Weekend picks: Oct. 27

I gained a couple more games on Nicole in our picks race. Last weekend, I went 22-3-3 (.839), while Nicole went 20-5-3 (.767). Maybe both of us should go to Vegas? On the year, I am 65-18-11 (.750), while Nicole is 57-26-11 (.664).

Friday, Oct. 27

Colgate at Clarkson
Candace: This would be an outstanding game to watch. Clarkson is at home, and the defending national champ for a reason. Clarkson 3-2
Nicole: There are so many good games to watch this weekend and this one is difficult to pick. I’m going to take Colgate since I’m high on the Raiders this year, but I think this game could come down to a single play. Colgate 3-2

Harvard at Princeton
Candace: Until the Crimson prove last year was an aberration, I like Princeton. Princeton 3-2
Nicole: I’ll take Princeton at home here. Princeton 3-1

Dartmouth at Quinnipiac
Candace: I just don’t think Dartmouth is very good. Quinnipiac 3-1
Nicole: Quinnipiac should win this one. Quinnipiac 3-0

Yale at Rensselaer
Candace: I don’t feel I have a handle on either of these teams, so I’ll go with home ice. Rensselaer 3-2
Nicole: The Bulldogs take this one. Yale 2-0

Cornell at St. Lawrence
Candace: St. Lawrence’s early-season mileage will be the difference. St. Lawrence 3-2
Nicole: It’s so hard to know how Cornell will hit the ice, but I think they can win this one. Cornell 4-2

Brown at Union
Candace: Home ice might get the Dutchwomen the win, but I’ll pick the Bears. Brown 3-2
Nicole: Union gets the win at home. Union 2-0

Friday-Saturday, Oct. 27-28

Vermont at Merrimack
Candace: I just don’t have a good handle on either team yet. Vermont 3-2, 3-2
Nicole: I’m picking a split. Merrimack 3-1, Vermont 4-2

Minnesota-Duluth at Bemidji State
Candace: Duluth has been struggling for a while now. Both games will be close. I’ll pick a split. Bemidji State 3-2, Minnesota-Duluth 3-2
Nicole: I think BSU rebounds at home this weekend and gets the win in game one. Bemidji State 3-2. Minnesota-Duluth 3-1

St. Cloud at Minnesota State
Candace: I’m going with experience for the visitors. St. Cloud State 3-2, 3-2
Nicole: I’m taking Mankato to sweep this one at home. Minnesota State 2-1, 2-0

Robert Morris at Penn State
Candace: I like the Colonials against any CHA team. Robert Morris 3-2, 3-1
Nicole: Robert Morris should sweep this one. Robert Morris 4-1, 4-2

Lindenwood at RIT
Candace:
I’ll buck the trend and go with a home ice sweep. RIT 2-1, 2-1
Nicole:
I foresee a split. RIT 2-1, Lindenwood 3-2

Saturday, Oct. 28

Cornell at Clarkson
Candace: I’m going with Clarkson in a walk. Clarkson 4-2
Nicole: I can’t wait to know more about both of these teams after this weekend. In the meantime, I pick Clarkson at home. Clarkson 4-3

Dartmouth at Princeton
Candace: The Tigers get a good start on the year. Princeton 3-1
Nicole: Princeton wins. Princeton 3-0

Harvard at Quinnipiac
Candace: I’m going with home ice. Quinnipiac 2-1
Nicole: I’ll take the Crimson. Harvard 2-1

Brown at Rensselaer
Candace: The Engineers should have enough to take this. Rensselaer 3-2
Nicole: RPI at home. Rensselaer 1-0

Colgate at St. Lawrence
Candace: I think the Raiders offense is the difference. Colgate 3-1
Nicole: Colgate takes this . Colgate 3-1

Yale at Union
Candace: Yale is one of those ECAC teams I keep expecting more out of. Yale 3-1
Nicole: Yale wins. Yale 2-0

Boston College at Boston University
Candace: I think the Eagles start to pull away from Hockey East this weekend. Boston College 4-2
Nicole: Boston College shouldn’t have any issues winning this one. Boston College 4-2

Maine at New Hampshire
Candace: I like New Hampshire on home ice. New Hampshire 3-2
Nicole: The Black Bears take it. Maine 4-2

Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 28-29

Northeastern at Providence (home-and-home)
Candace: I like the Huskies in two close games. Northeastern 3-2, 3-2
Nicole: I think the home team wins in each leg of this home and home. Northeastern 3-1, Providence 2-1

Wisconsin at Minnesota
Candace: I’m not sure if the Gophers are fully over their funk. Wisconsin 3-2, 3-2
Nicole: No results would surprise me this weekend, but I’ll pick the Badgers to sweep as they seem to have the upper hand in this rivalry recently. Wisconsin 4-2, 3-2

Saturday, Oct. 28

Maine at Boston College
Candace: I’d have more confidence in this if the Eagles hadn’t tied Connecticut last weekend. Boston College 4-2
Nicole: Boston College wins. Boston College 5-3

Boston University at New Hampshire
Candace: Maybe the Terriers get untracked here, but there’s no percentage picking it. New Hampshire 3-2
Nicole: New Hampshire wins at home. New Hampshire 3-1

194 COMMENTS

  1. I think the only spot with attendance issues could be Cinci once again. Lowell and BC will draw plenty on their own in the east QU and Union will help bridgeport, and Minnesota and Wisc in the west. Of course the next two weeks will probably change everything, but I would have swapped providence and Notre Dame, boosting attendance in Cinci and bring both teams closer to home.

    • Agreed, Rich. It’s interesting that switching Notre Dame and Providence wasn’t done. Both teams are in the “3” band, it’s a no-brainer for attendance purposes, and it doesn’t jeopardize bracket integrity any more than some of the other proposed moves (i.e. SCSU in St. Paul).

  2. “I do have some concerns now because of the way teams are spread out.” Why? Why does it mater? Have you looked at how far the Alaska teams have to travel? Alabama? The schools in New England are short drives. It does not mater where you put them. Some schools have big alumni bases and would love to be able to see their team in action. Have you any idea how huge the turnout was when Harvard played Yale in New York City? Cornell and BU? All four of these schools have huge fan bases in NYC. I have a new rule. No two teams from the same conference are allowed to play each other until the final 4, unless there are more than 4 entrants from that conference and no way can be found to avoid the interconference play. Now that would be a great rule.

  3. How does the NCAA determine host schools? It looks like both Holy Cross & Minnesota will again be host schools in 2 years. Can not St. Cloud Mankato, UMD or even UND be a host school at the Xcel Center?

    • The school puts in the bid for the site, the NCAA doesn’t go searching for the site and then find a host. Yes, it would be nice if some other MN team would get it together and get the bid together. However, with UofM there, the Excel is almost guaranteed sellouts. St. Cloud has a chance, but the others have no chance, so the site also has a choice of the host making the bid.

    • There are also rules about WHO can host in a particular spot, and they try to avoid campus sites for these, and they have attendance/capacity considerations. Its why BC or BU are never ‘host’ at TD Garden because it probably won’t fill up and there are a number of other areas nearby capable of hosting (Worcester, Manchester, Providence). You also can’t have teams hosting in areas that are part of some defined area of another school, so much like BC/BU can’t host at Worcester (its Holy Cross), UND, UMD, and St Cloud can’t host in Minneapolis. They would need their own host cities that would meet their criteria.

    • The NCAA won’t allow the “Ralph” host a regional series, even though the facility is the nicest in the nation and holds 12,000+ seats. Instead, Fargo could host a regional site, but their hockey arena only occupies 5,000 seats.

      Would that arena be filled to capacity? Yes…. but the NCAA would also lose 7,000 ticket sales in the process, per night. How much revenue is lost with that boneheaded decision????

      The NCAA can’t wrap its arms around a good solution, and would rather keep their heads stuck up their backside than figure out a better option or priority. A few years ago they tried St. Louis as a site. I remember seeing less than 1,000 people sitting in the seats; it was embarrassing! Boneheads make all the important decisions.

  4. “Let’s get all of our teams in the two band closest to home as well.”

    Since when has that ever been part of the criteria? Even last year when BC was moved into the East Regional that seemed to be based on attendance concerns, not on trying to get 2 seed BC closer to home.

    Last year was also the first time the committee placed the overall 6 seed with the overall 1. I can’t see them completely throwing out bracket integrity by putting 1 and 5 together.

    • Yeah, that made zero sense to me. Last week, it was all about maximizing attendance in St. Paul with Nodak and Wisco. Now he says, “nuts to that, let’s get the two seeds closer to home”. He is just pulling stuff out of his butt now.

  5. If top seeds all win with this proposed bracket, Minnesota as #1 has the toughest draw of the top 4 with a game vs. #5 St. Cloud. Nuts and bolts we get screwed!

      • 1. Union beat St. Cloud once and tied them once.
        2. Colgate beat Union once and tied them once, does that mean Union isn’t tough?
        3. St. Cloud swept Colgate on the road.
        Use the overall body of work, not one weekend worth of hockey instead of 17.

        • union won in the shootout – that’s two wins to me – and ecac teams historically play each other tougher than outside opponents –

          • Shootout wins are not wins but ties according to the Pairwise, the only thing that matters in this discussion.

      • I think you missed the point, Bob. She was saying that of the top 4 seeds, Minnesota would face the highest ranked team in the regional finals if all the first round games were won by the higher seeds. Minnesota couldn’t meet Union until the national championship game, so they weren’t even part of the original conversation. That being said, both SCSU and Union are tough teams and will be tough outs come tourney time for whomever they play.

    • I ask, what would be so unfair about that. Minn vs St. Cloud, BC vs Union… West vs East match-up in FF Final. Best vs the Best all year… Any team could win. Everyone should be good with that.

      • Because actual tournament integrity went out the window years ago. if they want the best tournament field year in and year out then the regional sites shouldn’t change. Did you see the Grand Rapids coverage last year? I’ve seen Purpur Rink in Forks fill more seats for a high school game during a blizzard on a Wednesday night. If it attendance is a main driving force, don’t put these regionals in Timbuktu.

      • Look at the proposed brackets… Minn vs. St. Cloud would be a region final to determine who would go to the FF, and not the FF as you state in your message.

        • Right, you got me… That said, it will all change again the next two weeks. If all 4 win their tourneys, they’ll be the #1 seeds.

        • Shari, l said it would all change… We have our first serious “disturbance” and threat to the Pairwise. St Cloud is out of the NCHC Tournament… Unless North Dakota now wins the tournament, the auto-bid will go to a team currently outside the Pairwise. So the bubble could break at #14… and create a major shake-up to these brackets. Your Gophers are still sitting pretty.

  6. NoDak and Michigan travel reasonably well, which makes Worcester probably the winner in the attendance sweepstakes.

    • They set it up so that #1 always plays #16 unless the two happen to be in the same conference. They call it “protecting” the overall #1 seed.

        • It’s not a strict, written NCAA rule which is why it’s not there, but it falls under the concept of “bracket integrity” which is, of course, not really defined.

          off the top of my head, I can’t think of an instance where the 1-16 first round matchup was switched except to avoid a first-round intra-conference matchup somewhere. (2009 comes to mind when BU ended up playing #15 Ohio State because two of the other 1-seeds were in Ohio State’s conference.)

  7. Both 1 and 2 from Hockey East in Worcester? Seems like UML is being penalized so that they can stay close to home. Why not UML in Bridegport? It’s not that far…

    • I don’t think you can call it penalized when UML was moved into a bracket with a lower overall seed. If UML wasn’t moved they would have been playing in St. Paul against North Dakota with Minnesota on the other side of the bracket. You really think that’s a more preferable draw for getting back to the Frozen Four than staying close to home and making UND travel to Mass?

      I get that BC would be the team waiting in the wings in the regional final, but you’d likely be playing a team close to home regardless, so why not do so closer to your home where UML fans can more easily attend? Seems like a BETTER placement, if anything, to me.

      • I’m not comparing St Paul vs Worcester as Worcester would be the obvious choice no matter who we’re playing. I’m comparing Worcester to Bridgeport. Only 1 1/2 hours further. UML fans will be there! In short, we can beat BC, but I’d rather try to get by Union!

        • That makes more sense. I would agree that Bridgeport would be the most preferable of the three regionals for UML. Not easy to advance by any stretch with a very good Union team, but not as daunting as St. Paul or Worcester against basically hometown schools.

  8. Time for 8 best of 3’s, two regionals (midwest/west & east), and the Frozen Four. Only attendance woes would be to the NCAA (minus $ from two less regionals).

  9. Last week the Gophs bracket this week the Eagles bracket. If you want to be the best ya gotta beat the best, but if UND can play & win & run into Minnesota or BC later rather than sooner … I’ll be OK with that.

  10. “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).”

    If the guidelines are truly followed, the Hockey East teams should not be moved to avoid first round conference games because there are 6 HE teams in this version of the bracket. I don’t check this every week, but I have yet to see him follow this guideline when it has applied.

    • To me, the whole engineering of the brackets is ridiculous. I would rather the NCAA just let the chips fall where they may. What Jayson has done, is to accurately predict that ridiculousness each year he’s tried. Gotta give credit for that.

  11. It’s funny how people would complain when 4 teams from the old WCHA would make the tourney for fear of an all WCHA Frozen Four (Columbus 2005). But 6 teams from the Hockey East??!! Really??

  12. Ridiculous that Colgate is not in. They beat Minn. in a shootout that is ruled a tie. They’ve beaten and tied Union. They’ve beaten both Qpac and Cornell decisively. And they’ve knocked off Ferris State and Vermont. They should get an at large right now for making the quarters in the ECAC tourney and placing second in the standings.

  13. Lets call a spade a spade. Lowell’s goalie played like crap. Most of the goals he let in were weak. I am not saying Lowell would have won, but Boyle was lousy. Hellebuyck would have been a junior this year. Gillies just might steal a Frozen Four berth this year. Lowell won the Mariucci Classic. The problem was that Merrimack beat Minnesota so Lowell beat the Warriors instead of the Gophers.
    Maybe the NCHC is overrated and the computer rankings are off. If they go 2-6 in the NCAA then the strength of schedule that got those teams in was way off. Time will tell.

    • Lets call a spade a spade. The “computer rankings are off” could be the stupidest thing ever stated on this site. The Pairwise is totally unbiased, not like your BS. The only reason you think they are “way off” is because 75% of the NCHC got in. If you get one of you literate friends to read which conference has best OOC record, you would know why the strength of schedule was NOT way off. Going “2-6 in the NCAA” might happen, in the past any team with a hot goalie can win any game they play. Also, the NCHC cannot possibly be over have better then a 6-3 record since they would beat each other should they advance to Regional finals. No matter their record in regionals, only two teams from an eight team conference are skiing or playing golf. I guess if 6 teams from HE or ECAC got in, you would think the Pairwise was perfect.

      • Chill out. He is simply not well informed about how the Pairwise/NCAA selection process works. His comments confirm it. I’ve seen worse comments. Based on your comments, you obviously understand the mechanics of the NCAA selection process/Pairwise better than many who post on this blog.
        Saying the NCHC is overrated is simply ridiculous.

        • I will take your advice and chill out, thanks. Just wish people would have some concept of PWR/RPI before they make a fool of themselves. Just like Jim Connelly who covers HE, doesn’t let facts get in the way of his articles.

          • You have quite a strong stance supporting the pairwise system. Though unbiased, this isn’t Deep Blue beating Kasparov, it is not fact, it is not correct, it is a statistical analysis. In statistics, there is rarely a right answer and the initial modelling is the biggest challenge. I for one, think the model needs serious changes. Do you think its infallible? A pairwise result is one piece of information that should be taken with a grain of salt, it may give a general idea, but there are too many holes in it. As stated in this thread, there needs to be a greater distribution of games, otherwise a ranking and subjective system would need to be implemented to properly assess strength as RPI is highly linked to Win% which can be skewed by weaker competition.

    • NCHC could go 0-6 in the tournament and it would not “prove” anything about their strong regular season. The results of a single elimination tournament are not conclusive evidence of one conferences strength. The same could be said if it an all NCHC Frozen Four.

      Six teams in a tournament of sixteen teams, where five other conferences get autobids is impressive from my seat as a Hockey East fan. I do not need to see a single tournament game to tip my cap to NCHC.

  14. It will take more than a better non-conference record to make it to the dance. Northeastern beat Minnesota, Yale and St. Lawrence, had a ten game winning streak and beat BU at BU this year.
    UNH did look terrific at the end of the year, but they did not deserve to get into the tournament based on their overall record.
    Here is my point: from day one, when that puck drops, you must bring your “A” game and win games. Conference games, non-conference, good teams, not-so-good teams.
    While I do not love the pairwise system, it works because it’s fair to all teams.

    • I disagree. The Pairwise is as accurate as the old BCS. Remember when Notre Dame played for the BCS Championship? Numbers and formulas are a good place to start, but the committee should pick the teams. Unless the 19-18 team from the Western Conference with 6 NCAA teams goes deep, they did not deserve to go. Lowell was one point behind BC, did better head to head, won the first round and the semifinal game and is undeserving? Maybe by the formula, but common sense says they showed up for the playoffs. We’ll see how the 6 teams from one conference do this weekend.

      • Ok, I think I understand your argument regarding Lowell being left out of the NCAA’s. First, forget the BCS football method. It is not the same method as the pairwise used for D-1 hockey.

        Look at it this way and only this way:
        The are only two ways to get into the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey tournament. The ways to get in are applied equally to all 59 D-1 teams.
        First: The first of two ways is easy to understand. Win your conference championship. Simple, clean, and no room for debate. Lowell had their chance to get in by winning one game on neutral ice against BU at the TD Garden in Boston. They didn’t beat BU.

        Second: Win as many games as possible against strong opponents. This is where Lowell also fell short. At times they fell to weaker opponents. Sometimes they lost at home to weaker opponents. For example, Lowell lost to Penn State, Harvard, Michigan, UConn, Providence and UMass Amherst.

        The pairwise system does not care if you get hot at the end of the season. Everything counts from day one. While it is not perfect, the removes any committee bias that could creep into the selection process.

        To recap: Either win the conference championship or win enough regular season games against strong programs who play a strong schedule.

        • I understand your point, and I’m sure Norm told his players to look no further than in the mirror for not making it. Another great coaching job with much weaker goaltending this year and 14 freshmen. One or two wins instead of the above losses, and you are right, they would be in. Hopefully with an upgrade in goal and more great Freshmen we’ll be part of the tournament next year.

      • The “committee” should pick the teams? You really are missing the boat. The reason for the Pairwise is to eliminate human bias. Guess you would like the “committee” to be made up only of people associated with Hockey East and the ECAC, right. St. Cloud played the 2nd toughest schedule in the nation, Lowell played the 17th. No matter how the NCHC teams do this weekend, THEY ALL EARNED THEIR WAY IN. Comparing the Pairwise to the BCS shows just how little you know about college hockey. I will buy you a copy of “Pairwise for Dummies”, please read it before your next post.

        • Great debating skills….. call someone who disagrees with you a “Dummy”! Having watched hockey since Bobby Orr scored his famous goal in 1970 and attending college hockey since 1977, I’ve seen plenty of hockey and understand it quite well. Assuming the PairWise is infallible and is always right is a stretch. I actually enjoyed your calling me a “Dummy” as it reflects more on you and your inability to discuss the pairwise system. One thing even you can’t argue is that most of the recent champions are from the East…… What will your explanation be should the East win again?

        • Eliminating bias, depending on your analysis, can often have negative results if taken to an extreme or attempting to perfect your data. A statistical system to remove all bias requires a few things to occur in order to be successful in assessing worth. Most important is the variability of teams played in the sample set, requiring games across all divisions in order to properly show a comparison (which seems to be a theme of this thread). To see teams in the WCHA get chosen over hockey east is staggering. Playing teams 4 times (ie. alabama huntsville) will only increase a team’s RPI and Win% and only over inflate their pairwise. The BCS/comparison is completely valid (well NCAA basketball is closer and uses the RPI system differently). The problem is greater now with the expansion of leagues and teams into a system assessing them the same way. If you understood statistics, you would see the pairwise as highly flawed with its current application.

  15. Whether some Hockey East teams had to play other league teams in “nonconference” games is irrelevant. So, too, is that some teams can’t get games against the marquee opponents.

    What IS relevant is that the league as a whole has to do better in the nonconference games that it has. Why did the NCHC get six of its eight teams in? Because it kicked butt against everyone (except going .500 against Hockey East). Look here: http://www.uscho.com/stats/interconference/division-i-men/2014-2015/

    If you ignore games against Atlantic Hockey, which was abysmal against everyone and therefore doesn’t factor much into the numbers, then it’s clear the NCHC dominated its nonconference schedule, Hockey East was mediocre, and everyone else less than mediocre.

    Want to get five Hockey East teams into the tourney like last year? Have a nonconference performance more like last year. http://www.uscho.com/stats/interconference/division-i-men/2013-2014/

  16. Whether some Hockey East teams had to play other league teams in “nonconference” games is irrelevant. So, too, is that some teams can’t get games against the marquee opponents.

    What IS relevant is that the league as a whole has to do better in the nonconference games that it has. Why did the NCHC get six of its eight teams in? Because it kicked butt against everyone (except going .500 against Hockey East). Look here: http://www.uscho.com/stats/interconference/division-i-men/2014-2015/

    If you ignore games against Atlantic Hockey, which was abysmal against everyone and therefore doesn’t factor much into the numbers, then it’s clear the NCHC dominated its nonconference schedule, Hockey East was mediocre, and everyone else less than mediocre.

    Want to get five Hockey East teams into the tourney like last year? Have a nonconference performance more like last year. http://www.uscho.com/stats/interconference/division-i-men/2013-2014/

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