Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tuesday Afternoon Bracketology Week 9: 1/11/11

It's time once again for our weekly installment of Bracketology. This week finds the Badgers moving on up once again. For the second week in a row the Badgers are projected to be tournament bound. Last week Wisconsin checked in at #12, this week we're at #9 in the PWR. Remember, we'd like to get to at least #13 or #14 to lock in an at large bid.

The WCHA dropped 1 bid this week with Colorado College dropping to #16 in the PWR. If the season ended today, the WCHA would have five teams in the tournament. The five currently in the tournament right now: North Dakota, Denver, Minnesota-Duluth, Nebraska-Omaha, Wisconsin. Colorado College, Minnesota State, and Minnesota are all within striking distance of an at large bid.

Step 1: Pick the 16 tournament teams

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

Bubble Teams (in order): Colorado College, Maine, Alakska, Dartmouth, Miami

Step 2: Assign the seeds

No. 1 seeds: Yale, North Dakota, Minnesota-Duluth, Boston College
No. 2 seeds: Denver, New Hampshire, Michigan, Notre Dame
No. 3 seeds: Wisconsin, Nebraska-Omaha, RPI, Merrimack
No. 4 seeds: Union, Western Michigan, Boston University, Robert Morris

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 Minnesota-Duluth is placed in the West Regional in St. Louis
No. 4 Boston College 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 Notre Dame is placed in No. 1 Yale's Regional, the East Regional
No. 7 Michigan is placed in No. 2 North Dakota's Regional, the Mid-West Regional
No. 6 UNH (host) is placed in No. 4 Boston College's Regional, the Northeast Regional
No. 5 Denver is placed in No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth's Regional, the West Regional

Number 3 seeds:

No. 9 Wisconsin is placed No. 8 Notre Dame's Regional, the East Regional
No. 10 Nebraska-Omaha is placed in No. 7 Michigan's Regional, the Mid-West Regional
No. 11 RPI is placed in No. 6 New Hampshire's Regional, the Northeast Regional
No. 12 Merrimack is placed in No. 5 Denver's Regional, the West Regional

Number 4 seeds:

No. 13 Union is placed in No. 4 Boston College's Regional, the Northeast Regional
No. 14 Western Michigan is placed in No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth's Regional, the West Regional
No. 15 Boston University is placed in No. 2 North Dakota's Regional, the Mid-West Regional
No. 16 Robert Morris 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 Robert Morris
8 Notre Dame vs 9 Wisconsin

Mid-West Regional (Green Bay, Wisconsin)
2 North Dakota vs 15 Boston University
7 Michigan vs 10 Nebraska-Omaha

Northeast Regional (Manchester, New Hampshire)
4 Boston College vs 13 Union
6 New Hampshire vs 11 RPI

West Regional (St. Louis, Missouri)
3 Minnesota-Duluth vs 14 Western Michigan
5 Denver vs 12 Merrimack

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

Attendance looks fairly strong across the board. There are a few changes we could make to make it better. One thing we could do would be to have Minnesota-Duluth in Green Bay instead of North Dakota. I could very well see the NCAA doing this. I'm guessing North Dakota will have to fly no matter if they go to Green Bay or St. Louis and Duluth can bus to Green Bay. It was a similar situation last season where the committee shipped Denver out East and had Wisconsin in St. Paul because Wisconsin could bus to St. Paul.

Another thing we could do is flip the match up between Norte Dame and Wisconsin to the Green Bay regional and flip the Michigan/Nebraska-Omaha match up out east. That would give the Green Bay attendance a significant boost.

I'm not confident in either move right now so I'm going to leave it as is.

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.

chuckschwartz@live.com
Follow me on Twitter