What this weekend means: March 11, 2016

It’s coming down to the nitty gritty, as they say. We have quarterfinal action in five of the conferences and the final regular season action in the Big Ten. We have a lot of ramifications in terms of what would happen depending upon which teams win series this weekend.

From a general overall view, things are going to get pretty boring if all the home teams win each series this weekend. What will be in doubt will be seedings next weekend, but there will be a lot of suspense gone should all the home teams win.

Let’s take a look at what I’m talking about. We have a lot of series where we have a team which seems entrenched in the top 12 of the PairWise Rankings playing teams that are on the bubble. Let’s take a look conference by conference.

ECAC

Cornell at Quinnipiac
Dartmouth at Yale
Rensselaer at Harvard

All of these series have a home team in the top 11, and Quinnipiac and Yale are pretty solid, while Harvard is also pretty much there. A series win by Cornell, Dartmouth or Rensselaer will push them further toward the top 13 with a chance next weekend to take the autobid or a possible at-large spot.

Should the home teams all win, Cornell, Dartmouth and Rensselaer will end their seasons.

The other series is Clarkson at St. Lawrence, two teams on the bubble. The winner stays alive for both the autobid and a possible at-large, while the loser finishes its season.

NCHC

Omaha at Denver

Omaha is in free-fall mode at the moment. The only way to stay in the hunt for an NCAA spot is to win the series this weekend. Denver is pretty solid.

Miami at Minnesota-Duluth

UMD just slipped into the last at-large spot in the latest PWR, but I think it’s safe to say that the losing team here is done. Miami most likely needs to win it all, while UMD can go into next weekend with a chance at an at-large bid.

Colorado College at North Dakota
Western Michigan at St. Cloud State

Upset wins here would give CC and Western Michigan a chance at an autobid, but that’s it. North Dakota and St. Cloud are in, but losses might jeopardize No. 1 seeds.

Hockey East

Boston University at Massachusetts-Lowell

The loser of this series has to sit and wait. So we’ll be talking about the loser next week, that’s for sure. The winner can write their ticket.

Northeastern at Notre Dame

Northeastern has risen up the PWR, but a win is the only way to stay alive. Notre Dame is pretty safe.

Vermont at Boston College
Merrimack at Providence

Vermont and Merrimack need to win it all. Losses by BC or Providence knock them out of the running for a No. 1 seed.

WCHA

Michigan Tech and Minnesota State are the only teams left with a chance at an at-large, and Minnesota State’s chances are slim for even that.

It looks like in order for the WCHA to get two teams into the tournament, Michigan Tech needs to lose the championship game.

Atlantic Hockey

The winner of the tournament will be a 14, 15 or 16 seed.

Big Ten

Ohio State at Michigan State

See you Thursday for the Big Ten tournament.

Penn State at Michigan
Wisconsin at Minnesota

Michigan looks in. But Penn State and Minnesota have shots at at-large bids should they not win the tournament. It will be interesting to see how these games play out this weekend and who winds up with the byes in the tournament next week.

Summing it all up

Things could get a lot less interesting next week should all the home teams win their series this coming weekend. But this is college hockey, where anything and everything will happen.

27 COMMENTS

    • I only count 3 to make it to the championship game, 4 wins would mean they won it. I get what you’re trying to say, though. Win your games, and everything else takes care of itself.

    • I only count 3 to make it to the championship game, 4 wins would mean they won it. I get what you’re trying to say, though. Win your games, and everything else takes care of itself.

  1. Is there a scenario in which 3 teams from the Big 10 could get into the NCAAs? How about this: if Michigan gets the #3 seed and loses to Penn State, while Minnesota beats a lower seed. Then MN would play Penn State in the final, giving the winner an autobid with the loser still a chance at an at-large bid. That would still qualify Michigan and give Penn St a boost for beating the Wolverines, plus Minnesota an autobid, and Penn State still with a chance to qualify. Just imagine the comments and chaos that might follow if 3 teams from this conference qualify!

    • Why would we want three from the Stinky “6” in the tournament. Mich and Penn St yes, but the rodents? come on.

      • I didn’t say I wanted it. I’m just attempting to figure out if its relatively possible. Say that Omaha, Duluth, and Cornell all lose their series this weekend (which is certainly possible), that could open the door some for MN and Penn St (more so)to move up should they win this weekend.

        • Heck, lets factor in Meteor strikes, terrorist attacks, etc and figure out a way to get the badgers in. Go Wisconsin!

    • I’m not sure it’s possible, since whoever didn’t get the autobid would have to boost themselves high enough to avoid getting bumped by the AHA champ, which means that at least a couple of other teams ahead of them currently would have to lose early. Plus, you’d have to hope that there weren’t any other surprise autobid winners.
      Sure would be cool, though…

  2. Is there a scenario in which 3 teams from the Big 10 could get into the NCAAs? How about this: if Michigan gets the #3 seed and loses to Penn State, while Minnesota beats a lower seed. Then MN would play Penn State in the final, giving the winner an autobid with the loser still a chance at an at-large bid. That would still qualify Michigan and give Penn St a boost for beating the Wolverines, plus Minnesota an autobid, and Penn State still with a chance to qualify. Just imagine the comments and chaos that might follow if 3 teams from this conference qualify!

    • Why would we want three from the Stinky “6” in the tournament. Mich and Penn St yes, but the rodents? come on.

      • I didn’t say I wanted it. I’m just attempting to figure out if its relatively possible. Say that Omaha, Duluth, and Cornell all lose their series this weekend (which is certainly possible), that could open the door some for MN and Penn St (more so)to move up should they win this weekend.

        • Heck, lets factor in Meteor strikes, terrorist attacks, etc and figure out a way to get the badgers in. Go Wisconsin!

    • I’m not sure it’s possible, since whoever didn’t get the autobid would have to boost themselves high enough to avoid getting bumped by the AHA champ, which means that at least a couple of other teams ahead of them currently would have to lose early. Plus, you’d have to hope that there weren’t any other surprise autobid winners.
      Sure would be cool, though…

  3. It’s just baffling that a team (Cornell) that finished 8th in their conference has a legitimate shot at the tournament (if they beat the #1 seed and get to the conference championship?) without winning their AQ. There is always one team every year that looks better in the PWR than it should.

    • Absolutely! After the Pairwise is done, there needs to be a “smell test” and have hockey people look at what the computer thinks, and use some common sense. Will NEVER happen. Too easy to blame a computer than man-up and make hard choices.

      • The problem is then we get a team that gets selected by the humans that has no business being in the tourney (Tulsa NCAA Men’s Bball).

  4. It’s just baffling that a team (Cornell) that finished 8th in their conference has a legitimate shot at the tournament (if they beat the #1 seed and get to the conference championship?) without winning their AQ. There is always one team every year that looks better in the PWR than it is.

    • Absolutely! After the Pairwise is done, there needs to be a “smell test” and have hockey people look at what the computer thinks, and use some common sense. Will NEVER happen. Too easy to blame a computer than man-up and make hard choices.

      • The problem is then we get a team that gets selected by the humans that has no business being in the tourney (Tulsa NCAA Men’s Bball).

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