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Bracketology: Week 1 (11/23/11)


New website, same old bracketology. I'm back again this year with your weekly NCAA hockey bracketology updates. I realize that November 23rd is absurdly early to be projecting the NCAA tournament but every week counts so we might as well start tracking the progress of our favorite teams. Hell, last year I started tracking bracketology on November 10th so this is late for me.

If the season ended today, the WCHA would have earned only 3 bids (Colorado College, Minnesota, & Minnesota-Duluth). Although Denver, Michigan Tech, and Nebraska-Omaha are all right outside the bubble.

Currently Wisconsin is not even in the picture for the NCAA tournament. They aren't .500 so they aren't eligible to be considered.

Step 1: Pick the 16 tournament teams

1. Merrimack
2. Ohio State
3. Notre Dame
4. Ferris State
5. Colorado College
6. Minnesota
7. Minnesota-Duluth
8. Lake Superior State
9. Boston College
10. Cornell
11. Western Michigan
12. Michigan State
13. Michigan
14. Colgate
15. Yale
16. --Atlantic Hockey Champion (Mercyhurst)

Bubble teams (in order): Denver, Northern Michigan, Michigan Tech, Miami, Nebraska-Omaha

Step 2: Assign the seeds

No. 1 seeds: Merrimack, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Ferris State
No. 2 seeds: Colorado College, Minnesota, Minnesota-Duluth, Lake Superior
No. 3 seeds: Boston College, Cornell, Western Michigan, Michigan State
No. 4 seeds: Michigan, Colgate, Yale, Mercyhurst

Step 3: Place host teams in regionals

We have two host schools that are currently projected to be in the tournament. Minnesota is hosting the West Regional at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Yale is hosting the East regional at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport.

Step 4: Place number 1 seeds in Regionals

Number 1 seeds are placed based on proximity to regional site.

No. 1 Merrimack is placed in the Northeast Regional in Worcester.
No. 2 Ohio State is placed in the Midwest Regional in Green Bay.
No. 3 Notre Dame is placed In the West Regional in St. Paul.
No. 4 Ferris State is placed in the East Regional in Bridgeport.

Step 5: Place the other 12 teams avoiding intra-conference match ups if possible. Begin by filling each bracket by banding groups. Remember that teams are not assigned to the regional closest to their campus sites by ranking order within the banding.

If this is the case, then the committee should seed so that the quarterfinals are seeded such that the four regional championships are played by No. 1 v. No. 8, No. 2 v. No. 7, No. 3 v. No. 6 and No. 4 v. No. 5.

Number 2 seeds:

No. 8 Lake Superior is placed in No. 1 Merrimack's Regional, the Northeast.
No. 7 Minnesota-Duluth is placed in No. 2 Ohio States Regional, the Midwest.
No. 6 Minnesota (host) is placed in No. 3 Notre Dame's Regional, the West.
No. 5 Colorado College is placed in No. 4 Ferris State's Regional, the East.

Number 3 seeds:

No. 9 Boston College is placed in No. 8 Lake Superior's Regional, the Northeast.
No. 10 Cornell is placed in No. 7 Minnesota-Duluth's Regional, the Midwest.
No. 11 Western Michigan is placed in No. 6 Minnesota's Regional, the West.
No. 12 Michigan State is placed in No. 5 Colorado College's Regional, the East.

Number 4 seeds:

No. 15 Yale (host) is placed in No. 4 Ferris State's Regional, the East.
No. 13 Michigan is placed in No. 3 Notre Dame's Regional, the West.
No. 14 Colgate is placed in No. 2 Ohio State's Regional, the Midwest.
No. 16 Mercyhurst is placed in No. 1 Merrimack's Regional, the Northeast.

Our bracket as we have it set up:

Northeast Regional (Worcester, Massachusets)
1 Merrimack vs. 16 Mercyhurst
8 Lake Superior vs. 9 Boston College

Midwest Regional (Green Bay, Wisconsin)
2 Ohio State vs. 14 Colgate
7 Minnesota-Duluth vs 10 Cornell

West Regional (St. Paul, Minnesota)
3 Notre Dame vs. 13 Michigan
6 Minnesota vs 11 Western Michigan

East Regional (Bridgeport, Connecticut)
4 Ferris State vs 15 Yale
5 Colorado College vs 12 Michigan State

Our first concern is to avoid intra-conference match ups. As it stands right now we have one, between Notre Dame and Michigan. This presents a big problem. Remember that we can only move teams within their band of 4 teams. We can't flip (13) Michigan and (14) Colgate because that creates another intra-conference match up with Michigan and Ohio State. We also can't flip Michigan with Yale because they are a host school and can't be moved. It's also not likely that the committee would flip Michigan with (16) Mercyhurst as they are an auto bid and the committee doesn't want to punish the number 1 overall seed (Merrimack) by pitting them against Michigan to avoid an intra-conference first round match up. If I had to guess, I'd say they will leave the Notre Dame/Michigan match up.

Bracket integrity is strong, attendance looks decent. I wouldn't do anything to change it. That's my bracket for week 1.

Week by week Wisconsin tournament tracker:

Week 1: Not even in the top 26 of the pairwise.


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