Saturday’s Pairwise Watch

Posted by: adamw

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.

18 Responses to “Saturday’s Pairwise Watch”

  1. ron Says:

    Hey man. I don’t need hordes of Irish fans trying to beat me down. I’m just saying, that I’m sure there’s still a humidor and some lighters in that backroom if someone tries to play the system.

  2. ron Says:

    Oh and one more thing, it sounds like so far, it’s been a very hard played game, and UND is going for it right now pulling the goalie with about a minute to go down 2-1.

  3. MavsRule Says:

    Cmon Harvard and BC. We deserve to be in this tournament.

  4. nowheresville Says:

    I don’t think Wisconsin is a lock to be 12 if they make the tourney, they could also slip to 13. The Badgers need BC and Princeton to win to make the tourney, but if Minnesota and Miami also win, they would slip to the 13 seed.

  5. nowheresville Says:

    I don’t think WI is a lock to be the 12 seed if they make the tourney, they could also slip to 13. If Princeton and BC both win, they are in, but if Minnesota and Miami also win, the Badgers would be 13 and ND would be 12.

  6. SCSUman66 Says:

    If Wisconsin makes it as a #13 seed however (with Miami, Minnesota, Princeton, and BC winning), it appears that Miami would be the #1 overall seed instead of Michigan. Granted that doesn’t make much of a difference since either would be placed in the Madison regional, but just wanted to clarify that.

  7. SCSUman66 Says:

    If the scenario plays out where WI is the 13 seed, then Miami would be the overall #1, instead of Michigan. The point is moot though, since either one would be placed in the Madison regional, but just wanted to clarify that.

  8. sceagle16 Says:

    Notre Dame is not a lock. If Michigan, Vermont, Harvard, and Denver win, Notre Dame is out.

  9. adamw Says:

    That’s not true sceagle16 … what makes you say that? Notre Dame would be 14. Harvard and Vermont would be above them.

  10. sceagle16 Says:

    Haha, yeah I did the math wrong on that one, good call Adam

  11. letsgotech Says:

    I did not watch the game, but the box indicates that Notre Dame did not go down “without a fight” — they had 40 SOG, 19 of which were in the 3rd period. That would indicate that they were serious about trying to win the game. That said — I think we all should be continuing to educate the “powers that be” on why Krach would be a far better choice!

  12. DanM. Says:

    If Wisconsin makes the NCAA tournament over Minnesota State, then there is something truly wrong with the Pairwise… Not only are the Badgers under .500, the Mavericks have a better conference record, a better overall record and a better head-to-head record. Not to mention, the Mavericks won IN Madison… Wisconsin never won in Mankato.

    I’ve read that even if Princeton wins tonight (given BC also wins) the committee may think about taking the above facts into account and take Minnesota State. Any truth to that? I don’t think that’s unfair at all.

  13. DanM. Says:

    Even if Princeton holds on to win (given BC also wins), the committee has to use common sense and give the last bid to Minnesota State. It doesn’t take a computer to calculate better conference record, better overall record and better head to head record. Both teams had sub-par records against TUC, and a few percentage points can’t possibly be the difference, could it?

  14. adamw Says:

    It could, and it will.

  15. DanM. Says:

    How a team can win a head-to-head comparison and lose out because of nonconference losses is beyond me… what a flawed system. Not to mention, Minnesota State beat Princeton 6-1 in their meeting this season, yet Princeton takes the comparison. Flawed.

    I am convinced the committee may use some discretion here…. they have to.

  16. Cap Says:

    What are the odds they could just treat Wisconsin as a No 4 seed in Michigan’s regional in Madison? Move everyone else up one spot.

  17. adamw Says:

    Cap … not gonna happen … because that screws Michigan … and you don’t screw a No. 1 overall seed like that.

  18. jedwards Says:

    Given that the #2 and #3 lines are full of WCHA teams, I’ll be interested to see how the Committee finesses this. Normally, they try to avoid first-round matchups, but with 3 WCHA teams at #2 (CC 5, Denver 6, St. Cloud 7) and two at #3 (Minnesota 11, Wisconsin 12), it doesn’t look like they can get out of it – unless they flip Wisconsin & Notre Dame.

    Is it also possible that the Committee may go back to the “a flight is a flight” theory, and send #1 Michigan to Albany, leaving Miami to go to Madison? That gives them a partial escape from the Wisconsin problem.