This is maaaaybe premature there, ESPN. Maryland #1 FWIW.
Flip You For Real
Last weekend we crushed NMU. MSU is next at the Joe and then either Notre Dame or Lake Superior, depending on the outcome of the early game.
- Michigan State. We have to go 0-2 at the Joe and State has to go 2-0 for the Spartans to pass us. Otherwise we'll win a tied comparison by virtue of our higher RPI.
- Dartmouth & St. Lawrence. Both are in the same boat as MSU: must win their conference tourney and hope we go 0-2 to flip the comparison. We cannot lose comparisons to both these schools because one has to lose.
- UMass. [was: lock we won.] I underestimated the ability of UMass to fly up the RPI with games against high-quality opposition. We can lose this comparison if -- say it with me -- UMass wins their conference tourney and we go 0-2 at the Joe.
Locks: LSSU, UNO, MSU-Mankato, Cornell, Vermont, Wisconsin, Michigan Tech, Maine [was: tossup... Maine got swept *again* by UMass], Miami [was: tossup... swept by Lake State], Denver [was: tossup... also swept.], Colorado College [was: solid win. They lost in three to MTU.]
- BC & BU. The two archrivals play in the Hockey East semis. If we win the CCHA, we will pass the loser of that game. If the winner of that game loses in the HE final, we will also pass them. A split at the Joe does nothing for us; we'll lose both comparisons.
- North Dakota. [was: tossup we lost.] NoDak did indeed sweep Minnesota State right out of TUC status, opening the door for us. Here's a weird math thing for you: since we have fewer games against TUCs, if we win the CCHA we will flip NoDak no matter what they do. We're currently winning COP but are behind on RPI and TUC, but our 8-7-1 becomes a 10-7-1 with a CCHA tourney win and NoDak's 12-10-2 can't win that race even if it becomes 14-10-2.
- Clarkson. We have to win the CCHA and have Clarkson go 0-2 this weekend to pass them.
Locks: SCSU, Minnesota, Notre Dame, UNH.
We are in. I have fiddled with every nightmare scenario available at TBRW -- 0-2 at the Joe, UMass and St Lawrence doing well, UNO's TUC status evaporating in a puff of smoke -- and the worst case appears to be #12. On the other side of the coin: believe it or not, with the right set of results Michigan can vault all the way to #5. Only four comparisons are completely gone, mostly thanks to UNO hanging on to TUC status by .0008 over RIT, Minnesota State, and a bunch of other teams. You might expect UNO is safely in the barn since all the teams near the TUC cliff are done for the season, but you would be wrong. Since RPI is 75% opponents' and opponents-opponents' schedule there will be some jitter down there and it's possible we could lose those two TUC wins. The above projections assume that this does not happen. If it does we cannot win the BU, BC, or Clarkson comparisons; North Dakota requires us to pass them in RPI; the rest of the comparisons still in play are unaffected.
Assuming UNO remains a TUC, Michigan controls its own destiny and can play themselves into 5-6-7 by winning the CCHA tourney. Michigan will hold all of the comparisons it currently does and will take at least two comparisons from NoDak, BC, and BU, escaping the dread Minnesota zone.
If Michigan splits they are locked into the 8-9 game and a bracket with the #1 overall seed unless they get swapped out because of an intra-conference conflict.
If Michigan gets swept at the Joe things will depend on how the other games go. Figure State is slightly less than 50-50 to win the CCHA tourney in that situation and that Dartmouth and SLU are collectively about 50-50 to win the ECAC tourney. UMass may be 10-20% to win HE, so we figure to lose slightly more than one comparison on average. That would put us either #10 or #11.
So the good news is that you can show up at the Joe and root for the Wolverines without any nagging concerns about Michigan getting boned by winning. A CCHA title probably means a two-seed in Grand Rapids, possibly with a Notre Dame team we (hypothetically) just beat.
Others of Note
Michigan State is on shakier ground than we are but is in with a split and is probably in even if swept. Miami is currently hanging onto its bid by the skin of its teeth at #14. They must root against LSSU, Wisconsin, MTU, Dartmouth, and Quinnipiac in their respective conference tourneys. Any autobid handed out to a team currently behind them dumps them from the tourney. The Redhawks dodged an enormous bullet last night when Minnesota and St. Cloud got late goals -- in St. Cloud's case, really really late: the third OT -- to boot UAA and UMD from the WCHA tournament.