Pickin’ the Big Ten playoffs: March 2-4

It’s playoff hockey time! I’m excited for the new format this year, from the best-of-three series to the campus sites to the single-elimination games that begin next week. Here’s how Drew Claussen and I did with picks during the regular season.

Last week

Drew: 6-2-0 (.750)
Paula: 5-3-1 (.625)

This season

Drew: 92-51-14 (.631)
Paula: 94-49-14 (.643)

The first round

With first-place Notre Dame having earned a bye for this weekend, there are three best-of-three series. The teams that emerge from this weekend move on to single-elimination semifinal play Saturday, March 10, hosted by Notre Dame and the highest remaining seed come Monday. The games this weekend are Friday, Saturday and Sunday (if necessary), and not one of them is televised. Teams are identified by seeding. Records listed are overall. Times are local.

No. 7 Michigan State (12-20-2) at No. 2 Ohio State (21-8-5)

Drew: I wouldn’t be surprised if this series went to three games, but I’m fairly confident that the Buckeyes will find a way to advance. All in all, this season can be looked at as a successful first step in the rebuilding process for Michigan State under Danton Cole. I’ll take the Buckeyes in a sweep.

Paula: I wouldn’t be surprised to see all three of these series go to three games, but this is the one about which I am most confident of the higher seed emerging. The Buckeyes are 3-1-0 against the Spartans this season, but Michigan State won the last meeting in Columbus 6-3 (Feb. 3). Games are at 7:00 p.m. each night in Value City Arena.

Drew’s picks: Ohio State 4-2, 3-1.
Paula’s picks: Ohio State 3-2, 4-2.

No. 6 Wisconsin (14-17-4) at No. 3 Michigan (18-13-3)

Drew: With the way the Badgers have limped into the playoffs, it’s hard to see them advancing in this one. The team that ended Notre Dame’s streak and took five of six points from Penn State the next weekend is still in there somewhere, but I don’t see the Badgers winning twice on the road.

Paula: My thoughts about the outcome of this series are less about the Badgers than they are about the Wolverines. If Michigan plays the game it’s been playing during its six-game unbeaten streak, the Wolverines will be hard to stop. Wisconsin is 2-1-1 against Michigan this season and the Badgers won the last meeting between these teams, 4-2 in Yost on Feb. 3. Games are at 7:30 p.m. in Yost Ice Arena.

Drew’s picks: Michigan 4-2, 3-2.
Paula’s picks: Michigan 4-2, 4-2.

No. 5 Minnesota (19-15-2) at No. 4 Penn State (16-13-5)

Drew: One would think that the Gophers would come out firing against a team that flat-out embarrassed them last weekend, but it’s impossible to get a finger on the pulse of Minnesota this season. I’ll take Minnesota in three.

Paula: I’m picking Minnesota in three as well, but I am not at all confident in that pick. The Nittany Lions went 3-1-0 against the Golden Gophers this season. I think Penn State is steady at home but that Minnesota is far more playoff tested. My guess is that this series will come down to how well each team can apply what it learned when the Gophers and Nittany Lions met last weekend. Games are at 7:00 p.m. in Pegula Ice Arena.

Drew’s picks: Minnesota 4-3, Penn State 3-2, Minnesota 4-2.
Paula’s picks: Penn State 4-2, Minnesota 3-2, Minnesota 3-2.

The Twitters

Follow both Drew (@drewclaussen) and me (@paulacweston) on Twitter.

131 COMMENTS

    • You are correct however they have a game in hand on BC so like Jim stated either one BU win or one BC loss clinches the title for BU…which makes it seem like they have a 6 pt lead in the standings

      • Thank you Benjamin, however if you look at what Jim wrote: “With a six-point lead in the standings over Boston College and a game in hand on the Eagles, BU needs just one win (or a BC loss) over the final two weekends of the regular season to clinch the season-long title.” He is saying that “with” meaning they currently have a six point lead “and” a game in hand. So by using that logic, wouldn’t that translate into an eight point lead? I do agree that if BU wins one of their final four HE games, they will clinch at least a tie, but if BC wins out under that scenario, both teams would have 30 points. Not familiar with tie-breaking, but BC and BU split the series with a wash in goal differential.

  1. Yep I agree the big ten made a huge mistake when it decided to make the big ten conference. You beat each other and play the same teams. There is no margin for error. It is just like the Atlantic hockey league but with teams like Michigan, MINNY and wiscy that should not be battling for only one spot. Yes I know wiscy is down but in the big ten if one team is down you are screwed.

    • There’s a diff b/t having a “down” year and having a historically abysmal season. The Big 10 conf as a whole was down, their inter-conference record vs teams not from the AHA was only 28-41-5, which brought down their RPIs and PWR rankings down collectively. Big 10 was 2-14 vs the NCHC, both of those wins coming by Minnesota at home. That’s gonna kill ya.

    • Then how do you explain the NCHC getting 6 of their 8 teams in? Wisconsin had possibly their worst year ever, Michigan was down this year, and even Minnesota skidded along. It just wasn’t a good year for them

      • Individually Michigan and Minnesota are not bad teams- inconsistent yes-just a victim of a poor conference that didn’t do well in their out of conference games. FTR, Michigan did not play any NCHC teams this season, too, but did play five NCAA tourney teams (inc. Minn and UML) and were 4-6 against them.

    • Seeing the comments about the B10, they had a VERY down year. These are usually strong programs (sans Penn St in their 2nd Varsity year, give them time), but your out of conference record is what brings you down in the Pairwise, not the equality in your conference records; NCHC +28, H-East +19, WCHA +1, ECAC -4, B10 -5 and AHL -39. The proof is in the pudding; with 6-3-2-3-1-1 current Tournament Teams as of this AM.

      Would love to see Lowell make the dance; beating BU will be tough though.

    • One again you people don’t understand why the Big Ten happened… The Big Ten had to become a conference due to NCAA bylaws. Any time a member conference can field 6 varsity teams, they must form a conference….. Yes we all miss the old WCHA, and anyone who wants to believe the WCHA is still a conference is wrong… The New WCHA was just to lazy to change its name, because doing so would have been tough to build a new brand on with the teams it currently has… There isn’t enough history besides Michigan Tech to really carry it. Just one opinion here.

      • Are you sure that NCAA rules require a conference to sponsor a sport once six schools offer that sport?
        I thought a conference is allowed to sponsor a sport as long as there are at least six schools offering that sport.

          • My understanding exactly… It’s a Big Ten by-law issue not an NCAA requirement. The ACC conference in D1 Men’s lacrosse has only 5 teams, but it doesn’t have an auto-bid.

        • Per NCAA, you need 6 teams for your champion to be recognized for the NCAA tourney. That’s why the Big10 waited to form until after Penn St became eligible in Div 1 Hockey. B1G10 is about $$$. Nothing more. Take a look at their game times & days. Yep, they’re where there’s a “hole” in their TV schedule. The excuses from Big10 Sheeple are good entertainment.

        • It isn’t in their by-laws they have to. Believe me, they have considered it. And the league acknowledges an Ivy League Men’s champion if not mistaken.

      • The WCHA was not lazy…. The WCHA has been a conference for many years and evolved many times with several teams coming and going. The greedy teams in the NCHC left the conference. That does not require the WCHA to change it’s name. It requires the greedy teams to come up with a new one. Second, you know nothing about the history of the teams in the WCHA. Mich Tech, yes… But with the exception of Bowling Green, (who has also won a natty) the schools in the WCHA are primarily hockey schools, with excellent hockey fans. We’re not talking Notre Dame here where hockey falls to at least third after Football and Basketball, or Ohio State where most students probably don’t even know what hockey is. The WCHA teams are hockey country, and will never need a name to build a brand. Second, the history is this… BGSU has won a natty, Mich Tech has several, LSSU has several, Northern Mich has won a natty too. Bemidji State has won 13 natty’s at the DII level and had a Frozen Four Appearance in 2009. Ferris State a Frozen Four in 2012. This year Minnesota State is #1 in pairwise and Mich Tech top five. The WCHA will continue on strong regardless of it’s name. Just one more opinion here.

      • Actually you don’t understand why the Big Ten happened.

        There is no NCAA rule involved. The Big Ten conference bylaws state that when 6 member schools offer a sport, the conference SHALL have a championship in that sport. When Penn State started a hockey program, the Big Ten, by their own bylaws was required to offer a championship.

    • So what you’re saying is… Damn Penn Sate (or any other non-hockey Big Ten school) for wanting to have a D1 hockey program?

      • Yeah, because PSU adding Div 1 hockey, adding thousands of new fans to the game of Div 1 Men’s Hockey, making a million dollar profit a year from hockey, and inspiring the likes of Arizona State to now start up Div 1 hockey, is so bad for hockey.
        Whatever.

      • Only a person who knows nothing about college hockey would say ND is a joke. Besides Boston they probably have the best chance of getting there considering they host. Is this the best team they have had in the last few years, heck no, but they get home games in the regional. It’s pretty hard to knock someone out in the home rink this time of year. I should know as a MN fan- we’ve never lost a regional played in MN since Lucia has been coaching.

        • I would not want to play in Fargo against UND. Although they didn’t play great yesterday, clearly they put together a body of work this season that indicates they were the best team in what was easily the best conference in the country. The thing is now, its one and done. What happened to them yesterday could easily occur next weekend.

      • I thought peters comments were rediculous too but don’t kid yourself….the gophs would not be a good draw for them. I think they are the one team capable of leaving ND with two wins.

          • The rivalry is great.
            That’s the reason a NoDak-MN matchup would be fun and unpredictable.

            Of course, that’s assuming the Gophers get fired up for the game.
            If MN were to play the way they did for the middle stretch of the season, the result would be easy to predict.

          • I’d almost guarantee the Gophers would be fired up to play NoDak. That is a rivalry that will never go away.

    • And Goofs will? Your team needed to play better the last 6 months and they wouldn’t be in the spot they are in. I hope they make Fargo so the Sioux can lay the wood ’em.

  2. What is the scenario where Minnesota doesn’t make it into the tourney? It says they have a 95% chance of getting in but i can’t figure out the results that would need to take place for them to miss it by using the pairwise predictor. Anyone know?

      • Michigan Lowell Colgate and Miami must win and the Gophers possibly won’t know after their game (if lose) because St Cloud and Miami start 30 minutes later than Minnesota Michigan game

        • I believe MI tech also has to win in the scenario where MN is knocked out with a loss. I could only find the scenario with Colgate, Lowell, MI tech, and Mn loss, and even then I believe a st.cloud state win put them in.

      • does the ncaa hockey committee soley go based on the pairwise rankings or are they like the basketball committee and move the bubble teams around?

  3. Lowell should be the third representative from Hockey East.Boston College couldn’t even make the semifinals after losing twice to Vermont at home.In the meantime Lowell was whooping it up on Notre Dame.Then Lowell took care of business on Vermont last night on nuetral ice.I don’t know the formula for letting teams in but it seems flawed and possibly the reputation of BC’s coach factors in which is unfair to the kids from Lowell.

    • Excuse me. Learn the “formula”, it’s simple and both USCHO and CHN have calculators to work it out. It’s all based upon games played, during the season and playoffs. Reputation means nothing. “The kids from Lowell” knew the formula when the year started. As I said, it’s simple and you should learn it too.

      • .

        I am not siding with Mike L here for he needs to learn the math used before making such a post.

        But I will say that the “re-arranging” that will take place due to “attendance problems” can, and probably will, come close to his “seems flawed and possibly the reputation of ______’s coach factors in” comment.

        The chances MTU getting a #1 seed and be sent out East (either city, which is another absurdity) with three Eastern teams due to “re-arranging” is very high… and very unfair!!!

        They just need to take care of first round inter-conference match-ups and leave the rest alone… attendance will be an issue not matter what!
        .

        • .
          And I’ll go further to say that to make the entire thing ‘more fair’ is to have the first round of the tourney at the higher seed (shoot, make it at the lower seed if you want some Cinderellas).

          Then have an East and West regional with four teams each – two games per city.

          And then a F4 with three games at another location.

          You will increase attendance -AND- reduce drastically the shuffling around.
          .

          • Why unfair to come east and have to beat eastern teams? Let them justify their ranking by winning their way to the final four.

          • .
            Coming to the East is not a problem.

            Being in a bracket in the East with Eastern teams is also not a problem.

            Being in the East (or West) with three Eastern (or Western) teams due to ‘attendance re-shuffling’ -IS- a problem.

            A teams’s ranking is tossed out of the window for the sake of attendance. It does not seem fair to me.

            While the best team out of the four moves on, that team is not necessarily a top four team.

            The flaw is on the re-shuffling. And only that.

            But hey, bring it on.
            .

      • So BC gets a “bye” week by not winning and BU and Lowell risk injury before the NCAA’s as a result of winning?As I said earlier,FLAWED

      • Excuse me….. Learning the “formula” isn’t the issue, the issue is the formula needs to be looked at when a 19-17 is a lock for the tournament when teams with better records in solid conferences are not going to make it in.

      • this exactly. if the only result all year that changed was sweeping Penn State instead of splitting, Lowell would be 11 in the PWR right now and probably safe.

        • True. There were several games you could look at. You could also look at Lowell finishing 1 point behind BC in league standings, winning the quarterfinals and then the semifinal game, yet BC is more deserving? Maybe with Pairwise statistics, but not with common sense. There record vs. BC was 1-0-1. Just saying mathematics don’t (doesn’t?) understand hockey……

    • So BC is 4-5 against the top 16 teams (as of last night) and UMass Lowell is 2-5-2 against the top 16. BC beat Michigan, UML lost to Michigan. BC has a win against BU, Harvard and Providence, while UML is winless against those quality teams. Seems to me that UML has some more work to do to be the “third representative from Hockey East.”

  4. .
    While it is what it is, it would be a shame for the B1G to get two teams in – for the kind of season the conference had.

    Hoping for MN winning against UofM and helping BGSU. Yes, it will take more then that ‘result combination’ to get BG in… probably like Harvard and BU winning as well.

    Anyway, so here is to three WCHA teams getting in!!

    GO TECH GOLD!
    .

  5. I can’t figure out how Minnesota moves up to 8th. Why Omaha is ranked ahead of them confuses me and I do see if MN wins and SCSU loses, the Gophers leapfrog the Huskies, but still only 9th.

    • It’s a math thing. Unless you majored in calculus accept it and move on. History majors want perspective math guys pull out a calculator and lose me at coefficients.

    • You never want to finish 8th. 10th or 11th is much better.

      Look at Cincy in Men’s BB, 8/9 winner, now has to face Kentucky. While the supposedly lesser teams that got 10 and 11 seeds that won, have much easier 2nd round games.

      If you are worried about just winning the 1st round game, well, then your team isn’t very good and so who cares?

      In hockey, NO ONE CARES who made the 2nd round and then lost as compared to who got knocked out in the 1st round. Might help some long term cumulative # of NCAA tourney wins stat or something that very few people care all that much about to be honest.

      Only thing that matters is getting to the Frozen Four and beyond.

  6. I think MN and MI are right where they deserve to be, squarely on the bubble. The teams in the B1G were inconsistent at best. However, if either or both make the tournament I think they will represent themselves very well. They are both loaded with skill and capable of putting it together for four games. I would not want to play a championship experienced team like Minnesota in the first round if I was one of those top teams.

    • Well said. They both deserve to be bubble teams for sure. We’ll see what teams can hit their stride and which ones fold!

  7. Something isn’t right when a 19-17 St. Cloud State is in and Lowell has to beat BU tonight to get in. Hockey East has done well over the years in the tournament and certainly deserves 4 teams in the tournament. If your answer is “Just going by the Pair-Wise”, then the Pair-Wise needs to be fixed. Looking like the old BCS numbers for college football, which was stupid and finally replaced. Somehow some thought process needs to be applied to the selection of deserving teams. Maybe use the Pair-Wise for the top 10 teams and have a selection committee select the last 6, or have any “automatic qualifiers” not in the top 16 play in vs the lower seeds on the weekend after the season then start the tournament.

    • I don’t disagree with you, there are always some sort of injustices during this whole process. And while I have to admit I don’t get to watch much Hockey East, Lowell has definitely demonstrated their merits in a tough conference like Hockey East. Whatever the right process is, I don’t know. Your hybrid approach could work. I do however think that by St Cloud soundly beating #1 UND last night, they have solidified they are a worthy top-16 selection, given that many of their losses were against a pretty nasty NCHC conference. Every year this “toughest conference” debate will rage, and have an unavoidable element of subjectivity… but IMO I think this year the NCHC has the case to send 6. Here’s to our teams winning today and leaving no doubt!

      • I was at the game last night and St. Cloud State did not soundly beat North Dakota….. After the 1st period North Dakota carried the play, just culdn’t get another by there goalie. You can’t count empty net goals as soundly beating them 3-1. And what was worse, it didn’t help our squad the Gophers having SCSU win.

        • Ah, ok. I see. (I tried to watch as much as I could from an airport, since the B1G network wasn’t carried by any of the Pittsburgh airport establishments surprise surprise, but the UND/SCSU game was on CBS or some channel.) But I admit I commited the cardinal mistake of taking a writer’s game recap as my source, and that made it sound like SCSU shut them down. But I wasn’t there and definitely will defer to someone who was there, and speaks as one who understands the game ;) As far as the Gophs chances, you are correct. But I kinda hate backing into the tourney, and still like to cheer on other MN teams success I guess. For those teams that control their own destiny today, we’ll see how bad they want it

      • If that be the case, I would not sacrifice bracket integrity or attendance when a conference gets 6 teams in over 1st round matchups. The way it stands NOW, some serious shifting has to be done to avoid an NCHC vs NCHC 1st round matchup in the West. To do that, the 3rd tier has to shifted significantly… BC (East) or Harvard (Northeast) have to be moved the West regional. In BC’s case, it would destroy attendence in Providence, with a western NY team being the only eastern school.
        Something has to give.

    • The NCAA hockey Tournament doesn’t take the best 16 teams and will never change. Just a thought, but the automatic qualifier should be the regular season champion, not tournament champion.
      .

      • Every conference chooses whether to send the conference champion out the tournament champion champion for the autobif. They all chose tournament champ, for obvious reasons

    • Colgate’s strength of schedule was 35th and their winning percentage was 8th. They got swept by QU and Harvard during regular season. If Harvard had lost to QU in semis Colgate could have gotten in with win versus SLU and loss to QU, but even then would have needed help. And the loss to Mercyhurst at home is a major nail in the coffin if they don’t win tonight.

      • Colgate had better conference record than Harvard and is ranked higher as well. Main point is that whichever team loses tonight should have the same shot at an at-large bid. Likely bias against non-Ivy team; Harvard better for rating$.

        • Seriously Jack? You know it’s a formula, right? You know conference record in essence counts less that out ofconference record, right?

        • weird, I’m looking at the pairwise right now and it says Colgate is 13 and Harvard is 11. that’s a funny definition of “ranked higher.”

  8. I figured out how Minnesota gets 8th. They have to win, plus Miami, Harvard, Michigan Tech, and Denver. I have yet to figure out how they don’t qualify lower than 14th with a loss.

    • Down below the scenario is explained, and the pair wise predictor shows how Gophs miss the cut. MN loses + wins by Miami, Colgate, and Lowell.

  9. St Cloud deserves to be in. They have played the #1 schedule in the country after yesterday and proved they belong by beating the top ranked team in the country. They played a very sound defensive game too. After they got the lead, UND could basically only dump & chase after that other than a couple of power plays which were awful for UND. I believe not that long ago they were sitting in 26th in the pairwise and since that point they put together a “streak” against nothing but top ten ranked teams for about 2 months now. The NCAA is going to have a problem on their hands with 6 NCHC teams in the field avoiding first round intra-conference matchups.

    • The NCAA will send 3 NCHC teams to one Regional, probably Fargo. They will use “bracket integrity” as the excuse for a first round NCHC matchup.

      • So, what’s the big deal. You can’t complain about it as you do when you (NCHC) get 6 teams in… The numbers and logistics just don’t add up. There will be at least one NCHC vs NCHC matchup somewhere that will be difficult to avoid if the NCAA wants to make a compromise between bracket integrity and attendance. Take which whichever and live it it.
        But I can solve your problem… Let’s just deem the NCHC tournament the National championship and we all stay home… That’s really what you want isn’t it?

  10. People, come on, the B1G did not make a mistake when it formed the B1G Hockey Conference.

    Even with only 6 teams, 1 of which didn’t exist as a Div 1 team until 2 or 3 years ago, the B1G still can claim more NCAA Natl Titles than any other conference I believe. 9 for Michigan, 6 for Wisconsin, 5 for Minnesota, 3 for Michigan St, so 23 total.

    And compare which teams have the most former players playing in the NHL and scoring the most points. Last year Wisconsin was #1 in points scored with Minnesota #2 and Michigan was either #3 or #4? At the All-Star break this year, Minnesota was #1 and Wisconsin was #2 with Michigan #3 or #4 again. UND, BC & BU for the most part fill in the #3/4, #5 and #6 spots. So is it really that hard to figure out why the B1G can sometimes have a down year?

    Face it, the B1G teams as a whole went out and played all the other conferences in the first half of the season and stunk it up. Minnesota doing so badly after bringing back so many from last years Runner Up team really hurt the conference as a whole because then when Minnesota got it together and started beating most of the other B1G teams, which they were probably going to do no matter what, those losses hurt even worse, and the times teams got wins against the Gophers didn’t help them as much as it otherwise would have.

    But the thing is, the B1G TV network plays alot of hockey, Minnesota, and Michigan are still big names and draws and are still bringing in top notch recruits and will continue to be NHL player factories, and hockey is HUGE at PSU. I read PSU made over a million dollars in profit from hockey last year. And they have become quite competitive very quickly and its gotten the attention of hockey players coming up through the ranks. Michigan St and Wisconsin both have Natl Titles in the last Decade so neither of those programs are as bad off as it may seem, although not sure about Wisconsin, but if UW brings in a new coach, who knows, and its possible that the success both schools are having with Football and Basketball are hurting their hockey programs? But the B1G will never get all 6 teams into the tourney, so it isn’t the end of the world to have 2 or 3 teams that are having down years. If all 6 are good, they will beat up on each other and a deserving team may get left out, but with at least 2 down teams, it can sort of pad the stats a little and help the top 4 at least get in. A year like this year, it seemed all 6 teams either had down years, or just plain sucked or went through a slump at the wrong time? If two of these 3 teams, Minny, Michigan and PSU take turns having good seasons while one has a down year, and one of the other 3 teams has an up season, the B1G could get 3 or 4 teams into the tourney, which would be either 50 or 66%, which would be incredible. They are NOT going to only get 1 in every year. The Conference may never do this badly again? And even getting 2 in is still 33% of the conference, which is comparible to other larger conferences getting 3 in. And if they do only get 1 in, its because all of its best players are making millions in the NHL.

    • Wow, 33% in. That is wonderful, until you compare it to a conference that has 75% in. It is a real shame that UND, DU, UMD, Miami, St. Cloud, CC, UNO, and Western Michigan have never lost anyone early to the NHL. The B1G “may never do this badly again”, but they may. They also might do worse. Do you have any more excuses as to why they suck? By the way, do you think Paul Statsny, Beau Bennet, Tyler Bozak, Matt Carle, Chris Butler, Drew Shore, Jason Zucker, Patrick Wiercioch, or Matt Donavan are part of the current “players making millions”?

      • One last note, since my last post obviously was not long enough. Let me know if you want to talk # of players teams send to the US Olympic teams, or # of former players in the US Hockey Hall of Fame. :)

  11. Huskies are in because they played most teams that appeared in top 10 and at least split against all of them. Strength of schedule….teams that swept low ranked non-conference teams are not in…very simple

  12. I’m sure I could look this up, probably on this website, but color me lazy… Did the selection show for the NCAA’s already take place? If not, then why does the title of this article say “the field of 16 is set..?” I was under the impression that the announcement show was at some point tomorrow. If anyone knows if it’s televised, and if so, on what channel, I would most appreciate that being shared with me! Thanks!

    • It has not happened yet. However, since the committee uses the PairWise rankings shown above, it is safe to assume that these will be how the teams are selected.

      Also, selection show is Sunday at 12 pm EST on ESPNU.

    • the 16 teams that will go is set! who and where they will play is not, the top 15 teams in the PW rankings are in along with R.I.T

        • pairwise and auto qualifiers (tourney champs) since only one tourney champ is out of the top16 in PW (R. I. T) the top 15 are in, yes PW is usually the sole dtermination

          • Man, my memory must be toast! I could have sworn watching the selection show 5-6 years ago, and they’d have a feed of many of the teams watching and waiting to see if they got in. All of a sudden you’d see some fringe team (or one in which they had no way of knowing if they’d get in or not) start freaking out b/c they got a bid. I just thought they looked at so much more than just an algorithm…although, I just realized that PairWise probably is a measure of all the different little things they look at (head-to-head, scores h-to-h, wins against ranked teams at home/on road, etc.), isn’t it? Okay, okay…but what of my memory I just described? Have they only recently done things strictly by the PW, with no exceptions? Also, it sure seems like Bowling Green sure gets the shaft, does it not?

          • UVM finished 20th in the pairwise. They are done for the season. The 16 teams listed above are the teams in the tournament this year.

  13. Another potentially dumb question (rather, a presumption with a question mark): I’m guessing UVM has absolutely no chance of getting an at-large, do they? If the answer to that is “yes,” then I have another question: From what I’ve read in these comments, it seems #14 (as of last week’s poll) Providence is a shoe-in for an at-large bid. However, they got heavily upset in the HE Quarters at the hands of UNH. UVM, ranked #16 most recently, at least made it to the semi’s. Or is much of what happens in conference tourneys inconsequential to how they pick the field of 16 for the NCAA’s? If the answer to that is “yes,” then how does #8 Bowling Green not get in? I must be missing something obvious here, as all of these comments seem to be mentioning the same 16 teams…Somebody set me straight, please.

    • The 16 teams to make the tournament are determined by the automatic bids (conference tournament champs) and the pairwise rankings. All that’s left now is to determine in which regions the 16 schools will be placed.

    • The “something obvious” that you’re missing is that polls are dumb and have no relevance and should be forever ignored. The PWR is straightforward math and the top 16 is the field unless conference auto-bids are ranked lower. (This year, RIT is the only conference champ out of the 16, so it’s RIT and the Top 15.)

      What happens in conference tourneys is consequential only in that they determine the 6 auto-bids and in the effect that each individual game has on the changing PWR ranking.

      • I wouldn’t say “polls are dumb” is in any way obvious. I’d never heard anything like that until you said it. I always assumed they played some role, as I (perhaps mistakenly) thought PWR was something that hadn’t been around for a super-long time, and they previously used polls to determine what teams might be worthy of consideration for an at-large. I’ll concede I could be wrong with this, though. Thanks for the clarification.

  14. well, this is what College Hockey News has:

    Midwest Region, South Bend, Ind.
    1. Minnesota State vs. 16. RIT
    8. UNO vs. 10. Minnesota

    West Region, Fargo, N.D.
    2. North Dakota vs. 15. Providence
    7. Michigan Tech vs. 12. St. Cloud State

    Northeast Region, Manchester, N.H.
    3. Boston University vs. 14. Quinnipiac
    6. Duluth vs. 11. Boston College

    East Region, Providence, R.I.
    4. Miami vs. 13. Yale
    5. Denver vs. 9. Harvard

  15. Penn State may be in trouble of watching their season end if they don’t win 2 of 3. Minnesota, on the other hand, does not have to worry about that as they are a 94% lock to make the dance regardless.

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