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Thread: The 2014 Pairwise, Bracketology and History Thread`

  1. #101
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    Re: The 2014 Pairwise, Bracketology and History Thread`

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirty View Post
    Simple solution, kick UNO and CC out of the league.
    Let's replace them with Michigan Tech and Northern. I believe that many of their fans have wished they could have left the WCHA and joined NCHC.
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    Re: The 2014 Pairwise, Bracketology and History Thread`

    Here is the thing. To try to judge the creation of the NCHC halfway into it's first season is silly. To suggest it's been a "disaster" in terms of "NCAA selection", before any teams have even been selected in the NCHC's first season also seems a little silly.

    Here are my observations.

    First, in college hockey on an overall basis I think the balance of power has shifted east. From time to time this occurs. The balance of the stronger teams is currently in the east. My opinion is this has primarily to do with some early departures we've seen out west, but there certainly has been a general strengthening of the eastern programs.

    I also think there is a lot of parity in college hockey. This is another year where you could easily see another team like Yale come out of nowhere to win it.

    As for the NCHC, in general it's played out about how I expected it, with the exception being Miami. I think the league has a shot to get 3 teams in, and I think we've seen a lot of good young players come into the league. It was billed as a very competitive league, top to bottom, and I think we'll see that.
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    Re: The 2014 Pairwise, Bracketology and History Thread`

    Quote Originally Posted by SJHovey View Post
    As for the NCHC, in general it's played out about how I expected it, with the exception being Miami. I think the league has a shot to get 3 teams in, and I think we've seen a lot of good young players come into the league. It was billed as a very competitive league, top to bottom, and I think we'll see that.
    I wouldn't be shocked if they get 3 in - one more plays their way in via conference games, and a 3rd team wins the tournament. In a one-and-done tournament among competitive teams, funny things can happen...
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    Re: The 2014 Pairwise, Bracketology and History Thread`

    I came up with a slightly different bracket than Priceless, but there's surely a tough decision for the committee this week. Punishing Minnesota by playing the #13 seed is a tough call. Beyond that, moving QU out of Bridgeport and BC out of Worcester really hurts attendance.

    East - Bridgeport (Yale)
    2. Boston College
    6. Providence
    12. Clarkson
    14. Yale

    Northeast - Worcester
    3. Quinnipiac
    7. Northeastern
    10. Wisconsin
    16. Mercyhurst

    Midwest - Cincinnati (Miami)
    4. Union
    5. Ferris State
    11. Notre Dame
    15. Michigan

    West - St. Paul (Minnesota)
    1. Minnesota
    8. St. Cloud State
    9. UMass-Lowell
    13. Cornell

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    Re: The 2014 Pairwise, Bracketology and History Thread`

    And #13 is not terribly excited to play the overall #1 effectively at home rather than #4 overall in a more neutral location....
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    Re: The 2014 Pairwise, Bracketology and History Thread`

    Quote Originally Posted by FireKnight View Post
    I came up with a slightly different bracket than Priceless, but there's surely a tough decision for the committee this week. Punishing Minnesota by playing the #13 seed is a tough call. Beyond that, moving QU out of Bridgeport and BC out of Worcester really hurts attendance.
    So put 15 Michigan in NE, 16 Mercyhurst in W and 13 Cornell in MW. Then you get 1/16, 3/15, and 4/13.

    I realize they want to avoid conference matchups, but at some point it seems nearly impossible while staying close to fair.
    Last edited by JF_Gophers; 01-20-2014 at 01:02 PM.
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    Re: The 2014 Pairwise, Bracketology and History Thread`

    Quote Originally Posted by FireKnight View Post
    I came up with a slightly different bracket than Priceless, but there's surely a tough decision for the committee this week. Punishing Minnesota by playing the #13 seed is a tough call. Beyond that, moving QU out of Bridgeport and BC out of Worcester really hurts attendance.

    East - Bridgeport (Yale)
    2. Boston College
    6. Providence
    12. Clarkson
    14. Yale

    Northeast - Worcester
    3. Quinnipiac
    7. Northeastern
    10. Wisconsin
    16. Mercyhurst

    Midwest - Cincinnati (Miami)
    4. Union
    5. Ferris State
    11. Notre Dame
    15. Michigan

    West - St. Paul (Minnesota)
    1. Minnesota
    8. St. Cloud State
    9. UMass-Lowell
    13. Cornell
    Mine looks exactly like yours. And, really, with this set of information to work with, the question is: Northeastern V Wisconsin should be in Worcester or Bridgeport. Of course, Providence v Clarkson gets the other location. Pick it either way for attendance that you want.

    I like JF Gophers' thought, too. The situation with Cornell v Minnesota here is a test case for "THIS" committee. Remember, each committee actually is different. The people in the room are the ones interpreting the rules. There is the "5 teams in one conference" exception they could use to have Minnesota v AHA Champion. Then, you would get:

    St Paul: Minnesota v AHA Champion, St Cloud v Lowell
    Worcester: BC v Cornell, Northeastern v Wisconsin
    Bridgeport: QU v Yale, Providence v Clarkson
    Cincinnati: Union v Michigan, Ferris v Notre Dame

    Where it's the natural serpentine bracket, with Mich/Corn swapped for attendance and to avoid the 2nd all-ECAC game, and Notre Dame/Clarkson swapped also for attendance and to avoid and all-HE matchup.
    Last edited by Numbers; 01-20-2014 at 01:26 PM.

  8. #108
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    Re: The 2014 Pairwise, Bracketology and History Thread`

    The real question is, will the committee put all of the WCHA teams on one side of the bracket again to avoid an all WCHA title game.
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    Re: The 2014 Pairwise, Bracketology and History Thread`

    Quote Originally Posted by JF_Gophers View Post
    The real question is, will the committee put all of the WCHA teams on one side of the bracket again to avoid an all WCHA title game.
    Ironically, right now, YES!! For there is only one WCHA team...... "smirk"

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    Re: The 2014 Pairwise, Bracketology and History Thread`

    Quote Originally Posted by LynahFan View Post
    And #13 is not terribly excited to play the overall #1 effectively at home rather than #4 overall in a more neutral location....
    I given that both the WCHA and NCHC each only have one team in currently, I say the odds are good that at least one of the conferences would have a different team win a conference tournament and take a spot bumping #15 from the field, solving that problem.

    Given the preponderance of teams from HEA and ECAC that would make it, you'd almost have to run 4 different brackets:

    1.) SCSU and FSU win conference tournaments
    2.) Neither SCSU or FSU win conference tournaments
    3.) SCSU wins but FSU doesn't
    4.) FSU wins but SCSU doesn't

    Given that the way things stand, both the WCHA and NCHC would have a team in the championship playing for an auto bid, you have to account for those outcomes when considering the possible bracket options.

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    Re: The 2014 Pairwise, Bracketology and History Thread`

    Quote Originally Posted by Almington View Post
    I given that both the WCHA and NCHC each only have one team in currently, I say the odds are good that at least one of the conferences would have a different team win a conference tournament and take a spot bumping #15 from the field, solving that problem.
    Oh, absolutely. The probability that the final ordering of the teams will exactly match what is in the PWR today is indistinguishable from zero - Bracketology is always based on "if the season ended today."

    I'm also not saying that sending #13 to #1's home regional would definitely be the wrong decision - that could very well be the best the committee could do with the mess that the standings have handed them. Just unfortunate for the particular teams caught in the crossfire...
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    Re: The 2014 Pairwise, Bracketology and History Thread`

    Quote Originally Posted by Almington View Post
    I given that both the WCHA and NCHC each only have one team in currently, I say the odds are good that at least one of the conferences would have a different team win a conference tournament and take a spot bumping #15 from the field, solving that problem.

    Given the preponderance of teams from HEA and ECAC that would make it, you'd almost have to run 4 different brackets:

    1.) SCSU and FSU win conference tournaments
    2.) Neither SCSU or FSU win conference tournaments
    3.) SCSU wins but FSU doesn't
    4.) FSU wins but SCSU doesn't

    Given that the way things stand, both the WCHA and NCHC would have a team in the championship playing for an auto bid, you have to account for those outcomes when considering the possible bracket options.
    Details for this current situation:
    Only if both FSU and SCSU lost the tournament would it help the problem. So, to do the full-up bracket looks like:

    St Paul: SCSU v Lowell; Minn v Corn {Or, Minn v AHA Champ in the case of WHCA&NCHC upsets}
    Bridgeport: Providence v Clarkson; BC v Yale {Or, QU v Higher ranked Upset Winner}
    Worcester: Northeastern v Wisconsin; QU v AHA Champ {Or, BC v Cornell in the case of WCHA&NCHC upsets}
    Cincinnati: Ferris v NoDame; Union v Michigan (or upset Conf Tourney Winner #1) {Or, Union v Lower Ranked Upset Winner}

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    Re: The 2014 Pairwise, Bracketology and History Thread`

    Even if all the top seeds won and the AHA is the only auto bid to go outside the PWR, I find it extremely unlikely that the next 6 weeks will yield a situation where 5 ECAC teams make the tournament. Although Yale sits at the bottom of the pot now, I think the teams in the most tenuous positions are Cornell and Clarkson. Clarkson and Cornell meet this weekend and although the Knights can't overlook the Friday game against a "better than their record" Colgate team, I could see the comparison between these 2 teams being the in/out line come March.

    Also interesting to note particular to Clarkson… they have yet to play either Union or Quinnipiac. That leaves them a lot of opportunity to pick up big PWR wins but it also leaves them the potential of going way down the ladder. With their record against the HEA, they won't win any comparisons against a HEA team if they should end up on the bubble with them.

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    Re: The 2014 Pairwise, Bracketology and History Thread`

    On the question of conference balance and how many teams we would expect to be in...

    I looked at the participants for each of the last ten NCAA tournaments, and noted who was in the field and what their current conference affiliation is (note: not what it was at the time).

    Here's how the data looks:

    Total Apps Current Programs Apps / Program Apps/Program / Year Conf. Apps / Year 2014 Proj. Apps 2014 Proj. Apps/Program
    B1G 30 6 5.00 0.50 3 3 0.50
    NCHC 43 8 5.38 0.54 4.3 1 0.13
    WCHA 10 10 1.00 0.10 1 1 0.10
    HE 41 11 3.73 0.37 4.1 5 0.45
    ECAC 23 12 1.92 0.19 2.3 5 0.42
    AHA 13 12 1.08 0.11 1.3 1 0.08

    Conclusions that I can draw?

    • The Big Ten, WCHA, and AHA are all behaving as well as they have historically. On average, half the B1G teams will make the field and this year it seems that Minny, Wisconsin and Michigan will do just that. The WCHA teams represent what used to be the lower-tier teams in the old WCHA and CCHA, and their struggles in non-conference play (and the RPI) reflect that. The AHA has really changed in insignificant ways (quality-wise) in the past 10 years, so there's no surprises there.
    • Hockey East is having a slightly above average year so far, and we might be able to expect the rest of the conference season (and playoffs) to rectify that somewhat.
    • The ECAC, despite being a conference clearly in resurgence, is dangerously close to being a lot closer to their 2.3 average appearances. Only two of their 5 current bids are sitting comfortably, with the other three among the last 4 at-large bids. None of those 3 teams has a very comfortable edge over Michigan for the last-team-in, and out of the 5 teams within a percentage point (.010) of overtaking Michigan's RPI, only one of them is an ECAC school. I think it's perfectly reasonable to assume that the ECAC will drop one bid (dropping two seems just as likely) as conference tourneys come around, and it's probably a safe bet that if any teams make gains it'll be one of the 4 on-the-bubble teams that isn't Colgate. So, looking at 3, maybe 4, bids is quite fitting for the ECAC having an above average year.
    • So all that said, it's really only the NCHC that is giving us surprises. It would've been foolish to assume that they could've lived up the the 4.3 bid average that they've had as middle-to-heavy weight programs in the WCHA and CCHA, but they've struggled mightily. To me, the biggest surprise isn't even that they only have one team in the field so far (it's still early), it's that despite having 4 teams in the last 10 teams out, really only North Dakota is close enough to Michigan in the RPI department to be considered a major threat to get in. I think it's possible that North Dakota gets in without needing too much help, that St. Cloud stays the course and that there's either an upset in the NCHC tournament or somebody makes a miracle run to get a third team in, but it's far more likely that the NCHC only gets one or two teams this year. Chalk that one up to poor OOC play, and the fact that the changes to the PWR pretty much just force the comparisons to be decided by RPI.
    Last edited by ExileOnDaytonStreet; 01-20-2014 at 03:20 PM.
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    Re: The 2014 Pairwise, Bracketology and History Thread`

    I don't think any team wants to play WMU right now.

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    Re: The 2014 Pairwise, Bracketology and History Thread`

    Quote Originally Posted by ExileOnDaytonStreet View Post
    On the question of conference balance and how many teams we would expect to be in...

    I looked at the participants for each of the last ten NCAA tournaments, and noted who was in the field and what their current conference affiliation is (note: not what it was at the time).

    Here's how the data looks:

    Total Apps Current Programs Apps / Program Apps/Program / Year Conf. Apps / Year 2014 Proj. Apps 2014 Proj. Apps/Program
    B1G 30 6 5.00 0.50 3 3 0.50
    NCHC 43 8 5.38 0.54 4.3 1 0.13
    WCHA 10 10 1.00 0.10 1 1 0.10
    HE 41 11 3.73 0.37 4.1 5 0.45
    ECAC 23 12 1.92 0.19 2.3 5 0.42
    AHA 13 12 1.08 0.11 1.3 1 0.08

    Conclusions that I can draw?

    • The Big Ten, WCHA, and AHA are all behaving as well as they have historically. On average, half the B1G teams will make the field and this year it seems that Minny, Wisconsin and Michigan will do just that. The WCHA teams represent what used to be the lower-tier teams in the old WCHA and CCHA, and their struggles in non-conference play (and the RPI) reflect that. The AHA has really changed in insignificant ways (quality-wise) in the past 10 years, so there's no surprises there.
    • Hockey East is having a slightly above average year so far, and we might be able to expect the rest of the conference season (and playoffs) to rectify that somewhat.
    • The ECAC, despite being a conference clearly in resurgence, is dangerously close to being a lot closer to their 2.3 average appearances. Only two of their 5 current bids are sitting comfortably, with the other three among the last 4 at-large bids. None of those 3 teams has a very comfortable edge over Michigan for the last-team-in, and out of the 5 teams within a percentage point (.010) of overtaking Michigan's RPI, only one of them is an ECAC school. I think it's perfectly reasonable to assume that the ECAC will drop one bid (dropping two seems just as likely) as conference tourneys come around, and it's probably a safe bet that if any teams make gains it'll be one of the 4 on-the-bubble teams that isn't Colgate. So, looking at 3, maybe 4, bids is quite fitting for the ECAC having an above average year.
    • So all that said, it's really only the NCHC that is giving us surprises. It would've been foolish to assume that they could've lived up the the 4.3 bid average that they've had as middle-to-heavy weight programs in the WCHA and CCHA, but they've struggled mightily. To me, the biggest surprise isn't even that they only have one team in the field so far (it's still early), it's that despite having 4 teams in the last 10 teams out, really only North Dakota is close enough to Michigan in the RPI department to be considered a major threat to get in. I think it's possible that North Dakota gets in without needing too much help, that St. Cloud stays the course and that there's either an upset in the NCHC tournament or somebody makes a miracle run to get a third team in, but it's far more likely that the NCHC only gets one or two teams this year. Chalk that one up to poor OOC play, and the fact that the changes to the PWR pretty much just force the comparisons to be decided by RPI.
    I don't think I'd put Michigan in just yet. They're the last team in as it stands right now. They're also in the middle of a very bunched up RPI. They certainly are capable of making it, but I don't think they are necessarily a prohibitive favorite over the rest of the teams you list.

    As for the NCHC, two comments.

    First, Miami is really the big surprise. If they had played like everyone expected, there would be two NCHC teams comfortably in the tournament with a couple of more knocking on the door, and the possibility of a tournament upset available. I still think it's likely they'll get two teams in, and given Miami's collapse, that's about what I would have expected this year.

    As for it's terrible out of conference record, I would point out that the NCHC's record against all non-AHA teams is 30-27-14, while the Big 10's is 29-27-6. The big difference is that the Big 10, with so few conference games, chose to load up the balance of it's schedule with AHA teams, far and away the weakest conference, and piled up a 17-2 record, while the NCHC played only a handful of games against the AHA. FYI, the ECAC is 33-35-14 against non-AHA teams as well, but like the Big 10, ran up a lopsided win/loss record against the AHA.

    Since RPI is so important under the new PWR, and since RPI is essentially wins and losses, if you want to criticize the NCHC teams for anything, it's for failing to load up the schedule with cupcakes.
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    Re: The 2014 Pairwise, Bracketology and History Thread`

    Maybe if the LTHC had done better than 5-3-1 against the AHA you'd have a case. Maybe there is a new league of cupcakes out there.

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    Re: The 2014 Pairwise, Bracketology and History Thread`

    Quote Originally Posted by SJHovey View Post
    As for it's terrible out of conference record, I would point out that the NCHC's record against all non-AHA teams is 30-27-14, while the Big 10's is 29-27-6. The big difference is that the Big 10, with so few conference games, chose to load up the balance of it's schedule with AHA teams, far and away the weakest conference, and piled up a 17-2 record, while the NCHC played only a handful of games against the AHA. FYI, the ECAC is 33-35-14 against non-AHA teams as well, but like the Big 10, ran up a lopsided win/loss record against the AHA.

    Since RPI is so important under the new PWR, and since RPI is essentially wins and losses, if you want to criticize the NCHC teams for anything, it's for failing to load up the schedule with cupcakes.
    The B1Gs don't suffer as much from bad OOC records mostly because most of the terrible non-con performances have been limited to Penn State and Michigan State.

    The RPI for B1G schools probably will suffer once everyone has had to play PSU and MSU 4 times. Unless Ohio State goes on a tear, Wisconsin and Michigan are going to have to finish reasonably well in order for the full complement of 3 B1G teams to make the dance.
    Last edited by ExileOnDaytonStreet; 01-20-2014 at 04:48 PM.
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    Re: The 2014 Pairwise, Bracketology and History Thread`

    Quote Originally Posted by ExileOnDaytonStreet View Post
    The B1Gs don't suffer as much from bad OOC records mostly because most of the terrible non-con performances have been limited to Penn State and Michigan State.

    The RPI for B1G schools probably will suffer once everyone has had to play PSU and MSU 4 times. Unless Ohio State goes on a tear, Wisconsin and Michigan are going to have to finish reasonably well in order for the full complement of 3 B1G teams to make the dance.
    The NCHC is similar. 6 of the 8 teams are above .500 OOC, going a combined 32-14-12. The 3-16-3 record of CC and UNO is what hurts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Priceless View Post
    Maybe if the LTHC had done better than 5-3-1 against the AHA you'd have a case. Maybe there is a new league of cupcakes out there.
    Since 2 of the 3 losses were by CC, not much the rest of the teams can do.
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    Re: The 2014 Pairwise, Bracketology and History Thread`

    Quote Originally Posted by ExileOnDaytonStreet View Post
    So, looking at 3, maybe 4, bids is quite fitting for the ECAC having an above average year.
    Very nice effort. My concern is that trending and regression analysis works in projecting future outcomes when underlying assumptions around cause and effect have not changed. You are assuming that conferences will be "behaving as well as they have historically". They are not and will no longer. The history of the ECAC in recent NCAA tournament play is shown below. Lets follow your logic.

    RECENT RECORD IN NCAA TOURNMENT PLAY
    YEAR - - - ECAC W-L - #FF
    2009 - - - - - 1-3
    2010 - - - - - 1-2
    2011 - - - - - 1-3
    2012 - - - - - 3-2 - - (1)FF
    2013 - - - - - 8-2 - - (2)FF
    2014 - - - - - - ? - - - ?

    If I followed your logic correctly, applying to the recent tournament outcomes, then the ECAC should end up with 6 teams in the tournament and all four slots in the Frozen 4. Is it really just that the ECAC is having an "above average" year? The best interconference record in College hockey this year belongs to HE, by a lot. The HE record vs the ECAC its 21-19-8. What is the record of the other conferences against HE? Last year I believe that 5 of the old WCHA teams made the playoffs as well as three ECAC teams. The five WCHA teams went down in flames and the three ECAC teams never lost to a non-conference opponent. Was that also the ECAC having an "above average year"?

    Sorry but there is much more parity now in College Hockey and don't expect the AHA to stay noncompetitive forever. There is no way to tell how many teams from each conference will make the tournament. Both the ECAC and HE conference matchups are going to be brutal this year and may, as in past years, knock their fellow conference teams out of contention. There are also a lot of "dark horse" teams out there that can win tournaments.

    At this point the recruiting and coaching in the ECAC is strong enough to perpetuate and sustain a much higher level of competitiveness and I don't think a lot of old assumptions still apply.
    Last edited by Dutchman; 01-20-2014 at 05:11 PM.
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