Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tourneys start today, who do we cheer for?

Ok, so there is only one game tonight, but today does officially mark the start of March Madness. (Yeah...I know Bemidji already won the CHA, but lets be honest, who cares?) With the start of the hockey tournaments, filling out college basketball brackets, spending way too much of my day on College Hockey News' You Are The Committee, and preparing for a fantasy baseball draft, my head is spinning with information.

Obviously this is a Badger hockey blog so we'll focus on that for this morning. So who do we want to win games this weekend? Blockski has already had the post of the year on this blog below this one with the mathematical chances of us making the tournament. Patman from USCHO has us at a 25.03% of getting an at large bid after the dust settles this weekend.

So far there are 3 scenarios that get us into the tournament as an at large. There are some common trends within these scenarios and these are the teams that we need to cheer for or against. Keep in mind that these aren't the be all and end all of anything. More than likely these things will help us in getting an at large. Without further ado:

Hockey East: We need Boston University to beat Boston College Friday night. Also, either Boston University or Northeastern needs to win the Hockey East title.

Edit: Actually, BU doesn't need to beat BC. As long as U-Mass Lowell doesn't win the tourney, we should be fine.

ECAC: The only thing that absolutely needs to happen in every scenario so far is that we need St. Lawrence to go 0-2 in Albany, NY this weekend. Yale winning the ECAC and either Princeton or Cornell winning the third place game can help in some scenarios.

Atlantic Hockey: Like I said these arent the end all be all, but it helps if Air Force wins this tournament. We can still get an at large but that is the easiest thing to happen. Also, cheer for Mercyhurst to beat RIT Friday night in Rochester, NY. That increases the scenarios that we can get in with.

CCHA: Cheer for Michigan to beat Alaska on Friday night. Also, cheer for Notre Dame to beat Northern Michigan. If Northern wins we an also get an at large but we have more possibilities if they lose Friday. On Saturday, we need Notre Dame and Northern to both win whether or not its the first place game or the third place game.

WCHA: As far as I can tell, it doesn't matter who the hell wins between UMD and Minnesota. As for Wisconsin, obviously we want them to win 2 games and we're dancing anyways and I wasted a lot of mine and everyone else's time on this thing. If they don't, we don't necessarily NEED to beat Denver to get an at large. Talking in terms of us not winning the automatic qualifier by winning the tournament, we need Denver to win the tournament if we lose to them on Friday, and we need North Dakota to win the tournament if we win on Friday. In the scenario we lose to Denver, we need to win the third place game to sneak into the dance.

I hope this helped out a little bit on who to cheer for over the weekend. I think it is a little bit easier to understand than listing the scenarios. For those of you who disagree with me, I'll list the 3 scenarios we've found that get us into the tournament. Technically it's more than 3 scenario's, because within the scenarios, there are many times where we say things like well as long as Air Force wins the tournament we're ok. So keep in mind that there is like 1 million combination's and it's not like we only have 3 out of those million opportunities to get an at large. Like blockski pointed out in the post below we are sitting at a 25.03% chance that the chips fall our way in the at large scenario.

I KNOW there are more scenarios that get us in, but here are 3 that we know that do for sure.

Scenario 1: Northern Michigan wins third place game

Hockey East-No matter what, Boston University has to win first game of Hockey East vs. Boston College, then either Boston University or Northeastern can win the Hockey East title.

ECAC-All that matters Is that St. Lawrence doesn’t win a game.

Atlantic-Air Force needs to win tournament.

CCHA-Higher seeds win except for Northern Michigan winning the third place game.

WCHA-we win against Denver, then lose to Nodak. Denver needs to win the third place game.

Scenario 2: Northern Michigan wins CCHA tournament

Everything as listed above, except Northern Michigan beats Notre Dame and beats Michigan in the final. Notre Dame has to win the third place game. Also, RIT can win Atlantic Hockey in this scenario.

Scenario 3: Wisconsin loses to Denver Friday afternoon

Either BU or Northeastern have to win HE. No matter what BU has to play in the title game but they can win it over Lowell and we're still in.

Yale has to win the ECAC, but either Princeton or Cornell can win the third place game.

Air Force or Mercyhurst can win the Atlantic Hockey title but whichever one wins it, needs to win the title against the other team.

Northern must win third place over alaska and Notre Dame must win the title over Michigan.

Denver has to win the title over North Dakota, We can win third place over Minnesota or Duluth.