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NCAA Hockey Bracketology (2/20 edition)


Wolverine Spy
Once again is curtesy of MSUStudent on the U-M Rivals hockey board

With only a couple of weeks left in the regular season (ECAC actually starts their tournament in 2 weeks), teams across the country are doing their best to be on the right side of the PairWise bubble.

As usual, the teams with the current top conference winning percentage are given the automatic bids for the case of these brackets.

Auto Bids

Atlantic: Sacred Heart
CCHA: Michigan
CHA: Bemidji State
ECAC: Cornell
Hockey East: New Hampshire
WCHA: Denver U

I've indicated which teams are tied with each other in the PairWise, but the RPI tiebreaker has already been included so the teams are ranked 1-16.

PWR Top 16 - No Bonus

1. Denver U
2. Colorado College
3. Cornell (tied-#3)
4. Boston College(tied-#3)
5. Minnesota
6. Michigan
7. Boston U (tied-#7)
8. New Hampshire (tied-#7)
9. Wisconsin (tied-#7)
10. UMass-Lowell (tied-#7)
11. Harvard
12. Ohio State
13. Colgate (tied-#13)
14. Dartmouth (tied-#13)
15. North Dakota
16. Northern Michigan

PWR Top 16 w/ 3-2-1 bonus, and CHA/Atlantic Autobids

1. Denver
2. Colorado College
3. Boston College
4. Cornell (tied-#4)
5. Minnesota (tied-#4)
6. Michigan (tied-#4)
7. Boston U (tied-#7)
8. UMass-Lowell (tied-#7)
9. New Hampshire (tied-#9)
10. Wisconsin (tied-#9)
11. Ohio State (tied-#9)
12. Harvard
13. North Dakota
14. Colgate
15. Bemidji State (auto, PWR t-#24)
16. Sacred Heart (auto, PWR UNR)

We do have two match-up problems with these rankings. Michigan-OSU and UMass-New Hampshire. Typically, UMass-NH would be in the Midwest region with #1 Denver, and UM-OSU would be in the Northeast with #3 Boston College.

However, we need to swap 2 teams. We could swap Ohio State with New Hampshire, but if we take attendance into account it would be much smarter to swap Michigan into Grand Rapids and UMass-Lowell into the Northeast. Either way, the NE will get a good draw with BC there, but Grand Rapids will get a much better draw with Michigan there instead of Ohio State. Not that OSU doesn't travel well (as I saw first hand this weekend, OSU had a decent crowd at Munn).

Is it fair to match-up Denver U with a team that is 4th in the Pairwise? Yes, since they are 6th by the RPI tiebreaker, swapping them with the #8 team isn't exactly going too far outside of the rankings. Would it be better to swap the #9 & 11 teams? Maybe, but again, the attendance factor (albeit a small one now) is too great to ignore.

If we put Michigan in the midwest, and UMass-Lowell in the Northeast, we get the following pairings:

(Note: Either way, Michigan will be playing New Hampshire. We could debate about where they would be playing though.)

Northeast (Amherst, Mass. Host: UMass)
1. Boston College (#3, 19-6-5)
2. UMass-Lowell (t-#7, 19-7-4)
3. Ohio State (t-#9, 22-7-3)
4. Colgate (t-#14, 22-8-2)

East (Worcester, Mass. Host: Boston U)
1. Colorado College (#2, 25-6-3)
2. Boston U (t-#7, 20-10-2)
3. Wisconsin (t-#9, 21-9-2)
4. Bemidji State (t-#24, 19-10-1) *auto*

Midwest (Grand Rapids, Mich. Host: Western Michigan)
1. Denver U (#1, 22-7-2) *auto*
2. Michigan (t-#4, 20-12-1) *auto*
3. New Hampshire (t-#9, 22-7-3) *auto*
4. Sacred Heart (UNR, 13-16-1) *auto*

West (Minneapolis, Minn. Host: Minnesota)
1. Cornell (t-#4, 20-4-3) *auto*
2. Minnesota (t-#4, 20-12-1)
3. Harvard (#12, 17-7-2)
4. North Dakota (#13, 16-13-3)

Last 2 in: North Dakota, Colgate
First 2 out: Dartmouth, Northern Michigan

Bids by Conference

Hockey East: 4
CHA: 1
Atlantic: 1