Sunday, January 24, 2010

NCAA Bracketology

With only six weekends of regular season hockey left, it's officially time to start watching the all important Pairwise Rankings on a regular basis.

What did the important 3 point weekend against Denver do in terms of the Pairwise? Well...absolutely nothing, yet. We are still ranked third with Denver ahead of us tied for first.

The games against Denver could end up being big for us though as the Pairwise continues to shift as the season goes on. Denver currently has a 3-1 comparison victory over us. They get points for higher RPI, better record against common opponents, and better record vs teams under consideration. We get a point for head to head. We can flip the comparison against Denver if our RPI goes higher than Denver's. We would each have two points and the tie breaker is RPI. So If we want to pass Denver the head to head point we won this weekend is pretty important. If we play Denver at the Final Five there is a decent chance that single game could be for the number 1 seed in St. Paul.

I don't see us flipping the comparison with Miami for the number 1 overall seed. They have a 3-0 advantage over us and we don't play them head to head. Improving our RPI and beating St. Cloud and Michigan would go a long ways in improving our chances of flipping the Miami comparison.

Here is the NCAA bracket if the season ended today.

Albany     Worcester  Fort Wayne  St. Paul
Wisconsin Bemidji Miami Denver
UMass St Cloud UNH UMD
UND BC Ferris Vermont
Mich St CC AHA Champ Cornell

Step 1: Pick the 16 Tournament teams

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

Step 2: Assign the Seeds

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

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 Bemidji is placed in Northeast regional in Worchester

Step 4: Place the other 12 teams avoiding 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.

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 New Hampshire is placed in No. 1 Miami's Regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 7 Duluth is placed in No. 2 Denver's Regional, the West Regional.
No. 6 UMASS is placed in No. 3 Wisconsin's Regional, the East Regional.
No. 5 St. Cloud is placed in No. 4 Bemidji'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 Ferris State is placed in No. 8 New Hampshire's Regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 10 North Dakota is placed in No. 7 Duluth's, the West Regional.
No. 11 Vermont is placed in No. 6 UMASS's Regional, the East Regional.
No. 12 Boston College is placed in No. 5 St. Cloud's Regional, 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 Cornell is sent to No. 2 Denver's Regional, the West Regional.
No. 14 Colorado College is sent to No. 3 Wisconsin's Regional, the East Regional.
No. 13 Michigan State is sent to No. 4 Bemidji's Regional, the Northeast Regional.

Our Bracket as we have it set up:

Midwest Regional:

1 Miami vs 16 Atlantic Hockey winner
8 New Hampshire vs 9 Ferris State

West Regional:

2 Denver vs 15 Cornell
7 Duluth vs 10 North Dakota

East Regional:

3 Wisconsin vs 14 Colorado College
6 UMASS vs 11 Vermont

Northeast Regional:

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

Our first concern is to avoid intra-conference first round matchups. We have three, Wisconsin vs Colorado College, Duluth vs North Dakota and Vermont vs UMASS. We switch Colorado College with Michigan State and we switch Vermont and North Dakota.

So our final tournament now is:

Midwest Regional:

1 Miami vs 16 Atlantic Hockey winner
8 New Hampshire vs 9 Ferris State

West Regional:

2 Denver vs 15 Cornell
7 Duluth vs 11 Vermont

East Regional:

3 Wisconsin vs 13 Michigan State
6 UMASS vs 10 North Dakota

Northeast Regional:

4 Bemidji vs 14 Colorado College
5 St. Cloud vs 12 Boston College

Looks good to me.

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