Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My Projected Bracket

Running simulations is fun, but I wanted to create a bracket based on what I think will happen the rest of the way.

CCHA Tournament:
Michigan over Miami in the tournament championship
Notre Dame over NMU in the consolation game (NMU would have no shot to make the tournament and Notre Dame would basically be playing an elimination game)

ECAC Tournament:
Harvard over Princeton in the championship
Cornell over Colgate in the consolation game

Hockey East Tournament:
New Hampshire over Boston University in the championship
No consolation game

WCHA Tournament:
North Dakota over 2002 Red Wings
Colorado College over 1977 Canadiens

North Dakota over Colorado College in the championship
Saint Cloud over Denver in the consolation game

We would then get the following as the Pairwise:
1. Michigan (AQ)
2. New Hampshire (AQ)
3. North Dakota (AQ)
4. Miami
5. Colorado College
6. Denver
7. St. Cloud
8t. Michigan State
8t. Boston College
8t. Clarkson
11. Harvard (AQ)
12t. Minnesota State
12t. Minnesota
14. Notre Dame
23. Niagara (AQ)
Air Force (AQ)

Setting the match-ups based on seed:

1. Michigan vs. 16. Air Force
8. Michigan State vs. 9. Boston College

2. New Hampshire vs. 15. Niagara
7. St. Cloud vs. 10. Clarkson

3. North Dakota vs. 14. Notre Dame
6. Denver vs. 11. Harvard

4. Miami vs. 13. Minnesota
5. Colorado College vs. 12. Minnesota State

We have one conference match-up (Colorado College vs. Minnesota State), but with six WCHA teams in the field, that's allowed. It would also be fairly difficult to get rid of. Swapping Minnesota State for Harvard or Clarkson would create another conference matchup, and it's not really fair to penalize Colorado College with a much tougher first-round game by swapping Minnesota State with Boston College.

Similarly, you can't swap Colorado College for Denver or St. Cloud because it would create a conference match-up, and to swap them with Michigan State would give a much tougher regional to our #1 overall seed, so we're not doing that. Since our 12 and 13 seeds were tied in the Pairwise, I suppose they could swap them, but that would also create a conference match-up so there'd be no point. We'll just roll with things how they are.

Colorado College is hosting, so they have to be in Colorado Springs. Michigan gets placed closest to home since they're #1, so they go to Madison. UNH goes to Worcester and North Dakota goes to Albany. The attendance for the Albany regional is probably going to suck, but there's not a great way around it. Clarkson is four hours away from Albany anyway and Niagara wouldn't bring a ton in attendance, so it's best not to mess with the integrity of the bracket.

Midwest Regional - Madison, WI
1. Michigan vs. 16. Air Force
8. Michigan State vs. 9. Boston College

Northeast Regional - Worcester, MA
2. New Hampshire vs. 15. Niagara
7. St. Cloud vs. 10. Clarkson

East Regional - Albany, NY
3. North Dakota vs. 14. Notre Dame
6. Denver vs. 11. Harvard

West Regional - Colorado Springs, CO
4. Miami vs. 13. Minnesota
5. Colorado College vs. 12. Minnesota State


East Coaster said...

IF, but it's a big if, the conference tourneys run their course as you've predicted, I'd agree with MOST of the bracket as you've laid it out. But I think the Committee would swap 10 Clarkson and 11 Harvard (as they're permitted to do within bands) to try and improve attendance in Albany. Harvard fans don't travel, so they'll be a non-factor 3 hours from Cambridge. Clarkson fans travel much better, so I'm guessing the Committee will do all it can to slot the Golden Knights there, and leave the handful of Crimson fans to intermingle with the UNH fans in Worcester ...

Eric J. Burton said...

I like your brackets.

Packer487 said...

If it would improve attendance in Albany, I could absolutely see that change happening. I didn't know that Clarkson fans traveled that well.

I don't think that either St. Cloud or Denver would feel gypped by the move either.

It's not like when they "rewarded" Michigan and Minnesota by removing BU from the bracket and replacing the Terriers with an "easier" North Dakota team last year.

I actually feel like that ends up being a pretty balanced bracket. The West is the toughest regional, but it should be with the 4 and 5 seeds there--though I also think the Midwest is the only regional that has 3 teams that could legitimately come out of it. Of course after last year, you never know.

I'd take Michigan, UNH, NoDak, and CC...because I'm creative like that. That'd set up Michigan/CC and UNH/NoDak in the Frozen Four. Two games I would LOVE to watch.

East Coaster said...

A further reason why I think slotting Clarkson in Albany is a good idea is because they are NOT there this coming weekend for the ECACHL Tournament. After getting bounced in the League quarterfinals, I expect there are more than a few Golden Knight fans who'll be ready to spend $$ following their team at the closest Eastern Regional (just a few hours down the Northway from Potsdam) if they can't see 'em this weekend. But saying that their fans travel 'well' is a bit of a stretch; they'll certainly turn out in numbers greater than Harvard, but neither fan base approaches the turnout supporting UNH, Maine, and Cornell. Maine's already out, UNH should be in Worcester, and should Cornell win the ECACHL Tournament (and auto-bid), I could see Cornell and/or Clarkson placed in Albany (if feasible via small in-band shuffling) to juice the gate. That said, the Committee has stuck pretty closely to straight seeding the past several years; it remains to be seen whether that will change under new Committee Chair J. Maturi, who takes over from M. Scarano who's now rotated off. In any case, if the Frozen Four winds up as you've predicted, that'd be 3 games I'd LOVE to watch too!