With March here, where does your team stand in the PairWise?

Cornell celebrates a goal by Jeff Malott  (Cornell - 22). ((c) Shelley M. Szwast 2016)
Cornell is ranked No. 9 in the Feb. 27 USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll, but where would the Big Red start the NCAA tournament? (photo: Shelley M. Szwast).

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 or No. 1 seeds in their tournament through all games of Feb. 28:

1 Denver
2 Minnesota-Duluth
3 Harvard
4 Minnesota
5 Western Michigan
6 Massachusetts-Lowell
7 Boston University
8 Union
9 Penn State
10t Cornell
10t Notre Dame
12 Providence
13 Wisconsin
14 St. Cloud State
15 Ohio State
16 North Dakota
24 Bemidji State
25 Canisius

Current conference leaders based on winning percentage or as the No. 1 seed in its respective tournament:

Atlantic Hockey: Canisius
Big Ten: Minnesota
ECAC Hockey: Harvard
Hockey East: Massachusetts-Lowell
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.

• For conferences where the regular season has concluded, I have taken the number one seed in that conference’s tournament as the 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 or number one seeds in the conference tournaments that are not currently in the top 16. The only teams that are not are Bemidji State and Canisius.

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

The ties and bubbles consist of Cornell and Notre Dame this week.

We break all of our ties based upon the RPI.

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

1 Denver
2 Minnesota-Duluth
3 Harvard
4 Minnesota
5 Western Michigan
6 Massachusetts-Lowell
7 Boston University
8 Union
9 Penn State
10 Cornell
11 Notre Dame
12 Providence
13 Wisconsin
14 St. Cloud State
15 Bemidji State
16 Canisius

But wait a moment!

The NCAA Ice Hockey Championships Manual clearly states on Page 13, Section 2-3 that:

“To be considered during the at-large selection process, a team must have an overall won-lost record of .500 or better. ”

If we take a closer look, St. Cloud State currently has a record of 15-16-1. Therefore, it is ineligible to be considered for an at-large berth.

Therefore, Ohio State takes the 14th spot.

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

1 Denver
2 Minnesota-Duluth
3 Harvard
4 Minnesota
5 Western Michigan
6 Massachusetts-Lowell
7 Boston University
8 Union
9 Penn State
10 Cornell
11 Notre Dame
12 Providence
13 Wisconsin
14 Ohio State
15 Bemidji State
16 Canisius

Step two

Now it’s time to assign the seeds.

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

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

No. 3 seeds: Penn State, Cornell, Notre Dame, Providence

No. 4 seeds: Wisconsin, Ohio State, Bemidji State, Canisius

Step three

Place the No. 1 seeds in regionals.

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

No. 8 Union is placed in No. 1 Denver’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 7 Boston University is placed in No. 2 Minnesota-Duluth’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 6 Massachusetts-Lowell is placed in No. 3 Harvard’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 5 Western Michigan is placed in No. 4 Minnesota’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 Penn State is placed in No. 8 Union’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 10 Cornell is placed in No. 7 Boston University’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 11 Notre Dame is placed in No. 6 Massachusetts-Lowell’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 12 Providence is placed in No. 5 Western Michigan’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 Canisius is sent to No. 1 Denver’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 15 Bemidji State is sent to No. 2 Minnesota-Duluth’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 14 Ohio State is sent to No. 3 Harvard’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 13 Wisconsin is sent to No. 4 Minnesota’s regional, the Northeast Regional.

The brackets as we have set them up:

East Regional (Providence):
14 Ohio State vs. 3 Harvard
11 Notre Dame vs. 6 Massachusetts-Lowell

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
13 Wisconsin vs. 4 Minnesota
12 Providence vs. 5 Western Michigan

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
15 Bemidji State vs. 2 Minnesota-Duluth
10 Cornell vs. 7 Boston University

West Regional (Fargo):
16 Canisius vs. 1 Denver
9 Penn State vs. 8 Union

Our first concern is avoiding intraconference matchups. We have Wisconsin-Minnesota and Notre Dame-Massachusetts-Lowell.

We can’t swap Wisconsin with Ohio State. Which means that we have to have either Wisconsin or Ohio State play Minnesota-Duluth.

Since Ohio State is the lower seed, it will move to play Minnesota-Duluth and in turn Wisconsin will get swapped to play Harvard. That means that Bemidji State now plays Minnesota.

East Regional (Providence):
13 Wisconsin vs. 3 Harvard
11 Notre Dame vs. 6 Massachusetts-Lowell

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
15 Bemidji State vs. 4 Minnesota
12 Providence vs. 5 Western Michigan

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
14 Ohio State vs. 2 Minnesota-Duluth
10 Cornell vs. 7 Boston University

West Regional (Fargo):
16 Canisius vs. 1 Denver
9 Penn State vs. 8 Union

We swap Notre Dame and Penn State.

East Regional (Providence):
13 Wisconsin vs. 3 Harvard
9 Penn State vs. 6 Massachusetts-Lowell

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
15 Bemidji State vs. 4 Minnesota
12 Providence vs. 5 Western Michigan

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
14 Ohio State vs. 2 Minnesota-Duluth
10 Cornell vs. 7 Boston University

West Regional (Fargo):
16 Canisius vs. 1 Denver
11 Notre Dame vs. 8 Union

OK, now we have the intraconference matchups out of the way. Time to look at maximizing attendance.

We would like Providence in Providence. There is a big precedent for this, as it has been done in the past, even though Providence is not the host school.

In order to get Providence to Providence, I need to move UMass-Lowell.

So I swap the matchups.

East Regional (Providence):
13 Wisconsin vs. 3 Harvard
12 Providence vs. 5 Western Michigan

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
15 Bemidji State vs. 4 Minnesota
9 Penn State vs. 6 Massachusetts-Lowell

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
14 Ohio State vs. 2 Minnesota-Duluth
10 Cornell vs. 7 Boston University

West Regional (Fargo):
16 Canisius vs. 1 Denver
11 Notre Dame vs. 8 Union

OK, what’s next? I am worried about Manchester at the moment, with only one Eastern school there. Thus, I will swap matchups again.

East Regional (Providence):
13 Wisconsin vs. 3 Harvard
12 Providence vs. 5 Western Michigan

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
15 Bemidji State vs. 4 Minnesota
10 Cornell vs. 7 Boston University

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
14 Ohio State vs. 2 Minnesota-Duluth
9 Penn State vs. 6 Massachusetts-Lowell

West Regional (Fargo):
16 Canisius vs. 1 Denver
11 Notre Dame vs. 8 Union

Is there anything else we can do? We can bring Union to Providence. So we make a swap.

East Regional (Providence):
13 Wisconsin vs. 3 Harvard
12 Providence vs. 8 Union

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
15 Bemidji State vs. 4 Minnesota
10 Cornell vs. 7 Boston University

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
14 Ohio State vs. 2 Minnesota-Duluth
9 Penn State vs. 6 Massachusetts-Lowell

West Regional (Fargo):
16 Canisius vs. 1 Denver
11 Notre Dame vs. 5 Western Michigan

One more swap. I swap the Penn State-Lowell and Notre Dame-WMU games. The reasoning? It’s closer for both Notre Dame and Western Michigan.

East Regional (Providence):
13 Wisconsin vs. 3 Harvard
12 Providence vs. 8 Union

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
15 Bemidji State vs. 4 Minnesota
10 Cornell vs. 7 Boston University

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
14 Ohio State vs. 2 Minnesota-Duluth
11 Notre Dame vs. 5 Western Michigan

West Regional (Fargo):
16 Canisius vs. 1 Denver
9 Penn State vs. 6 Massachusetts-Lowell

And I think that’s what the committee is going to do. A lot of people will cry foul — it’s a lot of moving, who cares about bracket integrity, etc. But when you look at past history, it comes down to attendance and it doesn’t matter where the seeds are.

What’s important is preserving the matchups that are made with teams outside of the Top 16 to those No. 1 seeds and then attendance. It doesn’t matter what the seeds are, just that you stay within that band.

In other words, if you’re a second-seeded team from 5-8, you can go anywhere and play anyone, as long as the team you’re playing is 9-12.

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

East Regional (Providence):
13 Wisconsin vs. 3 Harvard
12 Providence vs. 8 Union

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
15 Bemidji State vs. 4 Minnesota
10 Cornell vs. 7 Boston University

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
14 Ohio State vs. 2 Minnesota-Duluth
11 Notre Dame vs. 5 Western Michigan

West Regional (Fargo):
16 Canisius vs. 1 Denver
9 Penn State vs. 6 Massachusetts-Lowell

Conference breakdowns

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

Movement

In: Canisius, Wisconsin, Notre Dame
Out: Air Force, St. Cloud State, Boston College

319 COMMENTS

  1. Dark Jerseys at home is going to increase fan interest HA HA, maybe some scoring (goals). Fans are tired of soccer scores. Bring back physical play, 3 on 3 overtime play. THE GAMES ARE BORING

  2. Dark Jerseys at home is going to increase fan interest HA HA, maybe some scoring (goals). Fans are tired of soccer scores. Bring back physical play, 3 on 3 overtime play. THE GAMES ARE BORING

  3. “There’s only one hockey east school in Manchester”

    Then you just switch hockey east schools, to a school with lowe attendance figures the last 3 years? Not sure that change makes any sense

  4. “There’s only one hockey east school in Manchester”

    Then you just switch hockey east schools, to a school with lowe attendance figures the last 3 years? Not sure that change makes any sense

  5. Why are we so high on putting Providence in Providence…that fan base barely shows up for their games? And why move the Lowell/Penn game with the BU/Cornell game? there is no point to that…Lowell draws far better than BU.

    • And , Lowell is only 25 minutes away from Manchester, practically a home game. That’s the best way to boost attendance there!

      • BU in Manchester…..happened two years ago……..aaaaaaaaand fans didn’t show up. Let’s hear the 1 or 2pm game on a Friday excuse BU fans….

          • BU fans don’t travel. The only fan bases worse (with teams to speak of) are Providence and BC in Hockey east. They’re all pink hats. If it’s not the stupid bean pot where they go to “check in” and take selfies, they dont show up.

    • Agreed James! Moving Lowell out of Manchester makes absolutely zero sense. Lowell has had the highest attendance in hockey east for the last two years (averaging nearly 6k per game). Having them in Manchester is a must for the NCAA…when Lowell played in the Manchester regional 4 years ago there was at least 5000-6000 UML fans there…by putting Lowell in Fargo the NCAA would be wasting all those ticket sales.

      • But those BU fans will make up for it…… ha ha ha. Pretty sure BU and BC fans have shock collars on that activate when they get outside of the 495 loop.

        • I was there and Lowell fans clearly outnumbered UNH fans by a large margin. Can’t tell you exactly as I didn’t do a head count but UNH was clearly outnumbered.

    • If attendance is a factor, by all measures, Lowell should be in Manchester – or in Providence at worst. Lowell has the highest attendance in HE – BY ALOT. BU doesn’t travel – the shock collar comment below is spot on!

      • Seriously? Lowell beats out BU for home attendance for a few reasons, but no HEA team has a better travel attendance than BU. As for the brackets, Moy clearly just made a mistake. He wanted 2 HEA teams in Manchester, not swap out one for the other.

        • ANY league with four teams should have one in each regional so if that league is superior they could have the Frozen Four to themselves without knocking one another out.

    • So Lowell, the highest ranked HE team in the PW, gets “rewarded” by getting sent to Fargo – and in the bracket of the #1 seed. While lower ranked BU and Providence, both with attendance issues, get placed at home? Are you kidding me????

    • Wow, you all beat me to this glaring mistake. Why in the world switch Lowell out of Manchester in favor of BU when Lowell has proven the last few years they go to these regionals in huge numbers due to close proximity. BU doesn’t travel at all any more and Lowell packs out the place. By exiling them to the west, practically no Lowell fans will fly out there and the attendance will drop dramatically at Manchester to boot.

      Plus what a diss to Lowell who is #6 in pwr and #1 HE team in attendance, no one can touch them in that regard and only team over 5,000 a game on average. This makes absolutely no sense and let’s hope when the NCAA releases the brackets and Moy still has Lowell out west in his final prediction, that he’s wrong for the second time in seven years.

  6. Why are we so high on putting Providence in Providence…that fan base barely shows up for their games? And why move the Lowell/Penn game with the BU/Cornell game? there is no point to that…Lowell draws far better than BU.

    • And , Lowell is only 25 minutes away from Manchester, practically a home game. That’s the best way to boost attendance there!

      • BU in Manchester…..happened two years ago……..aaaaaaaaand fans didn’t show up. Let’s hear the 1 or 2pm game on a Friday excuse BU fans….

          • BU fans don’t travel. The only fan bases worse (with teams to speak of) are Providence and BC in Hockey east. They’re all pink hats. If it’s not the stupid bean pot where they go to “check in” and take selfies, they dont show up.

    • Agreed James! Moving Lowell out of Manchester makes absolutely zero sense. Lowell has had the highest attendance in hockey east for the last two years (averaging nearly 6k per game). Having them in Manchester is a must for the NCAA…when Lowell played in the Manchester regional 4 years ago there was at least 5000-6000 UML fans there…by putting Lowell in Fargo the NCAA would be wasting all those ticket sales.

      • But those BU fans will make up for it…… ha ha ha. Pretty sure BU and BC fans have shock collars on that activate when they get outside of the 495 loop.

        • I was there and Lowell fans clearly outnumbered UNH fans by a large margin. Can’t tell you exactly as I didn’t do a head count but UNH was clearly outnumbered.

    • If attendance is a factor, by all measures, Lowell should be in Manchester – or in Providence at worst. Lowell has the highest attendance in HE – BY ALOT. BU doesn’t travel – the shock collar comment below is spot on!

      • Seriously? Lowell beats out BU for home attendance for a few reasons, but no HEA team has a better travel attendance than BU. As for the brackets, Moy clearly just made a mistake. He wanted 2 HEA teams in Manchester, not swap out one for the other.

        • ANY league with four teams should have one in each regional so if that league is superior they could have the Frozen Four to themselves without knocking one another out.

    • So Lowell, the highest ranked HE team in the PW, gets “rewarded” by getting sent to Fargo – and in the bracket of the #1 seed. While lower ranked BU and Providence, both with attendance issues, get placed at home? Are you kidding me????

    • Wow, you all beat me to this glaring mistake. Why in the world switch Lowell out of Manchester in favor of BU when Lowell has proven the last few years they go to these regionals in huge numbers due to close proximity. BU doesn’t travel at all any more and Lowell packs out the place. By exiling them to the west, practically no Lowell fans will fly out there and the attendance will drop dramatically at Manchester to boot.

      Plus what a diss to Lowell who is #6 in pwr and #1 HE team in attendance, no one can touch them in that regard and only team over 5,000 a game on average. This makes absolutely no sense and let’s hope when the NCAA releases the brackets and Moy still has Lowell out west in his final prediction, that he’s wrong for the second time in seven years.

  7. While the West regional will be full regardless, it would be nice to have some team that’s somewhere close go to it. You spent a lot of time and effort to get Providence a home game, why not Bemidji or Minnesota in Fargo.?

      • I’m not buying that drivel. As he says, switching any team is ok as long as it switches with the same seed. A 1 for a 1 or a 2 for a 2. . So if Denver goes to Manchester or Providence or Cincy, it’s all the same. I do agree though that Denver ought to play the 16 team regardless of where it is. I do not think that Providence deserves a home game for finishing 12th.
        If you put any of the Boston based teams there they would draw. It’s a big advantage to Providence being home.

        • Dismiss facts as drivel all you want, protecting the #1 and if possible #2 overall seeds has always been a higher priority that swapping within bands to improve attendance. There has never been a case of the #1 overall being moved farther than the 2nd closest regional, and putting #4 MN in Fargo when #2 UMD is also a drive really doesn’t make any sense. If Denver stays #1, they will go to either Fargo or Cinci. The only way MN will end up in Fargo at this point is if they fall from a 1 to a 2 or if UND gets back into the tournament as 4, thus blocking Denver or UMD from going there.

        • You must be new to how Pairwise and the Regionals work. There has NEVER, nor will there ever be, a #1 seed not sent to one of their two closest sites. The one thing the NC$$ does is protect the top seed. Additionally, your statement that Boston based teams “draw” is a joke. The only way they”draw” is if they play at their own rinks, never as much as UML does though.

          • Yeah, Lowell fans have quite the fun time at these regionals. The poor establishment Lowell’s official pregame was at in Manchester in 2013 didn’t know what hit them the first day and were woefully unprepared. The next day they upped their game and were still completely overrun, even more than the day before as even more fans showed up. Highway offramp was backed up a fair distance too. It was crazy.

          • If anyone should complain about being sent to Fargo it is UML, not BU/BC. Neither Boston schools will add any attendance boost to Providence or Manchester. As UMGC stated, they need shock collars anytime they stray from home.

          • Only irritated at the prediction. But Lowell fans will be livid if it happened in reality as 99% of Lowell fans would be screwed from seeing their team as besides player parents and UML staff, a small handful of fans would be all that would be able to go. If NCAA wants $$, they’ll keep Lowell east as they always have as it’s a guaranteed revenue and will help boost attendance to a decent level at either Manchester or Providence as BU and Providence can’t touch Lowell at regionals attendance.

  8. While the West regional will be full regardless, it would be nice to have some team that’s somewhere close go to it. You spent a lot of time and effort to get Providence a home game, why not Bemidji or Minnesota in Fargo.?

    • Higher number 1 seeds take priority over Minnesota for location. If they’re 4th overall, they should be going east with Duluth and Denver ahead of them. If they move down in the pairwise I guess there’s a little bit more of an argument for Fargo.

      • I’m not buying that drivel. As he says, switching any team is ok as long as it switches with the same seed. A 1 for a 1 or a 2 for a 2. . So if Denver goes to Manchester or Providence or Cincy, it’s all the same. I do agree though that Denver ought to play the 16 team regardless of where it is. I do not think that Providence deserves a home game for finishing 12th.
        If you put any of the Boston based teams there they would draw. It’s a big advantage to Providence being home.

        • Dismiss facts as drivel all you want, protecting the #1 and if possible #2 overall seeds has always been a higher priority that swapping within bands to improve attendance. There has never been a case of the #1 overall being moved farther than the 2nd closest regional, and putting #4 MN in Fargo when #2 UMD is also a drive really doesn’t make any sense. If Denver stays #1, they will go to either Fargo or Cinci. The only way MN will end up in Fargo at this point is if they fall from a 1 to a 2 or if UND gets back into the tournament as 4, thus blocking Denver or UMD from going there.

        • You must be new to how Pairwise and the Regionals work. There has NEVER, nor will there ever be, a #1 seed not sent to one of their two closest sites. The one thing the NC$$ does is protect the top seed. Additionally, your statement that Boston based teams “draw” is a joke. The only way they”draw” is if they play at their own rinks, never as much as UML does though.

          • Yeah, Lowell fans have quite the fun time at these regionals. The poor establishment Lowell’s official pregame was at in Manchester in 2013 didn’t know what hit them the first day and were woefully unprepared. The next day they upped their game and were still completely overrun, even more than the day before as even more fans showed up. Highway offramp was backed up a fair distance too. It was crazy.

          • If anyone should complain about being sent to Fargo it is UML, not BU/BC. Neither Boston schools will add any attendance boost to Providence or Manchester. As UMGC stated, they need shock collars anytime they stray from home.

          • Only irritated at the prediction. But Lowell fans will be livid if it happened in reality as 99% of Lowell fans would be screwed from seeing their team as besides player parents and UML staff, a small handful of fans would be all that would be able to go. If NCAA wants $$, they’ll keep Lowell east as they always have as it’s a guaranteed revenue and will help boost attendance to a decent level at either Manchester or Providence as BU and Providence can’t touch Lowell at regionals attendance.

    • Disagree. I think Duluth would be big favorites in that regional. East regional would be a tougher bracket and I’m an NCHC guy.

          • Nobody ever said that, don’t try reading minds. It was simply a comparison to the other regional that DU could get sent to. Cincinnati regional has both UMD and WMU, by far the tougher regional competition and rankings wise. Also, I know OSU is capable of a big game. I think a lot of UND (NCHC) fans would be rooting for DU, making it almost a “home” game.

  9. I am an ECAC, HE fan but you are not being fair to the Western teams. The Western teams always end up having to travel east. How about moving some of us out west. Fair is Fair.

  10. I am an ECAC, HE fan but you are not being fair to the Western teams. The Western teams always end up having to travel east. How about moving some of us out west. Fair is Fair.

  11. Absolutely surprised he doesn’t have DU out east…..was almost 100% certain that was going to happen as they “have to fly anyway.” DU fan will enjoy this bracket!

  12. Absolutely surprised he doesn’t have DU out east…..was almost 100% certain that was going to happen as they “have to fly anyway.” DU fan will enjoy this bracket!

    • For personal travel reasons, I’d actually rather see them in Cincinnati because it’s a cheaper flight from Denver for me. Fargo is kinda expensive to get to.

    • You know me all too well, very pleased. At least there are knowledgeable CH fans in Fargo. The NC$$ had no choice at this point, DU to either Fargo or Cincinnati. One caveat, there are still three weeks left in the season, things can change drastically. If UND sweeps Miami this weekend, they will move to 13/14 and put either DU or UMD back east. Care to guess which will go?

  13. I still say North Dakota wins both games this weekend vs Miami and sneaks in. That sends all the #1 seeds to different Regions.

    • They need to do more than that to get in. They’ll also need to win the first round of the NCHC tournament. Miami is near 30th in the pairwise so two wins against them won’t boost them up that much.

      • To be fair they don’t need to be boosted up that far. With the SCSU situation right now they are literally one spot out of the tourney so a sweep this weekend could certainly move them up that much (depending on what the rest of the games turn out). But I agree that they almost certainly need to sweep this weekend but that is because I think best case is they take three games in the first round of the NCHC tourney and who knows what happens in that third game.

        • I’d rather have a few places in hand in case something weird happens and a some teams from outside of the top 16 (except WCHA and AHA) win their tourney and get in.

          • Yeah starting to look more and more like UND isn’t capable of getting that high. I really think their best case scenario is that they just barely make it in as a 4 seed. Plus then we more than likely get MN in the first round and that works for me.

          • Could be a 3 seed with everything going right. But usually when everything goes the way we’d like (Saturday) we shoot ourselves in the foot and go backwards. Making it to the Minneapolis tournament should get us in the show and even winning a game there would be great. I’m not overly confident, though. Have to win Friday, first.

    • Even if North Dakota sweeps this weekend, the best they can possibly be in Pairwise is 10th and they could be as bad off as 15th. Take look at Jim Dahl’s new “Pairwise by wins” feature on his blog. One of the handiest things I have ever seen rolled out for this time of year in college hockey.

      North Dakota, Omaha, and SCSU’s respective Pairwise fates are all almost certainly going to hinge on what happens in the NCHC conference tourney.

      • Two of these teams are going to meet in the first round of the playoffs, unless Miami sweeps UND and both UNO and SCSU are also swept. Then Miami would jump up to 4th place and hold the tie breaker against UND, which would have UND playing Miami again in the first round.

    • Even if they win both this week that won’t guarantee them anything. They need to also probably win the first round NCHC series and that will be a tall order with how they have been playing.

    • You need to talk a look at Jim Dahl’s blog and his new feature “Pairwise by wins”. A sweep, at best, gets them to 10 and, at worst, no better than to14.

      Then the conference tourney is right after that. A sweep this weekend would guarantee them absolutely nothing.

  14. Still unbelievable that Jayson keeps using the “attendance” reason for moving teams around. Maybe this year he actually should attend a Regional, he can choose which one, and personally witness the lack of attendance. From the press box he will be able to count the exact number of people at the Regional finals.

    • Remember this isn’t what he would do. He is trying to predict the selection committee and they seem to think (which past evidence shows) that they think the closer they can get schools to their home town the more attendance will go up. I am not agreeing with that at all and I don’t believe Jason agrees with it (just guessing as he can clearly see what the arenas look like on TV you don’t have to be there). Just a prediction of what the selection committee might do.

      Now if your issue is that the selection committee is just plain lazy and uses Mr Moy’s final analysis most of the time, well that might be true in which case we need to give Jason a front lobotomy of sorts that takes away his ability to count and thus negating the “attendance” issue moving forward.

      • He almost always mirrors what the NC$$ committee does in the final analysis. Jayson seems to know how they think and what excuses (attendance, driving distance, and they have to fly anyway) they use to send teams wherever they want.

      • This. Keep in mind, Moy ends up being spot on most years. The issue here is with the NCAA tournament format, not Moy.

    • this is still the thing that bugs the heck out of me – maybe its the teams or the fact that most people for some odd reason would rather follow the bball tourney – but i know for sure the prices are absolutely ridiculous and i wish someone form the ncaa would explain this

  15. Still unbelievable that Jayson keeps using the “attendance” reason for moving teams around. Maybe this year he actually should attend a Regional, he can choose which one, and personally witness the lack of attendance. From the press box he will be able to count the exact number of people at the Regional finals.

    • Remember this isn’t what he would do. He is trying to predict the selection committee and they seem to think (which past evidence shows) that they think the closer they can get schools to their home town the more attendance will go up. I am not agreeing with that at all and I don’t believe Jason agrees with it (just guessing as he can clearly see what the arenas look like on TV you don’t have to be there). Just a prediction of what the selection committee might do.

      Now if your issue is that the selection committee is just plain lazy and uses Mr Moy’s final analysis most of the time, well that might be true in which case we need to give Jason a front lobotomy of sorts that takes away his ability to count and thus negating the “attendance” issue moving forward.

      • He almost always mirrors what the NC$$ committee does in the final analysis. Jayson seems to know how they think and what excuses (attendance, driving distance, and they have to fly anyway) they use to send teams wherever they want.

      • This. Keep in mind, Moy ends up being spot on most years. The issue here is with the NCAA tournament format, not Moy.

    • this is still the thing that bugs the heck out of me – maybe its the teams or the fact that most people for some odd reason would rather follow the bball tourney – but i know for sure the prices are absolutely ridiculous and i wish someone form the ncaa would explain this

  16. I wish Moy was brave enough to explain why Denver is closer to Fargo this week, when it was “closer” to Cincinnati last week. The reason, of course, is that UMD is now matched up with Ohio State, and OSU is probably the best case for Cinci’s attendance. It’s just strange that Moy claims this is about explaining how the process works, yet, something as big as where the #1 overall seed will get put is just glossed over.

    • Denver is about 1200 miles to Cincinnati and 900 miles to Fargo – that’s a flight in both cases, which renders which site they go to meaningless in terms of travel.

      • Meaningless is overstating it (Denver won’t get sent out east as long as they are #1), but that is generally true. That, however, isn’t the point. The point is that it’s a pretty important point to discuss, and Moy just flips and flops each week without mentioning it.

        • Not “generally” true, absolutely true. Overall #1 seed has never been sent to one of there 2 closest regionals.

          • What? Your statement really doesn’t make any sense. Unless instead of “never” you meant “always.”

          • Good catch, thanks. I meant “never not”, two negatives does equal “always”. You are right, wouldn’t make sense the way I originally wrote it. Number 1 seed always gets sent close. In the past, they have moved #15/#16 seeds to accommodate #1.

  17. I wish Moy was brave enough to explain why Denver is closer to Fargo this week, when it was “closer” to Cincinnati last week. The reason, of course, is that UMD is now matched up with Ohio State, and OSU is probably the best case for Cinci’s attendance. It’s just strange that Moy claims this is about explaining how the process works, yet, something as big as where the #1 overall seed will get put is just glossed over.

    • Denver is about 1200 miles to Cincinnati and 900 miles to Fargo – that’s a flight in both cases, which renders which site they go to meaningless in terms of travel.

      • Meaningless is overstating it (Denver won’t get sent out east as long as they are #1), but that is generally true. That, however, isn’t the point. The point is that it’s a pretty important point to discuss, and Moy just flips and flops each week without mentioning it.

        • Not “generally” true, absolutely true. Overall #1 seed has never been sent to one of there 2 closest regionals.

          • What? Your statement really doesn’t make any sense. Unless instead of “never” you meant “always.”

          • Good catch, thanks. I meant “never not”, two negatives does equal “always”. You are right, wouldn’t make sense the way I originally wrote it. Number 1 seed always gets sent close. In the past, they have moved #15/#16 seeds to accommodate #1.

  18. Lowell led the league in attendance; no need to move them to help attendance. Lowell is closer to Manchester than BU as well.

  19. Lowell led the league in attendance; no need to move them to help attendance. Lowell is closer to Manchester than BU as well.

  20. At least the elephant in the room is out of it this week. For months, Moy has been using BC as the Hockey East autobid which kept throwing things out of whack. Another key piece that’s missing this week is the lack of UND as a host team. And yet again, there is the St Cloud .500 rule to continue watching. So many scenarios that can still change the outcome on this. Omaha, St Cloud, or UND is going to get in there. One of them basically has to if 2 of them play each other in the first round of the NCHC playoffs, which is very likely.

  21. i hate to say this but as a union fan i just don’t like being in a bracket with harvard – but that said, if union wins that region they should fare well at frozen four

  22. At least the elephant in the room is out of it this week. For months, Moy has been using BC as the Hockey East autobid which kept throwing things out of whack. Another key piece that’s missing this week is the lack of UND as a host team. And yet again, there is the St Cloud .500 rule to continue watching. So many scenarios that can still change the outcome on this. Omaha, St Cloud, or UND is going to get in there. One of them basically has to if 2 of them play each other in the first round of the NCHC playoffs, which is very likely.

  23. i hate to say this but as a union fan i just don’t like being in a bracket with harvard – but that said, if union wins that region they should fare well at frozen four

  24. With the inclusion of Wisconsin and Notre Dame this week, next year’s B1G looks to have 5 teams out of 7 in this year’s tournament. It might not be likely to happen with the Badgers hosting the Buckeyes in the final regular season weekend, but it’s still a remarkable possibility.

    • And that matters how? If they are all going to beat up on each other that doesnt mean the number they get in will go up.

      • Without question, the law of averages will bring down the winning percentage of teams with the inclusion of ND. My point was not to say that 5/7 will make the tournament in ensuring years. I merely wanted to show how the conference turned itself around after being criticized at their inception. The B1G schools have the funding and exposure (with their large enrollments and alumni associations as well as the tv network) to really enhance the collegiate hockey landscape in the Midwest. It’s optimistic to think that UofI, Purdue, Rutgers, or Maryland will garner a varsity hockey program, but the groundwork has been set to make it easier for them to do so. And ND is primed to join the conference in all sports down the road.

  25. With the inclusion of Wisconsin and Notre Dame this week, next year’s B1G looks to have 5 teams out of 7 in this year’s tournament. It might not be likely to happen with the Badgers hosting the Buckeyes in the final regular season weekend, but it’s still a remarkable possibility.

    • And that matters how? If they are all going to beat up on each other that doesnt mean the number they get in will go up.

      • Without question, the law of averages will bring down the winning percentage of teams with the inclusion of ND. My point was not to say that 5/7 will make the tournament in ensuring years. I merely wanted to show how the conference turned itself around after being criticized at their inception. The B1G schools have the funding and exposure (with their large enrollments and alumni associations as well as the tv network) to really enhance the collegiate hockey landscape in the Midwest. It’s optimistic to think that UofI, Purdue, Rutgers, or Maryland will garner a varsity hockey program, but the groundwork has been set to make it easier for them to do so. And ND is primed to join the conference in all sports down the road.

  26. If you are going for attendance why not swap Burrrrmidji and Canisius. Seems like you have a better chance of getting beaver fans in ND than canisius fans.

  27. If you are going for attendance why not swap Burrrrmidji and Canisius. Seems like you have a better chance of getting beaver fans in ND than canisius fans.

  28. Jayson had to have been drunk this week. He lists SCSU as number 14 in the list where he pulls in autobids BSU and Canisus but then inexplicably drops them in favor of Ohio State immediately afterward. Also, just glaring grammar (improper copy/pasting) mistakes are abundant. Also, Boston schools are a little bit closer to Manchester than Providence – why does he keep sending Harvard to Providence instead? Doesn’t really matter in the end, since MN would have to trek a long ways, regardless, but I’m just wondering what the basis is…

      • Yes, yes, I see it now. I’m so used to skimming past all the same old mumbo-jumbo in the top half of the article to get down to the seeding potion that I missed that paragraph. The rest of my comment I stand by, though.

    • No team with a losing record can get an auto bid and right now SCSU has a losing record so they would get bumped and the next team would be in. Just the way it is.

    • I do love that you wrote that Moy “inexplicably drops them” when he spent a full paragraph explaining why SCSU is ineligible, even citing the specific NCAA rule. It’s only “inexplicable” if you decide not to read the explaination.

      • Yeah yeah, see above. He should have bolded that paragraph or something to distinguish it from all the other info that’s the exact same week after week.

    • There’s transit (train) from Boston to Providence, there is not to Manchester. So most would consider RI closer than NH, because it FEELS that way.

  29. Jayson had to have been drunk this week. He lists SCSU as number 14 in the list where he pulls in autobids BSU and Canisus but then inexplicably drops them in favor of Ohio State immediately afterward. Also, just glaring grammar (improper copy/pasting) mistakes are abundant. Also, Boston schools are a little bit closer to Manchester than Providence – why does he keep sending Harvard to Providence instead? Doesn’t really matter in the end, since MN would have to trek a long ways, regardless, but I’m just wondering what the basis is…

      • Yes, yes, I see it now. I’m so used to skimming past all the same old mumbo-jumbo in the top half of the article to get down to the seeding potion that I missed that paragraph. The rest of my comment I stand by, though.

    • No team with a losing record can get an auto bid and right now SCSU has a losing record so they would get bumped and the next team would be in. Just the way it is.

    • I do love that you wrote that Moy “inexplicably drops them” when he spent a full paragraph explaining why SCSU is ineligible, even citing the specific NCAA rule. It’s only “inexplicable” if you decide not to read the explaination.

      • Yeah yeah, see above. He should have bolded that paragraph or something to distinguish it from all the other info that’s the exact same week after week.

    • There’s transit (train) from Boston to Providence, there is not to Manchester. So most would consider RI closer than NH, because it FEELS that way.

  30. Minnesota and Lowell should swap places as the Gophers are the closest team to Fargo with a big fan base and Lowell put half the people into Manchester 4 years ago. The Riverhawks fan base has grown every year since 2013 and going out west would be stupid. I think North Dakota will get in anyway. The NCAA never thought that UND wouldn’t be in the tourney. Would love to see my Lowell team get another shot at UMD. Impressive how Lowell has been a great team without the big time draft picks that go to BC, BU, UND, ND and Minnesota. Seeing Wisconsin coming back is good for college hockey.

    • Minnesota cannot go to Fargo while Denver is there. Having two #1 seeds in the same regional is not something even the NC$$ can ever justify.

    • Well considering Lowell blew leads both nights to end up with the two ties and had won one in OT before the goal was disallowed, yeah, I think they match up well. They should have won both of those games. And it is nice to see Wisconsin on the rise again…maybe Lowell will give them another pasting like in Manchester a few years ago.

  31. Minnesota and Lowell should swap places as the Gophers are the closest team to Fargo with a big fan base and Lowell put half the people into Manchester 4 years ago. The Riverhawks fan base has grown every year since 2013 and going out west would be stupid. I think North Dakota will get in anyway. The NCAA never thought that UND wouldn’t be in the tourney. Would love to see my Lowell team get another shot at UMD. Impressive how Lowell has been a great team without the big time draft picks that go to BC, BU, UND, ND and Minnesota. Seeing Wisconsin coming back is good for college hockey.

    • Minnesota cannot go to Fargo while Denver is there. Having two #1 seeds in the same regional is not something even the NC$$ can ever justify.

    • Well considering Lowell blew leads both nights to end up with the two ties and had won one in OT before the goal was disallowed, yeah, I think they match up well. They should have won both of those games. And it is nice to see Wisconsin on the rise again…maybe Lowell will give them another pasting like in Manchester a few years ago.

  32. UML is the top HEA seed, yet BU stays home and UML gets thrown out west in a bracket with the overall #1… seriously, Jayson?

    • Another thing that should make you happy is that UML draws fans better than BU/BC. Not sure that many will travel to Fargo, however. You should be used to the NC$$ not making any sense at all.

      • You’d easily see 5,000 UML fans in Manchester or Providence. Fargo is already sold out with the exception of each team’s allotment and Lowell fans would barely use any of those as they travel in large numbers only if it’s a reasonable driving distance. Keeping Lowell east clearly guarantees 1000s of fans at either eastern venue that they’ll lose otherwise.

        But these are nothing more than predictions and in the end, they’ve kept Lowell east in every regional they’ve participated in since 2012 so I doubt the NCAA would want to lose the revenue and fans Lowell represents.

        • You are right, nothing but predictions. However, if BU (or any other HE team) stays in band 2 or 3 then UML will be shipped to Fargo. Providence will always be in Providence, and BU will be in Manchester. WMU is “driving distance” to Cincinnati, albeit a 5 hour bus ride, so they will be the band 2 team there. It is a shame that the deck appears stacked against UML, their fans deserve better.

      • Yep. Switching Lowell out for attendance is a farce. Last home game of the Hockey East season with the championship and playoff seeding on the line BC drew 4306 at Conte, BU drew 5613 at Agganis while Lowell sold out Tsongas at 6580. Manchester is 30 mins from Lowell. No other team can put more butts in seats there.

  33. UML is the top HEA seed, yet BU stays home and UML gets thrown out west in a bracket with the overall #1… seriously, Jayson?

    • Another thing that should make you happy is that UML draws fans better than BU/BC. Not sure that many will travel to Fargo, however. You should be used to the NC$$ not making any sense at all.

      • You’d easily see 5,000 UML fans in Manchester or Providence. Fargo is already sold out with the exception of each team’s allotment and Lowell fans would barely use any of those as they travel in large numbers only if it’s a reasonable driving distance. Keeping Lowell east clearly guarantees 1000s of fans at either eastern venue that they’ll lose otherwise.

        But these are nothing more than predictions and in the end, they’ve kept Lowell east in every regional they’ve participated in since 2012 so I doubt the NCAA would want to lose the revenue and fans Lowell represents.

        • You are right, nothing but predictions. However, if BU (or any other HE team) stays in band 2 or 3 then UML will be shipped to Fargo. Providence will always be in Providence, and BU will be in Manchester. WMU is “driving distance” to Cincinnati, albeit a 5 hour bus ride, so they will be the band 2 team there. It is a shame that the deck appears stacked against UML, their fans deserve better.

      • Yep. Switching Lowell out for attendance is a farce. Last home game of the Hockey East season with the championship and playoff seeding on the line BC drew 4306 at Conte, BU drew 5613 at Agganis while Lowell sold out Tsongas at 6580. Manchester is 30 mins from Lowell. No other team can put more butts in seats there.

  34. That would be a kick in the teeth to Lowell to send the #1 seed in Hockey East to Fargo. Lowell was number one in attendance in the east and Manchester is their second playoff home. Jayson Moy, You are a sorry excuse for a writer.

    • He has only been doing this for over a decade, has called the field correctly every time, and has picked the brackets – exactly – 5 of the last 6 times. If that is a sorry excuse for a writer, I would love to see what the hell meets your exacting standards. Oh wait, I think I know: somebody who abides by your own biased viewpoint concerning your own team, right?

      Moy is attempting to call a bracket based on rules that can contradict each other to varying degrees. He does not have an axe to grind with your team or anyone else’s team. All he is attempting to do is predict the regional assignments based on what he believes the committee will do – and he has proven to be better at that than anyone else.

      • I was wrong in saying “a poor excuse for a writer”, because, as you say, this not even a story. He is just vomiting facts about what he thinks the committee is thinking and not even giving an opinion. I stand corrected.

  35. That would be a kick in the teeth to Lowell to send the #1 seed in Hockey East to Fargo. Lowell was number one in attendance in the east and Manchester is their second playoff home. Jayson Moy, You are a sorry excuse for a writer.

    • He has only been doing this for over a decade, has called the field correctly every time, and has picked the brackets – exactly – 5 of the last 6 times. If that is a sorry excuse for a writer, I would love to see what the hell meets your exacting standards. Oh wait, I think I know: somebody who abides by your own biased viewpoint concerning your own team, right?

      Moy is attempting to call a bracket based on rules that can contradict each other to varying degrees. He does not have an axe to grind with your team or anyone else’s team. All he is attempting to do is predict the regional assignments based on what he believes the committee will do – and he has proven to be better at that than anyone else.

      • I was wrong in saying “a poor excuse for a writer”, because, as you say, this not even a story. He is just vomiting facts about what he thinks the committee is thinking and not even giving an opinion. I stand corrected.

  36. 5-12 is all wrong. 5 would play 12, 6 would play 10(since it can’t play 11), 7 would play 9 since it can’t play 11 either, then 8 plays 11. Then figure out where to put each team from there based on the highest seed getting priority.

  37. 5-12 is all wrong. 5 would play 12, 6 would play 10(since it can’t play 11), 7 would play 9 since it can’t play 11 either, then 8 plays 11. Then figure out where to put each team from there based on the highest seed getting priority.

  38. “We would like Providence in Providence”
    No Jayson, YOU would like Providence in Providence. Having them there will not help attendance much if at all.

    • It is not Jayson that will keep Providence in Providence, it is the NC$$. Unfortunately, they keep them there every single year.

  39. “We would like Providence in Providence”
    No Jayson, YOU would like Providence in Providence. Having them there will not help attendance much if at all.

    • It is not Jayson that will keep Providence in Providence, it is the NC$$. Unfortunately, they keep them there every single year.

  40. Why throw PSU in Fargo to keep ND and WMU closer to home? PSU went 1-0-1 against Notre Dame and it will travel better than either WMU or Notre Dame that is for sure. Why? Because this would be the school’s first ever berth and it had a better fanbase than the other two.

  41. Why throw PSU in Fargo to keep ND and WMU closer to home? PSU went 1-0-1 against Notre Dame and it will travel better than either WMU or Notre Dame that is for sure. Why? Because this would be the school’s first ever berth and it had a better fanbase than the other two.

  42. Why the obsession with getting Providence to Providence? They only drew 1876 last night to a home playoff gave and have averaged only 2497 per game in a nicely updated rink with 3030 seats. The last game they sold out was 6 weeks ago against – wait for it- Lowell!

  43. Why the obsession with getting Providence to Providence? They only drew 1876 last night to a home playoff gave and have averaged only 2497 per game in a nicely updated rink with 3030 seats. The last game they sold out was 6 weeks ago against – wait for it- Lowell!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here