Last weekend of February tournament cutlines

As we enter the final full weekend of regular season play (there is some regular season play next weekend, and the Big Ten pushes into the weekend beyond that, but over half the remaining regular season games occur this weekend), I want to remind readers that these forecasts will be through the end of the regular season only.

Conference tournaments don’t provide a lot of downside risk, because they tend to be single elimination (the notable exception being that it’s possible to go 0-2 in conference play in conferences with play-in series). However, there can be significant upside opportunity because teams in conferences with play-in series can put together something like a 4-1 run (a perfect record in conference play would earn the autobid, thus rendering the final PWR ranking unimportant).

Because of those games remaining to be played, I loosely define ending the regular season ranked 13-17 as “on the bubble”. Teams in those rankings can secure an autobid with a decent conference tournament performance.

#7 Denver is the highest ranked team with a decent chance of falling to the bubble if they slump.


#10 Minnesota and below actually need to do pretty well (e.g. above .500) to avoid falling to the bubble (note this chart was made before last night’s win).


Former top-ranked #18 Harvard and below need good performances to climb onto the bubble.


Though it’s unlikely that #23 Robert Morris will climb into contention, #24 Western Michigan, #25 Bemidji State, and #26 Penn State are long shots if they win out.





#27 Dartmouth and below are unlikely to make the NCAA tournament without significant success in their conference tournaments.



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.


2 thoughts on “Last weekend of February tournament cutlines

  1. MagnessMan

    I’m assuming that the chart for DU was made before last night’s win. If
    that’s the case it would look like they’re a lock for the tourney.


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