Bracketology: Might we see Michigan go to Worcester, Minnesota Duluth to Bridgeport?

 (Tim Brule)
If the NCAA tournament started today, Clarkson would most likely start regional play in Worcester (photo: Melissa Wade).

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.

We’ll be bringing you a new Bracketology every week until we make our final picks before the field is announced on March 18.

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 – Bridgeport, Conn.; Northeast – Worcester, Mass.; Midwest – Allentown, Pa.; West – Sioux Falls, S.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: Yale in Bridgeport, Holy Cross in Worcester, Penn State in Allentown and North Dakota in Sioux Falls.

• Seedings will not be switched. To avoid undesirable first-round matchups, including intra-conference games (see below), teams will be moved among regionals, not reseeded.

Here are the NCAA’s guidelines on the matter, from the 2015 pre-championship manual:

In setting up the tournament, the committee begins with a list of priorities to ensure a successful tournament on all fronts, including competitive equity, financial success and the likelihood of a playoff-type atmosphere at each regional site. For this model, the following is a basic set of priorities:

1. Once the six automatic qualifiers and 10 at-large teams are selected, the next step is to develop four groups from the committee’s rankings of 1-16. The top four teams are No. 1 seeds and will be placed in the bracket so that if all four teams advance to the Men’s Frozen Four, the No. 1 seed will play the No. 4 seed and the No. 2 seed will play the No. 3 seed in the semifinals. The next four are targeted as No. 2 seeds. The next four are No. 3 seeds and the last four are No. 4 seeds.

2. Step two is to place the home teams. Host institutions that qualify will be placed at home.

3. Step three is to fill in the bracket so that first-round conference matchups are avoided, unless it corrupts the integrity of the bracket. If five or more teams from one conference are selected to the championship, then the integrity of the bracket will be protected (i.e., maintaining the pairing process according to seed will take priority over avoidance of first-round conference matchups). To complete each regional, the committee assigns one team from each of the remaining seeded groups so there is a No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 seed at each regional site.

Given these facts, here is the top 16 of the current PairWise Rankings (PWR), and the conference leaders through all games of February 20:

1 St. Cloud State
2t Notre Dame
2t Cornell
4t Minnesota State
4t Denver
6 Ohio State
7 Clarkson
8t Minnesota
8t Providence
8t Minnesota Duluth
11 Michigan
12 Northeastern
13 North Dakota
14 Omaha
15 Western Michigan
16 Northern Michigan
20 Boston College
26 Mercyhurst

Current conference leaders based on winning percentage BOLDED Above:

Atlantic Hockey: Mercyhurst
Big Ten: Notre Dame
ECAC Hockey: Cornell
Hockey East: Boston College
NCHC: St. Cloud State
WCHA: Minnesota State

Notes

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

• Because there are an uneven amount of games played inside each conference, I will be using winning percentage, not points accumulated, to determine the current leader in each conference. This team is my assumed conference tournament champion after applying the tiebreakers.

Step one

From the committee’s report, choose the 16 teams in the tournament.

We break ties in the PWR by looking at the individual comparisons among the tied teams, and add in any current league leaders that are not currently in the top 16. The only teams that is not is Canisius.

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

The ties and bubbles consist of Notre Dame and Cornell at 2, Minnesota State and Denver at 4, and Minnesota, Providence and Minnesota Duluth at 8.

We break all of our ties based upon the RPI.

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

1 St. Cloud State
2 Notre Dame
3 Cornell
4 Minnesota State
5 Denver
6 Ohio State
7 Clarkson
8 Minnesota
9 Providence
10 Minnesota Duluth
11 Michigan
12 Northeastern
13 North Dakota
14 Omaha
15 Boston College
16 Mercyhurst

Step two

Now it’s time to assign the seeds.

No. 1 seeds: St. Cloud State, Notre Dame, Cornell, Minnesota State
No. 2 seeds: Denver, Ohio State, Clarkson, Minnesota
No. 3 seeds: Providence, Minnesota Duluth, Michigan, Northeastern
No. 4 seeds: North Dakota, Omaha, Boston College, Mercyhurst

Step three

Place the No. 1 seeds in regionals.

No. 1 St. Cloud State is placed in the West Regional in Sioux Falls
No. 2 Notre Dame is placed in the Midwest Regional in Allentown
No. 3 Cornell is placed in the East Regional in Bridgeport
No. 4 Minnesota State is placed in the Northeast Regional in Worcester

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.

No. 2 seeds

No. 8 Minnesota placed in No. 1 St. Cloud State’s regional, the West Regional
No. 7 Clarkson is placed in No. 2 Notre Dame’s regional, the Midwest Regional
No. 6 Ohio State is placed in No. 3 Cornell’s regional, the East Regional
No. 5 Denver is placed in No. 4 Minnesota State’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 Providence is placed in No. 8 Minnesota’s regional, the West Regional
No. 10 Minnesota Duluth is placed in No. 7 Clarkson’s regional, the Midwest Regional
No. 11 Michigan is placed in No. 6 Ohio State’s regional, the East Regional
No. 12 Northeastern is placed in No. 5 Denver’s regional, the Northeast Regional

No. 4 seeds

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

But we must place North Dakota first, since it is a host school.

No. 13 North Dakota travels to No. 1 St Cloud State’s regional, the West Regional
No. 16 Mercyhurst travels to No. 2 Notre Dame’s regional, the Midwest Regional
No. 15 Boston College travels to No. 3 Cornell’s regional, the East Regional
No. 14 Omaha travels to No. 4 Minnesota State’s regional, the Northeast Regional

The brackets as we have set them up:

Midwest Regional (Allentown):
16 Mercyhurst vs. 2 Notre Dame
10 Minnesota Duluth vs. 7 Clarkson

East Regional (Bridgeport):
15 Boston College vs. 3 Cornell
11 Michigan vs. 6 Ohio State

West Regional (Sioux Falls):
13 North Dakota vs. 1 St. Cloud State
9 Providence vs. 8 Minnesota

Northeast Regional (Worcester):
14 Omaha vs. 4 Minnesota State
12 Northeastern vs. 5 Denver

I’m going to say it now – this is a mess.

Our first concern is avoiding intraconference matchups. We have St. Cloud vs. North Dakota and Michigan vs. Ohio State.

If we do things as we do normally, we head down this road:

We need to move St. Cloud since we can’t move North Dakota. I am going to swap St. Cloud with Minnesota State.

Midwest Regional (Allentown):
16 Mercyhurst vs. 2 Notre Dame
10 Minnesota Duluth vs. 7 Clarkson

East Regional (Bridgeport):
15 Boston College vs. 3 Cornell
11 Michigan vs. 6 Ohio State

West Regional (Sioux Falls):
13 North Dakota vs. 4 Minnesota State
9 Providence vs. 8 Minnesota

Northeast Regional (Worcester):
14 Omaha vs. 1 St. Cloud State
12 Northeastern vs. 5 Denver

I have created another NCHC-NCHC matchup, so now we need to move Omaha. We swap Omaha with Mercyhurst since we protecting the number one seed, as the committee has done in the past.

Midwest Regional (Allentown):
14 Omaha vs. 2 Notre Dame
10 Minnesota Duluth vs. 7 Clarkson

East Regional (Bridgeport):
15 Boston College vs. 3 Cornell
11 Michigan vs. 6 Ohio State

West Regional (Sioux Falls):
13 North Dakota vs. 4 Minnesota State
9 Providence vs. 8 Minnesota

Northeast Regional (Worcester):
16 Mercyhurst vs. 1 St. Cloud State
12 Northeastern vs. 5 Denver

Now we look at the Michigan-Ohio State matchup. We can swap Michigan with Minnesota Duluth, as we can’t swap with Providence. That would create another all Big Ten matchup.

Midwest Regional (Allentown):
14 Omaha vs. 2 Notre Dame
11 Michigan vs. 7 Clarkson

East Regional (Bridgeport):
15 Boston College vs. 3 Cornell
10 Minnesota Duluth vs. 6 Ohio State

West Regional (Sioux Falls):
13 North Dakota vs. 4 Minnesota State
9 Providence vs. 8 Minnesota

Northeast Regional (Worcester):
16 Mercyhurst vs. 1 St. Cloud State
12 Northeastern vs. 5 Denver

Now we can look at how to improve attendance at these regionals?

Providence to Bridgeport is one way.

Midwest Regional (Allentown):
14 Omaha vs. 2 Notre Dame
11 Michigan vs. 7 Clarkson

East Regional (Bridgeport):
15 Boston College vs. 3 Cornell
9 Providence vs. 6 Ohio State

West Regional (Sioux Falls):
13 North Dakota vs. 4 Minnesota State
10 Minnesota Duluth vs. 8 Minnesota

Northeast Regional (Worcester):
16 Mercyhurst vs. 1 St. Cloud State
12 Northeastern vs. 5 Denver

I think that’s about all I can do. It’s tough this week.

BUT…

Knowing that we have a mess of a bracket because of a host school, let’s take a look at it another way. Now I will fully admit that this is not the method called out for by the Handbook. But let’s explore it anyway.

Let’s take it with matchups and move them to brackets which make sense, bracket integrity-wise, attendance-wise.

What I mean here is that we going to look at matchups and then place them in brackets.

e.g. we create the matchups for the number on seeds:

16 Mercyhurst vs. 1 St. Cloud State
15 Boston College vs. 2 Notre Dame
14 Omaha vs. 3 Cornell
13 North Dakota vs. 4 Minnesota State

And in turn

12 Northeastern vs. 5 Denver
11 Michigan vs. 6 Ohio State
10 Minnesota Duluth vs. 7 Clarkson
9 Providence vs. 8 Minnesota

Let’s place these matchups in brackets that make sense starting with the first set of matchups.

13 North Dakota vs. 4 Minnesota State needs to be in the West Regional.

14 Omaha vs. 3 Cornell makes sense in Bridgeport and the East Regional.

Now, we have to figure out where to put St. Cloud and Notre Dame.

I see a Boston College-Notre Dame matchup, so I am going to with this headed to Worcester and the Northeast Regional, leaving St. Cloud in the Midwest Regional.

Now we look bracket the second set with integrity in mind and we get:

Midwest Regional (Allentown):
16 Mercyhurst vs. 1 St. Cloud State
9 Providence vs. 8 Minnesota

East Regional (Bridgeport):
14 Omaha vs. 3 Cornell
11 Michigan vs. 6 Ohio State

West Regional (Sioux Falls):
13 North Dakota vs. 4 Minnesota State
12 Northeastern vs. 5 Denver

Northeast Regional (Worcester):
15 Boston College vs. 2 Notre Dame
10 Minnesota Duluth vs. 7 Clarkson

We have one intraconference matchup to look at and that is Michigan-Ohio State. How do we solve it? Michigan to Worcester and Minnesota Duluth to Bridgeport.

Midwest Regional (Allentown):
16 Mercyhurst vs. 1 St. Cloud State
9 Providence vs. 8 Minnesota

East Regional (Bridgeport):
14 Omaha vs. 3 Cornell
10 Minnesota Duluth vs. 6 Ohio State

West Regional (Sioux Falls):
13 North Dakota vs. 4 Minnesota State
12 Northeastern vs. 5 Denver

Northeast Regional (Worcester):
15 Boston College vs. 2 Notre Dame
11 Michigan vs. 7 Clarkson

Attendance concerns? I still want Providence in Bridgeport. I move the entire matchup.

Midwest Regional (Allentown):
16 Mercyhurst vs. 1 St. Cloud State
10 Minnesota Duluth vs. 6 Ohio State

East Regional (Bridgeport):
14 Omaha vs. 3 Cornell
9 Providence vs. 8 Minnesota

West Regional (Sioux Falls):
13 North Dakota vs. 4 Minnesota State
12 Northeastern vs. 5 Denver

Northeast Regional (Worcester):
15 Boston College vs. 2 Notre Dame
11 Michigan vs. 7 Clarkson

Is there anything else that can be done? Not in this situation.

Call it what you will, it seems like I made up a bracket out of thin air without any regards for the rules and how things are supposed to go. And you would be right to a certain extent. But you can’t tell me that this is not something the committee, and probably you yourselves, wouldn’t think about doing, right?

See you next week for the next Bracketology.

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

This week’s brackets

Midwest Regional (Allentown):
16 Mercyhurst vs. 1 St. Cloud State
10 Minnesota Duluth vs. 6 Ohio State

East Regional (Bridgeport):
14 Omaha vs. 3 Cornell
9 Providence vs. 8 Minnesota

West Regional (Sioux Falls):
13 North Dakota vs. 4 Minnesota State
12 Northeastern vs. 5 Denver

Northeast Regional (Worcester):
15 Boston College vs. 2 Notre Dame
11 Michigan vs. 7 Clarkson

Conference breakdowns

NCHC — 5
Big Ten — 4
Hockey East — 3
ECAC Hockey — 2
WCHA — 1
Atlantic Hockey – 1

Last Week’s Brackets

Midwest Regional (Allentown):
16 Canisius vs. 1 St. Cloud State
11 Minnesota Duluth vs. 6 Ohio State

East Regional (Bridgeport):
13 Western Michigan vs. 3 Cornell
9 Minnesota vs. 8 Providence

West Regional (Sioux Falls):
14 Northeastern vs. 4 Denver
12 North Dakota vs. 5 Minnesota State

Northeast Regional (Worcester):
15 Boston College vs. 2 Notre Dame
10 Omaha vs. 7 Clarkson

This week’s movement:

Out: Western Michigan

In: Michigan

50 COMMENTS

  1. The East and Northeast regions are soft, the West and Midwest are stacked. You had it right the 1st time. St. Cloud should be in Sioux Falls. #1 stays closest to home, simple as that.

    • The Huskies cannot play in Sioux Falls as that creates an intra-conference match in the first round, plus the #1 overall is playing the #13 at a regional that will be heavily attended by fans in green. Not a great way to reward a team who worked to earn the #1 overall seed.

      • Why do you think ND host so many regionals? So they can play at home. The NC$$ is allowing them to abuse the system. And no, a higher seed should never have to play a lower seed on what is essentially their home ice. It’s happened to DU frequently over the years and that is what’s wrong with this kind of selection process. Send ’em packin’. Sioux Falls would still be sold out. Again that’s my opinion. Nuff said.

        • Of course any team that bids for a regional would essentially play a home atmosphere type game. That isn’t stopping any other teams from bidding. Why do you think Miami hosted back to back years in Cincinnati? They were the only team to bid for that regional. Why do you think Penn is hosting in Allentown for the “Midwest” regional? They were the only team to bid on the Midwest regional. Not real difficult to figure out. You act like UND, or any team that is hosting, is cheating somehow. Suck it up and deal with it.

          • They’re not cheating, they’re using the system, scamming, playing it or whatever pc term you choose to insert. Not every school can pull off hosting a regional due to the logistics, money and work required. I’ve been dealing with this for years. It would be nice to see them change it up.

          • That is not using the system, scamming, playing, or what ever you want to call it. Each school plays by the same set of rules for bidding on regionals. There is nothing to cheat, scam, etc. The rules are the rules. So if you want to call going by the rule book cheating, then go for it. Every team that puts in a bid is cheating then.

          • If nothing else maybe they could put a limit on how many times a school can be awarded a bid in order to keep the sites rotating.

          • I don’t see the process changing. Coaches voted to keep regionals. How many times does a host actually play in the tourney? I’ll bet its less than expected. Looks like its time to do some research.

          • Actually quite often if you’re North Dakota or one of the Boston schools. Unfortunately the process probably won’t change anytime soon. What I’ve been saying is for the tourney to be as equitable as possible it would be nice for them to do away with this bidding process and just go with permanent sites. BTW what would happen if nobody bid on a region?

          • Not sure what would happen…..but it hasn’t happened yet. There’s always a team out there to bid on a regional.

          • PiGuy,
            UND’s AD was one of the only AD’s to push for 1-4 seeds hosting the regionals – it was the other schools that wanted to keep the status quo, so no, UND isn’t gaming the system. They are stuck with it.

            Permanent sites would give schools like Minnesota and Denver permanent home ice every year, without even having the need to put in a bid. How is that any better than the current system?

            It’s not UND’s fault that nobody put in a bid. And Sioux Falls is actually a great location. It is a big, new arena, centrally located between UND, SCSU, Mankato, Minnesota, and Omaha. If you wanted permanent locations, this would be better than Denver, because there isn’t a home town team, and many schools are within easy driving distance.

          • I liked the old 1-4 seeds hosting. It worked fine for decades. I just wonder why UND bids so often and others don’t.

            As far as permanent sites I more envisioned something that would rotate between Denver, Omaha and Minneapolis in the West as well as with the other regions. Those venues attract better crowds than many of the empty venues that the tourney has been plagued with in recent years. With the permanent sites you’d know what your getting into. Travel logistics would be much easier as well. also you’d only get home ice guaranteed in those regions if that team is a #1 seed.

            Oh well one can dream.

          • I agree with Chokers, if the other schools don’t like it then they can apply. There is nothing stopping any of the Minnesota Schools, DU, CC, Omaha, or any other school for that matter from putting in a bid. They are playing by the rules. And keep in mind, they are playing by the rules that are voted on and set forth by the other participating schools. Everyone agreed on this. The last time these rules were up for review there was talk of trying to change it to where the #1 seeds would host the regional, and that got voted down. Apparently the only one that is butthurt by this is you.

          • Every school that NoDak is competing against could very easily host a regional. Mankato, St. Cloud, and Omaha are all closer to Sioux Falls than Grand Forks, and all of them are capable of hosting, but they choose not to. “Nuff Said.” “Simple as that.”

        • How exactly is the NC$$ allowing them to abuse the system? Pretty sure every team is capable of putting in a bid for what ever arena they choose.

          • By bidding nearly every year they assure themselves a “home” game no matter what their seed is. That helps them tremendously. I’d much prefer set regionals every year in places that draw well. Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Boston, etc. I know that won’t happen but it would take all of the move this team here and that team there folly out of it. Then you just match them according to seed. Top seeds staying closest to home.

          • They aren’t assured anything. If two or more teams bid, they may not get to host a regional. When you are the only team to bid for a regional, of course they are going to get it. Again, it isn’t stopping any other team from bidding so I don’t know how that is abusing the system. They play by the same rules as the other 59 teams in D1 hockey.

    • And they wouldn’t be able to play the intra-conference match up against UND. That is why they are moved. Plain and simple.

        • Your opinion is clearly worthless since the NCAA guidelines say “Step three is to fill in the bracket so that first-round conference matchups are avoided, unless it corrupts the integrity of the bracket” and you have a conference matchup and corrupt the bracket integrity in the same pairing. Great job, dope.

          • Whether you value my opinion or not is of not a concern to me nor is yours. You have intra conference matchups in the regional finals and frozen four. So what. I know how the system works, I just don’t like it nor do I care for your name calling. All that does is give me insight into your maturity level and IQ. Other than that your opinion is what it is.

          • Out of curiosity, in what universe does it make sense to have St. Cloud State play North Dakota in what is essentially a home ice setup for North Dakota? Especially when SCSU is seeded one? Why would you have 1 vs 13 on 13’s home ice?

            You can’t move North Dakota, so your idea is not “simple as that.”

          • If you read my previous posts you would know that I don’t think a #1 should play a lower seed on their “home” ice. Unfortunately most have taken this out of context. What I stated is what I’d ideally like to see in order to insure fairness. I know how it currently works. I just think it could be better. If you’re the overall #1 seed you should stay close to home. In which case (which it isn’t) St. Cloud would be in Sioux Falls and North Dakota somewhere else. Heaven forbid you don’t agree. Like you’re predictions each week it’s an opinion. I cringe whenever you’ve picked DU to sweep this year like against CC (twice), Merrimack and Dartmouth, Western but I don’t get on here to chastise you for not getting it right. BTW I love your columns and recaps. You’re by far the best out there. I guess all of the posters here are just saying for me to stay in my lane.

          • Thank you for the kind words. I don’t think you need to stay in your lane, but it wasn’t really clarified in your initial post that I responded to that you think St. Cloud should stay in Sioux Falls and North Dakota should move.

            For what it’s worth, I agree to a certain extend. I think that if a team is a four seed, they should be sent somewhere else. I felt, for instance, that three years ago it was a crime that Providence as a four seed got to play the regional on home ice and then used that to beat Miami and Denver.

            However, I think that would make life very complicated too, especially for teams in the West where distances are much larger than say, the Boston corridor. Fans of teams that are hosting usually buy tickets early figuring they’ll get to see their team close by if they make the NCAA tournament. For instance, Grand Forks to Sioux Falls is still nearly a five-hour drive in good conditions. Many of the NoDak fans already have tickets and hotel arrangements set up. It wouldn’t be fair to them if the NC$$ then sent them to Worcester because North Dakota is a four seed.

            I don’t think there is an easy solution to this dilemma. Unfortunately, hockey is way different than, for instance, bouncey ball, where regionals are much easier to set up. With only 60 schools playing D-I hockey, and two of those in Alaska, one in Arizona, and one in Alabama, that leaves 56 schools, and for better or worse, most of them are in the Northeast, where driving is easy. In the NE, you have 12 ECAC schools, 10 Atlantic Hockey Schools, and 11 Hockey East schools. That’s more than half of the schools. Plus you have one Big Ten school, Penn State, that’s also in the Northeast. After that, you have one in Indiana, one in Wisconsin, one in Nebraska, one in North Dakota, three in Ohio, three in Colorado, five in Minnesota, and seven in Michigan. That’s 22 schools that cover two regions from Ohio to Colorado, so there is a ton of travel involved. For fans of those schools, they need to be able to make travel plans well in advance. Again, while I like the idea of no four seed getting to host, I just don’t think it’s realistic given the geography issues in college hockey.

          • Nice reply Candace. I know. Wouldn’t it be nice if the tourney were set up something like Div. II B-ball where the highest seed plays at home until you get to the final 4 or Div. II Football where the highest seed plays at home all the way through.

  2. 2 Hockey East teams in the field and you put one of them in Sioux Falls, while bringing Michigan to Massachusetts? That doesn’t make sense to me. NU can help Worcester attendance far more than Michigan, and Michigan would help Sioux Falls more than NU (not that it needs help with NoDak being there). I’d flip them, you avoid intra-conference matchups, they’re one seed apart, and you help attendance in the East.

  3. I hope the PairWise shifts enough so that Denver and St. Cloud don’t have to play in a quarterfinal. I want a bracket where DU, St. Cloud, and either Duluth or North Dakota or Omaha make it, or better, THE ALL-NCHC FROZEN FOUR!!!

  4. I feel like UND can defeat any of NCHC teams in Sioux falls, especially with the way fans travel and how loud it really gets, also wouldn’t make sense for St cloud to have to play their it would defiantly be disadvantage especially for a 1 seed.

  5. Am I the only one that thinks North Dakota won’t make the tourney?? I watched them play the last few weeks and have not been impressed. Thoughts??

    • No, you’re not. I have mentioned that a couple times the past month. They could easily fall below the cut line and a couple of low conference tournament upsets might eliminate their spot too.

    • Yeah i agree, ive been commenting on UND sports pages saying how disapointing they have been playing and everybody keeps telling me they will turn it around and its just a faze, im not so sure about that.

    • After a disastrous Feb 23-24 weekend with no wins, North Dakota has slipped to #14 in the Pairwise. Meanwhile, a newly resurgent Penn State clobbered Minnesota at home, with a sweep that lifted the Nittany Lions to #13 in the Pairwise.

      Your concerns were justified. North Dakota is fading, and looks to be in some danger of getting displaced by a conference champ, and not making the playoff tournament.

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