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NCAA Hockey Bracketology: Week 2

This week's feature contest pits former WCHA rivals North Dakota and Minnesota against each other in the first round in Fargo.

Jean-Paul Lafontaine and Minnesota State are No. 1 in the PairWise rankings this week
Jean-Paul Lafontaine and Minnesota State are No. 1 in the PairWise rankings this week
Larry Radloff Photography

Step 1: Pick the 16 tournament teams

1. Minnesota State
2. Minnesota Duluth
3. Nebraska Omaha
4. Harvard
5. Michigan Tech
6. Miami
7. North Dakota
8. Bowling Green
9. Minnesota
10. Vermont
11. Boston University
12. Denver
13. UMass-Lowell
14. Yale
15. Merrimack
16. Penn State
-- Robert Morris (Atlantic Hockey winner)

Bubble teams (in order): Quinnipiac, Colgate, St. Lawrence, Dartmouth.

Just like in our first installment, Atlantic Hockey doesn't have a team in the top 16 of the PairWise. That means the 16th team is taken out, and the Atlantic Hockey winner is put into the tournament.

Step 2: Assign the seeds

No. 1 seeds: Minnesota State, Minnesota Duluth, Nebraska Omaha, Harvard
No. 2 seeds: Michigan Tech, Miami, North Dakota, Bowling Green
No. 3 seeds: Minnesota, Vermont, Boston University, Denver
No. 4 seeds: UMass-Lowell, Yale, Merrimack, Robert Morris

Step 3: Place host schools in regionals

The only host school in the tournament at this point is North Dakota. UND is hosting the West Regional in Fargo.

Step 4: Place No. 1 seeds in regionals

Top seeds are placed based on proximity to regional site.

No. 1 overall seed Minnesota State is the top seed in the West.
No. 2 overall seed Minnesota Duluth is the top seed in the Midwest
No. 3 overall seed Nebraska Omaha is the top seed in the East.
No. 4 overall seed Harvard is the top seed in the Northeast.

Step 5: Place the other 12 teams avoiding intra-conference matchups, 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.

No. 2 seeds:

No. 5 Michigan Tech is placed in No. 4 Harvard's region, the Northeast.
No. 6 Miami is placed in No. 3 Nebraska Omaha's region, the East.
No. 7 North Dakota is a host, and has already been placed in the West.
No. 8 Bowling Green is placed in No. 2 UMD's region, the Midwest.

No. 3 seeds:

No. 9 Minnesota is placed in No. 7 North Dakota's region, the West.
No. 10 Vermont is placed in No. 8 Bowling Green's region, the Midwest.
No. 11 BU is placed in No. 6 Miami's region, the East.
No. 12 Denver is placed in No. 5 Michigan Tech's region, the Northeast.

No. 4 seeds:

No. 13 Lowell is placed in No. 4 Harvard's region, the Northeast.
No. 14 Yale is placed in No. 3 UNO's region, the East.
No. 15 Merrimack is placed in No. 2 UMD's region, the Midwest.
No. 16 Robert Morris is placed in No. 1 Minnesota State's region, the West.

Our bracket as we have it set up:

West (Fargo, North Dakota)

No. 1 Minnesota State vs. No. 16 Robert Morris
No. 7 North Dakota vs. No. 9 Minnesota

Midwest (South Bend, Indiana)

No. 2 Minnesota Duluth vs. No. 15 Merrimack
No. 8 Bowling Green vs. No. 10 Vermont

East (Providence, Rhode Island)

No. 3 Nebraska Omaha vs. No. 14 Yale
No. 6 Miami vs. No. 11 Boston University

Northeast (Manchester, New Hampshire)

No. 4 Harvard vs. No. 13 UMass-Lowell
No. 5 Michigan Tech vs. No. 12 Denver

Our first concern is to avoid intra-conference matchups in the first round. This week we don't have any, which is easy for us.

Is there anything that we can change right now to make the tournament better for attendance? Not that I would change.

That's our bracket for this week.

Week-by-week Wisconsin tournament tracker:

Week 1: Tied for No. 57 in the PairWise.
Week 2: Sole possession of No. 57 in the PairWise.

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