Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday Night Bracketology: Week 15 2/21/2011

Despite only coming up with 1 point in a key home series against Minnesota, the Badgers actually found a way to move up in the PWR to #14 with some timely losses by the teams around them. Remember that 16 teams make the tournament, and Atlantic Hockey will take away one of the at large bids since they don't have a team in the top 16. For every team that's not in the top 15 of the PWR that wins a conference tournament, that number of at large bids goes down. Wisconsin would like to get to at least 12 or 13 in the PWR to feel safe.

The WCHA still holds 5 at large bids by my count right now with Minnesota-Duluth, North Dakota, Denver, Wisconsin, and UNO. Colorado College (19), and Minnesota (18) still have a shot at at large bids if they can go on a run throughout he last few weeks of the season.

Step 1: Pick the 16 tournament teams

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

Bubble Teams (in order): Boston University, Dartmouth, Minnesota, Colorado College, Maine

Step 2: Assign the seeds

No. 1 seeds: Yale, North Dakota, Boston College, Merrimack
No. 2 seeds: Denver, Michigan, Minnesota-Duluth, Union
No. 3 seeds: Nebraska-Omaha, Notre Dame, New Hampshire, Miami
No. 4 seeds: RPI, Wisconsin, Western Michigan, 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 #3 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 Boston College is placed in the Northeast Regional in Manchester
No. 4 Merrimack is placed in the West Regional in St. Louis

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 Union is placed in No. 1 Yale's Regional, the East Region
No. 7 UMD is placed in No. 2 North Dakota's Regional, the Mid-West Regional
No. 6 Michigan is placed in No. 3 BC's Regional, the Northeast Regional
No. 5 Denver is placed in No. 4 Merrimack's Regional, the West Regional

Number 3 seeds:

No. 9 Nebraska Omaha is placed No. 8 Union's Regional, the East Regional
No. 10 Notre Dame is placed in No. 7 UMD's Regional, the Mid-West Regional
No. 11 UNH (host) is placed in No. 6 Michigan's Regional, the Northeast Regional
No. 12 Miami is placed in No. 5 Denver's Regional, the West Regional

Number 4 seeds:

No. 13 RPI is placed in No. 4 Merrimack's Regional, the West Regional
No. 14 Wisconsin is placed in No. 3 BC's Regional, the Northeast Regional
No. 15 Western Michigan is placed in No. 2 UND'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
8 Union vs 9 Nebraska-Omaha

Mid-West Regional (Green Bay, Wisconsin)
2 North Dakota vs 15 Western Michigan
7 Minnesota-Duluth vs 10 Notre Dame

Northeast Regional (Manchester, New Hampshire)
3 Boston College vs 14 Wisconsin
6 Michigan vs 11 New Hampshire

West Regional (St. Louis, Missouri)
4 Merrimack vs 13 RPI
5 Denver vs 12 Miami

Our first concern is to avoid intra-conference first round match ups. This week we have none so that's a positive.

Can we do anything to improve attendance? Wisconsin can't be moved to Green Bay the way we have it set up because it will cause an intra-conference match up. The one option that stands out to me involves North Dakota.

I've placed UND in Green Bay as it's technically the closest location to Grand Forks. But it's still 9 hours away and they have to fly no matter what. So what if we have UND as the #1 in the West Regional in St. Louis and have Merrimack as the #1 seed in Green Bay instead? That would open up the move for Wisconsin to Green Bay.

If we move the whole match up between UND and Western Michigan to St. Louis, things look a lot better. We then can flip RPI and Wisconsin bringing UW to Green Bay and RPI to Manchester, improving attendance in both regionals in the process.

Our bracket as we have it set up now:

East Regional (Bridgeport, Connecticut)
1 Yale vs 16 RIT
8 Union vs 9 Nebraska-Omaha

Mid-West Regional (Green Bay, Wisconsin)
4 Merrimack vs 14 Wisconsin
7 Minnesota-Duluth vs 10 Notre Dame

Northeast Regional (Manchester, New Hampshire)
3 Boston College vs 13 RPI
6 Michigan vs 11 New Hampshire

West Regional (St. Louis, Missouri)
2 North Dakota vs 15 Western Michigan
5 Denver vs 12 Miami

That's one of the best brackets we've had this season. Attendance looks great with Yale, RIT, and Union in Bridgeport, Wisconsin, UMD, and Notre Dame in Green Bay, BC, RPI, and UNH in Manchester, and UND in St. Louis.

That's my bracket for the week.

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.
Week 13: #8 overall seed, taking on #9 Union in the Mid-West Regional in GB.
Week 14: #15 overall seed, in the Northeast Regional vs Boston College.
Week 15: Moved up a spot after sliding the past 3 weeks. #14 overall seed in GB.

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