Tag Archives: forecast

What teams need to do to advance

Looking back at Saturday – what’s still possible, 11 teams are already a lock for the 16 team tournament.

The winner of Atlantic Hockey will definitely take a spot, leaving 4 spots for other teams

The winners of NCHC and WCHA are guaranteed to come from among the 11, so have no additional effect on number of slots.

Only Hockey East can go to a team that is already guaranteed a spot, making the Boston University-Mass.-Lowell game the most important game for most teams hoping to make it at large. If Mass.-Lowell wins, they take another spot, leaving only 3. If BU wins, there are still 4.

Finally, the Big Ten and ECAC tournaments each contain one team that can only advance by winning the tournament and one team that can make it at-large, so they will effectively each be taking a spot, leaving just 1-2.

What each at-large team needs

The bubble team scenarios are all pretty complex given the questions about how many slots will be available for at-large teams

Minnesota’s slim risk comes from losing and having their PWR fall as low as #15. Because Minnesota losing would involve Michigan winning the Big Ten and thus taking another slot, #15 in the PWR would not make it. To avoid that, if they lose, Minnesota would need any of Harvard, Boston University, or St Cloud State to win. If all of them lose, then Minnesota makes it only about 58% of the remaining scenarios, dependent on weird combinations of the outcomes of UND/Denver, Mich Tech/Mankato, and RIT/Mercyhurst.

Bowling Green’s slim opportunity comes from climbing to #15 and having that spot get an at-large bid. So, no low ranked teams can win their conference tournaments and steal a spot, meaning BG needs wins from Minnesota, Harvard, and Boston University. They also needs Michigan Tech to beat Mankato, and some specific combinations of RIT/Mercyhurst, UND/Denver, and Miami/SCSU outcomes.

Yale’s opportunity has gotten a bit larger. They can climb a little higher than BG, as high as #13-14 in PWR, so have a more opportunities even if lower ranked teams win conference tournaments. They seem to need Harvard and Boston University to win. If those two came through, Yale would advance in about 90% of remaining scenarios. If Mankato won, they would advance; if Mich Tech won, they would need more help. A Mich Tech and Denver win seems to get them in, while a Mich Tech and North Dakota win would leave them still needing help. A Mich Tech, North Dakota, and RIT win seems to get them in, while a Mich Tech, North Dakota, and Mercyhurst win leaves them needing a little more help. A Mich Tech, North Dakota, Mercyhurst, St Cloud St, and Michigan win would get them in.

Providence is a quagmire of all the leftovers from the above. Sorry for mailing it in on this one, but the single biggest factor is Minnesota winning which jumps them from 48% to 93% of remaining scenarios. Beyond that, it’s all weird combinations.

Tonight’s headlines – PWR effects of Hockey East games

The bulk of games are tonight, so there will plenty of PWR tables, simulations, blogs, and tweets about PWR implications of the outcomes. I’ll try to give you a preview of some of those in advance.

These claims are a little less certain than my usual articles because they involve a fair amount of human tweaking, tallying, and writing. So, I may have introduced some error, so I’ll use the words “appear to be” a lot.

Like the ECAC, Hockey East has quite a few teams near the bubble. However, the outcomes of their games tonight have far less impact on other teams’ scenarios than do the ECAC teams’.

  • Quinnipiac appears to be able to secure an at-large bid with just one additional win if Boston University and Mass.-Lowell win tonight.
  • Harvard appears to move into the position of needing at least one win to still have a chance at an at-large bid if New Hampshire and Vermont win tonight.

Plus the effects on the playing Hockey East teams themselves, previously discussed:

  • New Hampshire appears to need to win the conference tournament to advance
  • Mass.-Lowell appears to need at least one win to advance, so losing tonight would eliminate them
  • Vermont appears to need at least one win to advance, so losing tonight would eliminate them

 

Tonight’s headlines – PWR effects of ECAC outcomes

The bulk of games are tonight, so there will plenty of PWR tables, simulations, blogs, and tweets about PWR implications of the outcomes. I’ll try to give you a preview of some of those in advance.

These claims are a little less certain than my usual articles because they involve a fair amount of human tweaking, tallying, and writing. So, I may have introduced some error, so I’ll use the words “appear to be” a lot.

I’m starting with the effects of ECAC outcomes because the large number of bubble teams in the ECAC makes those among the most interesting.

  • Minnesota appears not to be able to make it at-large with 0 wins if Harvard wins today.
  • Boston College appears to be guaranteed an at-large bid if Harvard and St. Lawrence win today.
  • Mass.-Lowell appears not to be able to make it at-large (though could still be alive in their own tournament) if Harvard wins today.
  • Yale appears not to be able to make the tournament if Quinnipiac and Colgate win today.
  • Vermont appears not to be able to make it at-large (though could still be alive in their own tournament) if Harvard and Colgate win today.

Plus the effects on the playing ECAC teams themselves, previously discussed:

  • St. Lawrence appears to need to win its conference tournament to get a bid
  • Colgate appears to need at least one win to make the tournament, so would be eliminated with a loss tonight

 

Conference participation possibilities for NCAA tournament

Even though Boston University is Hockey East’s only current lock for the NCAA tournament, they’re sure to get at least two entrants. That suggests that the only scenarios that knock Boston College out involve at least one Hockey East team other than BU making it (Mass.-Lowell, Vermont, Providence, or New Hampshire).

Hockey East is actually most likely to send 3-4, with 5 still possible.

image-6

 

The Big Ten is only guaranteed to place its conference tournament champion in the NCAA tournament. But, if Minnesota does well but fails to win the championship, the Big Ten could end up sending both the Gophers and the champ.

image-5

 

The NCHC is guaranteed to send five teams (Denver, Miami, Minnesota-Duluth, North Dakota, and Omaha), but is most likely to send a sixth (adding St. Cloud St).

image-4

 

The ECAC is only guaranteed to send its conference tournament champion, though its likely to send a second from Colgate, Harvard, Quinnipiac, or Yale. Harvard, Colgate, and Yale are all reasonably long shots, so not all can make it resulting in a maximum of three participants from the ECAC.

image-3

 

Atlantic Hockey will only send its tournament champion to the NCAA tournament.

image-2

 

The WCHA is guaranteed to send two teams, Michigan Tech and Minnesota State. They’re quite likely to send three and possibly even four from those two plus Bowling Green and Ferris State.

image

A look at who can make the tournament (with less math)

The big data dump is in the article below, so here’s a less numeric list of who’s still in position to make the NCAA hockey tournament.

These guys seem in

#1 North Dakota
#2 Minnesota State-Mankato
#3 Denver
#4 Boston University
#5 Michigan Tech
#6 Minnesota Duluth
#7 Miami
#8 Nebraska-Omaha

Can make it at-large

#9 Boston College (idle, >99% of scenarios)
#10 Quinnipiac (70% if they lose, 95% if they win)
#11 St Cloud St (20% if they lose, >99% if they win)
#12 Bowling Green (50% if they lose, 95% if they win)
#13 Minnesota (5% if they lose, 35% if they win)
#14 Providence (idle, 75% of scenarios)
#15 Harvard (<1% if they lose, 10% if they win)
#16 Colgate (out if they lose?, 5% if they win)
#17 Mass.-Lowell (out if they lose, 3% if they win)
#18 Yale (idle, 4% of scenarios)
#19 Vermont (out of if they lose, 10% if they win)

Can make it by winning their conference tournament

#20 St. Lawrence
#21 Michigan
#22 Robert Morris
#27 New Hampshire
#30 Penn State
#31 Michigan State
#34 Ferris State
#37 Ohio State
#38 Canisius
#39 Mercyhurst
#40 RIT
#55 Wisconsin

How the “can make it at-large” teams make it

There are 16 slots. 6 go to the winners of the conference tournaments. The next 10 are given to the top PWR teams that haven’t yet been selected (by winning their conference tournament).

Those teams that are still playing can make it by winning their conference tournament and getting the autobid.

If they fall short of that goal, the bubble teams want:

  • To win (if still playing) to maximize their own PWR
  • Other bubble teams to lose to increase PWR
  • Conference tournaments to be won by top teams so lower PWR ranks make it at-large

The winner of Atlantic Hockey will be a team that would not get an at-large bid, taking away one spot. That leaves at most 15 spots for top PWR teams.

The winner of the NCHC will be a team that would get an at-large bid, guaranteeing an extra PWR spot. At least the top 11 PWR teams will make the tournament.

Here’s who else bubble teams should cheer for to win their tournaments to maximize spots:

Big Ten – Minnesota
WCHA – Michigan Tech, Mankato, Bowling Green
Hockey East – Boston University (maybe Vermont, Mass.-Lowell)
ECAC – Quinnipiac (maybe Harvard, Colgate, St. Lawrence)

A look at all the remaining tournament possibilities

I ran all 3,145,728 remaining possible outcomes, and here’s a first pass on the percentage of remaining scenarios each team makes the NCAA tournament:

Team PWR Possibilities
Overall By number of wins
UND #1 76.7%
#2 23.3%
Tournament invites: 100.0%
PWR Win 0 Win 1 Win 2
#1 61.2% 75.2% 100.0%
#2 38.8% 24.8%  
Tournament invites: 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Mankato #1 23.3%
#2 76.7%
Tournament invites: 100.0%
PWR Win 0 Win 1 Win 2
#1 1.0% 16.5% 74.7%
#2 99.0% 83.5% 25.3%
Tournament invites: 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Denver #3 43.6%
#4 21.2%
#5 12.3%
#6 5.1%
#7 17.8%
Tournament invites: 100.0%
PWR Win 0 Win 1 Win 2
#3 2.2% 42.8% 100.0%
#4 12.0% 41.3%  
#5 19.4% 14.0%  
#6 13.0% 1.9%  
#7 53.3%    
Tournament invites: 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Boston University #3 20.2%
#4 27.3%
#5 23.6%
#6 21.7%
#7 7.2%
Tournament invites: 100.0%
PWR Win 0 Win 1 Win 2
#3 1.2% 11.7% 66.5%
#4 11.3% 55.7% 31.0%
#5 32.2% 27.7% 2.4%
#6 41.0% 4.7%  
#7 14.3% 0.2%  
Tournament invites: 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
MTech #3 15.8%
#4 16.1%
#5 15.8%
#6 31.0%
#7 21.4%
Tournament invites: 100.0%
PWR Win 0 Win 1 Win 2
#3   4.0% 59.2%
#4 0.1% 28.6% 35.5%
#5 5.3% 47.2% 5.3%
#6 52.5% 18.8%  
#7 42.1% 1.4%  
Tournament invites: 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
UMD #3 3.6%
#4 22.3%
#5 36.3%
#6 27.9%
#7 10.0%
Tournament invites: 100.0%
n/a
Miami #3 16.9%
#4 13.1%
#5 12.0%
#6 14.3%
#7 41.8%
#8 1.7%
#9 0.2%
#10 0.0%
Tournament invites: 100.0%
PWR Win 0 Win 1 Win 2
#3   3.6% 61.7%
#4   11.3% 33.5%
#5   26.0% 4.8%
#6   34.2%  
#7 94.4% 24.9%  
#8 5.1%    
#9 0.6%    
#10 0.0%    
Tournament invites: 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Nebraska-Omaha #8 53.0%
#9 36.2%
#10 9.7%
#11 1.1%
Tournament invites: 100.0%
n/a
Boston College #8 0.0%
#9 8.1%
#10 24.9%
#11 31.8%
#12 23.7%
#13 9.5%
#14 1.8%
#15 0.1%
Tournament invites: 99.2%
n/a
Quinnipiac #7 0.1%
#8 0.3%
#9 16.1%
#10 12.6%
#11 11.1%
#12 14.8%
#13 20.1%
#14 16.2%
#15 7.1%
#16 1.6%
#17 0.1%
Tournament invites: 82.5%
PWR Win 0 Win 1 Win 2
#7     0.2%
#8     1.2%
#9   0.0% 64.4%
#10 0.0% 19.8% 30.6%
#11 1.6% 37.7% 3.4%
#12 16.3% 26.2% 0.1%
#13 34.7% 10.9%  
#14 30.2% 4.5%  
#15 13.8% 0.9%  
#16 3.2%    
#17 0.2%    
Tournament invites: 67.5% 95.0% 100.0%
SCSU #7 1.8%
#8 21.0%
#9 7.4%
#10 10.1%
#11 13.0%
#12 10.4%
#13 6.7%
#14 6.2%
#15 6.2%
#16 5.0%
#17 5.2%
#18 6.0%
#19 0.9%
#20 0.1%
#21 0.0%
Tournament invites: 73.1%
PWR Win 0 Win 1 Win 2
#7     7.3%
#8     84.0%
#9   12.7% 8.6%
#10 0.0% 24.0% 0.2%
#11 0.4% 30.8%  
#12 3.0% 22.6%  
#13 9.7% 8.4%  
#14 16.7% 1.4%  
#15 18.4% 0.1%  
#16 15.0%    
#17 15.6%    
#18 18.0%    
#19 2.8%    
#20 0.4%    
#21 0.0%    
Tournament invites: 19.5% 99.8% 100.0%
Bowling Green #7 0.0%
#8 20.9%
#9 6.2%
#10 5.3%
#11 8.7%
#12 11.0%
#13 13.2%
#14 15.7%
#15 12.1%
#16 5.5%
#17 1.3%
Tournament invites: 72.6%
PWR Win 0 Win 1 Win 2
#7     0.1%
#8     83.5%
#9   10.9% 14.0%
#10 0.3% 18.6% 2.2%
#11 2.7% 29.3% 0.2%
#12 9.2% 25.5%  
#13 20.3% 12.4%  
#14 29.9% 3.0%  
#15 24.1% 0.3%  
#16 11.1%    
#17 2.5%    
Tournament invites: 46.5% 97.4% 100.0%
UMN #8 1.0%
#9 9.0%
#10 10.8%
#11 4.6%
#12 2.9%
#13 5.0%
#14 12.9%
#15 21.4%
#16 17.6%
#17 10.8%
#18 4.2%
Tournament invites: 36.0%
PWR Win 0 Win 1 Win 2
#8     3.9%
#9     35.9%
#10   0.4% 42.7%
#11   2.6% 15.7%
#12   9.6% 1.8%
#13 1.2% 17.6% 0.0%
#14 12.3% 26.8%  
#15 30.5% 24.9%  
#16 28.4% 13.5%  
#17 19.2% 4.7%  
#18 8.4%    
Tournament invites: 4.2% 35.7% 100.0%
Providence #10 1.4%
#11 8.7%
#12 21.6%
#13 30.0%
#14 24.7%
#15 11.3%
#16 2.3%
#17 0.0%
Tournament invites: 74.6%
n/a
Harvard #8 2.1%
#9 9.1%
#10 8.9%
#11 3.8%
#12 1.1%
#13 1.4%
#14 5.1%
#15 10.7%
#16 16.7%
#17 19.2%
#18 17.7%
#19 3.9%
#20 0.3%
#21 0.0%
Tournament invites: 28.1%
PWR Win 0 Win 1 Win 2
#8     8.6%
#9     36.5%
#10     35.4%
#11   0.0% 15.1%
#12   0.6% 3.8%
#13 0.0% 5.1% 0.6%
#14 0.1% 20.1% 0.0%
#15 1.8% 39.0%  
#16 18.2% 30.3%  
#17 36.0% 4.8%  
#18 35.4%    
#19 7.8%    
#20 0.6%    
#21 0.0%    
Tournament invites: 0.4% 11.6% 100.0%
Colgate #9 5.1%
#10 10.1%
#11 6.9%
#12 2.2%
#13 0.6%
#14 1.4%
#15 5.6%
#16 7.9%
#17 7.6%
#18 27.8%
#19 15.2%
#20 8.5%
#21 1.0%
Tournament invites: 26.3%
PWR Win 0 Win 1 Win 2
#9     20.3%
#10     40.6%
#11     27.7%
#12     8.9%
#13   0.2% 2.2%
#14   5.3% 0.3%
#15 0.1% 22.4% 0.0%
#16 0.7% 30.2%  
#17 3.6% 23.0%  
#18 46.1% 18.9%  
#19 30.4% 0.0%  
#20 17.1%    
#21 2.0%    
Tournament invites: 0.0% 5.4% 100.0%
Mass.-Lowell #9 1.9%
#10 2.6%
#11 5.8%
#12 7.1%
#13 5.1%
#14 2.7%
#15 5.4%
#16 4.2%
#17 5.6%
#18 10.2%
#19 32.6%
#20 15.2%
#21 1.5%
Tournament invites: 25.7%
PWR Win 0 Win 1 Win 2
#9     7.7%
#10     10.5%
#11     23.3%
#12     28.3%
#13   0.2% 20.2%
#14   2.4% 8.2%
#15   20.0% 1.6%
#16 0.0% 16.8% 0.1%
#17 0.5% 21.6%  
#18 2.2% 36.4%  
#19 64.0% 2.5%  
#20 30.3% 0.0%  
#21 3.0%    
Tournament invites: 0.0% 2.9% 100.0%
Yale #11 0.0%
#12 0.4%
#13 1.2%
#14 3.5%
#15 9.2%
#16 22.5%
#17 37.0%
#18 19.8%
#19 4.7%
#20 1.4%
#21 0.2%
Tournament invites: 4.1%
n/a
Vermont #9 0.6%
#10 3.7%
#11 4.5%
#12 4.9%
#13 7.1%
#14 9.7%
#15 8.5%
#16 7.0%
#17 6.1%
#18 5.6%
#19 25.1%
#20 15.3%
#21 1.8%
#22 0.2%
#23 0.0%
Tournament invites: 27.7%
PWR Win 0 Win 1 Win 2
#9     2.4%
#10     14.6%
#11   0.0% 18.0%
#12   0.2% 19.6%
#13   5.4% 22.9%
#14   22.4% 16.2%
#15 0.1% 28.4% 5.6%
#16 1.3% 24.7% 0.7%
#17 4.2% 15.8%  
#18 11.1% 0.5%  
#19 48.8% 2.6%  
#20 30.5%    
#21 3.7%    
#22 0.3%    
#23 0.0%    
Tournament invites: 0.0% 10.8% 100.0%
St. Lawrence #13 0.0%
#14 0.2%
#15 2.0%
#16 8.9%
#17 5.9%
#18 6.4%
#19 2.0%
#20 41.9%
#21 23.8%
#22 7.3%
#23 1.6%
#24 0.1%
Tournament invites: 25.0%
PWR Win 0 Win 1 Win 2
#13     0.0%
#14     0.7%
#15     8.2%
#16     35.7%
#17     23.5%
#18     25.5%
#19   2.6% 5.5%
#20 46.9% 72.8% 0.8%
#21 36.8% 21.7% 0.0%
#22 13.1% 2.9%  
#23 3.1% 0.0%  
#24 0.1%    
Tournament invites: 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
Michigan #14 0.0%
#15 0.2%
#16 0.8%
#17 1.2%
#18 2.3%
#19 9.8%
#20 5.4%
#21 30.8%
#22 25.7%
#23 12.2%
#24 7.2%
#25 3.5%
#26 0.8%
#27 0.0%
Tournament invites: 12.5%
PWR Win 0 Win 1 Win 2 Win 3
#14       0.2%
#15       1.8%
#16       6.4%
#17       9.9%
#18       18.6%
#19   7.2% 15.2% 48.9%
#20 0.4% 1.8% 25.6% 12.3%
#21 18.7% 62.0% 45.9% 1.8%
#22 34.6% 27.3% 12.4%  
#23 23.2% 1.7% 0.8%  
#24 14.5%      
#25 6.9%      
#26 1.6%      
#27 0.0%      
Tournament invites: 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
Robert Morris #19 5.5%
#20 8.3%
#21 19.5%
#22 18.0%
#23 15.7%
#24 16.8%
#25 11.8%
#26 3.7%
#27 0.6%
#28 0.0%
Tournament invites: 25.0%
PWR Win 0 Win 1 Win 2
#19   0.0% 22.1%
#20 0.0% 0.4% 32.9%
#21 0.5% 37.5% 39.7%
#22 8.6% 49.4% 5.4%
#23 25.1% 12.8%  
#24 33.7%    
#25 23.6%    
#26 7.4%    
#27 1.1%    
#28 0.0%    
Tournament invites: 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
Alaska #20 0.1%
#21 3.2%
#22 15.0%
#23 31.6%
#24 32.9%
#25 15.0%
#26 2.2%
#27 0.1%
Tournament invites: 0.0%
n/a
Northeastern #19 0.0%
#20 3.1%
#21 7.1%
#22 20.0%
#23 24.2%
#24 18.3%
#25 14.2%
#26 9.2%
#27 3.7%
#28 0.1%
Tournament invites: 0.0%
n/a
Dartmouth #21 0.1%
#22 2.1%
#23 9.6%
#24 18.0%
#25 39.5%
#26 23.3%
#27 7.2%
#28 0.2%
Tournament invites: 0.0%
n/a
Western Michigan #20 0.0%
#21 0.0%
#22 0.5%
#23 2.3%
#24 6.2%
#25 14.4%
#26 53.4%
#27 21.4%
#28 1.7%
Tournament invites: 0.0%
n/a
New Hampshire #19 0.1%
#20 0.4%
#21 10.8%
#22 11.1%
#23 2.6%
#24 0.0%
#25 0.0%
#26 2.8%
#27 19.3%
#28 10.3%
#29 26.7%
#30 15.3%
#31 0.6%
#32 0.0%
Tournament invites: 25.0%
PWR Win 0 Win 1 Win 2
#19     0.4%
#20     1.7%
#21     43.3%
#22     44.3%
#23     10.4%
#24      
#25   0.1%  
#26   11.2%  
#27 0.1% 77.1%  
#28 14.8% 11.6%  
#29 53.4%    
#30 30.6%    
#31 1.2%    
#32 0.0%    
Tournament invites: 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
Penn State #22 0.2%
#23 0.3%
#24 0.5%
#25 1.6%
#26 4.4%
#27 4.0%
#28 5.2%
#29 6.4%
#30 13.2%
#31 15.6%
#32 21.7%
#33 22.9%
#34 4.1%
Tournament invites: 12.5%
PWR Win 0 Win 1 Win 2 Win 3
#22       1.3%
#23       2.2%
#24       3.7%
#25       12.9%
#26       35.3%
#27     0.4% 31.4%
#28   2.9% 22.6% 13.2%
#29   3.2% 44.3%  
#30   38.7% 28.4%  
#31 10.2% 39.8% 4.2%  
#32 36.4% 14.1%    
#33 45.2% 1.2%    
#34 8.2%      
Tournament invites: 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
Michigan State #26 0.2%
#27 7.9%
#28 12.3%
#29 5.8%
#30 6.6%
#31 14.8%
#32 18.5%
#33 22.2%
#34 11.6%
Tournament invites: 25.0%
PWR Win 0 Win 1 Win 2
#26     0.9%
#27     31.6%
#28     49.4%
#29   5.3% 18.1%
#30 0.0% 26.4%  
#31 11.2% 36.7%  
#32 23.1% 27.7%  
#33 42.4% 3.9%  
#34 23.2%    
Tournament invites: 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
Ferris State #28 0.7%
#29 14.0%
#30 9.2%
#31 3.9%
#32 8.3%
#33 9.8%
#34 48.3%
#35 5.8%
Tournament invites: 25.0%
PWR Win 0 Win 1 Win 2
#28     2.6%
#29     56.1%
#30     36.9%
#31   11.2% 4.4%
#32   33.2% 0.0%
#33   39.2%  
#34 88.4% 16.4%  
#35 11.6%    
Tournament invites: 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
Ohio State #33 0.0%
#34 5.8%
#35 6.7%
#36 22.9%
#37 23.4%
#38 41.1%
#39 0.1%
Tournament invites: 12.5%
PWR Win 0 Win 1 Win 2 Win 3
#33       0.0%
#34       46.3%
#35     0.0% 53.7%
#36   41.9% 99.4%  
#37 24.9% 43.3% 0.6%  
#38 74.9% 14.8% 0.0%  
#39 0.2%      
Tournament invites: 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
Canisius #35 0.1%
#36 16.4%
#37 14.8%
#38 18.8%
#39 37.5%
#40 12.4%
Tournament invites: 25.0%
PWR Win 0 Win 1 Win 2
#35     0.3%
#36     65.5%
#37 0.0% 25.0% 34.2%
#38 25.1% 25.0%  
#39 49.9% 50.0%  
#40 24.9%    
Tournament invites: 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
Mercyhurst #36 5.8%
#37 10.4%
#38 8.8%
#39 53.2%
#40 20.4%
#41 1.4%
Tournament invites: 25.0%
PWR Win 0 Win 1 Win 2
#36     23.4%
#37     41.6%
#38     35.0%
#39 56.6% 99.8% 0.0%
#40 40.7% 0.2%  
#41 2.8%    
Tournament invites: 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
RIT #37 12.5%
#38 12.5%
#39 9.1%
#40 14.6%
#41 1.2%
#42 0.0%
#43 5.7%
#44 44.3%
Tournament invites: 25.0%
PWR Win 0 Win 1 Win 2
#37     50.0%
#38     50.0%
#39   36.4%  
#40   58.6%  
#41   4.9%  
#42      
#43 11.3% 0.1%  
#44 88.7%    
Tournament invites: 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
UW #53 6.7%
#54 5.9%
#55 87.4%
Tournament invites: 12.5%
PWR Win 0 Win 1 Win 2 Win 3
#53       53.8%
#54     0.8% 46.2%
#55 100.0% 100.0% 99.2%  
Tournament invites: 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%

A look at the bubble teams

If you haven’t read them yet, you might want to start with my articles from earlier this week, Who’s a lock for the NCAA tournament? and Who might fall out of contention for the NCAA tournament? Having visited those two extremes, this article goes into a little more depth on the teams in between.

Background on how PWR matters for tournament selection

Because we get lots of new readers during the tournament season, here’s some background information that my posts generally assume you know:

  • The PWR rankings are not a poll or computer model, but are instead an implementation of the same process the NCAA uses to select its tournament participants. They have correctly predicted the NCAA tournament participants for a decade or two.
  • Each conference gets to send one tournament winner to the NCAA tournament. So, we don’t need to look at the PWR of a team that wins its conference tournament.
  • The remaining 10 slots are given to top teams as ranked by the process implemented in PWR. So, PWR ranks 1-10 are in for sure; but, for 11-16 to make it requires some of the autobids to have gone to teams ranked above them (e.g. if an autobid goes to the team ranked #3, then an extra slot is open for the team ranked #11, and so on).

Because of that structure, we think of teams that are going to finish in the 12-15 range as “on the bubble”. Teams’ prospects are dependent not only on their final ranking, but also on how many lower ranked teams wins conference tournaments. Bubble teams’ chances for an at-large bid increase as slots are freed up by more conference tournaments being won by teams that would have made the NCAA tournament at-large.

A look at the bubble teams

#9 Providence would be on the bubble if eliminated from their conference tournament this weekend. They’d then need a bit of luck to make the NCAA tournament, needing to either climb a bit while idle and/or have a lot of conference tournaments won by top ranked teams.

If Providence wins this weekend, they’ll be in pretty good shape. A semifinal loss would probably push them back down to the high end of the bubble, while a win would nearly lock up a bid.

providence

#10 Boston College is in a very similar position to Providence. They’d be on the bubble if eliminated this weekend and would be watching the other conference tournaments carefully.

If they advance this weekend, they’ll be in pretty good shape — favored, though probably not mathematically secure, for an NCAA bid.

bostoncollege

#11 Bowling Green would likely be pushed down below the bubble if eliminated this weekend. It would take a lot of luck to climb back onto the bubble while idle and have most of the conference tournaments won by top ranked teams.

If Bowling Green advances, they would still probably need a semifinal win to stay on the bubble.

bowlinggreen

#12 Quinnipiac has a chance of staying on the bubble if eliminated this week, but would have to watch future tournament results carefully.

If they advance, another win would probably be needed to stay atop the bubble.

quinnipiac

#13 Yale is likely to be pushed just below the bubble if eliminated this weekend, but would stand a slim chance of climbing onto it dependent on other tournament results.

Advancing this weekend would position them well, but not secure a spot in the NCAAs. With an additional win, Yale would be favored to secure a spot.

yale

#14 Minnesota hasn’t entered conference tournament play yet, so does not face elimination. Getting swept this weekend would put them in a bad spot for an at-large bid, but would also probably force them to play in the Big Ten quarterfinals. The extra game would give them the chance to go 2-1 in the conference tournament and possibly get back onto the bubble.

minnesota

#15 Mass.-Lowell is likely to end well below the bubble if eliminated this weekend. It would take a very unlikely confluence of events for them to move into an at-large bid from that position.

Advancing puts them in a precarious spot on the bubble, such that a subsequent loss would probably push them off.

masslowell

#16 St Cloud St is currently at 11-12-1 so needs one more win than loss in its remaining games to meet the .500 requirement for consideration for the NCAA tournament. So, the Huskies won’t be considered if eliminated this weekend. If they advance (either 2-1 or 2-0), they’ll be in a decent bubble position, but probably need at least one more win.

stscloudst

#17 Harvard will be below the bubble if eliminated this weekend and it’s very unlikely they could slide into position for an at-large bid while idle.

Advancing would put them right on the bubble, such that they’d probably want another win to stay there.

harvard

#18 Colgate is out if eliminated this weekend. Advancing puts them on the low end of the bubble, such that a subsequent loss would probably push them off. Best to advance and win one more.

colgate

#19 Vermont is very likely out if eliminated this weekend. Advancing would put them right on the low end of the bubble, such that another win would probably be required to make the tournament at-large.

vermont

#20 Michigan is not yet in its conference tournament so is not facing elimination this weekend. Two losses would likely put an at-large bid out of reach, while two wins would bring the bubble within sight. A first round bye, though, would reduce their opportunities to climb in the PWR.

michigan

#21 Bemidji State is out if eliminated this weekend. It’s possible, though not particularly likely, that Bemidji State could position itself for an at-large bid by advancing to the conference tournament final and losing.

bemidjist

#22 St. Lawrence is almost identical to Bemidji State. They’re out if they lose this weekend. It’s possible, though not particularly likely, that St. Lawrence could position itself for an at-large bid by advancing to the conference tournament final and losing.

stlawrence

#23 Dartmouth is out if they fail to advance. Dartmouth is better positioned than the teams above it to get an at-large bid by winning a few games then losing the conference final. Winning the conference tournament would be a safer bet.

dartmouth

Methodology

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.

Resources

Who might fall out of contention for NCAA tournament?

Yesterday I looked at Who’s a lock for the NCAA tournament?, now let’s take a look at who can fall out of contention for the NCAA tournament this weekend.

First, only teams that have the potential to be eliminated from their conference tournaments this weekend are considered able to fall out of contention.

I then call any team that can be eliminated and still finish higher than #20 still alive for contention, even though the lower ranked of those are very unlikely to make up the necessary ground in PWR. For a more realistic look at who’s a lock, refer to the previous article.

Updates:
10:57ET 2015/03/11 — St Cloud St moved from still alive to eliminated because even though they could still potentially be in PWR position, they would not have a .500 record so would be ineligible. Hat tip to @GOHUSKIESWOOOOO for pointing out that oversight.

Still alive even if they lose this weekend (at-large bid would still be possible)

#1 North Dakota
#2 Mankato
#3 Minnesota Duluth
#4 Miami
#5 Michigan Tech
#6 Boston University
#7 Nebraska Omaha
#8 Denver
#9 Providence
#10 Boston College
#11 Bowling Green
#12 Quinnipiac
#13 Yale
#15 Mass.-Lowell
#17 Harvard
#19 Vermont

Having already covered the top teams in “Who’s a lock”, tomorrow I’ll dive deeper into the bubble teams.

Still alive no matter what happens this weekend (not yet in conference tournament)

#14 Minnesota
#20 Michigan
#28 Penn State
#32 Michigan State
#37 Ohio State
#55 Wisconsin

Will not make the NCAA tournament if eliminated this weekend

#16 St Cloud St (would not have .500 record)
#18 Colgate
#21 Bemidji St
#22 St Lawrence
#23 Dartmouth
#26 Robert Morris
#27 Western Michigan
#29 Merrimack
#30 New Hampshire
#31 Union
#33 Notre Dame
#34 Northern Michigan
#35 Ferris St
#38 Bentley
#39 Canisius
#42 Mercyhurst
#44 RIT
#46 Rensselaer
#47 Air Force
#49 Sacred Heart
#50 Colorado College
#53 Alabama Huntsville
#54 Lake State
#58 Niagara

Have no more opportunities to make NCAA tournament

#24 Alaska
#25 Northeastern
#36 Cornell
#40 Maine
#41 Connecticut
#43 Clarkson
#45 Massachusetts
#48 Brown
#51 Holy Cross
#52 Alaska Anchorage
#56 Princeton
#57 Army
#59 American International

Methodology

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.

Resources

Who’s a lock for the NCAA tournament?

Because everyone except the Big Ten is now in conference tournaments, any non-Big Ten team that loses two becomes idle, thus limiting its future movement. So, for the first time this season we can start to declare some (but not as many as you might guess) teams locks for the NCAA tournament.

While it only seems like the top two teams are safe, the top eight are all most likely to stay in the top ten if eliminated this weekend, thus well-positioned for an at-large bid.

Locks for the NCAA tournament

#1 North Dakota finishes at worst #3 after this weekend. It’s hard to imagine conference tournament results pushing them to #11 or below while idle.

northdakota

#2 Mankato is most likely to fall just to #3 with two losses this weekend. It’s hard to imagine conference tournament results pushing them to #11 or below while idle.

mankato

Very likely to make NCAA tournament

#3 Minnesota-Duluth also seems pretty safe with a fall to #8 being the worst likely outcome of losing two. It would be possible for them to get pushed into the double digits while idle, which would have the remote chance of leaving them on the outside if accompanied by the additional unlikely event of a very large number of conference tournaments being won by teams not in position for an at-large bid.

minnesota-duluth

#4 Miami through #8 Denver haver very similar outlooks. They’ll probably make the NCAA tournament even if eliminated this weekend, with a fall to #8-9 most likely. But a fall to #10 or even #11 this weekend is possible. Any of them could end up on the bubble with the additional bad luck of declining while idle plus a large number of conference tournaments being won by lower ranked teams.

miami

#5 Michigan Tech

michigantech

#6 Boston University

bostonuniversity

#7 Nebraska-Omaha

nebraskaomaha

#8 Denver

denver

Preview of teams still in play

The line between #8 and #9 is pretty clear, as #9 Providence would definitely be on the bubble if eliminated this weekend. The same pattern holds for teams #10 and below, which I’ll look at more in depth later this week.

providence

Methodology

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.

Resources