Didn't the committee override the PWR a few years ago with CC and North Dakota, after the lower PWR team won the WCHA tournament? Seems like M's large fan base generally hurts them at this time of year. "We can send Michigan to ______, they'll still draw a crowd."
Pairwise: We're Screwed
All right: we're pretty much screwed. There is a tiny chance we can pass Notre Dame if Michigan wins the CCHA playoffs and Notre Dame gets swept at the Joe. Even in that situation (with all higher seeds winning other games) You Are The Committee shows Notre Dame taking the comparison, but the RPI edge there is tiny and could be shoved over to Michigan if a few other games go Michigan's way. (St. Lawrence, Minnesota, and Wisconsin would help out by winning, as that pushes Michigan's RPI up.)
So: have Michigan win twice, have one of the country's best teams lose to Alaska and Northern Michigan, and hope for favorable results in other conference tournaments. The chances are griiiiiim.
As for the faint hope some PWR wackiness costs ND a couple other comparisons, that's dead, too. ND's got the perfect scenario as far as TUCs go right now—they're a whopping 4-0 against Northern, which is now hanging by a thread as a TUC—and is up to 10-5 in that category, which is very strong. ND can't lose (metaphorically) against Northern: win and they, you know, win. Lose and Northern keeps its TUC status and ND gets to keep its 4-1 record against them.
Well, the good news is I can't get Michigan any lower than fourth unless they get swept at the Joe and Northeastern wins Hockey East, or they split and both Northwestern and Denver win their conference tournaments. YATC is kind of clunky and I haven't tested all possible scenarios, but Michigan's #1 seed seems 80% likely.
Then you've got a pretty weird scenario developing at the bottom of the bracket: CHA qualifier Bemidji State is the usual grab-bag foe you really want to play in the first round and will get slotted against BU. But Air Force, if it wins its conference tournament, is likely to be #13 or #14 in the PWR. IE: above the last at-large bid, possibly above two. What would the committee do in that situation?
No offense to Air Force, but they're an Atlantic Hockey team that's freakin' 30th in KRACH. If they qualify they are clearly the second most desirable first round opponent and should, by rights, be slotted against ND. But if they go by strict PWR Air Force would get matched up against… probably us, since it looks highly likely that one of the four-seeds is going to be Miami, who would get matched up with North Dakota or Vermont or whoever because they're going to protect BU and the Redhawks can't play a CCHA team.
It would be the sweetest poetic justice if Michigan got shafted out of the #2 seed only to draw that second auto-bid team and Notre Dame got Lowell or Yale or Duluth. We'd still be getting shipped, unfortunately.
What are the odds of the committee looking at the calls during the ND game and giving us the nod? Yes, wishful thinking.
There is subjectivity in the process but half of getting a good seed is playing close to home and the other half is playing in an easier location. I would rather play in poland then the 'grouping of death' that always happens.
seems like a good number of bracket predictions have us going to GR for whatever reason. i would love that if it actually happened
I think this is a very good team and can go a long way regardless of their seed or where they play. Michigan could be the Memphis of the NCAA hockey bracket; a team no one really wants to play until they really have to.
I'd greatly prefer the team be placed in the Grand Rapids regional, but primarily for selfish reasons (i.e. more convenient to attend). The quality of the competition is the dominant consideration regarding their success. They made it through a relatively weak Albany regional with ease last year; our last trip to Grand Rapids, not so much.
Actually, by the looks of it, Minnesota winning the WCHA championship over Denver will flip the Minnesota-Notre Dame comparison, and thus knock ND down to 4th behind us and Denver. As much as it pains me to root for Minnesota, this is probably the easiest way for us to pass ND.
What I'd really like to see is Minnesota either falling out of the tournament, or moving up to a 3 seed, since I think in either case Denver goes to Minneapolis. I'd much rather us go out east to play than go west to play Minnesota on their home ice.
EDIT: This all assumes, of course, that we beat ND in the CCHA title game.