The NCAA Hockey Tournament Could Be Better: 2018 Edition

The NCAA Hockey Tournament Could Be Better: 2018 Edition

Submitted by NastyIsland on March 21st, 2018 at 11:30 AM


This is the appropriate reaction to Plink-O. [ and]

I wrote this last year. It is more or less what I will say now, but with a couple of things shifted and an update to 2018. All of the block quotes are highlights from my previous piece. Later on this week, I will have a Northeastern/overall 2018 tournament preview. Let’s begin:

What Could Have Happened in 2018:

Final Top 16 (PairWise plus Conference Tournament Winners):

1 St Cloud State
2 Notre Dame
3 Cornell
4 Ohio State
5 Denver
6 Minnesota State
7 Providence
8 Michigan
9 Northeastern
10 Clarkson
11 Penn State
12 Minnesota-Duluth
13 Boston University
14 Princeton
15 Michigan Tech
16 Air Force

If we’re going to do Best-of-Three matchups at home sites, the format would follow the pattern of 1v16, 2v15, 3v14, 4v13, etc. We will need to take into account: 1.) no intra-conference matchups in the Round of 16 and 2.) travel costs versus bracket integrity.

Most of it seems fine. We’ll have to switch Penn State and Minn-Duluth, but the rest of it actually looks good, with a few already-close matchups. We could have St Cloud State and Notre Dame swap timeslots so that it's not as late in South Bend, but I’m guessing the Irish would rather be on national television. Obviously, there would still be an OCTO-BOX-esque RedZone channel, as well.

[After THE JUMP: what's broken and how to fix it]

NCAA Hockey Seeding Update

NCAA Hockey Seeding Update

Submitted by stephenrjking on March 11th, 2018 at 1:04 AM

Michigan's done in the B1G tournament (which has been really good this year, for the first time in the hockey history of the conference). Crucially, so are a fair number of other teams: The seeding picture is rounding into shape.

Per's Pairwise Probability Matrix, Michigan still has an 18% chance of sliding into the 8th spot, which would be the last 2 seed. That's not likely, though. MIchigan has an impressive 52% chance to finish at 9th and a 26% chance to stay at where they are at 10th. Why are they likely to move up? Providence and Northeastern, which are both narrowly ahead of Michigan, play each other next weekend in the Hockey East semis, and one of them has to lose. 

There is almost no (3%, precisely) chance that they slide further. If Clarkson (currently 11th) passes them that will be offset by either Providence or Northeastern, and the next two teams behind them are Penn State and Minnesota, over which MIchigan holds unassailable PWR comparison leads due to head-to-head record.

The upshot? Michigan has a small chance at a 2 seed, but is likely going to be a high 3 seed in the tournament. The committee has the option to switch around 2-3 pairings for regional and conference issues, but they prefer not to if it's avoidable. It looks like the only real factors in these seedings will be avoiding a Providence-Northeastern conference rematch and the requirement to place Penn State in Allentown. 

So, by my reckoning, Michigan is probably looking at UMD or the winner of Northeastern-Providence, with small chances for other matchups. If they do indeed dodge Denver, that is good. By straight seeding, Michigan at 9 playing UMD at 8 would be bracketed with St. Cloud State and whomever wins the Atlantic conference. That's pretty brutal; it wouldn't hurt Michigan to stay at 10, draw the Northeastern-Providence winner, and get bracketed with Cornell or Notre Dame. 

Regarding other stuff, OSU seems like a fair bet as the lowest #1 seed to get placed in Sioux Falls and play North Dakota. Penn State is required to go to Allentown and might bring Minnesota with them. That PSU match might be a game against Minnesota State (congratulations, Mankato! Every time you have a good season, the horrible NCAA tournament format means you get the shaft!) and Notre Dame (if MInnesota is not a 4 seed there) or Cornell as the 1.

tl;dr Michigan is probably a high 3 seed. Likely to play UMD, or perhaps the Providence-Northeastern winner. 

NCAA Hockey Tournament Open Thread

NCAA Hockey Tournament Open Thread

Submitted by VCavman24 on March 29th, 2015 at 10:05 PM

With Boston University and North Dakota already having booked their tickets to Boston, there were/are two games today to decide the other two teams that will make the Frozen Four.   #4 seed and #15 overall seed Providence beat #2 seed Denver 4-1 in Providence to advance to the Frozen four.  Currently, #4 seed and #16 seed overall RIT is losing to Nebraska-Omaha 1-0 with just 8 minutes remaining in South Bend.  This is Providence's first Frozen Four since 1985 and would be RIT's first FF appearance since 2010/Nebraska-Omaha's first FF ever (they started in 1997.)

Also of note, with Providence advancing to the Frozen Four, this is the third straight year that the last at-large team in the tournament (Yale in 2013 and North Dakota last year) made the FF and tournament because Michigan failed to win it's last game.

NCAA Hockey Tournament Bracket Challenge

NCAA Hockey Tournament Bracket Challenge

Submitted by goblueram on March 19th, 2012 at 12:12 AM

I created a bracket group for the NCAA Hockey Tournament, which starts Friday.  Here is the link:

You will have to register on the site to join, and making the picks is pretty straightforward after that.  GO BLUE!