One more look at NCAA tournament predictions heading into conference tournament finals

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 number one seeds in their tournament through all games of March 14:

1 Denver
2 Minnesota-Duluth
3 Harvard
4 Western Michigan
5 Minnesota
6 Boston University
7 Union
8 Massachusetts-Lowell
9 Cornell
10 Notre Dame
11 North Dakota
12t Providence
12t Penn State
14 Ohio State
15t Air Force
15t Boston College
25 Canisius
28 Michigan Tech

Current highest seeds left in its respective tournament:

Atlantic Hockey: Canisius
Big Ten: Minnesota
ECAC Hockey: Harvard
Hockey East: Massachusetts-Lowell
NCHC: Denver
WCHA: Michigan Tech

Notes

• Bracketology assumes that the season has ended and there are no more games to be played — i.e., the NCAA tournament starts tomorrow.

• For conferences where the regular season has concluded, I have taken the highest remaining 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 Canisius and Michigan Tech.

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

The ties and bubbles consist of Providence/Penn State.

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 Western Michigan
5 Minnesota
6 Boston University
7 Union
8 Massachusetts-Lowell
9 Cornell
10 Notre Dame
11 North Dakota
12 Providence
13 Penn State
14 Ohio State
15 Canisius
16 Michigan Tech

Step two

Now it’s time to assign the seeds.

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

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

No. 3 seeds: Cornell, Notre Dame, North Dakota, Providence

No. 4 seeds: Penn State, Canisius, Bemidji State, Michigan Tech

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 Northeast Regional in Manchester.
No. 4 Western Michigan is placed in the East Regional in Providence.

Step four

Now we place the other 12 teams so as to avoid intra-conference matchups if possible.

Begin by filling in each bracket by banding groups. Remember that teams are not assigned to the regional closest to their campus sites by ranking order within the banding (unless you are a host school, in which case you must be assigned to your home regional).

If this is the case, as it was last year, then the committee should seed so that the quarterfinals are seeded such that the four regional championships would be played by No. 1 vs. No. 8, No. 2 vs. No. 7, No. 3 vs. No. 6 and No. 4 vs. No. 5.

So therefore:

No. 2 seeds

No. 8 Massachusetts-Lowell is placed in No. 1 Denver’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 7 Union is placed in No. 2 Minnesota-Duluth’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 6 Boston University is placed in No. 3 Harvard’s regional, the Northeast Regional.
No. 5 Minnesota is placed in No. 4 Western Michigan’s regional, the East 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.

As a host school, North Dakota is placed first.

No. 11 North Dakota is placed in No. 8 Massachusetts-Lowell’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 9 Cornell is placed in No. 7 Union’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 10 Notre Dame is placed in No. 6 Boston University’s regional, the Northeast Regional.
No. 12 Providence is placed in No. 5 Minnesota’s regional, the East Regional.

No. 4 seeds

One more time, taking No. 16 vs. No. 1, No. 15 vs. No. 2, etc.

No. 16 Michigan Tech is sent to No. 1 Denver’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 15 Canisius 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 Northeast Regional.
No. 13 Penn State is sent to No. 4 Western Michigan’s regional, the East Regional.

The brackets as we have set them up:

East Regional (Providence):
13 Penn State vs. 4 Western Michigan
12 Providence vs. 5 Minnesota

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
14 Ohio State vs. 3 Harvard
10 Notre Dame vs. 6 Boston University

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
15 Canisius vs. 2 Minnesota-Duluth
9 Cornell vs. 7 Union

West Regional (Fargo):
16 Michigan Tech vs. 1 Denver
11 North Dakota vs. 8 Massachusetts-Lowell

Our first concern is avoiding intraconference matchups. We have Cornell vs. Union and Notre Dame vs. Boston University.

How do we solve this? If we delve into it a little bit more, we have two Hockey East schools in the second band and two in the third band. Therefore, we have to avoid them playing each other.

Therefore the matchups have to be:

Massachusetts-Lowell vs. North Dakota or Cornell
Boston University vs. North Dakota or Cornell
Notre Dame vs. Minnesota or Union
Providence vs. Minnesota or Union

We already have a Massachusetts-Lowell vs. North Dakota matchup via the way the bracket was laid out. So we leave that alone.

That means that BU can only play Cornell. We make that swap.

Then we would prefer to have Union in Providence and Notre Dame in Cincinnati as a means of attendance. Therefore, we make those matchups.

East Regional (Providence):
13 Penn State vs. 4 Western Michigan
12 Providence vs. 7 Union

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
14 Ohio State vs. 3 Harvard
9 Cornell vs. 6 Boston University

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
15 Canisius vs. 2 Minnesota-Duluth
10 Notre Dame vs. 5 Minnesota

West Regional (Fargo):
16 Michigan Tech vs. 1 Denver
11 North Dakota vs. 8 Massachusetts-Lowell

And there you go, our matchups for this week.

That’s it for this year’s Bracketology, hope you have enjoyed it!

Follow the Bracketology Blog and Twitter for thoughts and scenarios as we move towards the end of the week and announcement time.

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

This week’s brackets

East Regional (Providence):
13 Penn State vs. 4 Western Michigan
12 Providence vs. 7 Union

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
14 Ohio State vs. 3 Harvard
9 Cornell vs. 6 Boston University

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
15 Canisius vs. 2 Minnesota-Duluth
10 Notre Dame vs. 5 Minnesota

West Regional (Fargo):
16 Michigan Tech vs. 1 Denver
11 North Dakota vs. 8 Massachusetts-Lowell

Conference breakdowns

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

Movement

In: Michigan Tech, Ohio State
Out: Bemidji State, Wisconsin

Last week’s brackets

East Regional (Providence):
13 Wisconsin vs. 4 Western Michigan
11 Providence vs. 8 Union

Northeast Regional (Manchester):
14 Notre Dame vs. 3 Harvard
10 Cornell vs. 6 Massachusetts-Lowell

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
15 Canisius vs. 2 Minnesota-Duluth
9 Penn State vs. 7 Boston University

West Regional (Fargo):
16 Bemidji State vs. 1 Denver
12 North Dakota vs. 5 Minnesota

138 COMMENTS

  1. No one has a crystal ball so the system requires years like this to reorder the perception of conference strength, strategies and rewards for season consistency vs peak. Cheering for all 4 left standing

  2. No one has a crystal ball so the system requires years like this to reorder the perception of conference strength, strategies and rewards for season consistency vs peak. Cheering for all 4 left standing

  3. Why would you not move the matchup of Minnesota Duluth vs. Canisius out east so you could move Western Michigan and Penn State to Cincy to up attendance at both events?

    • Why would you not move UMD-Canisius east and WMU-PSU west? First, you don’t simply move the overall #2 out of their region at the expense of a #4 seed. If you did this, you would justify moving any teams in all bands for the ridiculous “attendance” excuse. Second, this would not benefit either region, using your “attendance” reasoning. How would Canisius add any fans to Manchester or Providence? They draw 1,086 fans per game, 60% capacity of their own rink. Guess you figure all 1,086 will each bring 4 friends or relatives to the Regional. Second, WMU, having an excellent season, does not draw well, only 2,668 at home. UMD and PSU will draw very close to the same amount, check their attendance. Also, when teams are moved strictly for attendance, it never works out. Arenas still are 1/3 full, at best, for the Regional Finals. These are the reasons even the NC$$ will not do what you suggest.

  4. Why would you not move the matchup of Minnesota Duluth vs. Canisius out east so you could move Western Michigan and Penn State to Cincy to up attendance at both events?

    • Why would you not move UMD-Canisius east and WMU-PSU west? First, you don’t simply move the overall #2 out of their region at the expense of a #4 seed. If you did this, you would justify moving any teams in all bands for the ridiculous “attendance” excuse. Second, this would not benefit either region, using your “attendance” reasoning. How would Canisius add any fans to Manchester or Providence? They draw 1,086 fans per game, 60% capacity of their own rink. Guess you figure all 1,086 will each bring 4 friends or relatives to the Regional. Second, WMU, having an excellent season, does not draw well, only 2,668 at home. UMD and PSU will draw very close to the same amount, check their attendance. Also, when teams are moved strictly for attendance, it never works out. Arenas still are 1/3 full, at best, for the Regional Finals. These are the reasons even the NC$$ will not do what you suggest.

  5. Why should #2 UMD potentially face #5 Minnesota in region finals when committee could just as easily flip #5 Minnesota with #7 Union thereby having finals matching #4 vs #5 and #2 vs #7 if everything plays out true to the pairwise rankings?

  6. Why should #2 UMD potentially face #5 Minnesota in region finals when committee could just as easily flip #5 Minnesota with #7 Union thereby having finals matching #4 vs #5 and #2 vs #7 if everything plays out true to the pairwise rankings?

  7. He’s so isn’t one of the unwritten rules to avoid outing the overall number 1 seed ina bracket with a host school, thus protecting them? Why would the committee put Denver in Fargo? Why not flip flop Denver and Duluth?

    • Another criteria is to protect that seed by putting them in the closest regional. Fargo would be 4 hours drive closer than cincinatti.

      • It’s a flight for Denver no matter where they go.if the committee wants to send a team that’s”commuting distance” send Duluth which is only 4 hrs away from Fargo and 10+ from Cincinnati

        • The point is for fans. If duluth was the top seed they’d do that for them, but since they’re not , they can’t have 3 nchc teams in Fargo .

          • So put Duluth in Fargo and Denver in Cincy. Duluth fans can go see their team play and Denver gets “protected”

          • You’re forgetting that the NC$$ also has its “a flight is a flight” policy. Right now it’s 50/50 between Denver and UMD for Fargo or Cinci, and it will be other factors that come into play. If Bowling Green wins the WCHA and is the 16, I’d bet Denver ends up in Cinci. On the flip side, if Air Force wins AH (thus a top 15 pwr) and Ohio State makes it as a 4 seed, I’d bet Duluth gets sent to Cinci but gets matched-up with OSU.

  8. He’s so isn’t one of the unwritten rules to avoid outing the overall number 1 seed ina bracket with a host school, thus protecting them? Why would the committee put Denver in Fargo? Why not flip flop Denver and Duluth?

    • Another criteria is to protect that seed by putting them in the closest regional. Fargo would be 4 hours drive closer than cincinatti.

      • It’s a flight for Denver no matter where they go.if the committee wants to send a team that’s”commuting distance” send Duluth which is only 4 hrs away from Fargo and 10+ from Cincinnati

        • The point is for fans. If duluth was the top seed they’d do that for them, but since they’re not , they can’t have 3 nchc teams in Fargo .

          • So put Duluth in Fargo and Denver in Cincy. Duluth fans can go see their team play and Denver gets “protected”

          • You’re forgetting that the NC$$ also has its “a flight is a flight” policy. Right now it’s 50/50 between Denver and UMD for Fargo or Cinci, and it will be other factors that come into play. If Bowling Green wins the WCHA and is the 16, I’d bet Denver ends up in Cinci. On the flip side, if Air Force wins AH (thus a top 15 pwr) and Ohio State makes it as a 4 seed, I’d bet Duluth gets sent to Cinci but gets matched-up with OSU.

  9. Since Lowell easily has the best attendance in the East and Manchester is 35 minutes away, they should be put in that regional. All the regionals will have attendance issues except Fargo so keeping Lowell in Manchester is a no brainer. It is sad seeing half full arenas during the Regionals.

    • Using that logic, they should just put all 4 regionals out west – only fair since there are 8 B1G or NCHC schools with better attendance than the school with “easily the best attendance in the east.”

      • More BS from the west. A history lesson for you. Every 2 or 3 years Minneapolis hosts a regional and they get 9000 – 11000 in an arena that holds 18000. Since the numbers are always inflated, how can that be possible? No regional will be full except Fargo. Not when they are in MN,MI, NH, IL or even Boston. I am sick and tired of hearing how great the west is when the ‘hockey’ state of Minnesota doesn’t sell out. Too much $$ for fans to travel to their league tourneys, the NCAA regionals and then fly to the Frozen Four.

        • Talk about BS. If you are going to claim that 8th ranked Lowell should get special treatment and not have to travel just because they are the only eastern school that can draw 5,000 fans during the regular season, then the 8 schools who all draw better than Lowell, who just happen to be from the west, should certainly get the same treatment – especially the ones who nearly double Lowell’s attendance. The only way to do that would be to move all 4 regionals out west. Yes, that is a silly thought, just like it’s silly to claim Lowell should be protected because they draw a few more fans than the other poorly drawing eastern schools.

          • Poorly drawing? Are you high? UML draws over 92% of capacity (6,003 seats) every single game.
            How is that, in anybody’s definition, poor attendance? His contention is that if the NCAA is truly concerned about $$ as much as we think, it is more logical to locate them in Manchester than elsewhere.

          • You need to either get less defensive about the lack of attendance in the east or improve your reading skills. I said, Lowell draws a few more fans than the other poorly drawing eastern schools. The fact is, as you’ve shown, Lowell is the only eastern school that can even crack the top 10, and that’s pretty clear evidence that eastern schools as a whole draw poorly compared to western schools. If you’re going to argue that Lowell’s 9th place attendance is a reason they should get special treatment as an 8 seed, then North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin should get home games every time they make the tournament – since they practically double the attendance of Lowell or any other eastern school.

          • Well, first off, not my argument. 2nd, My contention as is Bob Neal’s is, if as has been mentioned here many times, the NCAA is truly money hungry, they’d get more bang for their buck by putting Lowell in Manchester rather than some other 2 seed. No conspiracy, no preferential treatment, just NCAA cash.

          • Top 10 in attendance, total attendance
            D-1 Hockey:

            1North Dakota
            2Wisconsin
            3Minnesota
            4Colorado College
            5Penn State
            6Minnesota-Duluth
            7Omaha
            8Michigan
            9Massachusetts-Lowell
            10Denver

          • Top 10 in % of Capacity:

            1. Penn State
            2. Quinnipiac
            3. North Dakota
            4. Michigan
            5. Mercyhurst
            6. Minnesota
            7. Union
            8. Massachusetts-Lowell
            9. Cornell
            10. Merrimack

          • Vinnie my man, % capacity is, in reality, not even a factor. Give every school in NCHC and B1G an arena with the capacity of Quinnipiac, and they would have well over 100% (or max allowed by Fire Dept.) as Quinnipiac has. It sort of is like total attendance meaning something.

          • It is when you are refuting a ‘poor drawing’ comment. I do agree about small arenas, though. I wish I could have filtered on 5k+ arenas only though.

        • Note that both sites for Regionals in Denver and Colorado College, and Frozen Four in Denver were all sold out, and the fans actually filled the arena. If the “western” league tourneys were in commuting distance, as most teams are in HEA to Boston, they would have much better attendance. If teams from WCHA, B1G, and NCHC had the same proximity that eastern teams do, they would make the crowds at TD Gardens pale in comparison. You certainly appear to be a pretty savvy guy so you don’t need a geography lesson. I have gone to every Regional that DU has been fortunate to qualify, for the past nine years but have never gone to Minneapolis for the Frozen Faceoff, saving my money for the expensive travel to the regionals. When you know are going to qualify via PWR, the tourney is anti-climactic and also televised nationally. I also manage to travel to the FF when DU makes it.

        • .
          hey, our game against BGSU is sold out…

          follow the WCHA lead… on campus sites!

          maybe not out east – you don’t even have to take your skates off to go from one barn to the other!

          GO TECH GOLD!
          .

  10. Since Lowell easily has the best attendance in the East and Manchester is 35 minutes away, they should be put in that regional. All the regionals will have attendance issues except Fargo so keeping Lowell in Manchester is a no brainer. It is sad seeing half full arenas during the Regionals.

    • Using that logic, they should just put all 4 regionals out west – only fair since there are 8 B1G or NCHC schools with better attendance than the school with “easily the best attendance in the east.”

      • More BS from the west. A history lesson for you. Every 2 or 3 years Minneapolis hosts a regional and they get 9000 – 11000 in an arena that holds 18000. Since the numbers are always inflated, how can that be possible? No regional will be full except Fargo. Not when they are in MN,MI, NH, IL or even Boston. I am sick and tired of hearing how great the west is when the ‘hockey’ state of Minnesota doesn’t sell out. Too much $$ for fans to travel to their league tourneys, the NCAA regionals and then fly to the Frozen Four.

        • Talk about BS. If you are going to claim that 8th ranked Lowell should get special treatment and not have to travel just because they are the only eastern school that can draw 5,000 fans during the regular season, then the 8 schools who all draw better than Lowell, who just happen to be from the west, should certainly get the same treatment – especially the ones who nearly double Lowell’s attendance. The only way to do that would be to move all 4 regionals out west. Yes, that is a silly thought, just like it’s silly to claim Lowell should be protected because they draw a few more fans than the other poorly drawing eastern schools.

          • Poorly drawing? Are you high? UML draws over 92% of capacity (6,003 seats) every single game.
            How is that, in anybody’s definition, poor attendance? His contention is that if the NCAA is truly concerned about $$ as much as we think, it is more logical to locate them in Manchester than elsewhere.

          • You need to either get less defensive about the lack of attendance in the east or improve your reading skills. I said, Lowell draws a few more fans than the other poorly drawing eastern schools. The fact is, as you’ve shown, Lowell is the only eastern school that can even crack the top 10, and that’s pretty clear evidence that eastern schools as a whole draw poorly compared to western schools. If you’re going to argue that Lowell’s 9th place attendance is a reason they should get special treatment as an 8 seed, then North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin should get home games every time they make the tournament – since they practically double the attendance of Lowell or any other eastern school.

          • Well, first off, not my argument. 2nd, My contention as is Bob Neal’s is, if as has been mentioned here many times, the NCAA is truly money hungry, they’d get more bang for their buck by putting Lowell in Manchester rather than some other 2 seed. No conspiracy, no preferential treatment, just NCAA cash.

          • Top 10 in attendance, total attendance
            D-1 Hockey:

            1North Dakota
            2Wisconsin
            3Minnesota
            4Colorado College
            5Penn State
            6Minnesota-Duluth
            7Omaha
            8Michigan
            9Massachusetts-Lowell
            10Denver

          • Top 10 in % of Capacity:

            1. Penn State
            2. Quinnipiac
            3. North Dakota
            4. Michigan
            5. Mercyhurst
            6. Minnesota
            7. Union
            8. Massachusetts-Lowell
            9. Cornell
            10. Merrimack

          • Vinnie my man, % capacity is, in reality, not even a factor. Give every school in NCHC and B1G an arena with the capacity of Quinnipiac, and they would have well over 100% (or max allowed by Fire Dept.) as Quinnipiac has. It sort of is like total attendance meaning something.

          • It is when you are refuting a ‘poor drawing’ comment. I do agree about small arenas, though. I wish I could have filtered on 5k+ arenas only though.

        • Note that both sites for Regionals in Denver and Colorado College, and Frozen Four in Denver were all sold out, and the fans actually filled the arena. If the “western” league tourneys were in commuting distance, as most teams are in HEA to Boston, they would have much better attendance. If teams from WCHA, B1G, and NCHC had the same proximity that eastern teams do, they would make the crowds at TD Gardens pale in comparison. You certainly appear to be a pretty savvy guy so you don’t need a geography lesson. I have gone to every Regional that DU has been fortunate to qualify, for the past nine years but have never gone to Minneapolis for the Frozen Faceoff, saving my money for the expensive travel to the regionals. When you know are going to qualify via PWR, the tourney is anti-climactic and also televised nationally. I also manage to travel to the FF when DU makes it.

        • .
          hey, our game against BGSU is sold out…

          follow the WCHA lead… on campus sites!

          maybe not out east – you don’t even have to take your skates off to go from one barn to the other!

          GO TECH GOLD!
          .

  11. Attendance is mentioned frequently like it has been most weeks. I’d be interested to see the attendance with 12 teams seeds 5-8 hosting best of 3 (1-4 get a bye) have 2 regionals in Boston and St. Paul and the frozen four alternates like it always does. 100 percent bracket integrity, fans know where the regionals are every year so they can book in advance home sites will more than likely sell out… having ESPN travel to all of the unique home arenas will help spread the game a lot better than neutral regionals with poor attendance

  12. Attendance is mentioned frequently like it has been most weeks. I’d be interested to see the attendance with 12 teams seeds 5-8 hosting best of 3 (1-4 get a bye) have 2 regionals in Boston and St. Paul and the frozen four alternates like it always does. 100 percent bracket integrity, fans know where the regionals are every year so they can book in advance home sites will more than likely sell out… having ESPN travel to all of the unique home arenas will help spread the game a lot better than neutral regionals with poor attendance

  13. hey i finally got my bracket right this time – now i just need to starve my kids for a week so i can come up with the funds to go see a game

  14. hey i finally got my bracket right this time – now i just need to starve my kids for a week so i can come up with the funds to go see a game

  15. If Penn State and/or Ohio State loses later today, they’ll likely drop out. Even one win might not be enough to keep them on the right side of the bubble because the teams they play are extremely low in the pairwise.

    • Your correct for Penn State. It’s something like a 75% of being in if they beat Michigan. If BC loses their first game and Penn wins they are pretty much a lock.

  16. If Penn State and/or Ohio State loses later today, they’ll likely drop out. Even one win might not be enough to keep them on the right side of the bubble because the teams they play are extremely low in the pairwise.

    • Your correct for Penn State. It’s something like a 75% of being in if they beat Michigan. If BC loses their first game and Penn wins they are pretty much a lock.

  17. I think Minnesota is actually eliminated from the Big Ten tournament at the time of this publication. I don’t think the changes very much except it puts the status of either Ohio State or Penn State at risk if they don’t win the championship (did not dig deep, just looking at auto vs at-large).

  18. I think Minnesota is actually eliminated from the Big Ten tournament at the time of this publication. I don’t think the changes very much except it puts the status of either Ohio State or Penn State at risk if they don’t win the championship (did not dig deep, just looking at auto vs at-large).

  19. What always screws this up is the “Attendance Move” which history shows us never really improves attendance. If you really are serious about attendance and wanted to improve attendance, move Lowell to Manchester.

  20. What always screws this up is the “Attendance Move” which history shows us never really improves attendance. If you really are serious about attendance and wanted to improve attendance, move Lowell to Manchester.

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