The PairWise Predictor, and where we stand entering conference championship weekend

When the conference tournament quarterfinal round wrapped up Sunday night, we rolled out our PairWise Predictor, which lets you see how the rankings react based on results you enter for the final 21 games before selection Sunday.

Give it a try and see if you can come up with interesting scenarios for the field of 16 that’ll be announced Sunday. (Share any noteworthy results in the comments below or tweet them to @USCHO.)

Out of curiosity, I was wondering if we could get three NCHC teams as No. 1 seeds — it hasn’t happened since 2005, when the WCHA put Denver, Colorado College and Minnesota on the top line and North Dakota joined them in an all-WCHA Frozen Four.

It’s possible to get North Dakota, St. Cloud State and Denver as No. 1 seeds this season, but it might require a specific and unusual result: a tie between the Fighting Hawks and the Huskies in the NCHC’s third-place game in addition to the Pioneers winning two games.

Here’s a link to a scenario that generates three NCHC teams on the top line.

Meanwhile, thanks to the work of Jim Dahl at, we know that there are nine teams that are locks to make the field of 16:

North Dakota
St. Cloud State
Boston College
Boston University

Dahl ran all 3,145,728 possible outcomes for the 21 games that will be played Thursday through Saturday and came up with the chances for each team to be selected for the NCAAs.

From that, we see that seven teams are still in the hunt for an at-large bid to the tournament, with varying levels of hope.

Yale (98.8%)
Notre Dame (93.1%)
Harvard (86.2%)
Minnesota-Duluth (51.4%)
Northeastern (40.1%)
Michigan Tech (29.1%)
Cornell (1.3%)

Yale, Notre Dame and Cornell all are out of their conference tournaments and can do nothing but keep their fingers crossed.

There are 14 other teams left in conference tournaments that can make the NCAA tournament only via the automatic bid that comes with the championship:

Robert Morris
Air Force
Rochester Institute of Technology
Army West Point
Penn State
Ohio State
Michigan State
St. Lawrence
Minnesota State
Bowling Green
Ferris State

Check out Jim’s site for more details, and play with the PairWise Predictor to see for yourself.

For more information on how the PairWise Rankings work, see our explanation of the PWR and our FAQ on the NCAA tournament selection process.