Below is what I think the NCAA hockey bracket would look like today, and a breif summary of the system "the committee" uses to determine the field (way too long explanation of the pairwise - http://www.collegehockeynews.com/info/?d=pwcrpi), after the sweep at Miami. It's a crazy formula (which at times I wonder is it any better than just throwing random people who barely watch any games into a room like basketball does).
- Pairwise is made up by comparisions as every TUC (team under consideration) will have a comparision against every other team.
- TUC's are determined as those teams who has a RPI over .500._
- RPI is defined to adjust the differerent strength of schedules among all the teams in D-1 hockey and is calcuated by the combination of: 1. A team's own winning percentage (25%); 2. The average of the team's opponents' winning percentages (21%); 3. The average of the team's opponents opponents' winning percentages (54%).
- Common opponents in a comparions is the total record for a team against teams that both in the comparison have played.
How a comparison is formed:
- Comparions are based off points. The team with the higher RPI gets 1 point. The team with the better winning percentage against the TUC's gets 1 point. The team with the better winning percentage against the common opponents gets 1 point. For every head to head matchup between the teams being compared, the winner gets 1 point. Ties result in no points either way. Below is an example of a comparion between Michigan and Miami:
Although Miami won both head to head matchups this weekend and gained 2 points because of it, since Michigan leads in the other three categories, they still win the comparison 3-2. A tie in the total comparison goes to the team with the higher RPI (I think).
In the current pairwise listing below, the two-letter abbreviation is the team's conference (CC - CCHA, WH - WCHA, HE - Hockey East, EC - ECAC, AH - Atlantic Hockey), and the number is the total comparisons won by that team. Currently, there are 30 TUC's (which changes based on the number of teams with an RPI over .5), and since you can't beat yourself, the highest possible comparions won score is 29 (which #1 Yale has), meaning they have won their comparision against every other team.
- 16 teams make the tournament, which are the top 16 in the pairwise at the end of the year before the conference playoff winners (automatic qualifiers) are taken into account.
- Right now no one from Atlantic Hockey is in the top 16, so the last spot will be their "champ". Thus, the "cut-line" is at 15, and for every team who wins their conference via the playoffs (auto-qualifier), like Alabama-Huntsville did last year (Michigan wasn't above the cut line until they won the CCHA playoffs), it drops.
- Teams who host a regional have to be placed in it, no matter what their seed is. The hosts are Yale for the Bridgeport regional, New Hampshire for Manchester, Michigan Tech (lol) for Green Bay regional and the CCHA for St. Louis.
- 1 through 4 are 1 seeds, 5 through 8 are 2 seeds, etc.
- The "committee" has a 400 mile driving limit (between a school and the host) and does what they can to keep those schools in those regionals. Michigan is more than 400 miles from any regional site and thus will have to fly no matter what. Teams like Minnesota-Duluth, Notre Dame, and Western Michigan are all within 400 miles of Green Bay, and thus can bus there.
- The "committee" has to avoid first-round matchups (and preferably possible second-round matchups) of teams from the same conferences, unless they are unavoidable.
- The "committee" will move teams around to abide by the regulations above. Teams are very rarely moved from one seed band (1 seed, 2 seed) to another, but are switched within bands with norm. I explain my changes within the seed bands below the brackets and why I made each change.
My projection (using http://www.collegehockeynews.com/ratings/ncaapwcr.php, breaking ties by RPI) through tonights games:
1. Yale (EC) - 29
2. Boston College (HE) - 26
3. Minnesota-Duluth (WC) - 26
4. New Hampshire (HE) - 26
5. North Dakota (WC) - 26
6. Denver (WC) - 25
7. Rensselaer (EC) - 21
8. Wisconsin (WC) - 21
9. Union (EC) - 20
10. Merrimack (HE) - 20
11. Notre Dame (CC) - 18
12. Michigan (CC) - 18
13. Western Michigan (CC) - 18
14. Boston University (HE) - 17
15. Nebraska-Omaha (WC) - 16
16. Atlantic Hockey Champ (AH)
1. Yale (EC)
8. Wisconsin (WC)
9. Union (EC)
14. Boston University (HE)
2. Boston College (HE)
5. North Dakota (WC)
12. Michigan (CC)
15. Nebraska-Omaha (WC)
3. Minnesota-Duluth (WC)
6. Denver (WC)
11. Notre Dame (CC)
13. Western Michigan (CC)
4. New Hampshire (HE)
7. Rensselaer (EC)
10. Merrimack (HE)
16. Atlantic Hockey Champ (AH)
1 seeds: #1 Yale (Bridgeport Host), #4 New Hampshire (Manchester Host), #3 Duluth within driving to Green Bay, leaves #2 BC for St. Louis.
2/3 seeds: Switched the 7/10 and 5/12 matchups to help with attendance.
4 seeds: #13 Western Michigan within driving to Green Bay, kept the #15 UNO for in St Louis for attendance. Switched #14 BU and #16 AHA Champ to avoid Hockey East first round matchup in Manchester.