now. I think it can be maybe next year or in the future. Hockey Easy is easily the best conference and will be even better when UConn joins next year and they go all in like they did in basketball and football. Wisconsin was the ‘hottest’ team last year and Lowell smoked them 6-1. I think HE will get at least 5 teams in. We all laughed at the ECAC and the final was Yale-Quinnipiac.

  5. Yes, Wisconsin has a 60 mile advantage to North Dakota, but in my scenario they both could end up in St. Paul. As to traveling well, you’d be hard pressed to find a fan base that travels better than North Dakota.

  6. Why does Hockey East continue to get 6 teams – that is such crap – other than BC and Mass-Lowell all the other hockey east teams pile up non-conference wins early in the season against the Alabama-Huntsville’s of college hockey and then beat the crappy teams in their own conference. I would give the edge to any of the top 6 teams in the NCHC over any of the other 4 from hockey east

    • Well, that’s how things shake out, given the current PairWise. If you look at the KRACH ratings, the top 16 teams also include 6 from HE (albeit that New Hampshire replaces Maine, there). If you look at the Inter-Conference stats, HE has the best Inter-Conference record and is >.500 against every other conference. They’re just having an overall great year.

      • yeah but who are your inter-conference wins coming against? Looks like most of them are from the ECAC and the WCHA the two worst conferences – what is your guys record against the NCHC and the Big Ten – probably pretty bad but that is how you have to improve your pairwise don’t play good teams because it isn’t worth taking a loss. I am not trying to knock HE because honestly I like most of the HE teams maybe not BC because they have ended UND’s seasons too often when I was in college.

        • Hockey East is 10-5-5 against the NCHC, and 12-7-2 against the Big 10.

          The ECAC, one of “the two worst conferences” in your book (major loss in credibility with that statement, have you paid a lick of attention to recent years?), is boasting 5 of the top 21 teams in the polls entering this week — and they were more competitive against hockey east.

          Your credibility continues to take a hit when you theorize that your pairwise standings improve by playing lousy teams. Your ceiling of comparisons won can only get so high if your schedule is weak. If your theory was true, then Mercyhurst, a 17 win team, should be much higher than 36th in the Pairwise. We all know that it’s sensible that they’re not… but there’s an example of a team loaded with wins against bad teams. There’s a reason they are where they are as far as the potential to get an at-large bid.

          Keep on digging and scraping at that barrel, you’ll eventually get to some single anecdote that will make you feel better and think that eastern hockey’s dominance this year is just based on loopholes, technicalities, scheduling tricks, how apparently everyone is just riding BC’s coattails…. rather than having a wealth of depth in terms of legit competitors.

          • Inter-conference records are skewed. AHA is obviously the weakest conference and the Big 10, HE, and ECAC all beat up on them. In comparison the NCHC played only 9 games against AHA, compared to 20+ for the eastern leagues and Big 10. The Big 10, for instance, has the second-best winning percentage of all the conferences, yet is only 2 games above .500 when taking out games played against AHA opponents. And I believe all but one of those Big 10-AHA games were played in a Big 10 home rink (Mich-RIT at Blue Cross Arena). So those interconference numbers are certainly skewed (not to forgive the NCHC, who didn’t shine in inter-conference games against the “big boys,” but they did play stronger non-conference competition as a whole, plus were more willing to go on the road).

          • OK. So again. Hockey East is 10-5-5 against the NCHC this year, and they have a collective winning % above .500 against each and every other conference this year, a total of .621%.

            For analogy sake: .621 team in baseball is a 100 game winner. You can focus on specific anecdotes like: “Well, some of their teams had games against UAH, we didn’t have as many” , but at the end of the day, Hockey East had a near equal sample size in terms of games played against the NCHC (20), the Big 10 (21) and AHA (25), and they succeeded against them all.

            You want to discredit them for who they played? That is not only a misrepresentation because you don’t put 6 teams in the hypothetical 16 without significant OOC competition… but you can only play who is in front of you. They have, and they’ve done well at it. Better than the rest collectively, this year.

          • I strongly believe hockey east is the best conference in the country after the breakup of the wcha . It will prove itself by sending a slew of teams to the tourney. I just warn against using inter conference records in determining whos the “best”. Home/road disparity and level of competition will never be equal across the board.

          • Also 5 of those Big Ten wins came against Penn State so basically Hockey East is 7-7-2 against Big Ten teams that have has a program for more than 2 years – record not looking as good.

          • I love when people do that. First up, It’s in the same realm as saying… “Well, if you took Boston College’s wins away from Hockey East, they’re not looking as good”

            Sorry, but if you’re talking about a whole, you take the good and the bad. We could cherry pick teams back and forth all day. I’m sure you’ll think it’s totally different because PSU is still a toddler, but it was almost five years ago now that they had $100 million dollars thrown their way for resources a lot of other hockey schools can only dream about. Back that up with a nationally recognized “brand” and the fact that the mid-Atlantic has been producing a ton of impressive college hockey players… and you have a concoction that doesn’t make you feel too badly if they don’t quite have themselves together yet.

            And at anything, the Big 10 SHOULD have a CLEAR advantage. They consolidated into a 6 team group that is DENSE in featuring some of the most successful programs of all time. This analogy isn’t perfect timing wise, because BU is having a rare rebuilding year… but if I made a new conference that featured BC, BU, UNH, and North Dakota… and I said: “Well, if you just ignore how the new guy/basement dweller did, we’re all the way up to .500….” That would NOT be very impressive given the squads I’m almost entirely made up by.

            The fact that you’re talking about an 11 team conference… And you have 8 teams in ranked in the top 25…. and one of them ISN’T Boston University…. and you talk about teams who (these days) are not perennial powers like Northeastern and Providence having the seasons they’re having…. state schools with limited financial resources like Vermont and Maine righting their ships at the same time…. These guys don’t have the brand recognition or the resources that those Big 10 schools and 8 of their 11 are playing at a level that could stand toe to toe with anyone else out there.

            When you factor everything together, and still want to cherry pick some things to try to discredit that fact that Hockey East has been the best conference going in 2013/2014… you’re just looking through biased goggles.

    • Look at history – In the last 20 years, Hockey East teams have won 8 national titles and were runner- up 12 years !!!! SOOO, EVERY YEAR FOR TWO DECADES, HE has been either Champions or # 2 !!!! Consistently GREAT teams !!!!

          • This doesn’t have anything to do with Atlantic Hockey. It has to do with you being a moron and saying HE has had a team in the championship for 20 years straight. Maybe you should Google it.

      • That is not correct. In the last 20 years (since 1993), there have been 4 years where a HE team was not the champion or runner-up:

        – 1996: Michigan (1st) vs. Colorado College (2nd)
        – 2005: Denver (1st) vs. North Dakota (2nd)
        – 2011: Minnesota Duluth (1st) vs. Michigan (2nd)
        – 2013: Yale (1st) vs. Quinnipiac (2nd)

        It’s true that HE has won 8 national titles and were runner-ups 12 times (only 11 times if you don’t count Notre Dame who just joined HE this year). Again, if you include Notre Dame, there were 3 years where both teams in the title game were from HE…1995 (BU vs. Maine), 1999 (Maine vs. NH), and 2008 (BC vs. Notre Dame).

          • Actually…no, it is not correct. You cant just add the two together and say they have had one team in the championship game for all those years. We have clearly pointed out at least 4 times that did not happen. Pay attention idiot.

          • Well, IDIOT: I merely stated the number of titles & runner ups !!! YOU set the parameters which YOU want to deny !!!….Did I use TOOOO BIG OF WORDS FOR YOU???…..GOOGLE IT !!!!

          • Here is your exact comment as copied from above:

            SOOO, EVERY YEAR FOR TWO DECADES, HE has been either Champions or # 2 !!!!

            This couldn’t be more false. Again, your “facts” are crap. But I am sure once again you will try and spin something on how you are not a moron……

      • Yeah thanks Boston College, Boston University, and Maine – hard to say a conference is consistently great when most of that greatness has come from 3 teams.

    • Really. I know you western fans still believe that the NCHC is a great conference. It isn’t now. I think it can be maybe next year or in the future. Hockey Easy is easily the best conference and will be even better when UConn joins next year and they go all in like they did in basketball and football. Wisconsin was the ‘hottest’ team last year and Lowell smoked them 6-1. I think HE will get at least 5 teams in. We all laughed at the ECAC and the final was Yale-Quinnipiac.

  7. I really think your going to see some big changes coming.
    1. Your going to see MN State win the WCHA tournament and Ferris will get an invite.
    2. Michigan is going to miss out, they have 3 or 4 more losses coming. There young goalies are starting to feel the pressure. (2) Big Ten teams will get invite.
    3. Would not surprise me if a lower rank team wins the NCHA tournament.

    • 1. Ferris state seems like they are more organized team starting with their goalie and their defense (with growing offense).
      2. Michigan has two strong goalies (which one that played in Minnesota missed out for 2 months for an injury). Try to play in Olympic size arena with cheap shots while your home ice is 96 width. Your credibility goes down hear. Minnesota (no. 1 at that time) got shut out 6-0 at Michigan years back. Ice matters buddy. Just look at Wisconsin and how they get beat down at smaller rink.
      3. Strength of schedule does matter. Michigan will get hand (with BC, BU, Lowell, NH, Omaha…) unless they go down below 0.500. which i do not see happening with most games at home (MSU, PSU, OSU easy. maybe one win and tie with Minnesota like Wisconsin did) for season finale.

      As far as bracket goes. NCAA should stop using regional when they are not going to put teams as regional (which also make sense considering now that all teams in same league is in similar region. Look at Michigan (which seems odd as topic as I am not a fan of Michigan) basketball team assigned to south regional last season for March Madness.

    • So you see Michigan losing 3-4 more games? I’m guessing you are figuring that they’ll get swept again by Minnesota (at Yost) and lose on the road to OSU and MSU. They have 6 of their last 8 at home vs. MSU, PSU, OSU and Minn. Somehow I think they’ll play better than 4-4 in those last 8 games. Don’t forget the B1G Ten tourney will also impact an at-large bid.
      If for whatever reason the team falters down the stretch it won’t be because of their “young goaltending” feeling any pressure. Not with the schedule they have played this season. If anything, you can point to the lack of offense and defensive issues which doesn’t take a genius to figure out.
      I think most of your premise is based on:
      1. Michigan hatred
      2. NCHC colored glasses
      3. Complete (old) WCHA bias

  8. I really think your going to see some big changes coming.
    1. Your going to see MN State win the WCHA tournament and Ferris will get an invite.
    2. Michigan is going to miss out, they have 3 or 4 more losses coming. There young goalies are starting to feel the pressure. (2) Big Ten teams will get invite.
    3. Would not surprise me if a lower rank team wins the NCHA tournament.

    • 1. Ferris state seems like they are more organized team starting with their goalie and their defense (with growing offense).
      2. Michigan has two strong goalies (which one that played in Minnesota missed out for 2 months for an injury). Try to play in Olympic size arena with cheap shots while your home ice is 96 width. Your credibility goes down hear. Minnesota (no. 1 at that time) got shut out 6-0 at Michigan years back. Ice matters buddy. Just look at Wisconsin and how they get beat down at smaller rink.
      3. Strength of schedule does matter. Michigan will get hand (with BC, BU, Lowell, NH, Omaha…) unless they go down below 0.500. which i do not see happening with most games at home (MSU, PSU, OSU easy. maybe one win and tie with Minnesota like Wisconsin did) for season finale.

      As far as bracket goes. NCAA should stop using regional when they are not going to put teams as regional (which also make sense considering now that all teams in same league is in similar region. Look at Michigan (which seems odd as topic as I am not a fan of Michigan) basketball team assigned to south regional last season for March Madness.

    • So you see Michigan losing 3-4 more games? I’m guessing you are figuring that they’ll get swept again by Minnesota (at Yost) and lose on the road to OSU and MSU. They have 6 of their last 8 at home vs. MSU, PSU, OSU and Minn. Somehow I think they’ll play better than 4-4 in those last 8 games. Don’t forget the B1G Ten tourney will also impact an at-large bid.
      If for whatever reason the team falters down the stretch it won’t be because of their “young goaltending” feeling any pressure. Not with the schedule they have played this season. If anything, you can point to the lack of offense and defensive issues which doesn’t take a genius to figure out.
      I think most of your premise is based on:
      1. Michigan hatred
      2. NCHC colored glasses
      3. Complete (old) WCHA bias

  9. This is the most vivid demonstration, EVER, why the selection process for the Tourney MUST be changed !!!….Mercyhurst. THE THIRTY-SIXTH PAIR-WISE TEAM, makes the Tourney – It is usual the Atlantic Hockey Champ kicks a REALLY deserving team out of the Tourney !!!….Time for the league to go back to Division 3 !!!!

    • can someone get this guy out of here..clearly you know nothing about college hockey. AHA league winners have won games in the ncaa tournament including RIT who went to the frozen four in 2010..it’s just how the automatic bids work. If you don’t like it then go comment on a college bowling site

      • HEY StevieJ: I understand HOW the automatic bid works….IF you could read, my point is it’s time to CHANGE the system !!!…As for RIT “going to the Frozen Four”, HELL, MY MOTHER went to the frozen four ONCE !!!!….Even a blind squirrel could find the Frozen Four ONCE !!!!….Perhaps YOU should actually GO to college !!!

        • Why should the automatic bid be changed? You win your conference tournament but not good enough for the big dance? Maybe they should go back to giving the conference regular season title and tournament champion an automatic bid……bet your precious HE teams in the tourny would decrease. And stop with the all capital letters, you look like an idiot.

          • WHY CHANGE THE BID SYSTEM ???…MERCYHURST, WHO WILL GET AN AUTO BID IS NUMBER 43 ON THE KRACH RANKINGS !!!!…TELL THE 27 TEAMS IN FRONT OF THEM WHO WON’T MAKE THE TOURNEY WHY THIS SYSTEM IS FAIR ????..AS FOR MY “PRECIOUS HOCKEY EAST”, FOR THE LAST TWO DECADES WE’VE WON 8 NATIONAL TITLES & FINISHED RUNNER UP TWELVE TIMES !!! WHAT LEAGUE COMES CLOSE ??? WHEN NOTRE DAME WENT LOOKING FOR A NEW LEAGUE WHERE DID THEY GO ???…READ THE LATEST ALANTIC HOCKEY BLOG….EVEN THEIR PEOPLE CALL HOCKEY EAST “THE BEST LEAGUE IN THE NATION”: !!!…FINALLY MY CAPS MAY MAKE LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT BUT MY REASONING DOESN”T !!!!….look in a mirror !!!

          • 2 decades is 20 years right? So you are saying that a HE team has been in every championship game the last 20 years huh? Well this is easy.
            2013 – Yale vs. Quin – no HE
            2011 – UMD vs. Mich – no HE
            2005 – Denver vs. UND – no HE

            Oh and btw, the WCHA had 8 championships in the past 20 years as well….This whole argument about what league is better is so stupid.

          • There is even more than that, I was just naming a few to show how wrong he was! (Hey look, we agree on something :) )

          • You obviously cant count, because 20 years worth of championships goes back to 1994. So 7 titles and 11 runner-ups. So then they should just do away the conferences completely? Cause thats how it would have to be. Go wash the sand out of your panties.

          • Because no other league will take Notre Dame and it’s play by my rules or else ( See football Team ) if you don’t comprehend this point. Hockey East wanted the money from Notre Dame and its TV exposure from NBC.

      • NHDEM is right RIT is trash and AHA should be put somewhere where the rest of college hockey doesnt have to look at it and can pretend it doesnt exist

        • this is not the NHL where half the teams make the playoffs. d3 men has 79 teams and 9 teams make the tourney. in D1 men and women. its about 1 fourth. D1 women has 8 teams make the playoffs out of 35. so if you drop atlantic conference. D1 goes down 48 teams. . you go back to when D1 tourney 12 teams. i was pleased when atlantic hockey moved to D1 and the tourney went to 16 teams.

  10. This is the most vivid demonstration, EVER, why the selection process for the Tourney MUST be changed !!!….Mercyhurst. THE THIRTY-SIXTH PAIR-WISE TEAM, makes the Tourney – It is usual the Atlantic Hockey Champ kicks a REALLY deserving team out of the Tourney !!!….Time for the league to go back to Division 3 !!!!

    • can someone get this guy out of here..clearly you know nothing about college hockey. AHA league winners have won games in the ncaa tournament including RIT who went to the frozen four in 2010..it’s just how the automatic bids work. If you don’t like it then go comment on a college bowling site

      • HEY StevieJ: I understand HOW the automatic bid works….IF you could read, my point is it’s time to CHANGE the system !!!…As for RIT “going to the Frozen Four”, HELL, MY MOTHER went to the frozen four ONCE !!!!….Even a blind squirrel could find the Frozen Four ONCE !!!!….Perhaps YOU should actually GO to college !!!

        • Why should the automatic bid be changed? You win your conference tournament but not good enough for the big dance? Maybe they should go back to giving the conference regular season title and tournament champion an automatic bid……bet your precious HE teams in the tourny would decrease. And stop with the all capital letters, you look like an idiot.

          • WHY CHANGE THE BID SYSTEM ???…MERCYHURST, WHO WILL GET AN AUTO BID IS NUMBER 43 ON THE KRACH RANKINGS !!!!…TELL THE 27 TEAMS IN FRONT OF THEM WHO WON’T MAKE THE TOURNEY WHY THIS SYSTEM IS FAIR ????..AS FOR MY “PRECIOUS HOCKEY EAST”, FOR THE LAST TWO DECADES WE’VE WON 8 NATIONAL TITLES & FINISHED RUNNER UP TWELVE TIMES !!! WHAT LEAGUE COMES CLOSE ??? WHEN NOTRE DAME WENT LOOKING FOR A NEW LEAGUE WHERE DID THEY GO ???…READ THE LATEST ALANTIC HOCKEY BLOG….EVEN THEIR PEOPLE CALL HOCKEY EAST “THE BEST LEAGUE IN THE NATION”: !!!…FINALLY MY CAPS MAY MAKE LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT BUT MY REASONING DOESN”T !!!!….look in a mirror !!!

          • 2 decades is 20 years right? So you are saying that a HE team has been in every championship game the last 20 years huh? Well this is easy.
            2013 – Yale vs. Quin – no HE
            2011 – UMD vs. Mich – no HE
            2005 – Denver vs. UND – no HE

            Oh and btw, the WCHA had 8 championships in the past 20 years as well….This whole argument about what league is better is so stupid.

          • There is even more than that, I was just naming a few to show how wrong he was! (Hey look, we agree on something :) )

          • You obviously cant count, because 20 years worth of championships goes back to 1994. So 7 titles and 11 runner-ups. So then they should just do away the conferences completely? Cause thats how it would have to be. Go wash the sand out of your panties.

          • Because no other league will take Notre Dame and it’s play by my rules or else ( See football Team ) if you don’t comprehend this point. Hockey East wanted the money from Notre Dame and its TV exposure from NBC.

      • NHDEM is right RIT is trash and AHA should be put somewhere where the rest of college hockey doesnt have to look at it and can pretend it doesnt exist

        • this is not the NHL where half the teams make the playoffs. d3 men has 79 teams and 9 teams make the tourney. in D1 men and women. its about 1 fourth. D1 women has 8 teams make the playoffs out of 35. so if you drop atlantic conference. D1 goes down 48 teams. . you go back to when D1 tourney 12 teams. i was pleased when atlantic hockey moved to D1 and the tourney went to 16 teams.

  11. Just seed them as they are ranked, it’s the only fair way. Tired of the seeding process to create attendance. Nobody seems to watch games out East anyway!

    • dude, totally agree.
      At the same time, there is not much demand as we would like it to be. BIG seams like only league that can BARELY pull off regular broadcast, barely.

      they need those attendance as a doormat.

    • Hockey East does pretty well and can sustain a broadcast on NESN. The Garden is filled its games. Worcester will do fine as long as BC is there. ECAC always is near capacity at its rinks, but the schools tend to be smaller, remote by eastern standards, and have issues filling bigger rinks during the tournament, especially when they are off the East coast. However, QU has a strong following and will fill Bridgeport if it is there.

  12. Just seed them as they are ranked, it’s the only fair way. Tired of the seeding process to create attendance. Nobody seems to watch games out East anyway!

    • dude, totally agree.
      At the same time, there is not much demand as we would like it to be. BIG seams like only league that can BARELY pull off regular broadcast, barely.

      they need those attendance as a doormat.

    • Hockey East does pretty well and can sustain a broadcast on NESN. The Garden is filled its games. Worcester will do fine as long as BC is there. ECAC always is near capacity at its rinks, but the schools tend to be smaller, remote by eastern standards, and have issues filling bigger rinks during the tournament, especially when they are off the East coast. However, QU has a strong following and will fill Bridgeport if it is there.

  13. How would it look if, instead of an Northeastern / Michigan swap, you start with a Lowell / Wisconsin swap, and the switch Michigan and North Dakota? I like what you did with 13, 14, and 15, but with the two swaps above, you get Ferris State / Michigan in Cincinnati, create the potential for NoDak / MN regional final, and keep Beanpot rivals in the local regional. How much better a draw is Lowell than Northeastern for Worcester? One has to go west, and I like where North Dakota and Michigan end up much better. This also allows the West and Midwest to have 4 different conferences in each, which is interesting in terms of bragging rights.

    • I think Lowell would bring more fans to Worcester than Northeastern would. Shocking to see Providence fall so far so fast…but they can make up for this swoon.

    • Northeastern doesn’t seem to travel well even to nearby Hockey East schools. Lowell had a solid presence in Manchester last year and with their continued success into this year should pull a good crowd in Worcester if that’s where they do end up.

  14. How would it look if, instead of an Northeastern / Michigan swap, you start with a Lowell / Wisconsin swap, and the switch Michigan and North Dakota? I like what you did with 13, 14, and 15, but with the two swaps above, you get Ferris State / Michigan in Cincinnati, create the potential for NoDak / MN regional final, and keep Beanpot rivals in the local regional. How much better a draw is Lowell than Northeastern for Worcester? One has to go west, and I like where North Dakota and Michigan end up much better. This also allows the West and Midwest to have 4 different conferences in each, which is interesting in terms of bragging rights.

    • I think Lowell would bring more fans to Worcester than Northeastern would. Shocking to see Providence fall so far so fast…but they can make up for this swoon.

    • Northeastern doesn’t seem to travel well even to nearby Hockey East schools. Lowell had a solid presence in Manchester last year and with their continued success into this year should pull a good crowd in Worcester if that’s where they do end up.

  15. If a conference has 5 or more teams in the tournament, inter-conference matchups do not need to automatically be switched. Therefore I would keep the Northeastern-Lowell matchup in the Northeast region, shift North Dakota to St. Paul to play Wisconsin, and move Michigan to the Midwest.

  16. If a conference has 5 or more teams in the tournament, inter-conference matchups do not need to automatically be switched. Therefore I would keep the Northeastern-Lowell matchup in the Northeast region, shift North Dakota to St. Paul to play Wisconsin, and move Michigan to the Midwest.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here