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NCAA Hockey Bracketology: Week 2 (11/29/11)

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We're back again for our second week of bracketology and we've got ourselves a mess. Somehow in a weird quirk, we've got eight teams from the CCHA currently projected to make the NCAA tournament. That creates a mess in trying to avoid intra-conference match ups.

If the season ended today, the WCHA would have earned only 3 bids (Colorado College, Minnesota, & Minnesota-Duluth). Although Denver 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. Boston College
6. Lake Superior State
7. Minnesota
8. Minnesota-Duluth
9. Michigan State
10. Western Michigan
11. Miami
12. Colorado College
13. Cornell
14. Colgate
15. Northern Michigan
16. --Atlantic Hockey Champion (Air Force)

Bubble teams (in order): Boston University, UMass-Lowell, Denver, Nebraska-Omaha, Michigan

Step 2: Assign the seeds

No. 1 seeds: Merrimack, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Ferris State
No. 2 seeds: Boston College, Lake St, Minnesota, Minnesota-Duluth
No. 3 seeds: Michigan State, Western Michigan, Miami, Colorado College
No. 4 seeds: Cornell, Colgate, Northern Michigan, Air Force

Step 3: Place host teams in regionals

This week we have only one host school that is currently projected to be in the tournament. Minnesota is hosting the West Regional at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

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

Number 3 seeds:

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

Number 4 seeds:

No. 13 Cornell is placed in No. 4 Ferris State's Regional, the East.
No. 14 Colgate is placed in No. 3 Notre Dame's Regional, the West.
No. 15 Northern Michigan is placed in No. 2 Ohio State's Regional, the Midwest.
No. 16 Air Force 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 Air Force
8 Minnesota-Duluth vs. 9 Michigan State

Midwest Regional (Green Bay, Wisconsin)
2 Ohio State vs. 15 Northern Michigan
6 Lake Superior State vs. 10 Western Michigan

West Regional (St. Paul, Minnesota)
3 Notre Dame vs. 14 Colgate
7 Minnesota vs. 11 Miami

East Regional (Bridgeport, Connecticut)
4 Ferris State vs. 13  Cornell
5 Boston College vs. 12 Colorado College

Our first concern is to avoid intra-conference match ups. Right now we have two, and they are both in the Midwest Regional. As it stands right now there are eight CCHA teams in the tournament (how the hell did that happen) so that's going to create issues.

The only switch we can make to eliminate the Ohio State/Northern Michigan intra-conference match up is to flip Air Force and Northern Michigan. To take care of the Western Michigan/Lake Superior intra-conference match up we have to flip Colorado College and Western.

Our bracket as we have it set up now:

Northeast Regional (Worcester, Massachusets)
1 Merrimack vs. 15 Northern Michigan
8 Minnesota-Duluth vs. 9 Michigan State

Midwest Regional (Green Bay, Wisconsin)
2 Ohio State vs. 16 Air Force
6 Lake Superior State vs. 12 Colorado College

West Regional (St. Paul, Minnesota)
3 Notre Dame vs. 14 Colgate
7 Minnesota vs. 11 Miami

East Regional (Bridgeport, Connecticut)
4 Ferris State vs. 13  Cornell
5 Boston College vs. 10 Western Michigan

With eight CCHA teams in the tournament we're handcuffed on what we can do to make things better. We CAN have intra-conference match ups if there are six or more teams from any league, but unless there are four teams in a single band, that usually doesn't happen. 

Honestly, attendance is a mess right now. The only regionals that I'm happy with are the East with Boston College and Cornell and the West with Minnesota. Realistically though there are no changes that are worth while to improve things so that's where I'll leave it.

That's my bracket for week 2.

Week by week Wisconsin tournament tracker:

Week 1: Not even in the top 26 of the pairwise.
Week 2: Still not on the pairwise radar.

 

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