Pairwise Live Blog

Posted by: Scott McLaughlin

Follow this live blog all weekend as we discuss the up-to-the-minute ramifications every game has on the Pairwise.

The Pairwise is the system used by the NCAA to select and seed the NCAA Tournament. For more on how it works, check out our Pairwise Primer. Also, check out our You Are the Committee tool, which allows you to plug in projected winners of every game this weekend and see how it would affect the Pairwise.

Sunday, 4:50 p.m. ET — Notre Dame beats Michigan 3-1 in the final CCHA championship game. That means the Irish get the fourth one-seed and the Wolverines’ NCAA tournament appearance streak ends at 22 years. Yale will get the final at-large bid. This is the bracket projection I came up with last night in the event of a Notre Dame win:

East Regional (Providence): 1. Quinnipiac vs. 16. Canisius — 8. North Dakota vs. 10. Niagara
West Regional (Grand Rapids): 2. Minnesota vs. 15. Yale — 6. Boston College vs. 11. Minnesota State
Northeast Regional (Manchester): 3. Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 14. Wisconsin — 7. New Hampshire vs. 9. Denver
Midwest Regional (Toledo): 4. Notre Dame vs. 13. St. Cloud State — 5. Miami vs. 12. Union

I’ll admit I don’t love it. I’d like to see the BC-Minnesota State game and North Dakota-Niagara game flipped. That could help attendance in both Providence and Grand Rapids, and it would save BC and Niagara a flight. The other option would be to shuffle the three seeds and put Union in Providence. Then you’d have Niagara in Grand Rapids and Minnesota State in Toledo.

It’s a tough call, and I’ve found myself debating it even more today than I had been last night. In the end, though, I’m going to stick with my original projection. I just have a gut feeling the committee will choose bracket integrity over attendance/travel, even though I don’t really agree with that philosophy. So, my official projection is the bracket shown above. Below are the two most likely alternatives, just so everyone can see what they look like.

With the BC flip:
East Regional (Providence): 1. Quinnipiac vs. 16. Canisius — 6. Boston College vs. 11. Minnesota State
West Regional (Grand Rapids): 2. Minnesota vs. 15. Yale — 8. North Dakota vs. 10. Niagara
Northeast Regional (Manchester): 3. Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 14. Wisconsin — 7. New Hampshire vs. 9. Denver
Midwest Regional (Toledo): 4. Notre Dame vs. 13. St. Cloud State — 5. Miami vs. 12. Union

With the Union flip:
East Regional (Providence): 1. Quinnipiac vs. 16. Canisius — 8. North Dakota vs. 12. Union
West Regional (Grand Rapids): 2. Minnesota vs. 15. Yale — 6. Boston College vs. 10. Niagara
Northeast Regional (Manchester): 3. Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 14. Wisconsin — 7. New Hampshire vs. 9. Denver
Midwest Regional (Toledo): 4. Notre Dame vs. 13. St. Cloud State — 5. Miami vs. 11. Minnesota State

The official bracket will be announced at 9 p.m. ET, live on ESPNU.

Saturday, 11:20 p.m. ET — Wisconsin beats Colorado College to win the WCHA tournament and clinch an NCAA berth. CC is out. We now know 15 of the 16 teams that will be in the NCAA tournament. The final spot will be decided in Sunday’s CCHA title game. If Michigan wins, the Wolverines are in and Yale is out. If Notre Dame wins, Yale gets the final at-large spot. Notre Dame also clinches the final one-seed with a win, while a Michigan win gives it to Miami.

Before we call it a night, let’s make some bracket projections. There’s one bracket with Notre Dame winning, and one with Michigan winning. Everything looks pretty straightforward, really. The most interesting possibility comes in Providence if Notre Dame wins on Sunday. By seeding (plus one switch to avoid an intra-conference 8-9 game), you would have Quinnipiac, North Dakota, Niagara and Canisius there.

That might raise some attendance concerns, though. BC would be sixth in this scenario. Would the committee swap the Eagles with North Dakota to help Providence’s attendance? My gut tells me no, because I think they would choose bracket integrity (keeping the No. 8 team with the No. 1 team) over that swap. Plus, North Dakota fans travel really well, even to the East Coast. Another option would be putting Union there as the three-seed, but that would mean an 8 vs. 12 matchup, which isn’t ideal either. Again, my gut says they won’t do this. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow if this scenario comes to fruition.

With that said, here are my projections.

If Notre Dame wins:
East Regional (Providence): 1. Quinnipiac vs. 16. Canisius — 8. North Dakota vs. 10. Niagara
West Regional (Grand Rapids): 2. Minnesota vs. 15. Yale — 6. Boston College vs. 11. Minnesota State
Northeast Regional (Manchester): 3. Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 14. Wisconsin — 7. New Hampshire vs. 9. Denver
Midwest Regional (Toledo): 4. Notre Dame vs. 13. St. Cloud State — 5. Miami vs. 12. Union

If Michigan wins:
East Regional (Providence): 1. Quinnipiac vs. 16. Canisius — 8. Notre Dame vs. 9. Denver
West Regional (Grand Rapids): 2. Minnesota vs. 15. Michigan — 6. North Dakota vs. 10. Niagara
Northeast Regional (Manchester): 3. Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 14. Wisconsin — 7. New Hampshire vs. 11. Minnesota State
Midwest Regional (Toledo): 4. Miami vs. 13. St. Cloud State — 5. Boston College vs. 12. Union

Saturday, 9:32 p.m. ET — Lowell beats BU 1-0 to win its first Hockey East tournament title. The River Hawks will be the No. 3 overall seed in NCAAs, and they’ll be in Manchester unless Brown comes back to beat Union. The Terriers are eliminated from NCAA contention, ending Jack Parker’s legendary career. Lowell’s win clinches an NCAA berth for St. Cloud and keeps Yale alive for one more day. The Bulldogs will need Notre Dame to beat Michigan tomorrow to get in.

Elsewhere, Canisius beat Mercyhurst 7-2 to win the Atlantic title and clinch an NCAA berth, and Union beat Brown 3-1 to win its second straight ECAC title and clinch an NCAA berth. Mercyhurst and Brown are both eliminated from contention. Only one NCAA spot is still up for grabs. If Michigan wins tomorrow, the Wolverines are in. If Notre Dame wins, Yale gets in.

Saturday, 8:50 p.m. ET — So, it looks like today’s early results eliminated BC from one-seed contention. The Eagles will most likely be heading west. That leaves Miami, Lowell and Notre Dame fighting for the last two one-seeds. Lowell clinches the third overall seed with a win, which would put them in Manchester (assuming Union holds on to beat Brown). Notre Dame also clinches a one-seed with a win tomorrow, which would put them in Toledo. Miami needs at least one of those two to lose to get a one. Lowell can still get a one even if it loses, but it would need Notre Dame to lose as well.

Saturday, 8:17 p.m. ET — Stumbled on this by accident, but here’s one of the scenarios that bumps Miami to a two-seed. The RedHawks would still be in Toledo, which would be thrilled to get both them and Notre Dame.

Saturday, 7:45 p.m. ET — Everything is coming into focus. St. Cloud and Yale are the only two teams not still playing that are on the bubble. If Lowell and Notre Dame win their respective championships, St. Cloud and Yale are both in. If either BU or Michigan wins, though, I’m pretty sure Yale is done. That would leave just one at-large spot left, and I can’t find a way for Yale to jump ahead of St. Cloud to get it. If BU and Michigan both win, St. Cloud is out as well.

Saturday, 7:33 p.m. — Jim Dahl has posted a mid-Saturday night update, and he says Western Michigan is 100 percent out. I’m not about to question Dahl’s work, so there you go. He also says Notre Dame, Minnesota State and Niagara are all locks now. That makes sense, because every scenario I found earlier that eliminated Minnesota State or Niagara involved Yale beating Quinnipiac. So we now have 11 locks, plus the Atlantic winner, ECAC winner and WCHA winner. That leaves BU, Michigan, St. Cloud and Yale fighting for two spots. More on that in a few.

Saturday, 7:05 p.m. ET — OK… so this is why we should never put too much faith in technology. It appears there was some sort of glitch that was bumping Western Michigan up to 14th in a few scenarios. The scenarios I ran just 20 minutes ago that got the Broncos in aren’t getting them in now. I’m pretty sure Western is in fact dead, but now I’m very hesitant to say that with 100-percent certainty. Consider them dead for now, and if something changes, I’ll have it here.

Also, Michigan’s 6-2 win over Miami has gone final. The Wolverines still need to win tomorrow to get in. The RedHawks will most likely still get a one-seed, although there are some scenarios that bump them to a two.

Saturday, 6:43 p.m. ET — Quinnipiac beats Yale 3-0 in the ECAC consolation game. This doesn’t change anything for the Bobcats, who were already locked into the top overall seed, but the loss puts Yale in serious danger of missing NCAAs. As far as I can tell, the Bulldogs are more likely to be out than in at this point. It looks like they need either Brown or Colorado College to win tonight.

Also, it appears we were wrong to write off Western Michigan. There are still a few scenarios that get the Broncos in. In fact, if higher seeds win every remaining game, the Broncos are in. They can get in even with a couple results flipped, but they need BU and Michigan to both lose.

Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET — Notre Dame beats Ohio State 3-1 in the CCHA semis, ending the Buckeyes’ season. That result also knocks Western Michigan out of NCAA contention, as every scenario that got the Broncos in involved Ohio State winning this game (UPDATE: We were wrong about this. See above.) The Irish should be pretty safe even if they lose tomorrow, but they haven’t locked up anything yet. They could get a one-seed with a win and a Lowell loss. Notre Dame winning also appears to help Niagara. Most of the scenarios I found that knocked the Purple Eagles out involved Ohio State winning the CCHA, but here’s one nightmare scenario that still exists for them.

Saturday, 2:45 p.m. ET — As Adam and I have both mentioned here, there are some nightmare scenarios that could leave Minnesota State, St. Cloud or Niagara out. I found a couple of those so people can see what they look like. Here’s one that actually knocks out both Minnesota State and St. Cloud. And here’s one that knocks out Niagara. Another interesting thing in that latter scenario is that BU ends up as a three-seed. The Terriers would probably head west no matter what if they win tonight, but I’ll get into that more later if it looks like they’re going to.

Saturday, 12:41 p.m. ETNiagara is in good shape, but not certain if a bunch of those “upsets” happen. Most likely, Niagara will be in a Western regional. … Union: In with a win, out with a loss in today’s ECAC championship game. … Western Michigan: The Broncs have the wackiest path to a bid of any teams currently remaining that aren’t playing. The Broncos need all of the following to happen: Lowell over BU — Brown over Union — Miami def. OSU in CCHA championship game. … Boston University/Wisconsin: Like Union, win and in, out if you lose. … Colorado College, Brown, Canisius, Mercyhurst: Obviously all need conference titles to get autobids. The Atlantic champ will play Quinnipiac. If Brown wins, it hosts the East Regional, and will likely get Lowell or BC.

Saturday, 12:32 p.m. ET — Continuing on … 6. North Dakota is going to be in that 6-9 range, which could mean a first-round matchup in Manchester against UNH … 7. New Hampshire: UNH will obviously be in Manchester, as a 2 seed. Not being 8th overall would immensely help the committee in bracketing. … 9. Yale: can finish anywhere from 5th to out of the tournament. Win or tie today’s consolation against Quinnipiac, and all is good. Lose, and Yale sweats it out. Would be a 4 seed at best in that case, and probably travel to play Minnesota. … Denver/Minnesota State/St. Cloud: Not playing today, and pretty much locked into the 3 seed territory. Though Minnesota State and St. Cloud can still miss the tournament if a lot of “upset” teams win their tournament, or slip to a 4.

Saturday, 12:19 p.m. ET — Adam W. here … anticipation builds. Gonna just do quick blurbs of what some teams are looking at … Bracket ABCs style. … 1. Quinnipiac: will play Atlantic Hockey champ, in Providence if Union wins ECAC, in Manchester if Brown wins. … 2. Minnesota: top seed in Grand Rapids, can’t see that being any different. … 3. Miami: Likely 3 or 4 overall either way. Should be top seed in Toledo. … Lowell/Boston College/Notre Dame: One of these three will get the final top seed, but Notre Dame can still miss the tournament completely, too. Lowell and Notre Dame are still playing, so control their own fate. Lowell would get it if it wins, Notre Dame if it wins and Lowell loses, and BC if both teams lose. Neither Lowell or BC can be in Manchester as a 2 seed, because New Hampshire is either going to be the 2 or 3. That likely means that one or both will travel to a Western regional. The only way it wouldn’t is if the committee decides to put them in Providence, but Quinnipiac should get the “right” to play the 7 or 8 overall seed there.

Saturday, 9:54 a.m. ET — Here is one of the scenarios that gets Western Michigan in. The Atlantic and WCHA titles and the ECAC consolation can be flipped, and this still works. But the CCHA needs to play out exactly as shown, and Lowell and Brown must win. That’s a lot that needs to happen, but as we saw yesterday, anything is possible.

Saturday, 12:20 a.m. ET — Jim Dahl has posted his Saturday morning update, and it confirms a lot of what we already suspected. Providence, Rensselaer and Robert Morris have all been eliminated from NCAA contention. Union, Wisconsin and BU can no longer get an at-large bid, so each of them will have to win on Saturday to get in. Western Michigan’s NCAA hopes took a huge hit, but the Broncos aren’t completely dead yet. Minnesota State and Niagara are still pretty safe, but neither is 100 percent in. St. Cloud is most likely in, but there are more than a couple scenarios that knock the Huskies out. Notre Dame and Yale could both be in trouble if they lose tomorrow.

As for the one-seeds, Quinnipiac and Minnesota are still 100-percent locks for the top two spots. Miami clinches a one-seed with a win tomorrow, and has a good chance of getting one even with a loss. Lowell clinches with a win, and could get one even with a loss. Notre Dame could get one if it wins the CCHA, but it would also need some help. BC can still get one despite losing on Friday, but it needs Lowell to lose, and probably Notre Dame as well.

Friday, 11:22 p.m. ET — Jack Parker will coach at least one more game. BU knocks off BC, ending the Eagles’ 14-game winning streak at the TD Garden, as well as their bid for a Hockey East four-peat. Unfortunately for the Terriers, all of today’s upsets mean they’ll have to win again tomorrow to make NCAAs. They cannot get an at-large bid. The Eagles will most likely be a two-seed, although they still have an outside shot at a one. The twist there is that they would need BU to beat Lowell in order to get that one-seed.

Friday, 10:37 p.m. ET — Colorado College’s dream run continues, as the Tigers beat Minnesota 2-0 to advance to the WCHA championship. It looks like this will literally be a winner-takes-all title game. The Tigers definitely have to win to get in, and I’m pretty sure Wisconsin does as well. As mentioned earlier, this matchup is bad news for every other bubble team. The WCHA is one of those conferences you don’t expect to produce a bid-stealing champion, but that’s exactly what will happen this year.

Elsewhere, Mercyhurst beat Connecticut 4-1, setting up a meeting with Canisius in the Atlantic final. The winner of that game obviously steals a bid. And in Boston, BU is up 3-2 on BC heading into the third. The Terriers will have to win tonight and tomorrow to get in, but that would be another at-large bid gone if they pull it off. And keep in mind two of the four CCHA teams playing tomorrow (Michigan and Ohio State) could potentially become bid-stealers as well.

Friday, 10:23 p.m. ET — Not that it had much of a chance anyway, but Robert Morris has been mathematically eliminated from NCAA contention. I’m pretty sure Rensselaer is done as well, but I’m not 100 percent sure yet. If someone finds a scenario that gets the Engineers in, I’d love to hear it. I haven’t found one.

Friday, 10:05 p.m. ET — Thanks to Kenny Wenzel of the Western Herald for finding a way for Western Michigan to get in even if current scores hold. The Broncos would need Ohio State to beat Notre Dame in the CCHA semis and Miami to beat Ohio State in the final. Western Michigan would end up finishing ahead of Notre Dame and grabbing the last at-large spot, leaving Notre Dame out.

Union’s 5-0 win over Yale has gone final. Thanks to all the upsets we’ve had today, the Dutchmen are far from a lock to make it, though. There are plenty of scenarios that leave them out if they lose tomorrow. Yale will most likely be a two-seed if it wins the ECAC consolation tomorrow, or a three- or four-seed if it loses. There are also scenarios that leave the Bulldogs out if they lose, and there might be a couple that still get them a one-seed if they win. I think the one-seed scenarios would involve BU winning Hockey East, though, which doesn’t seem likely at this point.

Friday, 9:45 p.m. ET — One team that’s really sweating bullets right now is Western Michigan. Union and Colorado College are both up by multiple goals right now, and if those scores hold, that means two more teams below the Broncos right now are going to win a championship. The Broncos were most likely going to finish 14th or 15th before the night started, but that won’t be enough if we end up with three upset champions, which seems more likely by the minute. There might be a couple scenarios that get them up to 13 and barely keep them in, but we haven’t found them yet. It appears there’s a pretty good chance the Broncos could be eliminated from NCAA contention by the end of the night.

Friday, 7:51 p.m. ET — Lowell beats Providence, eliminating the Friars from NCAA contention. That’s good news for all the bubble teams (a pleasant change from all the bad news they’ve been dealt already tonight), as it wipes out a potential bid thief. Lowell stays alive for a one-seed, although it might not get one even if it wins again tomorrow night. If Yale wins the ECAC, there’s a good chance the Bulldogs would finish ahead of Lowell. If the higher seed wins every remaining game (which doesn’t seem likely), Wisconsin would be the last team in, and Union and RPI would be the first two out. Niagara, St. Cloud and Western Michigan would all be in.

Friday, 6:37 p.m. ET — Well, the bubble just got smaller. Canisius beat Niagara 5-3, meaning someone from outside the current top 16 will win Atlantic Hockey. Niagara jumps into the same boat I just described for St. Cloud — it’ll likely finish somewhere between 11 and 14, and could be in danger of missing NCAAs if we get multiple upset champions.

The teams this hurts the most are Wisconsin, BU, RPI and Providence. Now all of them need to get at least to 15 to get an at-large bid. The Badgers have the best chance to get there, but it’s not very likely. BU and RPI both have a chance as well, but their hopes are even slimmer than Wisconsin’s. Providence now needs to win Hockey East to get in. The Friars are mathematically eliminated from at-large consideration.

Brown’s 4-0 win over Quinnipiac has also gone final. I had already accounted for this in previous updates, so it doesn’t change much of what I have below. The Bears still need to win tomorrow to make NCAAs, but if they do, that takes away another at-large bid. Quinnipiac was already a lock for the top overall seed, and it will face the Atlantic champion in Providence barring something crazy.

Friday, 6:20 p.m. ET — We talked about the ramifications for Wisconsin, but let’s look at St. Cloud. With their loss today, the Huskies will most likely finish somewhere between 11 and 14, depending on what happens from here on. If they end up on the higher end of that, they’re obviously safe. If they drop to 14, though, they’ll be in real danger of missing NCAAs if we get a couple upset champions. And with Wisconsin already playing tomorrow, and Canisius, Brown and Providence all winning right now, that could definitely happen. The Huskies are one of many teams rooting for these upsets to end immediately.

Friday, 5:52 p.m. ET — Even with Wisconsin’s win and an assumed Brown win, Providence and BU both still have a chance to snag an at-large bid without winning Hockey East — well, each one of them has a chance; they can’t both get in. They both need Niagara to come back and beat Canisius, and then win again tomorrow. Here is one scenario that gets Providence in, and here is one that gets BU in.

Friday, 5:40 p.m. ET — Wisconsin beats St. Cloud State 4-1 to keep its NCAA hopes alive. The Badgers are from a lock, though, so they’ll still need to win Saturday night to guarantee themselves a spot. Canisius currently leads Niagara 4-3 after two, and if that scores hold, it will just about guarantee that the Badgers need another win to get in. Wisconsin’s win is bad news for BU, Providence and RPI, as the Badgers now have the edge over those three in many of the scenarios that involve higher seeds winning. Oh, and by the way, Brown leads Quinnipiac 4-0. Assuming the Bears hold on, they’ll have a chance to steal a bid and shrink the bubble even more tomorrow night.

Friday, 10:50 a.m. ET — OK, let’s take a look at the one-seeds. Quinnipiac has already clinched the top overall seed and will be in Providence, unless Brown wins the ECAC and forces the Bobcats to Manchester. Minnesota has clinched the second overall seed and a spot in Grand Rapids. Miami can just about lock up a one-seed with a win tonight, and would 100 percent clinch one by winning the CCHA. Boston College can clinch a one-seed by winning Hockey East, and would have an outside chance even if it doesn’t. Lowell will most likely get a one-seed if it wins Hockey East, but there are scenarios where it wins the title and doesn’t move into the top four. Yale, Niagara, St. Cloud and Notre Dame are all still alive for a one-seed, but each would need to win its respective tournament and get some outside help.

Friday, 9:15 a.m. ET — My thanks to Adam for running this last night while I was at the Hockey East awards banquet. And, as always, credit to Jim Dahl for his wonderful Pairwise table that makes posts like this a heck of a lot easier to do. Let’s start the day by taking a look at the bubble. Seven teams have already mathematically clinched a spot in NCAAs — Quinnipiac, Minnesota, Miami, Boston College, Massachusetts-Lowell, North Dakota and New Hampshire. Yale is in pretty good shape no matter what, and can clinch a bid with a win tonight. Minnesota State is pretty much a lock despite losing yesterday. Niagara, St. Cloud State and Denver are all pretty safe as well. Notre Dame is in good shape, but could drop to the bubble if it loses on Friday. We’ll get into that more if it happens.

Wisconsin and Colorado College kept their NCAA hopes alive yesterday, as each would have been eliminated from contention had it lost. CC needs to win the WCHA tournament to get in, so bubble teams shouldn’t be too concerned about the Tigers yet. If they beat Minnesota on Friday, though, watch out. The Badgers are 16th as of right now, but they still need to beat St. Cloud on Friday if they’re going to have a chance. According to Dahl, the Badgers make the tournament in just 5.3 percent of scenarios even if they win Friday and lose in the championship. However, that’s a good 5.3 percent, meaning most of those scenarios involve favorites winning. If no one from outside the current top 16 wins a tournament, the Badgers’ chances skyrocket if they can get to the title game.

As Adam pointed out last night, Alaska has been officially eliminated from NCAA contention. There were very few scenarios that got the Nanooks in anyway, but all of them involved North Dakota winning — the Nanooks beat UND this year, so that would’ve helped them. Robert Morris’ chances also took a pretty big hit, but the Colonials aren’t mathematically dead yet. Here’s one scenario that gets them in. (Edit: And here’s another from Adam.)

In Hockey East, Providence and Boston University have must-win games on Friday. Even with a win on Friday and a loss in the title game, BU makes it in just 3.2 percent of scenarios, while PC makes it in 0.2 percent. As is the case with Wisconsin, though, BU’s is as good of a 3.2 percent as you can get. If they win on Friday and higher seeds win everywhere else, the Terriers are in. Even with some minor changes in the ECAC and WCHA, they still get in. If Notre Dame wins the CCHA, though, BU would need Union to lose twice. Pretty much all of the scenarios that would get the Friars in as an at-large involve no upset champions and Union losing twice. Both need Niagara to win Atlantic Hockey.

Speaking of Union, the Dutchmen are in a position where they’re going to be square on the bubble no matter what happens this weekend, unless they win the ECAC tournament. Thanks to the ECAC still having a consolation game, they play twice no matter what. A split either way — win Friday and lose Saturday or lose Friday and win Saturday — will neither eliminate them nor make them a lock. Even losing both games won’t necessarily eliminate them, but it would certainly leave the door wide open for bubble teams like Wisconsin, Providence, BU and Rensselaer to jump them.

Rensselaer will be watching from the sidelines. The Engineers’ chances took a bit of a hit last night, but they’re still alive. Basically they’re rooting for chalk. If higher seeds win, they’re in. But if Wisconsin, BU and/or Providence start winning, they’re in trouble. Union losing would help them as well, but those other three are more important. As is the case with every bubble team, a non-Niagara champion in the Atlantic would be devastating for RPI.

In the CCHA, Ohio State and Michigan both need to win the championship to get in. The more interesting team to discuss is Western Michigan, who is watching from home. The Broncos are in much better shape than other bubble teams, as they can’t finish any lower than 16th. They will most likely finish 14th or 15th, but they could be in real trouble if we get a couple upset champions. They would love to see higher seeds win out on Friday so they can breathe a sigh of relief. Otherwise, they’ll be sweating it out until Saturday night or even Sunday afternoon.

A little later, I’ll take a look at the race for the four No. 1 seeds. If there’s anything else you want me to look at, or any interesting scenarios you want to share, either leave a comment here or hit me up on Twitter (@smclaughlin9).

Thursday, 11:47 p.m. ET — Colorado College’s win over North Dakota in OT upsets the apple cart a little bit. CC still has to win two more to win the WCHA autobid and really throw things for a loop, but because of the various permutations of Pairwise-ness, CC’s win has already eliminated Alaska-Fairbanks’ slim hopes, and also dealt a blow to Robert Morris’ similarly slim chances.

Thursday, 8:47 p.m. ET — Wisconsin’s big win over Minnesota State didn’t really move the needle for the Badgers. It most likely still needs to win against St. Cloud State on Friday to make the NCAAs, and even that is not a guarantee. The loss to Penn State is directly affecting Wisconsin’s ability to flip its comparison with No. 15 Union, so the Badgers are currently stuck at 16. … Minnesota State sits in 12th, which should be enough barring a bunch of craziness. Not a certainty yet, though.

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