LIST OF WWE PERSONNEL?!?
First home series since 1/9-10 when Michigan swept Minnesota.
Michigan is in their home uniforms for the first time in 90 days. 11/28 vs RPI was the last time Michigan played in their home whites.
What more can you really say about this series? Michigan must win both games. Not tie, not shootout win.
Win. 3 points tonight, and 3 points tomorrow afternoon.
Puck drop: 7:35pm
TV: FSN Plus
Luke put the bisket in the basket with 1:15 remaining in the game to for the winning goal in the Wings 3-2 win over the Sharks.
Luke celbrates winning goal
Luke in the Maize and Blue
We had a pistons thread, why not have a hockey thread for any detroit fans staying up for the sports double-header (or for any of you kings fans out there).
Wings down 1 with 11 minutes left in the 2nd. Started off very shaky but the game has gotten much more even and exciting.
With Three weeks remaining in Michigan's regular season the playoff picture hasn't really cleared up, in fact the loss last Friday night was thought to be a knockout punch when in reality it just made the road a little rougher.
A diary posted by Wolverine in Exile on Monday asked the question if the at-large bid was dead or not, well I'm going to show here that it is in fact not dead and still a very possible goal. I will save this for the end though and provide updates from around the country last week and a quick look at some big games this weekend.
Michigan suffered an upsetting loss on Friday night thanks to some sloppy play in their own zone (sound at all familiar???).and came back with a win on Sunday on home Ice. Sunday's game featured some great passing in the offensive zone (Larkin showing he is the best player on the ice) but still had some horrendous defensive zone play. The first period in particular featured some awful breakout passes that led to scoring opportunities which forced Racine to step up and play one of his better games this season.
Around the B1G: The standings remain the same! Minnesota splits at Pegula winning 2-1 Friday night and dropping a 4-3 overtime contest Saturday. Michigan State splits out at Kohl losing 2-1 Friday night and a 3-0 bounce back victory Saturday.
Our Non-conference opponents: RPI goes 0-1-1 on the road at Cornell and at Colgate. UMass-Lowell picked up a road tie at Boston College in their only game of the weekend. BC had the tie and an overtime victory in the Beanpot 3rd place game over Harvard. Boston University had a 1-1-1 weekend with a 0-1-1 home series with Notre Dame and the overtime win in the Beanpot Final over Northeastern. New Hampshire swept Connecticut in a home and home series. Ferris State swept Alabama-Huntsville on the road.
Michigan (#19) hosts Wisconsin (#55) for a two game series Friday (7:30 FSD+) and Saturday (4:00 BTN). Obviously a MUST SWEEP SERIES. Wisconsin is entering the series as the #55 team (out of 59 teams) in the country and sit dead last in the B1G standings.
Around the B1G: Michigan State (t#33) goes on the road again this time out to Minnesota (#10) for a Thursday (9:00 BTN) and Friday night (9:00 BTN) series. State needs to pick up some points if they want to keep themselves close to the top teams in conference and potentially grab a bye to the second day of the B1G tournament. Penn State (t#25) goes down to Columbus for a Friday (6:30 BTN) and Saturday (7:00) series against Ohio State (#43) and they need to win both to keep their conference title hopes strong.
Non-conference foes: American International (#58) has a home and home series with Army (#57), RPI (#48) welcomes Clarkson (#38) in on Friday night and St. Lawrence (#20) Saturday night. BC (#9) goes on the road to South Bend for a rivalry series with Notre Dame (#32) Friday and Saturday. BU (#6) has a home and home series with Northeastern (#t#21) (the same team that they beat 4-3 in overtime Monday night). Lowell (#16) stays at home to take on Vermont (t#17) in a series of top 20 teams who are fighting for a chance at an at-large bid. New Hampshire (#35) hosts Merrimack (t#29) for a two game series Friday and Saturday. Ferris State (#37) hosts Bemidji State (t#25) for 2. Michigan Tech (#5) goes on the road with a solid chance to help Michigan's RPI as they travel to Mankato to take on the #1 team Minnesota State for two games.
Other games of note: Harvard (t#17) hosts Quinnipiac (t#11) Friday. Yale (#15) hosts Colgate (t#21) Friday and Cornell (31) Saturday. Miami (#4) travels to Denver (#7) for two games. Nebraska-Omaha (#8) travels up north to take on Minnesota-Duluth (#3) twice.
1. Michigan 27pts 9-5-0-0
2. Minnesota 27pts 8-3-3-0
3. Michigan State 25pts 7-5-2-2
4. Penn State 25pts 8-5-1-0
5. Ohio State 12pts 4-10-0-0
6. Wisconsin 10pts 2-10-2-2
1. Minnesota State
2. North Dakota
5. Michigan Tech
6. Boston university
9. Boston College
13. Bowling Green
14. St.Cloud State
20. St. Lawrence
t25 PENN STATE
t33 MICHIGAN STATE
35. New Hampshire
37. Ferris State
43. OHIO STATE
58. American International
Points (B1G rank)
t3 (1) Zach Hyman 43
t11 (2) Dylan Larkin 38
t11 (2) Zach Hyman 18
t6 (2) Dylan Larkin 26
t10 (3) Zach Hyman 25
Team Offense #1 (1) 3.96 Goals per Game
Team Defense #40 (4) 3.00 Goals per Game
Power Play #5 (2) 23.23%
Penalty Kill t#33 (2) 81.9%
I ran some tests on a Pairwise simulator and if Michigan sweeps Wisconsin it looks like worst case scenario (non-conference opponents lose, teams around Michigan win) Michigan remains #19 and one of the better case scenarios (with help of some reasonable upsets and favourable outcomes from non-conference opponents and teams around Michigan) the Wolverines could move up into the 15th spot. A reasonable outcome this weekend would leave Michigan a couple spots shy and rank #17 before next weeks series at Penn State. The hopes for an at-large ARE NOT DEAD!
In the glow of Sunday's gloriousness, one disturbing item was nearly washed out, the hockey team's inconceivable loss to Ohio St on Friday night. Needing a strong finish to the season to ensure an at-large bid chance, majority opinion was that a non-sweep this weekend was life-threatening (see "Sweep or Die" in Brian's preview).
With the split instead of a sweep, the predicatble happened. Michigan dropped a couple slots all the way down to 20th in Pairwise Rankings (PWR) and are by first blush out of consideration for an at-large bid (see PWR here http://www.uscho.com/rankings/pairwise-rankings/d-i-men/grid/#Michigan). With the way the NCAA tourney works, you basically have to be higher than 14th to have any confidence of an at-large bid. 16 teams are taken and usually the 15th and 16th slots if not more are taken by conference tourney winners outside the Top 16. This year, there's guaranteed to be one bid stolen from the Top 16 PWR teams, the spot going to the American Hockey champion (right now Robert Morris has secured the regualr season title, and sit at 23 in the PWR).
PWR is essentially a 3-part process where you compare your selves against other teams: RPI (a percentage measure of a team's strength based on record, road wins, and strength of schedule), Common Opponents, and Head-to-head.
While the situation is bad, it's not impossible to see Michigan *even at this point* getting an at-large bid. Assuming Michigan needs to get to at least 15 for an at-large slot, looking at Michigan directly on the PWR matrix, there are 5 teams ahead of us. I list them below with the PWR score, and what they're winning the comparison on:
14. St Cloud St, 0-1, RPI, .5349-.5457
15. Yale, 0-1, RPI, .5349-.5441
16. Harvard, 0-2, RPI & Common opponents
17. UMass-Lowell, 1-2, RPI (.5349-.5374) & Common opponent- note we win head to head
18. Vermont, .0-1, RPI, .5349-.5388
19. St Lawrence, 0-2, RPI (.5349-.5364) & common opponent
So realistically, a delta more than 0.02 in RPI at this point in the season is too much to make up and a common opponent comparison is pretty much set in stone at this point unless you're talking about someone else in your own conference. But Yale, UMass-Lowell, Vermont, and St Lawrence are all only 1 comparison flip away from us jumping them, and it's so bunched up with the difference in RPI so low, there's still a chance. Since we stil have 2 away games against Penn St coming up, the bonus points for a road win that go into RPI still put us in play. If Michigan St keeps improving, we might even be eligilble to gaba bonus road win point adjustment from that Friday night game at Munn on the last regular season weekend.
Basically there's a multi-part formula that's still in play for us to get an at-large slot. It is:
- Go 5-1 / 6-0 to end the regular season. A sweep against Penn St is a necessity. No more room for error.
- Hope Harvard loses to BC tonight (common opponent) and then everybody else from St Cloud St through St Lawrence play middling hockey to end the regular season
- We need to beat Penn St (more likely after this weekend they're going to be a 3 seed) in a BTT Semifinal. We could lose in the final, but only to Minnesota as long as they're sufficiently high in the PWR (and they are right now). Any other B1G team wins the tourney besides Minnesota and we're out for at-large consideration.
- Hope everybody on that list from 14-19 above lose early in their conference tournaments. No semi or finals appearances for them.
We probably can make up enough ground with a winning streak and a BTT finals appearance to flip a single RPI against msot of these teams. The bugaboo would appear to be Harvard-- but they may play themselves into an at-large if they get up to 14. An American Hockey cinderella story isn't going to affect us, and one possible advantage of the B1G being so down, is that each other "big" conference (Hockey East, ECAC, NCHC, WCHA) have most of their contending teams already significantly above us, so it'd have to be a REAL cinderella run by a lower team from those conferences to "steal" another slot. I think we're looking at a tournament this year where the 15 team in PWR gets in as teh last at-large slot.
This is stil highly volatile and Michigan does not have its destiny in its own hands. I'm still of the belief that if we would have swept this weekend, we probably would be at 16 or even 15 in PWR and could have essentially controlled our destiny to an at-large. Now we need help. But it's not impossible.
UPDATE (2/24): With Harvard's loss to BC in the Beanpot 3rd place game, that helped us in two ways:
1. Harvard losing knocked their RPI down a little
2. BC and BU winning actually bumped up our RPI from .5349 to .5352. My back of envelope math shows we're probably within a 1 game difference of Harvard and UMass-Lowell (important for UML since we won head to head). Not sure if we can jump Vermont yet. A Vermont - UML split this weekend probably is the preferred result.
Revised bottom line is that from this point out, beside Michigan finishing 6-0 or 5-1 with a BTT Finals appearance, cheer like hell for Michigan Tech (easy), BC & BU (not so easy) to make huge runs from here on out. Their (BC & BU) improvements in winning percentage alone bumped us up Monday. They're the only OOC opponents we've played that have a realistic shot of helping us by winning a lot the rest of the season. Plus, all three are already ahead of us in PWR significantly, so a conference tourney win by either of the three helps with addition / maintenence of another at-large slot. It's still going to be tight, but the road to slot #15 is still open.
Basketball, hockey, and the game against MSU in hockey from a few weeks ago. Hockey torrent isn't quite ready yet, I'll update the OP once it is.
2015.02.22 NCAAB - Ohio State at Michigan - https://infotomb.com/vhc9a.torrent
2015.02.22 NCAAH - Ohio State at Michigan - https://infotomb.com/r98hm.torrent
2015.02.11 NCAAH - Michigan vs. Michigan State - https://infotomb.com/7b7v1.torrent