NCAA Bracket: Instant Analysis

Posted by: adamw

Well, this was our projected bracket and discussion of the possibilities, as of last night:

As you can see, we weren’t far off. We only got tripped up on the switch of Northeastern and Minnesota-Duluth. We can only speculate that this was for attendance purposes, since it deviates from setting up a “true” 2 vs. 7 matchup in the Midwest (Notre Dame-UMD) and 3-6 in the West (Denver-Northeastern).

Of course, the teams were tied in the Pairwise, basically, so it doesn’t matter too much.

Everything else went according to expectation. And you can read about all the rationale, as we laid out, in the article mentioned above.

Further explanation and analysis, and conversation with the committee, is forthcoming.

As for the brackets themselves, here are some thoughts:

Northeast – Manchester

Boston University is the top overall seed, but because of the seeding processes — as we discussed last night — the Terriers have to play Ohio State in the first round. BU should be able to take care of that young team, but OSU has beaten good teams over the course of the year.

So New Hampshire and North Dakota square off in the other matchup. You have to think the Sioux will be rarin’ to go after losing twice at the Final  Five. Then again, UNH has been off a week, and is probably annoyed too.

Midwest – Grand Rapids

Because of the BU issue mentioned earlier, Notre Dame is the beneficiary of facing the lowest overall seed, Bemidji State. Meanwhile, Cornell is banged up, but the program has a strong history of winning first-round games, while Northeastern hasn’t even made the tournament since 1994. Cornell has won at least a game here the last five trips to the NCAAs, but only the seniors on this team have had a trip. That was the year Cornell lost to Wisconsin in triple OT.

West – Minneapolis

Denver faces Miami again, with the matchup of George Gwozdecky and Enrico Blasi. Blasi played for Gwozdecky at Miami. This matchup has happened before in the NCAAs, with Denver winning. So it’s not new, but still interesting.

Princeton, meanwhile, gets the chore of facing red-hot Minnesota-Duluth, and its goaltending star Alex Stalock. Princeton has a Hobey finalist in net in Zane Kalemba. Princeton will play hard and tough, and is better prepared than in  last year’s appearance, but we’ll see how they match up on the big ice against Duluth. Princeton has not played on that surface much, if at all, while Duluth has plenty of experience with it.

East – Bridgeport

This should be a very well-attended bracket. Yale is local, and will draw. Vermont travels very well, and will get people down from nearby Burlington. Michigan, the top seed, of course travels well and has plenty of alums. That leaves poor old Air Force, which will play tough, for sure, and give Michigan a run.

Yale-Vermont is an intriguing matchup. We’ll see how the best the ECAC has to offer all year, stacks up against a fourth-place Hockey East team.

10 Responses to “NCAA Bracket: Instant Analysis”

  1. Mike Machnik Says:

    It’ll be interesting to find out how much attendance was a consideration. Seems it had to be. We speculated that a lot of tickets had been sold already for Minneapolis because the Gophers are hosting, however of course we aren’t privy to the actual numbers. But that’s why we opted not to compromise bracket integrity in order to keep Duluth near home. IMO you only do that in the case of the top eight seeds if there are serious issues with not enough tickets being sold.

  2. leadskates Says:

    You may have had the teams in the regions, but your seeding and thus bracketing was off. How did the rules regarding staying within groups (all the 3 seeds became 4 seeds….they all happened to be eastern) and not playing same conference in frst round (UNH v BU?) get blown off by the committee? Why did the western teams which barely got in and should have been 4 seeds get 2 seeds (OSU, Bemidiji St., USAF)? Yale got bumped to a 3. Looks like the committee threw the ‘old’ rules out the window and clearly favored the west over the east.

  3. leadskates Says:

    The above discussion does not agree with the bracket on your own website. See:

  4. leadskates Says:

    Nice quick fix on the brackets!

  5. adamw Says:

    Folks – apologies – it was just a system glitch that had the bracket page laid out wrong … It’s been fixed.

  6. adamw Says:

    I just got word that attendance was the considering in switching UMD – but not for monetary purposes, since the tix were already sold. Article forthcoming.

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  9. WDR357 Says:

    BU got the short end drawing Ohio State. For a team that dominated like that all year, I thought they would get Bemidji and not a team that had already defeated two other number one seeds. Not that I’ll complain as an NU fan!!! The Northeast bracket might be worth paying the $80 to go see on Saturday!

    Princeton-UMD could go 0-0 thru four OT’s. Regardless of who wins Denver is going to face a hell of a goalie.

  10. wick Says:

    I predict two of the four #1 seeds will get upset in the opening games. All four have the potential to be upset by the fiesty 4 seeds. I will pick Denver and Boston to lose.