Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Morning Bracketology Week 12: 1/31/11

I'm back again for this weeks installment of Bracketology. The Badgers took all four points from the reeling Michigan Tech Huskies and maintained their position in the Pairwise. Wisconsin took a hit after Friday nights games and dropped to #8 but with Michigan's 2-1 loss to rival Michigan State we were able to flip our comparison in our favor with the Wolverines.

There was one bid lost by the WCHA this week. Nebraska-Omaha, which has been a projected tournament team for the past 11 weeks dropped out of the projections after dropping a game to Alabama-Huntsville on Saturday night. The problem with scheduling teams like Huntsville is that if you win they don't help you at all, but if you lose it can really hurt.

Colorado College is still sitting on the doorstep. Their win over North Dakota helped a little bit and they are at #18 in the PWR. The Tigers have series with Denver, UMD, and Wisconsin left so if they can manage to find some W's in there they have a great shot at getting a bid.

So this week we have 4 WCHA teams currently projected to get at large bids with Denver (2), North Dakota (3), Minnesota-Duluth (4), and Wisconsin (7). Then we have Nebraska-Omaha (17), CC (18), Minnesota (22), Minnesota State (26), St. Cloud (30) and Alaska-Anchorage (31) on the outside looking in.

Step 1: Pick the 16 tournament teams

1. Yale
2. North Dakota
3. Denver
4. Minnesota-Duluth
5. Boston College
6. RPI
7. Wisconsin
8. New Hampshire
9. Michigan
10. Merrimack
11. Western Michigan
12. Notre Dame
13. Union
14. Dartmouth
15. Boston University
16. Atlantic Hockey Champion (RIT)

Bubble Teams (in order): Princeton, Nebraska-Omaha, Colorado College, Maine, Miami

Step 2: Assign the seeds

No. 1 seeds: Yale, North Dakota, Denver, Minnesota-Duluth
No. 2 seeds: Boston College, RPI, Wisconsin, New Hampshire
No. 3 seeds: Michigan, Merrimack, Western Michigan, Note Dame
No. 4 seeds: Union, Dartmouth, Boston University, RIT

Step 3: Place host teams in regionals

Right now we have two host schools in the tournament. New Hampshire is hosting the Northeast Regional in Manchester, and Yale is hosting the East Regional in Bridgeport. Therefore, UNH is placed as the #2 seed in Manchester and Yale is the #1 seed in Bridgeport.

Step 4: Place number 1 seeds in regionals

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

No. 1 Yale (Host) is placed in the East Regional in Bridgeport
No. 2 North Dakota is placed in the Mid-West Regional in Green Bay
No. 3 Denver is placed in the West Regional in St. Louis
No. 4 Minnesota-Duluth is placed in the Northeast Regional in Manchester

Step 5: 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 UNH (host) is placed in No. 4 UMD's Regional, the Northeast Regional
No. 7 Wisconsin is placed in No. 1 Yale's Regional, the East Regional
No. 6 RPI is placed in No. 2 North Dakota's Regional, the Mid-West Regional
No. 5 Boston College is placed in No. 3 Denver's Regional, the West Regional

Number 3 seeds:

No. 9 Michigan is placed No. 8 UNH's Regional, the Northeast Regional
No. 10 Merrimack is placed in No. 7 Wisconsin's regional, the East Regional
No. 11 Western Michigan is placed in No. 6 RPI's Regional, the Mid-West Regional
No. 12 Notre Dame is placed in No. 5 Boston College's Regional, the West Regional

Number 4 seeds:

No. 13 Union is placed in No. 4 UMD's Regional, the Northeast Regional
No. 14 Dartmouth is placed in No. 3 Denver's Regional, the West Regional
No. 15 BU is placed in No. 2 North Dakota's Regional, the Mid-West Regional
No. 16 RIT is placed in No. 1 Yale's Regional, the East Regional

Our bracket as we have it set up:

East Regional (Bridgeport, Connecticut)
1 Yale vs 16 RIT
7 Wisconsin vs 10 Merrimack

Mid-West Regional (Green Bay, Wisconsin)
2 North Dakota vs 15 Boston University
6 RPI vs 11 Western Michigan

Northeast Regional (Manchester, New Hampshire)
4 Minnesota-Duluth vs 13 Union
8 New Hampshire vs 9 Michigan

West Regional (St. Louis, Missouri)
3 Denver vs 14 Dartmouth
5 Boston College vs 12 Notre Dame

Our first concern is to avoid intra-conference first round match ups. This week we have none so we're good on that front.

What about attendance? As we all know $ is the almighty in the eyes of the NCAA so they will get creative when it comes to moving teams. The first easy switch is Wisconsin and RPI. #7 Wisconsin gets flipped with #6 RPI therefore moving Wisconsin to Green Bay and keeping RPI in the Northeast.

Anything else? The more I think about it, I have a feeling that UMD if they stay a #1 seed will find their way to Green Bay. Like I've mentioned in the past, in the eyes of the committee, a flight is a flight and any team that has to go over 400 miles has to fly. Therefore, looking at #1 seeds not counting Yale since they are a host school, both Denver and North Dakota have to fly to any regional they are placed in but UMD can bus to Green Bay.

So I'm going to put UMD in Green Bay, North Dakota since they are a higher seed than Denver will get the #1 seed in St. Louis, Denver goes to Manchester and Yale is still the host in Bridgeport.

Our bracket as we have it set up now:

East Regional (Bridgeport, Connecticut)
1 Yale vs 16 RIT
7 Wisconsin vs 10 Merrimack

Mid-West Regional (Green Bay, Wisconsin)
4 Minnesota-Duluth vs 13 Union
5 Boston College vs 12 Notre Dame

Northeast Regional (Manchester, New Hampshire)
3 Denver vs 14 Dartmouth
8 New Hampshire vs 9 Michigan

West Regional (St. Louis, Missouri)
3 North Dakota vs 15 Boston University
6 RPI vs 11 Western Michigan

Then to help attendance in Green Bay we flip Boston College and Wisconsin. We can't just flip the individual teams because that would create an intra-conference match up between BC and Merrimack and it would also create a pretty big difference in bracket integrity so we'll take the entire Wisconsin/Merrimack match up and flip it with Boston College/Notre Dame.

Now we have:

East Regional (Bridgeport, Connecticut)
1 Yale vs 16 RIT
5 Boston College vs 12 Notre Dame

Mid-West Regional (Green Bay, Wisconsin)
4 Minnesota-Duluth vs 13 Union
7 Wisconsin vs 10 Merrimack

Northeast Regional (Manchester, New Hampshire)
3 Denver vs 14 Dartmouth
8 New Hampshire vs 9 Michigan

West Regional (St. Louis, Missouri)
3 North Dakota vs 15 Boston University
6 RPI vs 11 Western Michigan

That helps out attendance as we have Yale and BC in Bridgeport, Duluth and Wisconsin in Green Bay, New Hampshire and Dartmouth in Manchester, and North Dakota in St. Louis.

So that's what I'll go with for week 12. Check out USCHO.com later this week for Jayson Moy's version.

Week by week Wisconsin tournament tracker:
Week 1: #12 overall seed vs Michigan in Mid-West Regional in Green Bay
Week 2: First team out of the tournament, #16 in the PWR
Week 3: Falling further away from the tournament, #24 in the PWR
Week 4: Stopped the bleeding, moved up to #18 in the PWR
Week 5: Still hovering in the bubble, dropped a spot to #19 in PWR
Week 6: Gaining some ground, moved up to #17 in the PWR
Week 7: Stalemate, still at #17 in the PWR on a bye week.
Week 8: Back in the game, #12 overall seed in Northeast Regional in Manchester
Week 9: Moving on up, to the east side. #9 overall seed in the East Regional.
Week 10a: All the way up to the #8 overall seed vs Maine in the East Regional.
Week 10b: With the PWR tweak we drop a spot. Now playing BC in Green Bay.
Week 11: Keep winning, keep moving up. #7 overall seed vs Western Mich in Green Bay.
Week 12: #7 overall seed once again. This week vs Merrimack in Green Bay.

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