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Josh Carey
02-03-2011, 12:45 AM
Hello, all. I've been on hiatus the first half of this year, but figured it was time to poke my head in these parts with tournament speculation season approaching. I'm about a month later on this thread than last year, but hopefully this can get everything consolidated in one place from the get go.

What we know about the 2010 NCAA Tournament
11 Division-III Hockey teams will participate.
Those 11 teams will consist of...
- 7 Pool A teams that have won their conference tournament in conference with an automatic qualifier (AQ). Those conferences are the ECAC-East, ECAC-Northeast, NESCAC, SUNYAC, NCHA, MCHA and MIAC.
- 1 Pool B team awarded to the best team from a conference without an automatic qualifier (AQ). Those conferences are the ECAC-West and MASCAC.
- 3 Pool C teams awarded to teams not already in the tournament. These teams are selected by the following primary and secondary criteria:

Primary Criteria:
Team's winning percentage in region (WIN, win%)
Strength of schedule, weighted combination of OWP and OOP:
Opponent's winning percentage in-region (OWP)
Opponent's opponent's winning percentage in-region (OOP, OOWP)
Record against common opponents of compared teams in-region (COP)
Head-to-head record of compared teams in-region (H2H)
Record against ranked teams in region (RNK, discussed below)

Secondary criteria
Head-to-head record of compared teams out of region
Team's winning percentage in all Division-III games (in and out of region)
Team's winning percentage in all games
Record against common non-Division-III opponents
Record against ranked teams in and out of region
Record against all common opponents (in and out of region)
Overall Division-III strength of schedule (in and out of region)
Winning percentage in the last 25% of the season

The weighting of each of these criteria in the selection process is not specified by the NCAA and is considered a subjective process by the committee members.

The eastern region consists of all teams in the ECAC conferences, MASCAC NESCAC, and SUNYAC. The western region consists of all teams in the NCHA, MCHA, and MIAC.

The committees will create regional rankings of the top teams in each region and teams under Pool C consideration. These rankings consists of 7 teams for the western region, and 15 teams for the eastern regions. Each region's committee will submit a final regional ranking which will be used by the national committee to award bids into the tournament.

The committees will provide rankings in advance of the tournament as a guideline. The final rankings used to seed the tournament will not be released. These rankings will create the "ranked teams" list used in the "record against ranked teams" criteria. The USCHO.com poll and D3WestHockey computer rankings are *NOT* used in this process.

Teams will be seeded, per NCAA regulations, to keep flights to a minimum. The NCAA mandates teams can not travel more than 500 miles without flying for first round or quarterfinal games. This creates a situation in which eastern teams usually play eastern teams, and western teams usually play western teams, even if it creates a situation in higher seeded teams play earlier than their overall seeds would dictate.

As a general rule, higher seeded teams will host in the first round games and quarterfinal games. Exceptions are made when a higher seeded team does not put in a bid to host a game (Mass-Dartmouth, 2008), or does not have a suitable rink to host a game (Trinity, 2005). The final four will take place somewhere in the arctic, among the top four remaining teams.

With an 11 team field, three first round games will be played. Five teams will receive byes into the quarterfinal round. The seeding of teams for the purposes of determining what teams receive byes is done using the same criteria that determines the Pool C teams.

Josh Carey
02-03-2011, 12:48 AM
That was the purely factual post. Here is the post with lessons learned from history that you can choose to ignore at your own risk:

1. It is impossible to predict with accuracy the teams that will be selected into the tournament. I will try anyways. Matt Rennell will also try, but be less successful.

2. The Pool B bid goes to the ECAC-West, usually to that conference's tournament champion. Last year was the first year the conference champion did not receive this bid, but the committee rightly did what they were told to do. The MCHA has never had a team win in the NCAA Tournament. The MASCAC, however, has not had a team reach the NCAA Tournament. That will continue.

3. One highly ranked conference leader will almost certainly lose on the final weekend of the season, throwing discussions into a tail spin. This year, it will be Oswego.

4. The western region has not had four teams make the tournament since 2010. Previously, 2009 and... 2001? Due to the tournament's structure, four western teams are needed for the possibility of two western teams to make the final four.

5. The east's extra 8 ranked teams means there is a greater level of mediocrity in the rankings. Teams in the east can improve their record against ranked teams comparison by having many games against lower-ranked teams (Norwich, 2007). It has been insinuated in the past that committees may purposefully place teams as such to gain an advantage for higher ranked teams who may actually play in the tournament or be in consideration for Pool C.

6. A 7-4 split not cross-regionalizing Adrian mandates two east play-in winners will play in the quarterfinals.

7. Teams in the west always get screwed.

8. Teams in the east always get screwed.

9. Your favorite team will get screwed.

10. Every year some people will not listen to me and spend the week after the tournament field is announced complaining about some specific aspect of the process. I will mock them with a thread like this (http://board.uscho.com/showthread.php?89456-The-Official-Finish-The-Season-7-1-1-And-Don-t-Make-The-NCAAs-Thread) or this (http://board.uscho.com/showthread.php?83321-Why-Geneseo-should-be-in-the-NCAA-Tournament).

Josh Carey
02-03-2011, 12:50 AM
My full bracketology analysis this year will be exclusive to D3WestHockey.com. You can view my first full column here (http://www.d3westhockey.com/CareyBracketology020111.html), but below is a taste of my first prediction.

Top Scenario:

First Round
E7 Nichols at E2 Elmira
E6 Castleton at E3 Utica
E5 Bowdoin at E4 Hobart

Quarterfinals
E5/E4 at E1 Oswego
E6/E3 at E7/E2
W4 Adrian at W1 St. Norbert
W3 Superior at W2 Hamline

Semifinals
Hamline Pod vs. Oswego Pod
Elmira Pod vs. St. Norbert Pod

spwood
02-03-2011, 07:56 AM
Josh,

My homer question:

You talk about how close Plattsburgh and Geneseo are: so how much would records against ranked teams affect your thinking? With a quick look at schedules, I put Plattsburgh at about 7-3-1 (that would change depending on how the bottom of the rankings look) and Geneseo at 3-3-1. Would that change your perspective?

Hobart's fate would seem to be decided by its final six games coming up (2 vs. Neumann, Elmira, and Manhattanville)...that could make the Plattsburgh-Geneseo comparison moot...

Thank you for the great work, Josh....I look forward to reading this every week.

KnightsOfTheRound
02-03-2011, 11:43 AM
Really good read Josh, thanks for posting this.

As a fellow alum I need to ask you some homer questions myself, namely: do you think the Ice Knights will still be in this discussion at the end of the season or did they peak a little bit too early? You write that they stack up well against the ECAC-W--how badly then did losing to Elmira hurt their Pool C chances? If, in a best case scenario, they run the table the rest of the season (yes, beating Oswego in Oswego) do they become a safer bet for a Pool C?

I have to agree with you that projecting in February is academic, since at least one of the conference autobids will inevitably go to a team we're not even talking about right now, but this is still really interesting stuff. I'd be curious to hear your opinions about the above from somebody who understands the numbers.

nysportsfan29
02-03-2011, 01:32 PM
Another question for you Josh.

I think most of us are operating under the assumption St. Norbert is a lock to make it even if they don't win the NCHA. That being said, which other Western division leader has a better shot of nabbing a Pool C bid if they lose in their conference tourney: Adrain or Hamline? The PairWise Comparison has them at 2 points each.

EDIT: I did read your blog post, but was just wondering how it would work if Hamline or Adrian loses since you project 4 Western teams. I guess the question should have been, if Adrian loses and Hamline and Norbert don't, does Adrian get in over Superior?

NorthernLite
02-03-2011, 01:51 PM
Another question for you Josh.
..... which other Western division leader has a better shot of nabbing a Pool C bid if they lose in their conference tourney: Adrain or Hamline?

Josh already answered this one ...............check here for the rest of the story.
http://www.d3westhockey.com/CareyBracketology020111.html

Edit.....I dont think you read far enough


" One thing is clear: this MCHA will be a one bid league with its representative being the champion of its postseason tournament.

Hamline and St. Thomas are actually the only two teams in the MIAC with both a winning record and a SOS above .500, however Hamline wins that comparison by a wide margin. The Pipers would have a chance at a Pool C bid if they falter in the league tournament, but reliance on Pool C possibilities is a highly dubious proposition for the Pipers. Hamline needs to count on winning."

joecct
02-03-2011, 02:03 PM
Josh

I know you've declared the MASCAC DOA, but if some team runs the table through the playoffs, they may have a better Win Pct than the ECAC-W. If that happens, then WinPct and SoS will offset. Very few have common opponents and unless they play shenanigens with the rankings, I doubt more than one MASCAC team will be ranked.

So while they are on life support, and it will take a miracle, it could happen.

XYZ
02-03-2011, 02:13 PM
If that happens, then WinPct and SoS will offset.

History shows far more emphasis is placed on SOS. I think the MASCAC is toast.

NUProf
02-03-2011, 02:43 PM
History shows far more emphasis is placed on SOS. I think the MASCAC is toast.

Think Adrian...

NorthernLite
02-03-2011, 02:53 PM
Think Adrian...

Win and you're in.........
...........IT IS WHAT IT IS.

nysportsfan29
02-03-2011, 03:04 PM
Josh already answered this one ...............check here for the rest of the story.
http://www.d3westhockey.com/CareyBracketology020111.html

Edit.....I dont think you read far enough


" One thing is clear: this MCHA will be a one bid league with its representative being the champion of its postseason tournament.

Hamline and St. Thomas are actually the only two teams in the MIAC with both a winning record and a SOS above .500, however Hamline wins that comparison by a wide margin. The Pipers would have a chance at a Pool C bid if they falter in the league tournament, but reliance on Pool C possibilities is a highly dubious proposition for the Pipers. Hamline needs to count on winning."

The "upon further review" question was asked because Adrian beats Superior in the PairWise Comparison 2-1.

NorthernLite
02-03-2011, 03:12 PM
History shows far more emphasis is placed on SOS. I think the MASCAC is toast.


The "upon further review" question was asked because Adrian beats Superior in the PairWise Comparison 2-1.

Adrian will have to win to get in.

GoBullDogsGo
02-03-2011, 03:17 PM
Adrian will have to win to get in.

Totally agree.....if Adrian doesn't win, then they don't deserve to get in the back door. The key to the front door is totally in their hands, just like they want it. Don't let someone else control your destiny.

elbojpb
02-03-2011, 09:34 PM
Primary Criteria:
Team's winning percentage in region (WIN, win%)
Strength of schedule, weighted combination of OWP and OOP:With the top 13 SOS teams from the SUNYAC and ECAC/W, the selection process should be a hoot.

3 Elmira 710.0 .8544 16 12-5-3 0.6750 2.077 1 355.0
2 Utica 743.7 .8596 8 13-5-0 0.7222 2.600 2 303.0
1 Oswego 2224. .9458 1 19-2-0 0.9048 9.500 3 285.2
7 Hobart 509.1 .8121 18 12-6-1 0.6579 1.923 4 274.2
17 Morrisville 245.9 .6910 35t 8-8-1 0.5000 1.000 5 245.9
8 Geneseo 469.9 .8007 17 11-5-2 0.6667 2.000 6 244.3
6 Maville 517.2 .8143 13t 14-6-1 0.6905 2.231 7 241.4
11 Neumann 354.0 .7565 23 10-6-4 0.6000 1.500 8 240.8
22 Fredonia 190.7 .6402 46 8-10-0 0.4444 0.800 9 235.5
35 Cortland 101.9 .5042 56 5-13-2 0.3000 0.429 10 227.3
9 Plattsburgh 466.0 .7994 13t 14-6-1 0.6905 2.231 11 217.5
20 Buff State 192.0 .6416 40 8-9-3 0.4750 0.905 12 211.2
48 Potsdam 70.32 .4224 61t 4-14-1 0.2368 0.310 13 211.0

joecct
02-03-2011, 10:33 PM
"... Hamline needs to count on winning."Kiss of Death.

Josh Carey
02-03-2011, 10:36 PM
You talk about how close Plattsburgh and Geneseo are: so how much would records against ranked teams affect your thinking? With a quick look at schedules, I put Plattsburgh at about 7-3-1 (that would change depending on how the bottom of the rankings look) and Geneseo at 3-3-1. Would that change your perspective?

Just eyeballing it, I think you may be overestimating Plattsburgh's record against ranked teams. For one, that win against Middlebury very likely was not against a ranked team. Would it change my perspective? Of course, all new information changes my perspective. I wrote my column Sunday night and things have already changed significantly. Enough to change the comparison? I think it would take a level of disparity you suggested to clearly move me in that direction.

But Geneseo being ranked ahead of Plattsburgh is a temporary situation anyways. If the Cardinals don't overtake the Ice Knights by the end of the regular season, I think the playoffs will likely seal the deal.


Hobart's fate would seem to be decided by its final six games coming up (2 vs. Neumann, Elmira, and Manhattanville)...that could make the Plattsburgh-Geneseo comparison moot...

A lot of things could make the Plattsburgh-Geneseo comparison moot. And don't underestimate the ability of another ECAC-West team to shoot above them if Hoabrt falters.


Do you think the Ice Knights will still be in this discussion at the end of the season or did they peak a little bit too early? You write that they stack up well against the ECAC-W--how badly then did losing to Elmira hurt their Pool C chances? If, in a best case scenario, they run the table the rest of the season (yes, beating Oswego in Oswego) do they become a safer bet for a Pool C?

I don't really believe in "peaking too early" or not. I think your talent vs. your schedule shows over the course of a season. Generally, Geneseo has beaten the teams they were suppose to and lost to the teams they were suppose to. This does appear to be a different Geneseo team than any I've seen at the school (7th in the nation in scoring defense, 2nd fewest penalty minutes per game in the country - behind only Plattsburgh), but I don't see them running the table, which means they'll be in this muddled middle without some playoff upsets.

To clarify, I said they've had some encouraging results against ECAC-West teams. But their SOS just isn't there to make me comfortable with their PWC against those teams. The good news? When you get to secondary criteria, Geneseo's WIN jumps to 0.700 without having to take a SOS hit from the Franklin Pierce games due to a loophole in secondary criteria that doesn't re-calculate SOS to include those teams' records. Barring running the table or winning the tournament, I see Geneseo firmly on the bubble until the bitter end.


I think most of us are operating under the assumption St. Norbert is a lock to make it even if they don't win the NCHA. That being said, which other Western division leader has a better shot of nabbing a Pool C bid if they lose in their conference tourney: Adrain or Hamline? The PairWise Comparison has them at 2 points each.

I would love to say Adrian's H2H win would get them in over Hamline, but SOS is perhaps even more important. But I don't see either being a big player in the at-large discussion.


I did read your blog post, but was just wondering how it would work if Hamline or Adrian loses since you project 4 Western teams. I guess the question should have been, if Adrian loses and Hamline and Norbert don't, does Adrian get in over Superior?

If it's not Superior, it will be an eastern team. My column also starts out saying the west could be in real trouble this year. Honestly, I think we might have the best setup for an 8-3 split ever.


I know you've declared the MASCAC DOA, but if some team runs the table through the playoffs, they may have a better Win Pct than the ECAC-W. If that happens, then WinPct and SoS will offset.

No, they won't. SOS counts more. That's been made pretty clear over the past few years. You don't get at large bids for having high records against poor competition. Even a lower WIN with a stronger SOS has been shown to get in. See: Neumann, 2009.


Very few have common opponents and unless they play shenanigens with the rankings, I doubt more than one MASCAC team will be ranked. So while they are on life support, and it will take a miracle, it could happen.

No, it can't. I am 99.9999999999% sure a MASCAC team will not play in the tournament this year. You can just ask every MCHA team before they had an AQ. Not playing ranked teams hurts you, not helps you. An ECAC-West team with a 3-5-1 record against ranked teams would get more credit than a MASCAC team with a 1-1-1 record against ranked teams. Think of it as double dipping on SOS.

Josh Carey
02-03-2011, 10:41 PM
With the top 13 SOS teams from the SUNYAC and ECAC/W, the selection process should be a hoot.

Those numbers are from the KRACH, and thus useless for the selection process. I'll see what I can come up with for SOS using the NCAA formula.

EDIT: Here's the list of everyone with a SOS above .500 using the NCAA criteria. If you aren't on this list at the end of the season, your chance of getting an at-large bid is nil.
Elmira
Eau Claire
Utica
Stevens Point
Oswego
Superior
Hobart
Morrisville
St. Norbert
Plattsbugh
Stout
Manhattanville
Buffalo State
Neumann
Norwich
St. Thomas
Hamline
Geneseo
Babson

This list is in order, and the relative placement of Norwich, Hamline, and Geneseo is exactly why fans of those teams should not feel encouraged.

Matt Rennell
02-03-2011, 11:13 PM
1. It is impossible to predict with accuracy the teams that will be selected into the tournament. I will try anyways. Matt Rennell will also try, but be less successful.

Hey Joshua, why don't you come down here and say that to my face. I'll buy you a soda and you can tell me how wrong I am.

PS: I didn't respond to this earlier because I didn't notice it until it was pointed out to me. As usual I just scanned quickly through your post to get through the fluff;)

CardinalSin
02-05-2011, 08:53 AM
Josh, great info , It is good to see someone is willing to carry the load while everyone tries to poke holes in the theory .

Just one quick request , other than the obvious autobid , what alignment of the stars favors a Pool C bid for the Cards ,if any exist.