Sunday, January 31, 2010

NCAA Bracketology 1/31/2010

(Click on bracket to enlarge)

To get the bitter taste out of every one's mouths from the loss last night to Duluth, I've got your most recent NCAA Tournament Bracketology to keep every one's eyes on the real prize, Wisconsin's 7th National Championship.

First of all, lets talk about what changes went on in terms of the tournament with this weekends action. The top 3 seeds (Miami, Denver, and Wisconsin stayed the same. #4 overall seed Bemidji and #5 overall seed St. Cloud switched spots. North Dakota took a HUGE hit over the weekend by getting swept by Denver. They moved from the #10 seed in the tournament to the #15 seed, the current last at large seed in the tournament. One upset in a conference tournament and the Fighting Sioux are watching from home.

Let's get this thing started.

Step 1: Pick the 16 Tournament teams

1. Miami
2. Denver
3. Wisconsin
4. St. Cloud
5. Bemidji State
6. Duluth
7. Ferris State
8. UMASS
9. New Hampshire
10. Cornell
11. Boston College
12. Colorado College
13. Michigan State
14. Vermont
15. North Dakota
16. Atlantic Hockey Champion

Step 2: Assign the Seeds

No. 1 seeds: Miami, Denver, Wisconsin, St. Cloud
No. 2 seeds: Bemidji, Duluth, Ferris State, UMASS
No. 3 seeds: New Hampshire, Cornell, Boston College, Colorado College
No. 4 seeds: Michigan State, Vermont, North Dakota, Atlantic Hockey Champ

Step 3: Place number 1 seeds in regionals

Number 1 seeds are placed based on proximity to regional site.

No. 1 Miami is placed in the Mid-West regional in Fort Wayne
No. 2 Denver is placed in the West regional in St. Paul
No. 3 Wisconsin is placed in the East regional in Albany
No. 4 St. Cloud State is placed in Northeast regional in Worchester

Step 4: Place the other 12 teams avoiding intra-conference match ups 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.

If this is the case, then the committee should seed so that the quarterfinals are seeded such that the four regional championships are played by No. 1 v. No. 8, No. 2 v. No. 7, No. 3 v. No. 6 and No. 4 v. No. 5.

Number 2 Seeds:

No. 8 UMASS is placed in No. 1 Miami's Regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 7 Ferris State is placed in No. 2 Denver's Regional, the West Regional.
No. 6 Duluth is placed in No. 3 Wisconsin's Regional, the East Regional.
No. 5 Bemidji State is placed in No. 4 St. Cloud's Regional, the Northeast Regional.

Number 3 Seeds:

Our bracketing system has one Regional containing seeds 1, 8, 9, and 16, another with 2, 7, 10, 15, another with 3, 6, 11, 14 and another with 4, 5, 12 and 13.No. 9 New Hampshire is placed in No. 8 UMASS's Regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 10 Cornell is placed in No. 7 Ferris State's, the West Regional.
No. 11 Boston College is placed in No. 6 Duluth's Regional, the East Regional.
No. 12 Colorado College is placed in No. 5 Bemidji State, the Northeast Regional.

Number 4 seeds:

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

No. 16 Atlantic Hockey Winner is sent to No. 1 Miami's Regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 15 North Dakota is sent to No. 2 Denver's Regional, the West Regional.
No. 14 Vermont is sent to No. 3 Wisconsin's Regional, the East Regional.
No. 13 Michigan State is sent to No. 4 St. Cloud's Regional, the Northeast Regional.

Our Bracket as we have it set up:

Midwest Regional:

1 Miami vs 16 Atlantic Hockey winner
8 UMASS vs 9 New Hampshire

West Regional:

2 Denver vs 15 North Dakota
7 Ferris State vs 10 Cornell

East Regional:

3 Wisconsin vs 14 Vermont
6 Duluth vs 11 Boston College

Northeast Regional:

4 St. Cloud vs 13 Michigan State
5 Bemidji State vs 12 Colorado College

Our first concern is to avoid intra-conference first round match ups. We have two, 2 Denver vs 15 North Dakota, and 8 UMASS vs 9 New Hampshire. The committee set a precedent last year when BU was the first overall seed and played the #15 seed to avoid an intra-conference match up. But the NCAA did that because there were only 4 CCHA teams in the tournament. I could see the committee keeping an intra-conference match up though because there are six WCHA teams in the tournament and they technically don't have to make the switch if there are 5 or more teams from one conference in the tournament. For now, I'm going to assume they will not make the switch like they did last season. The NCAA wants to protect the #1 overall seed if they can. So then our only switch is #9 New Hampshire with #10 Cornell.

So our new tournament now is:

Midwest Regional:

1 Miami vs 16 Atlantic Hockey winner
8 UMASS vs 10 Cornell

West Regional:

2 Denver vs 15 North Dakota
7 Ferris State vs 9 New Hampshire

East Regional:
3 Wisconsin vs 14 Vermont
6 Duluth vs 11 Boston College

Northeast Regional:

4 St. Cloud vs 13 Michigan State
5 Bemidji State vs 12 Colorado College

So how does it look? We've avoided intra-conference match ups as much as we could. How is attendance? That Northeast regional looks awful for attendance purposes. Last week Jason Moy (Braketologist extraordinaire) made a switch in his bracket to help out issues with travel and attendance by moving Wisconsin to St. Paul and Denver out East. Because in his original bracket, number 1 seeds Bemidji, Wisconsin, and Denver would have to fly. By switching Denver's "pod" with Wisconsin's, only Denver and Bemidji would have to fly. This week it makes more sense to switch Denver's "pod" with St. Cloud's "pod". In our original bracket, Wisconsin, St. Cloud, and Duluth would have to fly. By switching St. Cloud and Denver, only Denver and Wisconsin would have to fly. Let's try that and see what we come up with.

Midwest Regional:

1 Miami vs 16 Atlantic Hockey winner
8 UMASS vs 10 Cornell

West Regional:

4 St. Cloud vs 13 Michigan State
5 Bemidji State vs 12 Colorado College

East Regional:

3 Wisconsin vs 14 Vermont
6 Duluth vs 11 Boston College

Northeast Regional:

2 Denver vs 15 North Dakota
7 Ferris State vs 9 New Hampshire

I like that bracket a LOT better. Attendance looks good with St. Cloud, Bemidji, CC, and Michigan State in St. Paul, Vermont and BC in Albany, and Miami in Fort Wayne, and UNH and North Dakota in Worchester.

That's my bracket for the week. We'll see what Jason Moy from USCHO comes up with during the week. I'll be interested to see what he does with possibly moving North Dakota to face the number 1 overall seed Miami.

Thanks to USCHO's Jason Moy. I followed his system that he has used in prior Bracketology articles on USCHO.com