Checking out the latest PairWise Rankings, Jan. 11

7 Jan 17:  The University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs host the Colorado College Tigers in an NCHC match up at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, MN. (Jim Rosvold)
Where does No. 2-ranked Minnesota-Duluth stack up in the Pairwise? (photo: Jim Rosvold).

We’re at that time of the year where one thing is on everyone’s minds.

Will my team make the NCAA tournament? Where does it sit in the PairWise Rankings (PWR)?

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.

Since USCHO began the PairWise Rankings, we have correctly identified all of the teams that have been selected to the NCAA tournament.

Five of the last six 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.

With that in mind, 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 might look like come selection time, using what we know now.

It’s a look into the possible thought processes behind selecting and seeding the NCAA tournament teams.

This is not a be-all, end-all analysis of the bracket. I am trying to give you, the reader, an idea of what the committee might be thinking and not exactly what they are thinking.

This is the next installment of Bracketology for 2017, and we’ll be bringing you a new one every week until we make our final picks before the field is announced on March 19.

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

Here are the facts:

• Sixteen teams are selected to participate in the national tournament.

• There are four regional sites (East – Providence, R.I.; Northeast – Manchester, N.H.; Midwest – Cincinnati, Ohio; West – Fargo, N.D.).

• A host institution that is invited to the tournament plays in the regional for which it is the host and cannot be moved. The host institutions this year: Brown in Providence, New Hampshire in Manchester, Miami in Cincinnati and North Dakota in Fargo.
• 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 2015 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 January 10:

1 Penn State
2t Harvard
2t Denver
4t Minnesota-Duluth
4t Boston University
6 Massachusetts-Lowell
7 North Dakota
8 Western Michigan
9 Union
10 Vermont
11 Minneosta
12 Boston College
13 Ohio State
14 St. Lawrence
15 Cornell
16 Notre Dame
17 Air Force
23 Bemidji State

Current conference leaders based on winning percentage:

Atlantic Hockey: Air Force
Big Ten: Penn State (by virtue of winning percentage over Ohio State in tiebreaker over Minnesota and Wisconsin, it’s complicated)
ECAC Hockey: Union
Hockey East: Boston College
NCHC: Denver
WCHA: Bemidji 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 after applying the tiebreakers.

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 teams that are not are Air Force and Bemidji State.

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

The ties and bubbles consist of none this week.

We break all of our ties based upon the RPI.

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

1 Penn State
2 Harvard
3 Denver
4 Minnesota-Duluth
5 Boston University
6 Massachusetts-Lowell
7 North Dakota
8 Western Michigan
9 Union
10 Vermont
11 Minneosta
12 Boston College
13 Ohio State
14 St. Lawrence
15 Air Force
16 Bemidji State

Step two

Now it’s time to assign the seeds.

No. 1 seeds: Penn State, Harvard, Denver, Minnesota-Duluth

No. 2 seeds: Boston University, Massachusetts-Lowell, North Dakota, Western Michigan

No. 3 seeds: Union, Vermont, Minnesota, Boston College

No. 4 seeds: Ohio State, St. Lawrence, Air Force, Bemidji State

Step three

Place the No. 1 seeds in regionals.

No. 1 Penn State is placed in the Midwest Regional in Cincinnati.
No. 2 Harvard is placed in the East Regional in Providence.
No. 3 Denver is placed in the West Regional in Fargo
No. 4 Minnesota-Duluth is placed in the Northeast Regional in Manchester.

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

North Dakota is a host, therefore they are placed first in this pod:
No. 7 North Dakota is placed in No. 2 Denver’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 8 Western Michigan is placed in No. 1 Penn State’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 6 Massachusetts-Lowell is placed in No. 2 Harvard’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 5 Boston University is placed in No. 4 Minnesota-Duluth’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 and 15; another with 3, 6, 11 and 14; and another with 4, 5, 12 and 13.

No. 9 Union is placed in No. 8 Western Michigan’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 10 Vermont is placed in No. 7 North Dakota’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 11 Minnesota is placed in No. 6 Massachusetts-Lowell’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 12 Boston College is placed in No. 5 Boston University’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 Bemidji State is sent to No. 1 Penn State’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 15 Air Force is sent to No. 2 Harvard’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 14 St. Lawrence is sent to No. 3 Denver’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 13 Ohio State is sent to No. 4 Minnesota-Duluth’s regional, the Northeast Regional.

The brackets as we have set them up:

East Regional (Providence):
15 Air Force vs. 2 Harvard
11 Minnesota vs. 6 Massachusetts-Lowell

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
13 Ohio State vs. 4 Minnesota-Duluth
12 Boston College vs. 5 Boston University

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
16 Bemidji State vs. 1 Penn State
9 Union vs. 8 Western Michigan

West Regional (Fargo):
14 St. Lawrence vs. 3 Denver
10 Vermont vs. 7 North Dakota

Our first concern is avoiding intraconference matchups. We have one – Boston College vs. Boston University.

Let’s solve this.

We can swap Union and Boston College. We can’t move BC to Providence, because that creates another all-Hockey East matchup.

East Regional (Providence):
15 Air Force vs. 2 Harvard
11 Minnesota vs. 6 Massachusetts-Lowell

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
13 Ohio State vs. 4 Minnesota-Duluth
9 Union vs. 5 Boston University

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
16 Bemidji State vs. 1 Penn State
12 Boston College vs. 8 Western Michigan

West Regional (Fargo):
14 St. Lawrence vs. 3 Denver
10 Vermont vs. 7 North Dakota

Now, the big question again – how can we improve attendance at these regionals?

We can swap Ohio State and St. Lawrence.

East Regional (Providence):
15 Air Force vs. 2 Harvard
11 Minnesota vs. 6 Massachusetts-Lowell

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
14 St. Lawrence vs. 4 Minnesota-Duluth
9 Union vs. 5 Boston University

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
16 Bemidji State vs. 1 Penn State
12 Boston College vs. 8 Western Michigan

West Regional (Fargo):
13 Ohio State vs. 3 Denver
10 Vermont vs. 7 North Dakota

Now if you look at this, what else can you do in order to make attendance better? Maybe if we swapped the entire East and Northeast brackets?

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
15 Air Force vs. 2 Harvard
11 Minnesota vs. 6 Massachusetts-Lowell

East Regional (Providence):
14 St. Lawrence vs. 4 Minnesota-Duluth
9 Union vs. 5 Boston University

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
16 Bemidji State vs. 1 Penn State
12 Boston College vs. 8 Western Michigan

West Regional (Fargo):
13 Ohio State vs. 3 Denver
10 Vermont vs. 7 North Dakota

What does this do? It gets 2 ECAC teams in Providence, after all the ECAC is the host. You get two more “local” teams to Manchester this way also.

I like it.

I think this is about all we can do this week.

So that is it. My bracket for the week.

But remember: There are so many changes between now and the actual bracket announcement.

See you here in a few weeks for the next Bracketology.

Here’s a summary of everything that we have covered.

This week’s brackets

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
15 Air Force vs. 2 Harvard
11 Minnesota vs. 6 Massachusetts-Lowell

East Regional (Providence):
14 St. Lawrence vs. 4 Minnesota-Duluth
9 Union vs. 5 Boston University

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
16 Bemidji State vs. 1 Penn State
12 Boston College vs. 8 Western Michigan

West Regional (Fargo):
13 Ohio State vs. 3 Denver
10 Vermont vs. 7 North Dakota

Conference breakdowns

Hockey East — 4
NCHC — 4
Big Ten — 3
ECAC Hockey — 3
WCHA — 1
Atlantic Hockey – 1

Last Week’s Bracket

East Regional (Providence):
13 Ohio State vs. 4 Harvard
10 Minnesota vs. 5 Massachusetts-Lowell

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
14 Boston College vs. 3 Denver
11 Vermont vs. 8 Union

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
15 Air Force vs. 2 Penn State
12 Notre Dame vs. 7 Western Michigan

West Regional (Fargo):
16 Bemidji State vs. 1 Minnesota-Duluth
9 North Dakota vs. 6 Boston University

156 COMMENTS

      • I think anyone who’s a college hockey fan doesnt want to see that bracket haha if UND and BU get matched up hopefully its by both of them making it to chicago

        • I’d love to see the matchup, for sure, but it was be sad that early. Both of those two will be in serious contention come Chicago.

      • Watch what you wish for. This would be the worst thing that could happen for NCHC and CH. It would mean one of the best teams would get eliminated before the Frozen Four.

      • Once again Sparky, you are 100% correct. As much as I would love to see the Boeser/Jost line matched against Borgstrom/Terry/Gambrell, I am planning on a trip to Manchester or Providence.

          • Believe is or not, I compare the BTG line more with the Toews/Duncan line. They are excellent in keeping control of the puck, and usually end up with a good shot on goal. Since they have only been healthy and together for four games all year, they obviously don’t have near the scoring stats the CBS line had. Also, Montgomery has kept them split up until recently, to add depth to the 2nd and 3rd lines. Now that everyone is healthy I hope he keeps them together.

          • Don’t forget Oshie…he was on that line.

            From what I have seen, Borgstrom looks like a pure goal scorer. He has speed, great hands, sniper shot, and plays smart on the ice. Imo, the best forward lines are better than the sum of their parts, call it chemistry. If you have 3 star forwards, and they play well together, it can be an awesome thing to see. I will check out DU this weekend and get a good look at that line, lot of talent between those three.

          • Ouch, sorry I totally forgot about Oshie. All I can remember is that Duncan was really underrated, he had an ability to get off great shots very quickly even while guarded. At times overlooked is Borgstrom is a really good passer, too. He has made some passes that his line mates weren’t expecting, so they didn’t connect. This should be a great weekend of hockey, especially the WMU-DU matchup.

          • Not sure if you can call Duncs underrated since he won the Hobey that year, but when you’re the third best player on your own line, I guess that happens hahaha. You’re right, though. Kid could score from anywhere and had a lightning quick release.

          • Meant underrated in fact now he is pretty much forgotten with the success of Oshie and Toews. Wonder what happened to him. Did he ever make it to NHL?

          • Nope. He’s currently in Austria’s top league and has absolutely tore up there. Won a league MVP and a league titles over there.

          • If he’s doing that well over there, why aren’t any NHL teams willing to give him an invite to try out? Does he just want to stay there?

          • He started in the A, did well, but not well enough. Then went to Austria, ripped it up, came back to the US for another shot, but never got to the show and went back, I think, last year. He’s back there now. He’s a big star, too. In commercials and stuff. Such a dude and I’m happy for the guy. He’s one of the best athletes I’ve ever been around in terms of being a quality person.

      • It may….if you finish higher than Duluth and not the same seed as the Sioux. Their whole “make attendance better” wont come in to play here.

        • It also depends on which band, if we both qualify, we each finish. If one finishes in 5-8 and the other in 9-12, even the NC$$ won’t force an intra-league matchup in first game. I think it would be highly unlikely DU will go to Fargo. Don’t forget the 1/4, 2/3 first round pairings at each site.

      • I think anyone who’s a college hockey fan doesnt want to see that bracket haha if UND and BU get matched up hopefully its by both of them making it to chicago

        • I’d love to see the matchup, for sure, but it was be sad that early. Both of those two will be in serious contention come Chicago.

      • Watch what you wish for. This would be the worst thing that could happen for NCHC and CH. It would mean one of the best teams would get eliminated before the Frozen Four.

      • Once again Sparky, you are 100% correct. As much as I would love to see the Boeser/Jost line matched against Borgstrom/Terry/Gambrell, I am planning on a trip to Manchester or Providence.

          • Believe is or not, I compare the BTG line more with the Toews/Duncan line. They are excellent in keeping control of the puck, and usually end up with a good shot on goal. Since they have only been healthy and together for four games all year, they obviously don’t have near the scoring stats the CBS line had. Also, Montgomery has kept them split up until recently, to add depth to the 2nd and 3rd lines. Now that everyone is healthy I hope he keeps them together.

          • Don’t forget Oshie…he was on that line.

            From what I have seen, Borgstrom looks like a pure goal scorer. He has speed, great hands, sniper shot, and plays smart on the ice. Imo, the best forward lines are better than the sum of their parts, call it chemistry. If you have 3 star forwards, and they play well together, it can be an awesome thing to see. I will check out DU this weekend and get a good look at that line, lot of talent between those three.

          • Ouch, sorry I totally forgot about Oshie. All I can remember is that Duncan was really underrated, he had an ability to get off great shots very quickly even while guarded. At times overlooked is Borgstrom is a really good passer, too. He has made some passes that his line mates weren’t expecting, so they didn’t connect. This should be a great weekend of hockey, especially the WMU-DU matchup.

          • Not sure if you can call Duncs underrated since he won the Hobey that year, but when you’re the third best player on your own line, I guess that happens hahaha. You’re right, though. Kid could score from anywhere and had a lightning quick release.

          • Meant underrated in fact now he is pretty much forgotten with the success of Oshie and Toews. Wonder what happened to him. Did he ever make it to NHL?

          • Nope. He’s currently in Austria’s top league and has absolutely tore up there. Won a league MVP and a league titles over there.

          • If he’s doing that well over there, why aren’t any NHL teams willing to give him an invite to try out? Does he just want to stay there?

          • He started in the A, did well, but not well enough. Then went to Austria, ripped it up, came back to the US for another shot, but never got to the show and went back, I think, last year. He’s back there now. He’s a big star, too. In commercials and stuff. Such a dude and I’m happy for the guy. He’s one of the best athletes I’ve ever been around in terms of being a quality person.

      • It may….if you finish higher than Duluth and not the same seed as the Sioux. Their whole “make attendance better” wont come in to play here.

        • It also depends on which band, if we both qualify, we each finish. If one finishes in 5-8 and the other in 9-12, even the NC$$ won’t force an intra-league matchup in first game. I think it would be highly unlikely DU will go to Fargo. Don’t forget the 1/4, 2/3 first round pairings at each site.

    • You know what, I hope Sconny makes it. I would love to see the Badgers in Fargo. I have always enjoyed drinking with Badger fans.

        • Back in the 70’s and 80’s we used to have a ball with UW fans in Grand Forks. The game, often times, was only slightly more important than the many parties going on at multiple venues…..typically attended by just as many Badger fans. Of course, this is diametrically opposed to our relationship with Gopher fans.

          • I was on those bus loads showing up at the Westward Ho for the weekend during that time for WI vs ND. A lot of us seen most of the parties, but needed that three hour game time window for rest. Always had a great time.

          • It is an entirely different weekend when MN is in town. Keep in mind, back in the late 70’s and early 80’s Wisconsin was a relative newcomer. Or, at least their level of success was new. Bob Johnson, imo, is one of the top CH coaches of all time. Wisconsin teams in the 80’s were flat out loaded with talent, the list of NHL players from those teams is long. Dane Co. Colosseum smelled like a huge beer garden…..throw in the huge UW marching band and you had an unmatched venue for CH. With the advent of The Ralph, UND now has a very similar backdrop to watch great CH. It’s all good….

          • It is. Not special, either. Just regular, old can’t effing stand one another. The first thing I ever hated was a smiling Goofer, way back in ’85. Good times.

    • You know what, I hope Sconny makes it. I would love to see the Badgers in Fargo. I have always enjoyed drinking with Badger fans.

        • Back in the 70’s and 80’s we used to have a ball with UW fans in Grand Forks. The game, often times, was only slightly more important than the many parties going on at multiple venues…..typically attended by just as many Badger fans. Of course, this is diametrically opposed to our relationship with Gopher fans.

          • I was on those bus loads showing up at the Westward Ho for the weekend during that time for WI vs ND. A lot of us seen most of the parties, but needed that three hour game time window for rest. Always had a great time.

          • It is an entirely different weekend when MN is in town. Keep in mind, back in the late 70’s and early 80’s Wisconsin was a relative newcomer. Or, at least their level of success was new. Bob Johnson, imo, is one of the top CH coaches of all time. Wisconsin teams in the 80’s were flat out loaded with talent, the list of NHL players from those teams is long. Dane Co. Colosseum smelled like a huge beer garden…..throw in the huge UW marching band and you had an unmatched venue for CH. With the advent of The Ralph, UND now has a very similar backdrop to watch great CH. It’s all good….

          • It is. Not special, either. Just regular, old can’t effing stand one another. The first thing I ever hated was a smiling Goofer, way back in ’85. Good times.

    • Penn State and Boston College isn’t enough?

      Without having North Dakota as an option, I’m not sure how you could do a lot better.

      • BC and BU fans don’t travel outside of the 495 loop. Did you see Manchester last year or the year before? BU playing and there’s maybe 1000 people in the stands…….but BC fans are going to head to Cinci? Don’t worry, the selection committee will make sure they find a way to get BC somewhere within 100 miles of campus.

        • This is hockey. 1000 people isn’t too bad. Unless you have North Dakota in your bracket, that’s pretty much what you’re going to get from anyone.

          • 1000 people at a game that has BU playing about 50 miles from BU, that is ridiculous. That’s like when Goof U says they are the best fans ever and then half fill the arena.

          • It was a weekday and the early game. They travel well enough, as Nunya said, especially for NCAA hockey. Also, it’s not just about how well they travel but the school name and program. They’ll get some casual fans, even if only some.

          • Yeah but not for the North DAkota, it’s religion. Its bigger than religion. Its the only we have that.

          • Agreed, its a regional sport and they charge WAY too much to attend games at the NCAA regionals too. Lower the prices, start selling beer, and pick some better venues.

          • Some of those east coast regionals are dirt cheap for tickets…..but yes, sell beer, and the people will come.

          • Can’t say it’s what I’m there for, but at the end of every period,, Tom, ‘the best beer guy EVER’ has what I’m drinking on the bar ready for me, so yeah, beer good!

          • 1000 people isn’t too bad? Maybe for high school or peewee hockey. BC didn’t have that many fans in Providence two years ago. The only way to get some BC/BU fans is to hold a Regional at TD Garden.

          • Not necessarily true. Look back at regionals held in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Madison, Denver, and Colorado Springs. All had large crowds, even without the “home” team qualifying. Usually fans will buy seats, even if they just cheer for their conference teams that are at their site.

          • I’m not going to go back and look for attendance figures for every regional ever held in those places.

            In terms of traveling support, there’s North Dakota and there’s everyone else. That’s what I’m saying. And outside of UND, it’s rare for a team to bring thousands of fans to a regional no matter where it is unless it’s in their city.

          • Part of the problem is having to get from, say, Denver to Providence on about 4 days notice. At least DU Fan was able to get to MSP last year, probably a lot cheaper than 3/4 of the way across the country.

          • I don’t disagree that it’s a factor. But it’s not a factor that is a variable. It’s going to be there…and for whatever reasons, North Dakota fans aren’t deterred by it and others are.

            I asked someone how much UND fans budget to follow their team. I didn’t get an answer…more of an ashen glare lol.

          • The variable is the cost. If the NC$$ would skip a week, though it will never happen, between announcing the Regionals and the actual games, more people would travel to see there team play. Just the airfare is almost double, at less than a weeks notice. You are paying what a business man pays to attend a meeting on short notice. Almost all the cheap fares require a 7 day in advance purchase. Even short notice cheap fares require travel on the airlines “off days”, like Tuesday or Wednesday. You can do this but will spend the savings on extra hotel days.

          • Thought you weren’t allowed to play in your home rink? So could CC actually host in World Arena? Wonder if Denver would ever consider hosting at the World?

          • They know that just for a regional they can’t sell enough tickets unless for sure Denver is going to make it and even then, unlikely they would ever sell out the Pepsi Center. But for a regional they could think about using the Budweiser Events Center maybe, it holds just over 5200 I think which could make for a great environment.

            Basically that is the size rink that most of the regionals should be played at honestly.

          • Pretty sure the Denver and Springs regionals you are talking about had UND in it, and there are a lot of UND fans in and around Denver (as I was for the last 20 years), plus the Springs one had Denver in it as well right? So maybe the “home” team wasn’t in but had a school with a large fan base in the area (UND) and Denver (less than an hour away) so that was a big part of the crowd for the Springs.

    • Penn State and Boston College isn’t enough?

      Without having North Dakota as an option, I’m not sure how you could do a lot better.

      • BC and BU fans don’t travel outside of the 495 loop. Did you see Manchester last year or the year before? BU playing and there’s maybe 1000 people in the stands…….but BC fans are going to head to Cinci? Don’t worry, the selection committee will make sure they find a way to get BC somewhere within 100 miles of campus.

        • This is hockey. 1000 people isn’t too bad. Unless you have North Dakota in your bracket, that’s pretty much what you’re going to get from anyone.

          • 1000 people at a game that has BU playing about 50 miles from BU, that is ridiculous. That’s like when Goof U says they are the best fans ever and then half fill the arena.

          • It was a weekday and the early game. They travel well enough, as Nunya said, especially for NCAA hockey. Also, it’s not just about how well they travel but the school name and program. They’ll get some casual fans, even if only some.

          • Yeah but not for the North DAkota, it’s religion. Its bigger than religion. Its the only we have that.

          • Agreed, its a regional sport and they charge WAY too much to attend games at the NCAA regionals too. Lower the prices, start selling beer, and pick some better venues.

          • Some of those east coast regionals are dirt cheap for tickets…..but yes, sell beer, and the people will come.

          • Can’t say it’s what I’m there for, but at the end of every period,, Tom, ‘the best beer guy EVER’ has what I’m drinking on the bar ready for me, so yeah, beer good!

          • 1000 people isn’t too bad? Maybe for high school or peewee hockey. BC didn’t have that many fans in Providence two years ago. The only way to get some BC/BU fans is to hold a Regional at TD Garden.

          • Not necessarily true. Look back at regionals held in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Madison, Denver, and Colorado Springs. All had large crowds, even without the “home” team qualifying. Usually fans will buy seats, even if they just cheer for their conference teams that are at their site.

          • I’m not going to go back and look for attendance figures for every regional ever held in those places.

            In terms of traveling support, there’s North Dakota and there’s everyone else. That’s what I’m saying. And outside of UND, it’s rare for a team to bring thousands of fans to a regional no matter where it is unless it’s in their city.

          • Part of the problem is having to get from, say, Denver to Providence on about 4 days notice. At least DU Fan was able to get to MSP last year, probably a lot cheaper than 3/4 of the way across the country.

          • I don’t disagree that it’s a factor. But it’s not a factor that is a variable. It’s going to be there…and for whatever reasons, North Dakota fans aren’t deterred by it and others are.

            I asked someone how much UND fans budget to follow their team. I didn’t get an answer…more of an ashen glare lol.

          • The variable is the cost. If the NC$$ would skip a week, though it will never happen, between announcing the Regionals and the actual games, more people would travel to see there team play. Just the airfare is almost double, at less than a weeks notice. You are paying what a business man pays to attend a meeting on short notice. Almost all the cheap fares require a 7 day in advance purchase. Even short notice cheap fares require travel on the airlines “off days”, like Tuesday or Wednesday. You can do this but will spend the savings on extra hotel days.

          • Thought you weren’t allowed to play in your home rink? So could CC actually host in World Arena? Wonder if Denver would ever consider hosting at the World?

          • They know that just for a regional they can’t sell enough tickets unless for sure Denver is going to make it and even then, unlikely they would ever sell out the Pepsi Center. But for a regional they could think about using the Budweiser Events Center maybe, it holds just over 5200 I think which could make for a great environment.

            Basically that is the size rink that most of the regionals should be played at honestly.

          • Pretty sure the Denver and Springs regionals you are talking about had UND in it, and there are a lot of UND fans in and around Denver (as I was for the last 20 years), plus the Springs one had Denver in it as well right? So maybe the “home” team wasn’t in but had a school with a large fan base in the area (UND) and Denver (less than an hour away) so that was a big part of the crowd for the Springs.

    • It’s more for the benefit of having St. Lawrence back in an eastern regional. Ohio State won’t draw much of a crowd in any regional, except maybe Cincinnati, so it really doesn’t matter.

    • It’s more for the benefit of having St. Lawrence back in an eastern regional. Ohio State won’t draw much of a crowd in any regional, except maybe Cincinnati, so it really doesn’t matter.

      • And you think St. Lawrence will? Ohio State is one of the largest schools in the country. St. Lawrence…kinda isn’t.

  1. I do not like lower seeds essentially having home ice advantage such as North Dakota will in Fargo. That’s not a good or fair reward for the top seed.

    • Yeah, and I can tell you again that the Fighting Sioux Hawks have the greatest fans ever and that anybody else’s team doesn’t. That’s because we have the great team of all time.

    • Just the way it is when you have host teams. Plus it’s not like they are a 16 seed just barely making the field. Right now they are 7 overall and a #2 seed.

      • Und-Denver meeting anywhere but the FF would be a gosh-darn TRAVESTY, and deny CH fans the type of matchups we drool over (or dread, cuz DU almost got us last year!). I’m not sayin we should go ahead and roll out the heavyweight match of the century implications just yet, but in the same regional!? BLASPHEMY!

        • It is a virtual certainty that either DU or UMD will be in Fargo with UND. Again just the way it is. Unless all three of them can get on the same line as 1’s or 2’s one of them will be in Fargo, I’d be willing to bet.

          Again just the way it is. And unless UND starts to play more consistently from night to night getting to the FF isn’t going to happen. They were awful on Friday in the third period giving up 5 goals and it could have been more. Right now, I wouldn’t put UND in the same echelon as DU, but lots of hockey left to play.

  2. I do not like lower seeds essentially having home ice advantage such as North Dakota will in Fargo. That’s not a good or fair reward for the top seed.

    • Yeah, and I can tell you again that the Fighting Sioux Hawks have the greatest fans ever and that anybody else’s team doesn’t. That’s because we have the great team of all time.

    • Just the way it is when you have host teams. Plus it’s not like they are a 16 seed just barely making the field. Right now they are 7 overall and a #2 seed.

      • Und-Denver meeting anywhere but the FF would be a gosh-darn TRAVESTY, and deny CH fans the type of matchups we drool over (or dread, cuz DU almost got us last year!). I’m not sayin we should go ahead and roll out the heavyweight match of the century implications just yet, but in the same regional!? BLASPHEMY!

        • It is a virtual certainty that either DU or UMD will be in Fargo with UND. Again just the way it is. Unless all three of them can get on the same line as 1’s or 2’s one of them will be in Fargo, I’d be willing to bet.

          Again just the way it is. And unless UND starts to play more consistently from night to night getting to the FF isn’t going to happen. They were awful on Friday in the third period giving up 5 goals and it could have been more. Right now, I wouldn’t put UND in the same echelon as DU, but lots of hockey left to play.

  3. OK, I have a question. “Our first concern is avoiding intraconference matchups. We have one – Boston College vs. Boston University.” I guess that just applies to first round matchups, so instead of swapping 2 teams to different regions, why not just swap Ohio St and BC in the same region to avoid the first round matchup?

    • You are correct, it means the first games at each Regional. Meeting in the Regional finals are pretty much impossible to avoid, many times there are five teams from the same conference that qualify.

  4. OK, I have a question. “Our first concern is avoiding intraconference matchups. We have one – Boston College vs. Boston University.” I guess that just applies to first round matchups, so instead of swapping 2 teams to different regions, why not just swap Ohio St and BC in the same region to avoid the first round matchup?

    • You are correct, it means the first games at each Regional. Meeting in the Regional finals are pretty much impossible to avoid, many times there are five teams from the same conference that qualify.

    • I stopped reading when they decided Penn State as the #1 overall seed would be placed in NH or RI instead of Ohio. I couldn’t take it seriously after that…

    • I stopped reading when they decided Penn State as the #1 overall seed would be placed in NH or RI instead of Ohio. I couldn’t take it seriously after that…

  5. Couldn’t you have exchanged #13 Ohio State with #12 Boston College in the same band for minimal disruption of the original bracket?

  6. Couldn’t you have exchanged #13 Ohio State with #12 Boston College in the same band for minimal disruption of the original bracket?

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