It’s an interesting week as one conference has two remaining weekends of regular season contests, two enter their final weekends, two begin best of three rounds in their conference tournaments, and one has a single elimination round.
Review of last week’s results
To keep me honest, we’ll first have a very quick review of last week’s forecasts. I’ll focus on the extraordinary results rather than recap the entire column.
#9 Northeastern was designated the highest ranked team that could fall to the bubble (#13-#16 most likely) if swept. After two losses, they fell to #15.
#15 Notre Dame was designated a bubble team that could climb off the bubble (#10-#13 most likely) with a win. The Fighting Irish pulled off the upset and climbed to #10.
#16 Providence was also designated a team that could climb off the bubble (most likely #10-#13) with a sweep. The Friars swept Maine and climbed to #11.
Of teams just below the bubble, only #19 Minnesota State pulled off the required sweep and climbed to #17—the lower end of the likely #15-#17 from the forecast.
About these forecasts
I’m again going to look just one week out because of the unusual mix of games.
If you didn’t read last week’s forecasts, I’d urge you to check out the part that explains what I mean by a particular outcome being “likely”.
Who could fall to the bubble this weekend
#9 remains the break point of being likely to fall to the bubble with a bad performance. This week it’s North Dakota (#14-#16 most likely if swept).
#10 Notre Dame has a pretty broad spread as to how far it could fall with a loss in its single game this weekend, with #12-#16 most likely. Note that the Hockey East tournament has begun and ND is in a single elimination game, so a loss would place them firmly on the bubble and out of control of their destiny.
With no games this weekend, #11 Providence can’t quite fall to the bubble.
#12 Michigan is facing down a cliff, likely to fall onto the bubble with a split (#12-#17 likely) or below the bubble if swept (#17-#19 most likely).
Quiet weekend on the bubble
#13 Cornell, #15 Northeastern, and #16 Colgate don’t play this weekend, but could still move a little in either direction.
#14 Vermont climbs a bit higher (#12-#14 most likely) with a win in its single game this weekend, or falls off (#16-#18 most likely) with a loss. Vermont is also in a single elimination game in the HE tournament, so this game weighs heavily on their fate.
Few teams can climb onto the bubble
A sweep would likely land #17 Minnesota State between #12-#15.
#18 Minnesota-Duluth can barely climb onto the bubble, with #14-#16 most likely with a sweep.
#22 Ohio State is an honorable mention, with a likely climb to #16-#19 with an unlikely sweep of #1 Minnesota.
Teams facing possible elimination this weekend
A few teams playing in conference tournaments this weekend only have hope for an at-large bid with a few wins:
#19 Yale is most likely to climb to #17-#19 with two wins this weekend
A win in its single elimination game this weekend doesn’t move #21 Maine much, with a #20-#22 range the most likely outcome. But hope would remain for an at large bid.
#24 Clarkson wouldn’t budge much even with two wins this weekend, likely to #22-#25. That’s not very promising.
Teams playing this weekend that not only need to win this weekend, but probably also their conference tournaments, to see the NCAA tournament:
- #31 St Lawrence
- #36 Brown
- #37 Harvard
- #44 Boston University
- #45 Dartmouth
- #46 Massachusetts
- #47 Merrimack
- #49 Robert Morris
- #52 Niagara
- #51 Holy Cross
- #53 Canisius
- #54 RIT
- #55 Sacred Heart
- #56 Princeton
- #57 American International
- #59 Army
Forecasts include the results of games played through Sunday of this week, unless otherwise noted.
Each forecast is based on at least one million monte carlo simulations of the games in the described period. For each simulation, the PairWise Ranking (PWR) is calculated and the results tallied. The probabilities presented in the forecasts are the share of simulations in which a particular outcome occurred.
The outcome of each game in each simulation is determined by random draw, with the probability of victory for each team set by their relative KRACH ratings. So, if the simulation set included a contest between team A with KRACH 300 and team B with KRACH 100, team A will win the game in very close to 75% of the simulations. I don’t simulate ties or home ice advantage.
- Current PWR Rankings (SiouxSports.com)
- Current RPI Rankings (SiouxSports.com)
- CHN PWR Rankings (CollegeHockeyNews.com)
- USCHO PWR Rankings (USCHO.com)
- Explanation of how PWR mimics NCAA tournament selection (CollegeHockeyNews.com)