As the regular season pushes into its final month, I’ll do more frequent updates on who’s a lock for an at-large bid and who’s out of the running.
The way I judge that is by forecasting each team’s Pairwise Ranking, and determining how likely the team is to finish in the top 12.
Readers may recall previous controversy about the PWR rankings, which was apparently resolved last weekend when USCHO adopted the formula CHN has been using. This site continues to use that same formula as the basis for its predictions.
End of regular season outlook
Last week I stated that #8 Mass.-Lowell was the last lock, which remains true this week. Their chance of falling to #13 or below by the end of the regular season has fallen to about 2.5%. Just below them, #9 Northeastern is the highest ranked team with a serious chance of dropping out, with about a 24% chance of falling to #13 or lower.
The dividing line for controlling their own destiny appears to around #19 at first glance, in that #19 Mankato can clearly make it while #20 New Hampshire is in trouble.
But, at this level and point in the season, the different number of games remaining is starting to matter. #21 Yale and #22 Denver both stand noticeably better chances than Yale.
Finally, the “remote mathematical chance of making it if they close out the season perfectly” line has climbed to about #27 Alaska Anchorage. #28 Nebraska-Omaha and below need conference tournament success to make the NCAAs.
Forecasts include the results of games played through Sunday of this week, unless otherwise noted.
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.
- Current PWR Rankings (SiouxSports.com)
- Current RPI Rankings (SiouxSports.com)
- CHN PWR Rankings (CollegeHockeyNews.com)
- USCHO PWR Rankings (USCHO.com)
- Explanation of how PWR mimics NCAA tournament selection (CollegeHockeyNews.com)