A Quick Pairwise Look Heading Into Championship Weekend

Posted by: Mike McMahon

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:

  • Three of the four No. 1 seeds in the regionals have already been locked up. Minnesota will be the No. 1 seed in St. Paul, Boston College will be the No. 1 seed in Worcester and Union will be the No. 1 seed in Bridgeport. The only No. 1 seed left in contention is Cincinnati. Ferris State has the inside track for that spot at the moment, but even if it wins the WCHA this weekend, Wisconsin could still steal that No. 1 seed if they win the Big 10, along with some other factors.
  • If Miami wins the NCHC, it will be the No. 4 seed in Cincinnati as the host of that regional. There isn’t an NCHC team in contention for the No. 1 seed in Cincinnati, so Miami pulling off a miracle and winning the league tournament will have no affect on what happens with that No. 1 seed.
  • For the most part, 10 teams have already clinched their spot in the NCAA tournament. I say “for the most part” because there are some whacky scenarios that could still be in play, but I’m confident that Minnesota, Boston College, Union, Ferris State, Quinnipiac, Lowell, St. Cloud State, Notre Dame, Providence and Wisconsin are locks for the tournament.
  • I was playing with out great “You Are the Committee” tool, and I can’t find a scenario that gets New Hampshire into the tournament without winning the Hockey East tournament, despite that the Wildcats enter the weekend ranked No. 17 in the Pairwise.
  • There’s a not-so-far-fetched scenario that would actually get seven Hockey East teams into the tournament. Seven! As stated above, it would require New Hampshire to win the Hockey East tournament and looks exactly like this:
    • 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. Penn State
    • Big Ten Semifinal #2: Wisconsin def. Ohio State
    • Big Ten Championship: Minnesota def. Wisconsin
    • Big Ten Play-in #1: Penn State def. Michigan
    • Big Ten Play-in #2: Ohio State def. Michigan State
    • ECAC Semifinal #1: Union def. Cornell
    • ECAC Semifinal #2: Quinnipiac def. Colgate
    • ECAC Championship: Union def. Quinnipiac
    • Hockey East Semifinal #1: Notre Dame def. Mass.-Lowell
    • Hockey East Semifinal #2: New Hampshire def. Providence
    • Hockey East Championship: New Hampshire def. Notre Dame
    • NCHC Semifinal #1: North Dakota def. Miami
    • NCHC Semifinal #2: Western Michigan def. Denver
    • NCHC Championship: North Dakota def. Western Michigan
    • NCHC Consolation: Miami def. Denver
    • WCHA Semifinal #1: Ferris State def. Alaska-Anchorage
    • WCHA Semifinal #2: Minnesota State def. Bowling Green
    • WCHA Championship: Ferris State def. Minnesota State

Be sure to check back this weekend during the conference tournaments, as we’ll be running our yearly “Pairwise Live Blog” right here, updating you on all the scenarios as they play out. Heading to a game? Want to know what your team needs to root for besides winning its own games? Then bookmark us on your phone, download our app, and you’ll be up to speed as things happen.

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