Archive for the 'Pairwise Live Blog' Category

Saturday’s Pairwise Watch

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

11:41 p.m. — OK, our final analysis with predicted bracket is up. Good night. 

9:45 p.m. — Assuming Michigan wins (up 2-0, sorry Miami) just for argument’s sake, then the only difference to Pairwise on the Minnesota-Denver game is whether Minnesota is 10, Clarkson 11 – or vice versa.  But I’ve got some work to do to sort out the brackets, because Wisconsin messes everything up and there’s a number of ways the committee can go. It’s not going to be cut and dried this year folks. There will be 50/50 decisions that won’t necessarily be wrong, per se, either way — but will create a lot of stir. Fun year! I’ll have one more update – then off to write the final Bracket Analysis/Prediction piece for the night.

9:30 p.m. — We know the field. With Princeton and BC winning, Wisconsin is in, Minnesota State is out. I never thought it would actually happen. Wow. Wisconsin is No. 12, despite being under .500 … unless Minnesota and Miami win the remaining games, in which case Wisconsin is No. 13 and Notre Dame is 12. Wisconsin causes problems no matter how you slice it, but probably more at 12 than at 13. … More coming … 

8:52 p.m. — Playing off our commenter below, who said it would be unfair that Wisconsin gets in over Minnesota State given all the things he’s mentioned …. It’s worth looking into more deeply right now, as it gets closer to reality. Princeton and BC are both leading. If it holds, with Denver and Michigan winning, for instance, it means Wisconsin is No. 12, Notre Dame 13, and Minnesota State is out. … So, why? Well, in a nutshell, Minnesota State wins the comparison with Wisconsin straight up … but Wisconsin wins comparisons with Northern Michigan and Princeton that Minnesota State doesn’t win. Princeton wins that comparison basically because it defeated Nebraska-Omaha (the day after losing to Minnesota State ironically), while Minnesota State lost two games to UNO. Likewise with Northern Michigan — NMU was 2-0 against UNO this year. So the Mavericks will be out of the tournament because of two losses to the other Mavericks.

8:28 p.m. — NESN broadcaster Tom Caron just said that BC could be a No. 1 seed with a win. Earlier, the Northern Michigan radio broadcasters said Notre Dame was out because the Irish lost. … We hate to be high and mighty about (oh, no we don’t), but with the treasure trove of information out there on the Internet, it really is inexcusable not to know this stuff. Even if you had no idea CHN and USCHO existed, if were doing some homework on the game, you’d figure you’d go to Google and do a search for some info – and you’re just bound to stumble on these two sites with more info than you can possibly hope to ask for. No other NCAA sport besides basketball and football has those resources. Do these guys just not know that the Pairwise system exists? Or are they understandably dizzied by it so choose to gloss over it? … OK, off the soap box. 

8:00 p.m. — There are still people in “other” chat areas/boards who are making the same mistake because they haven’t been reading here the last couple of years. I still see people putting Boston College No. 6 overall and Denver No. 7. This is currently impossible. BC and Denver can be tied in overall comparisons won, and the tiebreaker is RPI, which Denver has a significant advantage. True that BC wins the head-to-head comparison between the two teams, but that doesn’t matter anymore. We’ve written extensively about that the last few years, and it bore itself out last year when a tie was broken via RPI. It confused people then. If you’ve got any friends “over there,” you may want to let them know to take a peek over here. 

7:55 p.m. — Someone didn’t give Jeff Jackson the memo. I didn’t realize this, but he pulled the goalie in the loss to NMU. Give him credit for playing it straight … or for not reading CHN. 

7:00 p.m. — Our commenter below is correct. That combination does yield Wisconsin as No. 13. That creates problems. That means we go back to the nightmare scenario we mentioned in a Bracket ABCs article a couple of weeks ago, where Michigan is the No. 1 overall seed and slated to be in Madison, but then has to play No. 13 Wisconsin in the Badgers’ building. If that happens, Michigan (or Miami, sorry) will be moved, and it will cause massive reshuffling. 

6:18 p.m. — Good thing for this breather between games. I’m hungry. An appetite of slide rules and NCAA handbooks is not sustenance.

5:50 p.m. — So here’s the deal with the rest …. i.e. Wisconsin. The Badgers can get in as the No. 12 overall, or not at all. This rests on Princeton and Vermont. … Right now, Wisconsin is in a tie in “Pairwise Comparison Wins,” but has the worst RPI of those teams it’s tied with, so it’s out of the tournament.  But if Princeton wins (actually, more like, if Harvard loses) Harvard’s RPI drops below Wisconsin’s, and Wisconsin takes the comparison with Harvard. That breaks the deadlock in Wisconsin’s favor and jumps it over all those other teams it’s tied with, all the way up to 12th. … However, Vermont can mess it up too. If Vermont wins HEA, it gets the autobid, as we know. But it doesn’t just get the 13th spot as an autobid — it actually flips the comparison with Wisconsin by going past the Badgers in RPI. Thus, Wisconsin would lose what it just gained with Harvard, dropping the Badgers back into that tie, and out of the tournament. … Minnesota State is like an afterthought in this. But the Mavericks need Harvard to win (thus knocking Wisconsin out), and Boston College to win, thus knocking Vermont out. No direct comparisons with MSU are affected.

5:40 p.m.Notre Dame officially lost. I wasn’t there. I don’t know how they played. Doesn’t matter. The whole point is moot now. Notre Dame is in. 

5:32 p.m.North Dakota wins. The Sioux are No. 3. We’re No. 3, We’re No. 3.

5:24 p.m. — One of our minions, Ron Ayers, just IM’d me and said that, if Notre Dame tanks its game, the committee should leave them out of the tournament. I call bullsh*t on that. They knew the rules, they played by the rules. They shouldn’t be penalized for that. If anything, it should point out the folly of the rule. The committee should change the criteria, not penalize Notre Dame. (update: Ron wants to make it clear that he said “don’t be surprised” – not that it should happen. OK Ron, poetic license my man.)

5:10 p.m.Notre Dame trailing 2-1 to NMU. Maybe they’re just going to tank the rest of this one so they can make the NCAAs. ?!?!? 

3:33 p.m. — Consolation game has already begun in St. Paul. CC up 1-0. CC winning solves the dilemma currently being discussed in the comments section of the bracket analysis article linked below – with UNH and North Dakota

11:44 a.m. — OK, we’re here in Albany, and the ECACs will be played out later. Lots of ramifications here and elsewhere. This will be the spot to keep an eye on as things unfold. We’ll tell you what it all means. In the mean time, we tried to lay out the likely scenarios in the final Bracket Analysis article. There’s also the tale of the TUC Cliff, and how it affects Notre Dame and Minnesota State this year.

Friday’s Pairwise Watch

Friday, March 21st, 2008

4:00 a.m. — Yeah, that’s right, 4 a.m. … Had some trouble connecting back on. Finally able to tell everyone that our poster is indeed right. UNH will slip to No. 4 overall if North Dakota wins the consolation. Sorry for missing that earlier. 

11:30 p.m. — Well, interesting stuff now, as the picture becomes a little clearer. Well, at least the amount of combinations gets down to a manageable level. It’s still confusing. … Here’s the deal for Wisconsin … it needs Princeton to win the ECACs, and for Notre Dame to lose the CCHA consolation. Then it’s in, probably as a No. 3 seed. Wacky. … Otherwise, Notre Dame and Minnesota State are in. Actually, Boston University winning HEA can also upset things for Notre Dame. … Miami/Michigan will be 1-2 depending on who wins CCHA final. UNH is No. 3 for sure. I believe North Dakota-CC are 4-5 depending on who wins the consolation, but either way, both will be in Colorado Springs. … I’m going to have a full article on this later on the main site. Stay tuned, and be back at the Pairwise live blog Saturday night.

10:11 — According to Google Maps, it’s 386 miles from Ann Arbor to Madison … and it’s 598 miles from Ann Arbor to Albany, N.Y. … So, if Michigan wins the CCHA tournament and is the No. 1 overall seed, expect the Wolverines to go to Madison ….. UNLESS Wisconsin makes the tournament, in which case, the committee will look to protect Michigan and send it to Albany. After all, a flight is a flight. Of course, Michigan hasn’t won anything yet. It’s still tied in the semis with Northern for crissakes. If Miami beats Michigan in the final, there’s one scenario where the teams are tied in the Pairwise, but Michigan has a .0003 edge in RPI to take No. 1 overall. A Vermont win in Hockey East helps Miami possibly be No. 1 overall. … As for New Hampshire, looks like it is sealed as a No. 1 seed also.

10:00 p.m. — Well, Boston College‘s win throws a monkey wrench into things. For some reason, the scenarios I kept running had to do with UNH winning. So let’s see what we’ve got here. 

9:33 p.m. — Here’s what I know after playing around with You Are The Committee some more: Miami is absolutely going to be a No. 1 seed at this point. I think North Dakota’s loss sealed that for good. …. Wisconsin is very much alive. Its bid depends on Princeton beating Harvard in the ECAC final. 

8:19 p.m. — Not sure what our commenter below is trying to say. … Anyway, looks like Miami’s win has locked Clarkson for good. There was some bizarre scenario which might have had the Knights out, but that’s no longer. 

7:50 p.m. — Playing with You Are the Committee, it looks like if Notre Dame wins the consolation, and “normal” stuff happens elsewhere — then Notre Dame is in and Wisconsin is out. No time to tell you why 🙂 – but that’s what I’ve got. Notre Dame losing the consolation, puts Wisconsin in and Notre Dame out.  This is with a BU-UNH Hockey East final, by the way, with UNH winning. Right now UNH-BC is 4-4 – so that’s not certain. 

7:40 p.m. — Miami just won in overtime, putting the pressure on Michigan as far as top overall seed. And, of course, it throws Notre Dame for a loop. Notre Dame is hanging by a thread. Vermont just took the comparison with Notre Dame because of Record vs. TUC, putting Notre Dame in a tie with Wisconsin.

6:27 p.m. — Princeton just took the comparison with Minnesota State, which drops the Mavericks out of the tie with Wisconsin, into 14th place. We’ve known that the ECAC champ would take the 14th spot, but we’ve had it as more likely being Wisconsin. But this indicates it could be the Mavericks. The comparison is 2-2, so RPI should be the tiebreaker. But the RPI is showing .5277 for each …. there’s probably a minute difference another significant digit down the line. … Now, Princeton could lose Saturday, and it goes back to the way it was. But if Princeton wins the ECAC, the Mavericks could stay at 14. Let me run some You Are The Committee stuff.

6:23 p.m. — Princeton wins. Something just caused Minnesota State to dip to 14 in the Pairwise, with Wisconsin at 13. Looking into it.

6:12 p.m.Denver defeats North Dakota. The teams stay where they were in the Pairwise – with Denver 6 and North Dakota 5. We’ll see more about what this means in a minute. Princeton about to win its game against Colgate. 

We’ll be here throughout the weekend as the results come in, letting you know about the ramifications of the Pairwise … All the twists and turns are always fascinating to watch. Check out last year’s live blog of the Pairwise.

Pairwise Live Blog

Saturday, March 17th, 2007

10:31 p.m. — That’s it folks. Check out the main site — — for a new breakdown article soon, and analysis from there.

10:30 p.m. — Note … in the Minnesota scenario below … it depends how the committee breaks the 3-way tie at 11 … I have done it according to the way they’ve done it in recent years … by RPI. In older years, the committee used to compare the individual comparisons between the teams to figure it out — in which case UMass would be 11. See the main site from here on in for more

10:28 p.m. — Preliminarily … if Minnesota wins …

1 Minnesota – 16 UAH
8 Mich – 10 No Dak (to avoid MSU)
2 Notre Dame – 15 Air Force
7 BU – 9 MSU
3 Clarkson – 13 UMass (to avoid UNH)
6 SCSU – 12 Maine (to avoid BC)
4 UNH – 14 Miami
5 BC – 11 SLU

If North Dakota wins…

1 Notre Dame – 16 UAH
8 Mich – 9 BU
2 Minnesota – 15 Air Force
7 NoDak – 10 MSU
3 Clarkson – 14 UMass
6 SCSU – 12 Maine (to avoid BC)
4 UNH – 13 Miami
5 BC – 11 St. Lawrence

10:23 p.m. — Rejoicement in Amherst and Oxford. UMass is in the NCAAs for the first time. Clarkson will get a No. 1 seed and it looks like will play in Rochester as hoped. Stay tuned for the rest.
10:12 p.m. — The Q crumbles – now shorthanded … and North Dakota ties it in St. Paul. Hold on to your seatbelts.

10:10 p.m. — WOW Clarkson … 3-2 – three straight. Miami and UMass rejoice.

10:10 p.m. — Had to step away for a CSTV appearance there. With 4 scenarios still out there and little time to go in depth, I’m not sure I clarified things.

9:36 p.m. — OK, BC and Notre Dame’s wins start to clear the picture. If Quinnipiac holds on, it’s Miami or UMass for the final spot — If NoDak wins it’s Miami … if Minnesota wins it’s Massachusetts.

9:10 p.m. — Congratulations Air Force Academy on the AH championship and a first-ever NCAA bid for that program, and any service academy. The Falcons will be the No. 15 seed overall. Ala.-Huntsville is 16. Either Quinnipiac, Mass or Miami will be 14.
8:52 p.m. — If things hold … Miami is in if North Dakota wins WCHA … Massachusetts is in if Minnesota wins WCHA. … Both are in if Clarkson comes back.

8:43 p.m. — Let’s assume the teams with leads keep them … That’s Air Force and QU at 2-0, and BC at 3-0. … If North Dakota and Michigan win … QU would bump UMass out of the final spot. Same if Notre Dame wins CCHA instead of Michigan.

8:39 p.m. — The Bobcats are seriously pi**ing off a lot of people right now, taking a 2-0 lead into the second period. They just scored a PPG with 6 seconds left in the first. Their band is also pi**ing people off … playing the same “theme” song as Clarkson’s band is famous for. Very disconcerting.

8:09 p.m. — Quinnipiac scores 32 seconds into the game. Seeing QU AD Jack MacDonald in a yellow sweater, reacting, is classic. Clarkson crowd chanting … sounds like “Dis-co-teque” — Oh, it’s “Let’s Go Tech.” … Good atmosphere in Albany. … Miami and UMass sweat.

7:32 p.m. — Post-game press conferences over in Albany … Poor Bob Gaudet looks like someone shot his dog. One of these days ………… Meanwhile, forgot to mention that a Quinnipiac loss and UMass is fine too. … Championship games under way … here we go … wheeeeeeeeee….

6:41 p.m.UMass is still teetering too. It needs Army to beat Air Force, or Minnesota to defeat North Dakota.

6:36 p.m.And St. Lawrence wins. Goodbye Dartmouth. Goodbye Denver … for real. I have the world of respect for every member of both team’s coaching staffs and programs, and it was hard to know what to root for in that ECAC consolation game. But we’re supposed to stay objective anyway, right? … St. Lawrence is in. Now Miami waits to see what happens with Quinnipiac.

6:12 p.m. — Denver can still make it. Air Force, BC, North Dakota, Clarkson and Dartmouth need to win.

5:40 p.m. — In the words of Al Michaels … “Now we’ve got bedlam.” … In the ECAC, the goals are coming like crazy. 3-3. A lengthy review just took place, but we don’t know why yet. … Meanwhile, out West, Wisconsin pulled off a miracle of sorts … winning with 9 seconds left in OT. OK, that’s not really a miracle, but it is for two teams that were hanging on that game: Clarkson and Denver. The scenarios that gave Denver a bid are now eliminated with Wisconsin’s win. And that win is HUGE for Clarkson in terms of securing a No. 1 seed in Rochester. So we have a game that was meaningless to Wisconsin having HUGE implications for two teams. Go figure. Don’t you love this?

5:26 p.m. — Kevin DeVirgilio scores SLU’s first goal of the weekend. Whoa – wait … 2 goals in 46 seconds and SLU is tied with Dartmouth. Mike McKenzie. If SLU wins, it guarantees 2 ECAC bids. If Dartmouth wins, the league may get only one.

5:23 p.m. — Just ran a scenario that gets BC to a No. 2 overall seed, and drops Minnesota to No. 3.

5:19 p.m. — FYI, playing around more with You Are the Committee, and different bonuses, it looks like any reasonable bonus and Maine is definitely in at this point, unlike the comment I made in last night’s down and dirty Bracket ABCs.

5:14 p.m. — Wisconsin ties it. Clarkson rejoices. SCSU goalie Bobby Goepfert is banged up – he took a shot up high. Still in the game. Maybe it equalizes the Elliott effect.

5:02 p.m. — Some thoughts from out West … Mike Eaves is not playing Brian Elliott today. Apparently, he doesn’t agree with the announcers on the broadcast who think Wisconsin still has a shot at the NCAAs with the win. Clarkson is not a big fan of Eaves right now, though — since Clarkson wants Wisconsin to win in order to bump SCSU out of a No. 1 seed spot. SCSU is leading 3-2.

5 p.m. — One period over in Albany, Dartmouth just took the lead. Dartmouth needs a lot of help with a win, while SLU doesn’t.

4 p.m. — The press room in Albany is abuzz with Dartmouth, Clarkson and St. Lawrence types, all trying to figure out their chances. In Clarkson’s case, they REALLY, REALLY want to play in Rochester. They need St. Cloud State to lose and New Hampshire to win in order to make that a reality.