One month outlook for the end of the regular season

With conference tournaments just a month or so away, this week I’ll take another look toward the end of the regular season — who’s a lock for an at-large bid, and who’s out of the running.

PWR calculation details

Readers of this blog probably already know that the RPI and PWR formulas for hockey changed this year. As I mentioned in a previous column—Dueling PWRs—there are currently two different interpretations of the new formulas. USCHO and CollegeHockeyNews implement the home/away weightings for RPI a bit differently.

From this post forward, unless otherwise stated the calculations referred to on this blog match the CHN implementation. Though I think that the more correct implementation, I will continue to monitor the situation.

End of regular season outlook

#1 Boston College and #2 Minnesota are likely duking it out for the top two rankings, unless one has a serious slump.



#8 Mass.-Lowell is the highest ranked team with a reasonable chance (about 7%) of falling to #13 or lower, so the top 8 can feel reasonably secure that they’ll be going into the conference tournaments in place for an at-large bid.


From #8 Mass-Lowell to about #19 Yale, the teams control their own destinies. Winning puts them in position for an at-large bid, losing does not.


#20 Clarkson through #29 Nebraska-Omaha have outside chances of climbing into the top 14 or so with stellar performances. They’re not mathematically eliminated, but would need nearly flawless runs to climb into position for an at-large bid.



#30 Brown and below are extremely unlikely to be in position to make the NCAA tournament at large going into the conference tournaments, so their best hopes for a bid would be winning their conference tournaments.



Each forecast is based on at least one million monte carlo simulations of the games in the described period. For each simulation, the PairWise Ranking (PWR) is calculated and the results tallied. The probabilities presented in the forecasts are the share of simulations in which a particular outcome occurred.

The outcome of each game in each simulation is determined by random draw, with the probability of victory for each team set by their relative KRACH ratings. So, if the simulation set included a contest between team A with KRACH 300 and team B with KRACH 100, team A will win the game in very close to 75% of the simulations. I don’t simulate ties or home ice advantage.


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