Monday, March 17, 2008

Pairwise picture

After getting some much needed rest after playing what amounted to more than four games this weekend, the Mavericks will be doing some serious scoreboard watching and, more importantly, rankings watching this weekend. 

With Clarkson getting beat by Colgate in the ECAC tournament Sunday, there will be one less at-large berth available for the NCAA tournament. That means teams have to be in the top 13. Minnesota State is the ultimate bubble team right now. It's tied for 13th with Wisconsin but with Madison hosting a regional, I think MSU has to move up or have the Badgers, who are also home this weekend, move down.

College Hockey News has an interactive You Be the Committee page set up. And after a little messing around on it this morning, Maverick fans should be rooting for Colorado College and Denver in the WCHA Final Five this weekend and against anyone below them in the Pairwise, especially Notre Dame in the CCHA tournament.

While the NCAA committee supposedly goes straight off the numbers, it does have have the authority add bonus points to a team's RPI ranking for good wins. While those numbers are a mystery, that could help the Mavericks in the long run with road wins at Colorado College, St. Cloud State and Wisconsin. 

6 comments:

MAVFAN said...

Gophers AD Joe Maturi is one of the selection committee members. The Mavs will need a lot of help to be invited to the NCAA's.

East Coaster said...

Two quick comments/corrections ... First, the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Committee has eliminated RPI Bonus Points from its deliberations, so that's no longer in play. Secondly, Maverick fans should be rooting FOR Notre Dame, not against them, as it appears that Wisconsin will grab the last available at-large berth ONLY if Notre Dame stumbles and fails to win at least one game (semi-final or consolation game) in the next round of the CCHA play-offs. Root hard for BC or UNH to win the HEA title too, as should BU or Vermont win the crown (and auto-bid), it'll push the at-large cut-off to the top 12 PWR teams. And finally, while it's true that Gopher AD Joel Maturi is the new chair of the IH Committee, team selection is very much a by-the-numbers process these days; if the Mavs wind up in the PWR Top 13 (or 12 if BU/UVM wins HE) they're in, no back room politics allowed ...

Adam said...

Shane ... the commenter above is exactly right. There are no more bonus points. Even when there were bonus points, the committee didn't add them arbitrarily. It was a pre-determined formula. I can personally attest to this. ... Minnesota State doesn't need to move up to 12 to get in. Staying at No. 13 is fine, even if Wisconsin is at 14. The committee will NOT move Wisconsin up just because they are hosting a regional. The committee has proven time and again that when selecting the field, it sticks to the numbers 100 percent. I've been in the room when the committee is discussing the Pairwise, and I've never seen a shred of evidence to suggest otherwise. ... Adam W.(CHN)

Shane Frederick said...

Thanks guys, especially Adam, who knows this as well as anybody. That's good stuff. I guess I missed the elimination of the bonus points. Also, you're right about Notre Dame, although I think MSU fans don't want them to upset Michigan or Miami (of course I could be wrong). Finally, I didn't think the committee would jump Wisconsin over MSU, but wouldn't they, in case of a tie, pick the team hosting the regional, especially one like Wisconsin that draws well, over another? Or are there tiebreakers for those cases?

Goon said...

Don't forget that MSU-M holds the comparison 4-2 to Wisconsin.

Adam said...

If two teams are tied in "Pairwise Wins" then it is broken with RPI. In the past, it was often done by who won the direct comparison between the two teams (which, in itself, breaks ties with the RPI). But not anymore.