Archive for the 'Pairwise Live Blog' Category

CHN’s 2018 Pairwise Live Blog

Friday, March 16th, 2018

Pairwise Live Blog Bracket Projection

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

CHN managing editor Adam Wodon posted a bracket projection here, and he breaks down how the process is supposed to go. So, we’ll direct you there to read his bracket and learn more on the process.

My bracket differs a little bit from Adam’s, but we agree on almost everything.

Here’s what I came up with:

1. Minnesota vs. 4. Providence
2. Boston University vs. 3. Penn State

1. Harvard vs. 13. Notre Dame
2. UMass Lowell vs. 3. Cornell

1. Denver vs. 4. Michigan Tech
2. Union vs. 3. North Dakota

1. Minnesota Duluth vs. 4. Ohio State
2. Western Michigan vs. 3. Air Force

The only thing we disagree on is what the committee will do with Providence and Manchester. Adam and I have the same Fargo and Cincinnati brackets. We both have BU-Penn State in Providence and we both have Lowell-Cornell in Manchester.

I have Minnesota-Providence in Providence and Harvard-Notre Dame in Manchester. Adam has it flipped.

I could certainly see them using Adam’s bracket. I flipped it here because I think the committee places a value on placing Providence in Providence. While I think that Harvard and BU could carry that region for attendance by themselves — and Penn State is only a little more than 400 miles away — I think the committee will want the security blanket of putting the Friars in the Providence regional. If they do, then it makes sense to put Harvard in Manchester with Lowell, in order to give that regional two “local” teams in order to draw attendance.

2017 CHN Pairwise Live Blog

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

2016 CHN Pairwise Live Blog

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

2015 Pairwise Live blog

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

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.

To see live analysis of the Pairwise, click the “read more” jump below and follow along.

You will NOT have to refresh this page to see the latest updates. The newest updates will appear at the top of the window below:


CHN’s 2014 Pairwise Live Blog

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

All weekend, we’ll be keeping you up to date with the latest Pairwise scenarios. Along with following our analysis here, you can go to our Pairwise Primer, which gives you an education on just how the whole system works. You can checkout the current Pairwise and also play with our “You Are The Committee” tool, which allows you to plug in different results for this weekend’s games and get a look at what the final Pairwise would look like.

Saturday, 11:48 p.m. ET — OK, here is what I think they’ll go with:

West — St. Paul, Minn.
1. Minnesota vs. 16. Robert Morris
8. Notre Dame vs. 9. St. Cloud State

Northeast — Worcester, Mass.
2. Boston College vs. 15. Denver
7. Mass.-Lowell vs. 10. Minnesota State

East — Bridgeport, Conn.
3. Union vs. 13. Vermont
6. Quinnipiac vs. 11. Providence

Midwest — Cincinnati
4. Wisconsin vs. 14. North Dakota
5. Ferris State vs. 12. Colgate

Saturday, 11:29 p.m. ET — Everything is set.

At this point, there are two possible brackets we’re mulling over, and it only involves changing two teams: Vermont and North Dakota.

West — St. Paul, Minn.
1. Minnesota vs. 16. Robert Morris
8. Notre Dame vs. 9. St. Cloud State

Northeast — Worcester, Mass.
2. Boston College vs. 15. Denver
7. Mass.-Lowell vs. 10. Minnesota State

East — Bridgeport, Conn.
3. Union vs. 14. North Dakota
6. Quinnipiac vs. 11. Providence

Midwest — Cincinnati
4. Wisconsin vs. 13. Vermont
5. Ferris State vs. 12. Colgate

West — St. Paul, Minn.
1. Minnesota vs. 16. Robert Morris
8. Notre Dame vs. 9. St. Cloud State

Northeast — Worcester, Mass.
2. Boston College vs. 15. Denver
7. Mass.-Lowell vs. 10. Minnesota State

East — Bridgeport, Conn.
3. Union vs. 13. Vermont
6. Quinnipiac vs. 11. Providence

Midwest — Cincinnati
4. Wisconsin vs. 14. North Dakota
5. Ferris State vs. 12. Colgate

Saturday, 10:50 p.m. — Wisconsin wins the Big 10 … North Dakota will make the NCAA tournament

Saturday, 10:13 p.m. ET — Both the Big 10 and NCHC games are tied. Vermont is in as an at-large, and wants Miami to win the NCHC for travel purposes. Miami is hosting in Cincinnati, so it’s guaranteed to go there. Vermont is likely the 4 seed in Cincinnati if Denver wins and Miami is eliminated.

A Miami win likely means Vermont is in Bridgeport.

If Wisconsin and Miami win, that moves Lowell all the way down to 7, but that’s OK. Would mean it’s in Worcester with a 2 Boston College.

Saturday, 9:54 p.m. ET — Union wins the ECAC. Colgate is still in the tournament, and probably will be the 12 overall seed.

Saturday, 9:39 p.m. ET — If Wisconsin rallies in the third period, it will not only get North Dakota into the NCAA tournament, it will also mean the Badgers will be the No. 1 seed in Cincinnati.

Saturday, 9:35 p.m. ET — The situation is simple now.

If Ohio State wins, it will claim the last spot in the NCAA tournament with an auto bid and will eliminate North Dakota.

If Wisconsin rallies in the third period, it means North Dakota claims the last tournament berth as an at-large.

Saturday, 9:34 p.m. ET — Minnesota State wins, and they’re in.

Saturday, 9:32 p.m. ET — Robert Morris wins Atlantic Hockey. That guarantees that the Colonials are headed to St. Paul next weekend for a date with No. 1 Minnesota.

Saturday, 9:27 p.m. ET — Lowell wins Hockey East, claiming its second title in two years.

That guarantees that Providence and Vermont will make the NCAA tournament.

Saturday, 9:11 p.m. ET — Wisconsin has battled back to tie Ohio State, 2-2, in the Big 10 title game. That helps North Dakota considerably. North Dakota’s easiest road to a tourney berth is with Wisconsin winning the Big 10.

Saturday, 8:39 p.m. ET — Working under the assumption that Lowell wins the Hockey East championship – it leads 4-0 entering the third period – it looks like there will be only one spot left in contention.

Minnesota, BC, Union, Ferris State, Wisconsin, Quinnipiac, Lowell, Notre Dame, St. Cloud and Colgate have already locked up spots. Providence and Vermont would join with a Lowell win. Minnesota State is also a near lock, meaning the last spot will likely go to either Ohio State, if it wins the Big 10, or North Dakota, if Wisconsin comes back to win that game.

There’s still a chance North Dakota edges out Mankato for the last at-large spot, assuming Ohio State wins the Big 10, but it’s slim given current scores, and would require Canisius, Ferris State and Miami to all win.

Saturday, 8:09 p.m. ET — Lowell takes a 3-0 lead in Hockey East. That one is probably over given how well the River Hawks defend. Let’s assume that game is a final, here is what a Lowell victory does for other contenders:

From what best we can tell …

Providence: Locks up a spot.
Vermont: Locks up a spot.
North Dakota: Locks up a spot as long as Wisconsin wins the Big 10 OR Canisius, Ferris State and Miami ALL win.
Minnesota State: Locks up a spot unless Ferris State, Canisius, Ohio State and Miami ALL win.

Saturday, 7:34 p.m. ET — Lowell leads New Hampshire, 2-0, nearing the end of the first period at TD Garden. If this score holds — and Lowell doesn’t typically allow three goals — it guarantees a spot in the NCAA tournament for Providence and Vermont.

The only way PC and UVM miss would be if UNH wins Hockey East and moves the cut line.

Saturday, 7:09 p.m. ET — Michigan has been eliminated thanks to North Dakota’s win. No scenarios left for the Wolverines to qualify. That loss to Penn State looms large.

Saturday, 7:03 p.m. ET — That North Dakota game has gone final: UND 5, Western Michigan 0.

That means North Dakota keeps its NCAA hopes alive, qualifying in about 28 percent of the remaining scenarios. Had it lost, its season would be over.

That hurts Michigan. North Dakota’s win makes the Wolverines the first team out (currently). Had Western Michigan won, Michigan would currently be the last team in at No. 14.

Saturday, 6:52 p.m. ET — We’re just about set to drop pucks around the country in conference title games.

Elsewhere, in the NCHC, North Dakota is winning its consolation game in the third period against Western Michigan. That will keep North Dakota in the conversation for the final at-large bid.

Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET — Lowell jumps into a No. 1 seed in 2.1 percent of the remaining 192 scenarios. So it’s not likely. But, it can still happen, and that’s bad news for the River Hawks. If Lowell is a No. 1 seed, it’s virtually guaranteed to go to Cincinnati.

Here’s one scenario that results in Lowell becoming a No. 1 seed.

Saturday, 11:22 a.m. ET — Jim Dahl updated his projections, which confirms most of what we thought yesterday, mainly that Colgate is in regardless of today’s ECAC final and Cornell and Northeastern are both eliminated.

Dahl also updated with percentage chances for the teams needing at-large bids. Providence shows up in 94% of the remaining scenarios, Vermont in 93%, Minnesota State in 75% (assuming it loses the WCHA final), North Dakota in 28% (assuming it wins the NCHC consolation) and Michigan in 17%.

Most important for the bubble teams at this point is the cut line. Obviously, in the case of North Dakota, it also needs a win. But teams on the edge of that cut line can’t afford for it to move any higher, which means it needs favorites – Lowell and Wisconsin – to win conference championships today.

There’s a small chance Lowell could still be a No. 1 seed, which as we were discussing last night, would send the River Hawks to Cincinnati. It’s a small chance, though. Technically the River Hawks could still be sent to Cincinnati as the No. 5 seed, but that would mean that Wisconsin is the 6 in Bridgeport or Worcester, depending on what Union does, and I’m pretty sure the committee would switch Lowell and Wisconsin for attendance.

Here is what remaining teams in contention need for today:

North Dakota: First, North Dakota needs to win the NCHC consolation game. If it does, then UND still needs Lowell to win Hockey East and either Wisconsin to win the Big 10, or if that doesn’t happen, it needs Ferris State, Canisius and Miami to all win tonight.

Michigan: The situation for the Wolverines is pretty simple. It needs Wisconsin and Lowell to win, and North Dakota to either lose or tie in the NCHC consolation.

Minnesota State: The Mavs are in with a win, obviously. If they lose the WCHA final, things get a more complex but the Mavs still qualify in roughly 3/4 of remaining scenarios.

Vermont: The Catamounts are near a lock. They’ll only miss if New Hampshire and Ohio State both win conference titles, which would move the cut line. But even if that happens, Western Michigan, Ferris State, Robert Morris and Miami all might still need to win, or a combination of Minnesota State and Union.

Providence: The situation is much simpler for the Friars, who will only miss the tournament if New Hampshire, Minnesota State, Colgate and Ohio State all win.

Saturday, 1:49 a.m. ET — Managing editor Adam Wodon posted his Bracket ABC’s column after Friday’s games. There are certain things heading into tonight that we’re sure of:

– Minnesota State is definitely in with a win (obviously). The Mavs are also likely in even with a loss in the WCHA title game, as long as New Hampshire and Ohio State do not both win on Saturday.

– Ohio State and New Hampshire will have to win on Saturday to make the NCAA tournament. The same is the case for the four teams in the Atlantic Hockey and NCHC title games.

– UNH or Ohio State winning tonight hurts North Dakota, Michigan and Vermont. For North Dakota, it needs to win its NCHC consolation game first. Then, if it does, it needs to hope Wisconsin and Lowell both win its games.

– Vermont is in the tournament as long as UNH and Ohio State both lose. There are other scenarios that see the Catamounts make the NCAA tournament even if those two teams win, but the easiest route for UVM is for UNH and Ohio State to lose.

– Mass. Lowell can’t catch Ferris State or Wisconsin for the last No. 1 seed, which is good news for the River Hawks, actually. If UML finished as the No. 4 overall seed, it would mean a trip to Cincinnati. Now, that’s still a possibility for Lowell if it finishes as the No. 5 overall seed and the committee doesn’t decide to move it to Bridgeport or Worcester. Depending on what other teams naturally fall in those regionals based on serpentine ordering, the committee might choose to keep Lowell in Cincinnati if it’s No. 5 overall.

– Notre Dame seems locked in as the No. 8 overall seed, which means it is likely headed to St. Paul for a date with St. Cloud State, which seems to be locked in at No. 9.  Minnesota is locked in as the No. 1 overall seed and will face the Atlantic Hockey champion.

– Michigan is still alive, but it needs North Dakota to do no better than a tie in the NCHC consolation game, and it also needs UNH and Ohio State to lose, to avoid the cut line moving any higher.

– The locks are Minnesota, BC, Union, Ferris State, Quinnipiac, Lowell, Notre Dame, St. Cloud State, Wisconsin and Colgate. Providence and Minnesota State aren’t technically locks, but their chances for qualifying are more than 95 percent.

– If we assume Providence and Minnesota State qualify, that leaves two spots with the NCHC and Atlantic Hockey champions coming from outside the top-16. That leaves two spots being fought for by Vermont, Michigan and North Dakota.

But again, those three teams cannot afford any upsets in other conference tournaments, meaning Ohio State and New Hampshire need to lose.

Saturday, 1:08 a.m. ET —Let’s take a look at what the pairings could look like if all of the higher seeds win later tonight.

St. Paul
1. Minnesota vs. 16. Robert Morris
8. Notre Dame vs. 9. St. Cloud State

4. Ferris State vs. 14. North Dakota
5. Wisconsin vs. 12. Vermont

3. Union vs. 13. Minnesota State
6. Quinnipiac vs. 10. Providence

2. Boston College vs. 15. Denver
7. Mass. Lowell vs. 11 Colgate

Friday, 11:35 p.m. ET — There’s still a possibility that Union can jump Boston College and become the No. 2 overall seed. It requires UNH winning tomorrow, and Union winning the ECAC.

It won’t matter much, though. BC is going to be the No. 1 seed in Worcester and Union is going to be the No. 1 seed in Bridgeport regardless.

Friday, 11:23 p.m. ET — There are currently 10 locks to make the NCAA tournament: Minnesota, Boston College, Union, Ferris State, Wisconsin, Quinnipiac, Lowell, Notre Dame, Colgate and St. Cloud State.

Other at-large contenders include Providence (very likely), Michigan, Minnesota State, North Dakota and Vermont.

Meanwhile, New Hampshire and Ohio State will move the cut line back even more by winning conference championships. The NCHC (Denver vs. Miami) and Atlantic Hockey (Canisius vs. Niagara/Robert Morris) will already be qualifiers outside of the top-16.

Friday, 11:21 p.m. ET — Here are some other things we know … Colgate is 100% in the NCAA tournament, and Cornell is 100% out.

Things are looking bleak for North Dakota as well. If North Dakota wins in the NCHC consolation tomorrow, and higher seeds win elsewhere around the country, North Dakota will be eliminated.

Friday, 11:12 p.m. ET — Miami has beaten North Dakota. That means the new cut line is 14. NCHC and Atlantic Hockey will have automatic qualifiers outside of the top-16.

Friday, 11:04 p.m. ET — Colgate beats Quinnipiac in overtime, which will lock up an NCAA tournament spot for the Raiders. It also delivers a serious blow to North Dakota, which is losing to Miami 3-0 in the third period and is now clinging to the last at-large spot with plenty of opportunities for upsets in the conference finals tomorrow, including no matter who wins the NCHC championship game.

The NCHC situation, with Miami about to beat North Dakota, will move the cut line to 14, which will eliminate Northeastern after Colgate’s win.

Friday, 10:25 p.m. ET — Ohio State beats Minnesota in the Big 10, which throws a wrinkle into some of the things we were talking about earlier.

That Quinnipiac-Colgate game, which is in OT, still carries some huge weight, but Northeastern now can’t lay claim to that No. 15 spot tonight – at least not if Miami holds on to beat North Dakota.

The top-10 doesn’t change no matter who wins, but 11-15 could look much different.

If Quinnipiac wins:
11. Minnesota State
12. Vermont
13. Michigan
14. Ohio State
15. North Dakota

If Colgate wins:
11. Colgate
12. Minnesota State
13. Vermont
14. Michigan
15. Ohio State

Quinnipiac remains the No. 6 overall seed in both scenarios.

Friday, 9:59 p.m. ET — Ferris State wins in overtime over Anchorage, ending its season. New Hampshire leads Providence, 3-0, heading into the third period in Boston.

Assuming New Hampshire holds on, the PWR look like this:

1. Minnesota
1. Boston College
1. Union
1. Ferris State
2. Wisconsin
2. Quinnipiac
2. Lowell
2. Notre Dame
3. St. Cloud
3. Providence
3. Minnesota State
3. North Dakota
4. Vermont
4. Colgate
4. Michigan
4. AHA champion

Now, if Quinnipiac beats Colgate – that game is headed to OT in Lake Placid – Colgate drops out, Michigan moves up and Northeastern will be in position to grab that last at-large bid.

If Colgate wins, it would deliver a serious blow to Northeastern’s hope of grabbing that last spot.

It would be nearly impossible for Colgate to make the NCAA tournament without beating Quinnipiac. The Bobcats are in regardless.

Friday, 9:32 p.m. ET — Thanks in part to Cornell losing this afternoon, it appears that Providence is a lock for the NCAA tournament no matter the result of its Hockey East semifinal, which the Friars currently trail 1-0 to UNH in the second period.

Meanwhile, Ferris State is headed to OT in the WCHA with Anchorage. We explained below the situation with Lowell, and how they could become a No. 1 seed and travel to Cincinnati.

Well, even if Ferris State wins this game, there is still a possibility that Lowell beats out Wisconsin for a No. 1 seed. The easiest scenario for that would involve Ohio State (tied 1-1 with Minnesota in the 3rd period) to win the Big 10 over Wisconsin tomorrow.

Friday, 8:34 p.m. ET — Anchorage is beating Ferris State, 4-2, in the WCHA. That could have HUGE implications on UMass Lowell. Here’s why:

There are scenarios where a Ferris State loss, plus a Wisconsin loss tomorrow in the Big 10 final, could result in Lowell becoming a No. 1 seed if it beats either UNH or Providence in the Hockey East title game.

Becoming a No. 1 seed is usually a good thing, but not for Lowell. Boston College is locked up as the No. 1 seed in Worcester and Union would finish ahead of Lowell in the PWR, putting the Dutchmen in Bridgeport. That would mean that Lowell, by virtue of winning, would have to travel to Cincinnati.

As a No. 2 seed, it’s likely the River Hawks could be kept in either Bridgeport or Worcester.

Story developing …

This scenario here makes Lowell a No. 1, and also gets both Northeastern and Michigan into the tournament:

  • Atlantic Hockey Semifinal #2: Robert Morris def. Niagara
  • Atlantic Hockey Championship: Canisius def. Robert Morris
  • Big Ten Semifinal #1: Minnesota def. Ohio State
  • Big Ten Championship: Minnesota def. Wisconsin
  • ECAC Semifinal #2: Quinnipiac def. Colgate
  • ECAC Championship: Union def. Quinnipiac
  • Hockey East Semifinal #2: Providence def. New Hampshire
  • Hockey East Championship: Mass.-Lowell def. Providence
  • NCHC Semifinal #1: North Dakota def. Miami
  • NCHC Championship: North Dakota def. Denver
  • NCHC Consolation: Western Michigan def. Miami
  • WCHA Semifinal #1: Alaska-Anchorage def. Ferris State
  • WCHA Championship: Minnesota State def. Alaska-Anchorage

Friday, 8:17 p.m. ET — It’s still possible that Wisconsin jumps Ferris State for the final No. 1 seed.

Ferris State is beating Anchorage, 2-1, right now in the second period in the WCHA semifinals. The easiest way for Wisconsin to become a one seed is for Anchorage to comeback and beat Ferris State.

That would put the Badgers ahead of the Bulldogs tonight, and a win in the Big 10 championship game tomorrow would clinch a No. 1 seed.

The biggest game for the bubble teams right now is Quinnipiac vs. Colgate in the ECAC.

Friday, 7:45 p.m. ET — Denver holds off Western Michigan, 4-3. That will end WMU’s season and Denver will need to win the NCHC title tomorrow in order to make the NCAA tournament.

The current qualifiers look like this:
1. Minnesota
1. Boston College
1. Union
1. Ferris State
2. Wisconsin
2. Quinnipiac
2. Lowell
2. Notre Dame
3. Providence
3. St. Cloud
3. Minnesota St.
3. North Dakota
4. Vermont
4. Colgate
4. Michigan
4. AHA champ

Cornell (minuscule possibility)
Denver (if it wins NCHC)
New Hampshire (if it wins HE)
Miami (if it wins the NCHC)
Anchorage (if it wins the WCHA)
Ohio State (if it wins the Big 10)

Friday, 6:57 p.m. — Let’s take a look at Northeastern, which is off this weekend.

The Huskies are in an odd spot with New Hampshire. The Wildcats beating Providence in tonight’s semifinal helps the Huskies. But, New Hampshire winning the Hockey East title tomorrow hurts the Huskies.


Here are a few scenarios for Northeastern …

Getting in the tournament:

Here is that same scenario, with UNH winning Hockey East (Northeastern is left out):

Lastly, here is a scenario where Northeastern gets in without UNH winning tonight:

So the Huskies are still alive, as all three of these scenarios aren’t requiring any historic upsets. Still, their chances are probably only around 20 percent.

Friday, 7:14 p.m. ET — Looking closer at Union’s win … it seems to have helped Michigan considerably. Finding many scenarios where Michigan gets in now with Union winning its semifinal. Still not likely, but I’d put the chances at about 50/50 and the Wolverines were at about 20 percent entering today.

Friday, 6:27 p.m. ET — Union beats Cornell in the ECAC. Cornell’s loss is going almost certainly eliminate it from the NCAA tournament (it will only qualify in less than 1 percent of remaining scenarios), and helps North Dakota, Vermont, Colgate, Minnesota State and even Michigan in quests for at-large bids.

Friday, 6:20 p.m. ET — If Lowell (up 3-0 in the second), Union (up 4-2 in the third) and Canisius (up 4-3 in the third) all hang on to win, that would bring Michigan from No. 18 back up to No. 15, and put the Wolverines back into an NCAA spot for the time being.

Given those results only, Notre Dame would stay at No. 8 despite losing. Union would remain No. 3 and Canisius has no PWR bearing, as it needs to win the AHA tournament.

These results would also result in Ferris hopping over Wisconsin into the last No. 1 seed, and the Bulldogs haven’t hit the ice for their game yet tonight.

Friday, 5:39 p.m. ET — To take that Michigan analysis a bit further, what helps the Wolverines most seems to be wins by Union, Quinnipiac and Miami. They also would have been helped, as we pointed out below, if Bowling Green had beaten Minnesota State.

Friday, 5:35 p.m. ET — Union leads Cornell, 2-0, at the end of the first period in Lake Placid. Teams on the bubble are hoping for Union to hang on and win this game, including North Dakota, Vermont, Colgate and now, Michigan.

Cornell, if it fails to make a comeback in the final 40 minutes, will likely see its season come to an end.

Friday, 5:22 p.m. ET — Wisconsin wins its semifinal against Penn State, ending PSU’s season.

The win also gave the Badgers a No. 1 seed, at least for now. Ferris State plays later today and can reclaim that spot with a win over Anchorage.

Wisconsin’s win

Wisconsin’s win did hurt Michigan, which dropped from No. 16 to No. 18. There are still scenarios where Michigan can make the tournament, including this one, which would actually see the Wolverines jump from their current No. 18 spot all the way up to No. 14.

  • Atlantic Hockey Semifinal #1: Mercyhurst def. Canisius
  • Atlantic Hockey Semifinal #2: Robert Morris def. Niagara
  • Atlantic Hockey Championship: Mercyhurst def. Robert Morris
  • Big Ten Semifinal #1: Minnesota def. Ohio State
  • Big Ten Semifinal #2: Wisconsin def. Penn State
  • Big Ten Championship: Minnesota def. Wisconsin
  • ECAC Semifinal #1: Union def. Cornell
  • ECAC Semifinal #2: Quinnipiac def. Colgate
  • ECAC Championship: Union def. Quinnipiac
  • Hockey East Semifinal #1: Mass.-Lowell def. Notre Dame
  • Hockey East Semifinal #2: Providence def. New Hampshire
  • Hockey East Championship: Mass.-Lowell def. Providence
  • NCHC Semifinal #1: North Dakota def. Miami
  • NCHC Semifinal #2: Western Michigan def. Denver
  • NCHC Championship: North Dakota def. Western Michigan
  • NCHC Consolation: Denver def. Miami
  • WCHA Semifinal #1: Ferris State def. Alaska-Anchorage
  • WCHA Championship: Ferris State def. Minnesota State

Friday, 4:13 p.m. ET — It appears that Minnesota State is going to beat Bowling Green in the WCHA, leading 3-0 midway through the third period. That’s good news for the Mavs, who otherwise would have been almost guaranteed of being eliminated from the NCAA tournament.

Even still, they may need to win tomorrow’s WCHA title game in order to get in.

The presumed loss will eliminate Bowling Green, who needed to win the WCHA.

The win will move Minnesota State up a spot to No. 11, jumping North Dakota. This is also going to bounce Notre Dame back to No. 8, with Quinnipiac and UMass Lowell hurdling the Irish. But as we pointed out earlier, Notre Dame is in regardless (so is Quinnipiac and Lowell).

With the changes to the Pairwise, in many of these scenarios we’re seeing less volatility with just one game result being input, which was the goal. Elsewhere, Wisconsin and Penn State are tied in the Big 10. Wisconsin is in the tournament regardless and Penn State needs a win for its season to continue. If Penn State were to pull the upset two days in a row, we’ll see some movement in that 5-8 range, but all of those teams are still in the tournament and are, at least now, all likely to be No. 2 seeds. It could have a bearing on where each team is sent, however.

If you’re a team on the bubble – Colgate, Cornel, Vermont, Northeastern, Michigan, Minnesota State, North Dakota – the easiest thing to root for right now is those other bubble teams to lose. Northeastern, for example, only qualifies in nine percent of the possible scenarios, however their chances are actually a bit greater, as some of the scenarios that play out in their favor aren’t as far-fetched as others. Coming into today, if all of the higher seeds won, Northeastern would qualify as the last at-large team.

Friday, 2:15 p.m. ET — Cornell and Union get underway soon in the ECAC semifinal. We’ve known for a while that Union is a lock for the NCAA tournament, and no matter what will likely be the No. 1 seed in the Bridgeport regional. Cornell, on the other hand, almost certainly needs to win this game today in order to remain in the hunt for the NCAA tournament. Jim Dahl projects that Cornell shows up in less than one percent of the scenarios should they lose this semifinal game, while a win brings their qualifying chances all the way to 84.7 percent.

Isolating only this game, a Union win jumps North Dakota over Minnesota State and helps both Michigan and Northeastern.

Cornell, with a loss, would fall to No. 17.

A Cornell win will jump it to No. 11 in the Pairwise, while simultaneously dropping Notre Dame back behind Quinnipiac and Lowell to No. 8.

Friday, 9:36 a.m. ET — Jim Dahl’s calculations are huge on weekends like this. He posted an update this morning that looks at the results of yesterday’s Big 10 games.

He now projects St. Cloud State as a lock for an at-large bid. Michigan, as we told you yesterday, qualifies for the tournament in roughly 20 percent of the remaining scenarios – it would have been more than 95 percent if the Wolverines beat Penn State – with Minnesota State, Vermont, Colgate, Cornell and North Dakota all seeing their at-large chances improve by about 10 percent.

One point I wanted to clarify from last night: I said that Ohio State’s win helped Quinnipiac and Lowell, which is true. But it helped in seeding only. The River Hawks and Bobcats are both locks to make the NCAA tournament, as is Notre Dame, which was “hurt” by Ohio State’s win after jumping two spots earlier in the day when Penn State beat Michigan.

We’ll be back later with an update on some afternoon games.

Thursday, 10:49 p.m. ET — Ohio State beats Michigan State in overtime in the second Big 10 play-in game.

Ohio State remains at No. 21 with the win (the Buckeyes need to win the Big 10 in order to make the NCAA tournament).

Ohio State’s win did help Quinnipiac and UMass Lowell. The Irish jumped all the way to No. 6 in the Pairwise after Penn State beat Michigan earlier today, leapfrogging both, but the Irish fell back to No. 8 after Ohio State’s win.

If all of the higher seeds win for the remainder of the weekend, which is unlikely, the NCAA qualifiers would look like this:

1. Minnesota
2. Boston College
3. Union
4. Ferris State
5. UMass Lowell
6. Wisconsin
7. Quinnipiac
8. Notre Dame
9. Providence
10. St. Cloud State
11. North Dakota
12. Colgate
13. Vermont
14. Minnesota State
15. Northeastern
AQ. Mercyhurst

Thursday, 8:02 p.m. ET — So how about that result to kickoff our weekend festivities?

Penn State beat Michigan, 2-1, in double-overtime in the Big 10 tournament. That severely hurts Michigan’s chances of qualifying as an at-large, but doesn’t quite kill it.

The Wolverines qualify in 22.7 percent of the remaining scenarios. If they won, that would have jumped to more than 95 percent.

Penn State’s win moved Notre Dame up to No. 6 from No. 8 and North Dakota up to No. 11 from No. 13. It also helps some of the teams on the outside, looking to grab one of those last at-large bids. Michigan drops to No. 16 and obviously can’t win another game this weekend, putting them in the same both as a team like Vermont which now sits ahead of the Wolverines.

Now let’s take a look at tonight’s second game between Michigan State and Ohio State.

Both of these teams need to win in order to make the NCAA tournament.

We’ll take a closer look at things after tonight’s second Big 10 play-in game.

Thursday, 9:23 a.m. ET — Let’s take a look at the first game of the weekend, which drops the puck at 3 p.m. ET today in the Big 10 between Michigan and Penn State.

For Penn State, the situation is simple: It’s win, or the season is over.

According to our friend Jim Dahl, Michigan makes the tournament in 22.7% of the over 3 million scenarios if it loses this game today. By beating Penn State, the Wolverines will nearly guarantee themselves a spot in the tournament, qualifying as an at-large in 95.9% of the remaining scenarios, despite remaining at No. 11 with a win.

A Michigan win this afternoon doesn’t seem to move the needle much for other teams, but teams on the bubble need to be hoping for a Michigan win, knocking a potential upset-winner out of the conference tournament.

A Penn State win knocks Michigan all the way down to No. 16 in the Pairwise. It also moves Notre Dame up to No. 6 from No. 8 and North Dakota up to No. 11 from No. 13.

We’ll be back later today with a look at the late game in the Big 10, as well as the Michigan-Penn State results.

Welcome to our annual Pairwise live blog.

Throughout this upcoming weekend, as games are happening, keep it locked in right here for all of your Pairwise analysis. We’ll keep you up to speed on all the different scenarios and what these games mean to your team’s chances, as they happen.

The Pairwise is the mathematical system the selection committee uses to select teams for the NCAA tournament. It’s not subjective. How teams are seeded and selected are based entirely on this mathematical model.

To get us started, CHN managing editor Adam Wodon posted his Bracket ABC’s column on Wednesday, giving you a synopsis of each team’s status heading into this championship weekend.

We also have our Pairwise Primer gives you an education on just how the whole system works. You can checkout the current Pairwise and also play with our “You Are The Committee” tool, which allows you to plug in different results for this weekend’s games and get a look at what the final Pairwise would look like.

In short, there are a few things we know no matter what the results are this weekend:

1) Minnesota will be the top overall seed in the tournament. Boston College (likely the No. 2 overall seed) and Union (likely the No. 3 overall seed) have also locked up No. 1 seeds in their regionals. Minnesota will be the No. 1 in St. Paul, Boston College will be the No. 1 in Worcester and Union will be the No. 1 in Bridgeport.

2) Along with the three teams mentioned above, Ferris State, Wisconsin, Quinnipiac, UMass Lowell and Notre Dame are all guaranteed spots in the NCAA tournament.

3) Providence and St. Cloud State are virtual locks, with better than 95% chances of qualifying.

We also know that the Atlantic Hockey champion will be the No. 16 seed, which leaves us with five open spots for the tournament (No. 11-15), assuming there are no upsets in the other conference tournaments. Teams in contention for those at-large spots are Michigan, Minnesota State, North Dakota, Vermont, Colgate, Cornell and Northeastern. New Hampshire is still alive in the Hockey East tournament, but will need to win it in order to qualify.

Along with UNH, all of the other remaining bidders – Miami, Ohio State, Bowling Green, Western Michigan, Anchorage, Denver, Michigan State and Penn State – will need to win their conference tournaments this weekend to extend their season into the NCAA tournament.

This is the post to bookmark. Make sure you have it saved on all of your devices and keep checking back and refreshing whether at home or on the road as we’ll keep you posted on who’s in, who’s out and who’s still alive.

Have questions? Put them in the comment section, and we’ll do our best to get them all answered.

A Quick Pairwise Look Heading Into Championship Weekend

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Conferences across the nation will crown their league champions, and NCAA automatic qualifiers, this upcoming weekend.

For some teams these will be do-or-die games. For others, there’s a trophy at stake but their tickets to the NCAA tournament have already been punched. Here’s what we know:


Pairwise Live Blog

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

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.


Pairwise Live Blog 2012

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Follow this live blog all weekend as we discuss the up-to-the-minute ramifications of the games 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.

Saturday, 11:25 p.m. (ET) … As expected, BC and North Dakota both held on to win their third straight conference tournament titles. That means the field I have below is finalized, and the bracket I have is my final projection. We’ll find out how close I am Sunday at noon when the bracket is announced on ESPNU.

Saturday, 10:20 p.m. (ET) … Only two games still going on. BC leads Maine 3-1 in the third and North Dakota leads Denver 4-0 in the third. If those scores hold, this is what the field would look like (EDIT- this is now the final field):

1. Boston College
2. Michigan
3. Union
4. North Dakota
5. Miami
6. Ferris State
7. Minnesota-Duluth
8. Minnesota
9. Boston University
10. Maine
11. Denver
12. Massachusetts-Lowell
13. Cornell
14. Western Michigan
15. Michigan State
16. Air Force

Here’s what I think the bracket will look like:

Northeast Region, Worcester: 1. Boston College vs. 16. Air Force / 7. Minnesota-Duluth vs. 10. Maine
Midwest Region, Green Bay: 2. Michigan vs. 13. Cornell / 6. Ferris State vs. 11. Denver
East Region, Bridgeport: 3. Union vs. 15. Michigan State / 5. Miami vs. 12. Massachusetts-Lowell
West Region, St. Paul: 4. North Dakota vs. 14. Western Michigan / 8. Minnesota vs. 9. Boston University

Saturday, 9:55 p.m. (ET) … Union hangs on for a 3-1 win over Harvard to take its first-ever ECAC tournament title and clinch the No. 3 overall seed. Western Michigan hangs on for a 3-2 win over Michigan to grab its first CCHA tournament title since 1986 and clinch an NCAA berth. By virtue of Union’s win, Michigan State has clinched the last at-large spot. So the field is now set, although the Hockey East and WCHA finals will cause a little bit of jockeying once they go final.

Saturday, 9:45 p.m. (ET) … Going around the country- Western Michigan leads Michigan 3-2 in the third, Union leads Harvard 2-1 in the third, BC leads Maine 3-1 after two, North Dakota leads Denver 3-0 in the second. If those scores all hold, BC, Michigan, Union and North Dakota would be the one-seeds, and Michigan State would be the last team in. More to come once games start going final.

Saturday, 9:20 p.m. (ET) … Air Force beats RIT 4-0 to win the Atlantic title and clinch a spot in NCAAs. Northern Michigan has been eliminated. Michigan State needs Union to beat Harvard in order to get in.

Saturday, 8:45 p.m. (ET) … Going around the country- Air Force leads RIT 3-0 in the third, Western Michigan leads Michigan 2-0 in the second, Union and Harvard are scoreless in the second, BC leads Maine 2-0 after one, and North Dakota leads Denver 2-0 in the first.

If all the teams leading hang on, Michigan State would need Union to beat Harvard in order to get in. A Harvard win would leave the Spartans as the first team out. At the top of the Pairwise, Union and North Dakota can both clinch a one-seed with a win. I’ll have more analysis of what happens if one or both of them lose later, if needed.

Saturday, 7:45 p.m. (ET) … Air Force leads RIT 2-0 after one. I believe an Air Force win would eliminate Northern Michigan. It would also be good news for Michigan State. If Air Force hangs on, the only way the Spartans would be eliminated is if both Western Michigan and Harvard win. For Western Michigan, an Air Force win would mean the Broncos either need a win or a Harvard loss to get in.

Saturday, 6:45 p.m. (ET) … Both consolation games have gone final, as Miami beats Bowling Green 4-1 and Cornell beats Colgate 3-0. Miami winning means all the scenarios from my 4:15 p.m. update are still in play. Cornell’s win clinches a tournament spot for the Big Red and eliminates Merrimack from contention. Northern Michigan is still alive, although its chances did take a hit with the Cornell win. See my 1:45 a.m. update for what the Wildcats need.

Saturday, 4:15 p.m. (ET) … Miami leads Bowling Green 2-0 after one in the CCHA consolation. The RedHawks can still potentially grab a one-seed if they win. One way for that to happen would be for Harvard to beat Union and BC to beat Maine. If Union wins, they’ll need Denver to beat North Dakota and Maine to beat BC in order to move into the top four. If Maine wins, they’ll need Harvard and Denver to win.

Saturday, 1:00 p.m. (ET) … I’ve gotten a couple questions about Michigan State. The Spartans are in a very interesting position. Believe it or not, the Atlantic Hockey title game has a big effect on MSU’s chances. If Air Force wins, the Spartans just need one of Cornell, Harvard or Western Michigan to lose. If RIT wins, though, things get a bit more dicey for the Spartans. Then they would need Western Michigan to lose and at least one of Cornell or Harvard to lose.

Saturday, 11:45 a.m. (ET) … Cornell is in with a win or tie against Colgate in the ECAC consolation. If the Big Red tie, they can’t finish any worse than 14th, meaning they’d make the field even if Harvard wins the championship and moves the cut line up a spot. Cornell is out if it loses today.

In related news, Western Michigan would be out if it loses and both Harvard and Cornell make the field (i.e. Harvard wins and Cornell wins or ties). If the Broncos lose, they need one of Harvard or Cornell to lose in order to get in.

Saturday, 1:45 a.m. (ET) … Thanks to reader Matt Wellens for pointing out a way Northern Michigan gets in without Cornell losing on Saturday. If Western Michigan, Union and RIT all win on Saturday, the Wildcats are in. In this scenario, they jump ahead of Michigan State (who ends up out), so it wouldn’t matter what Cornell does.

If Cornell does lose in this scenario, Merrimack gets in ahead of Michigan State and Cornell for the last at-large spot. So, as crazy as it sounds, there is still a way for both Northern Michigan and Merrimack to get in despite both of them being on the outside looking in right now. Merrimack can get in with Union, Colgate and RIT wins, and help elsewhere. The simplest “help elsewhere” scenario is Western Michigan beating Michigan. Northern Michigan also makes it in that scenario.

Be sure to check out Jim Dahl’s blog on for a complete breakdown of where each team can finish heading into the final day. The biggest things to take from that are that BC is locked into the No. 1 overall spot, Michigan is locked into the No. 2 overall spot, and Union and North Dakota can both clinch a one-seed by winning on Saturday.

Saturday, 12:05 a.m. (ET) … Michigan beats Bowling Green 3-2 in double overtime. Bubble teams breath a sigh of relief as the Falcons’ cinderella run comes to an end. With the win, the Wolverines move up to second in the Pairwise. They appear to have locked up a one-seed.

Harvard is the only team left that can steal a bid aside from the Atlantic Hockey champ. Cornell and Western Michigan are in with a win tomorrow. Michigan State seems like a lock in most scenarios where Harvard doesn’t steal a spot.

Northern Michigan needs Cornell to lose and Union to win to get in, while Merrimack needs Cornell to lose, Union to win, RIT to win, and more. We’ll see if we can figure out what that “more” is before the end of the night.

Here’s what the bracket would look like if all the higher seeds win tomorrow:

Northeast Region, Worcester: 1. Boston College vs. 16. Air Force / 8. Minnesota-Duluth vs. 9. Boston University
Midwest Region, Green Bay: 2. Michigan vs. 13. Cornell / 7. North Dakota vs. 11. Maine
East Region, Bridgeport: 3. Union vs. 15. Western Michigan / 5. Miami vs. 12. Massachusetts-Lowell
West Region, St. Paul: 4. Denver vs. 14. Michigan State / 6. Ferris State vs. 10. Minnesota

Friday, 11:10 p.m. (ET) … Maine beats BU 5-3 to set up a BC-Maine Hockey East final. The Black Bears are up to sixth in the Pairwise, while BU drops to 10th for the time being. Maine will likely be a two-seed with a win tomorrow, but has an outside shot at a one-seed. BU will likely finish somewhere in the 8-10 range, so it could be a two- or three-seed. More coming later.

Friday, 10:40 p.m. (ET) … North Dakota beats Minnesota 6-3 to set up a North Dakota-Denver WCHA final. The Fighting Sioux are fifth in the Pairwise right now, and it appears that a win tomorrow clinches a one-seed for them. A loss likely keeps them as a two-seed. Meanwhile, Minnesota is now eighth in the Pairwise and will be a two- or three-seed depending on what happens around the country tomorrow.

Elsewhere, Michigan and Bowling Green are in overtime and Maine leads BU 4-3 midway through the third. More on those games once they go final.

Friday, 9:55 p.m. (ET) … Harvard beats Cornell 6-1 to set up a Harvard-Union matchup in the ECAC title game. Bubble teams are starting to sweat a little, as the Crimson are now one win away from stealing a bid, and Bowling Green (another team that could steal a bid) leads Michigan 2-1 early in the third in the CCHA semis.

Cornell is most likely in with a win over Colgate in the ECAC consolation game. The Big Red could still get in even with a loss in that game, but it’s worth remembering that Harvard and Bowling Green can steal bubble spots.

In Atlantic Hockey, RIT beat Niagara 2-1 in overtime to set up an Air Force-RIT final. The winner of that game gets the autobid, while the loser is out. Believe it or not, Northern Michigan and Merrimack are both still alive. Both need Cornell to lose again tomorrow and have neither Harvard nor Bowling Green steal a spot, among other things. Mike McMahon has a great breakdown of what Merrimack needs over at The Mack Report.

Friday, 7:35 p.m. (ET) … Boston College beats Providence 4-2. This doesn’t really do anything except solidify BC as the top overall seed and eliminate another potential upset champion. Only Bowling Green and Harvard are left to potentially steal a bid, meaning everyone 13th or higher is safe. Miami, BU and UMass-Lowell are now mathematical locks to make the field.

Friday, 7:15 p.m. (ET) … Western Michigan smokes a hot Miami team, 6-2, to advance to the CCHA championship game. That’s a big boost to the Broncos’ NCAA hopes, although it doesn’t quite lock up a spot for them just yet. They’re 14th right now, and it would take a couple upset champions to knock them out. Meanwhile, the RedHawks drop to 10th in the Pairwise and appear to be locked into a two- or three-seed.  Also, Western’s win means Northern Michigan needs Cornell to lose tonight to stay alive for an at-large berth. If Cornell wins, I believe the Wildcats are eliminated.

Friday, 7:00 p.m. (ET) … Denver beats Minnesota-Duluth 4-3 in double overtime on a Zac Larraza winner. As far as I can tell, UMD losing means Boston College is the No. 1 overall seed regardless of what the Eagles do this weekend. UMD will most likely be a two-seed, although there’s a chance of dropping to a three. Denver will likely be a two-seed if it wins Saturday or a three-seed if it loses.

Friday, 6:45 p.m. (ET) … We have our first two finals of the day, as Union beats Colgate 6-2 and Air Force beats Mercyhurst 5-2. Union is fourth in the Pairwise as of right now and appears to be a lock for at least a two-seed. Colgate losing means there is one less team that can steal a bubble spot. Out west, Denver and Minnesota-Duluth are battling in double overtime, tied 3-3.

Friday, 10:35 a.m. (ET) … Ten semifinal games on the docket today. Of the teams that are playing, BC, Michigan, Minnesota-Duluth, Minnesota and North Dakota all appear to be mathematical locks to make the field already. Miami, BU, Maine, Denver and Union all look safe as well, although there may be a very small possibility of one of them being left out with a loss tonight and a bunch of upsets. For teams not playing, Ferris State is a mathematical lock and UMass-Lowell looks pretty safe.

Assuming those 12 teams all make it, that leaves three at-large spots up for grabs, barring upset champions. Cornell and Western Michigan can both greatly improve their chances of making it with a win tonight, although neither of them lock up a spot with a win alone. Likewise, neither can be knocked out with a loss.

Michigan State, Northern Michigan and Merrimack are all bubble teams not playing this weekend. As far as I can tell, Michigan State cannot be eliminated tonight. In fact, I believe the Spartans clinch a spot if all the higher seeds win tonight. Northern Michigan needs either Western Michigan or Cornell to lose in order to stay alive. If both win tonight, I can’t find a way to get the Wildcats in. Merrimack needs Maine to beat BU, Harvard to beat Cornell, and Union to beat Colgate. If any one of those don’t happen, the Warriors are done. Western Michigan losing would be helpful as well.

It’s worth noting that if MSU, Northern and Merrimack finish in a three-way tie for the last at-large spot (which could happen), they would split the comparisons with each other, but MSU would have the highest RPI and thus make the field.

Thursday, 11:15 p.m. (ET) … Before we call it a night, let’s see what the bracket would look like if the higher seed won every remaining game (which, by the way, I don’t expect to happen).

Northeast Region, Worcester: 1. Boston College vs. 16. Air Force / 8. Miami vs. 9. Massachusetts-Lowell
Midwest Region, Green Bay: 2. Michigan vs. 13. Cornell / 6. Ferris State vs. 12. Denver
West Region, St. Paul: 3. Minnesota-Duluth vs. 15. Western Michigan / 5. Minnesota vs. 11. Maine
East Region, Bridgeport: 4. Boston University vs. 14. Michigan State / 7. Union vs. 10. North Dakota

It’s far from perfect in terms of bracket integrity, but it looks good attendance-wise and avoids any intra-conference matchups in the first round. The only liberty I took was swapping the Ferris-Denver and Union-North Dakota games to bring Union east and help Bridgeport’s attendance. Putting Ferris in Green Bay saves a flight, too.

Thursday, 10:36 p.m. (ET) … North Dakota moves on to the WCHA semifinals after beating St. Cloud State, 4-1. Bubble teams have to be happy with tonight’s results, as that’s two fewer teams that can steal a bid. North Dakota will likely be a two-seed if it beats Minnesota tomorrow. If not, it will likely stay a three. The Fighting Sioux appear to be a lock to make the field at this point.

Thursday, 6:10 p.m. (ET) … Denver pulls out an OT win over Michigan Tech. That’s one less team the bubble teams have to worry about. Denver is looking OK. A loss on Friday could still drop the Pioneers down to 13 at the lowest, it seems. So, barring three conference upsets, they should be OK. Thing is, St. Cloud winning it all bumped Denver up to 11 in scenarios I ran, so Denver would be safe regardless.

Pairwise Live Blog, 2011

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

10:08 p.m. — OK, that’s all from here … head over to the main site for a final bracket projection when the Denver-North Dakota game is done. The only issue is whether Denver winning makes things a little tricky from an intra-conference matchup perspective. If Denver is 5, it causes issues with No. 12 UNO — and likewise, Mich. bumping to 7 would cause conflict with No. 10 Western Michigan. If Denver loses the final, it stays 7 and Michigan 5, and so there’s no issue.

10:06 p.m. — Dartmouth wins the head-to-head comparison against RPI … but RPI wins 3 comparisons with teams above – Notre Dame, UNO and New Hampshire. That is the razor-thin difference. Those three comparisons for RPI are won on the strength of victories this year against Boston University and Bowling Green. Also, UNO had a loss to Huntsville while RPI swept Huntsville. That was the difference there. …. So, had Nebraska-Omaha not lost to Huntsville earlier this season, Dartmouth would be in the NCAAs right now, not RPI.

9:52 p.m. — Looks like Miami will win – up 5-2 late – so we’re basically down to 2 scenarios. The one we’ve had all day — and one with Denver winning. The main difference there is Michigan and Denver flip-flop, with Denver going to 5 and Mich. to 7. The rest stays the same, except BC and NoDak flip, though that’s pretty inconsequential.

9:43 p.m. — With the ECAC game a foregone conclusion, it means 2 games are up for grabs … which means there are only 4 remaining scenarios. One – if North Dakota and Miami win – is the projection we’ve been working off all day. Michigan has the widest remaining swing. If North Dakota and WMU win, Michigan is No. 4 overall … If Denver and Miami win, Michigan is No. 7 … In the other two scenarios, Michigan is No. 5.

9:32 p.m. — Boston College with late goal to win another Hockey East title. Things continue to go according to form. Our projected bracket still holds. Great run for Merrimack, and it’s not over yet.

9:24 p.m. — Air Force becomes the first team to officially earn an NCAA bid … 1-0 win. It has no effect on the rest of the bracket. AFA will return to Bridgeport, where it defeated Michigan in the 2009 Regional. Also – a delicious rematch with Yale.

8:04 p.m. — With everything remaining according to form so far today, the brackets we projected earlier would hold.

6:19 p.m. — Dartmouth is about to win. That rules out 4 ECAC teams in the tournament. Michigan has won its consolation game. That means Nebraska-Omaha is now in. Combined with Dartmouth’s impending win, it means Colorado College is now in too. So we’re down to RPI or Cornell for the final spot.

5:02 p.m. — More sighs of relief for anyone but Rensselaer fans, as Dartmouth takes a 2-1 lead. (Note: Having “Rensselaer” a possible NCAA Tournament team just makes life miserable for writers — having to write out “Rensselaer” every time, so as not to confuse RPI with the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI). Waah.)

4:29 p.m. — Strange dynamic as teams take the ice for the ECAC consolation: Dartmouth thinks it has a shot at the NCAAs, but it doesn’t. And losing would help the league potentially get 4 teams in the NCAAs.

4:17 p.m. — 2-1 Michigan after one. Omaha breathes easier for now.

3:55 p.m. Saturday — Notre Dame up early on Michigan in consolation game. Omaha fans starting to sweat a little.

11:56 a.m. Saturday (ET) — Check out the new Bracket ABCs article for a team-by-team breakdown of where things stand, and a first-look at a potential bracket.

11:43 p.m. — As a reader points out, if Denver, BC, Cornell, Colgate, Michigan, Miami and Air Force win … then Colorado College slips to No. 15 and is out.

11:03 p.m. — Ties for Colgate or Notre Dame would also be enough for UNO. … But other than that scenario, and some other fringe possibilities — it’s essentially down to this … Cornell wins, it’s in, obviously.  Cornell loses – then RPI sneaks in.

10:58 p.m. — Thanks to UNOmavmania on Twitter … if Cornell, Colgate, Notre Dame and Western win tomorrow, then UNO drops to 15th in Pairwise, and thus out, since Cornell would take that slot.  Otherwise, UNO is 14th and safe, even if Cornell makes it.

10:13 p.m. — Assuming Western holds on — other than the Cornell possibility, dare we say the NCAA field is set, and RPI will make it. As will UNO.

10:10 p.m. — Under “normal” scenario, no way now for Dartmouth to get in. This assumes Western holds on.

9:48 p.m. — Tick, tick, tick on Dartmouth

9:19 p.m. — Dartmouth trailing 2-0 going into the third, while Western Michigan up 2-0 over Michigan … Not looking good for the poor Big Green. How many times can they come close and then bomb out in the ECAC final four and fall short?

7:01 p.m. — Wins by Yale, Miami (pending) and RIT again, don’t move the needle much. These are all higher seeds winning, as projected. That helps the likes of Rensselaer though, and Colorado College, and Dartmouth (if Dartmouth can win this game tonight).

5:49 p.m. — Denver’s 6-2 win doesn’t mean much, except that Bemidji State is out of the mix for upsetting the apple cart.

4:58 p.m. Friday (ET) — Here we are, with five semifinal games going on. We won’t know any more than yesterday until some results start rolling in. Miami is winning big over Notre Dame right now, so Miami could be playing for a No. 1 seed tomorrow. Yale is tied with Colgate — if Yale wins, it clinches the No. 1 overall seed.

10:48 Thursday (ET) — Colorado College tops UAA, and improves its NCAA hopes dramatically. But not totally out of the woods yet. CC also hurts RPI’s (the school’s) chances, though the Engineers still have a good shot to make it despite not having played in two weeks. RPI’s chances now hinge on the following: Need Western Michigan to lose twice, need New Hampshire not to win Hockey East. Though the Engineers an absorb one of those if Dartmouth loses twice. A scenario where RPI is bumped out by New Hampshire winning HEA, or by Dartmouth not losing twice, is also the scenario that gets Boston University in.

7:21 Thursday (ET) — Bemidji State kicks off the weekend by winning on a power play in overtime. This will start making some people sweat, but it still must get through two more very tough games to continue the Cinderella run. This has no effect, because Minnesota-Duluth is safe, but UMD will now be a No. 3 seed instead of a possible No. 2 or No. 1.