Need to win
These teams clearly need to win this weekend. A pair of losses could plummet any of them into the 20s and out of reach of an at-large bid.
#14 Michigan Tech
#18 Penn St
On the flip side, a pair of wins could propel any of them onto the 11-13 bubble in preparation for next weekend. Even with a pair of wins, 13 is a bit of a longshot for Clarkson and Rensselaer, while Minnesota will struggle to hit 14.
Minnesota-Duluth is the team most likely to survive a sweep, as the Bulldogs face a huge range of possible outcomes if swept—from 14 to 22 being somewhat likely, though 16-20 is most likely. Where they fall in the range will be determined by how the other teams on the list above perform — the more that lose, the better for Minnesota-Duluth.
Michigan Tech and Nebraska-Omaha seem most likely to fall to 15 or below if they don’t emerge from the weekend victorious, so would face an uphill battle to get an at-large bid with no additional games to play.
Cornell could land in the 13-14 range with a single win this weekend (though 15 is more likely), which would leave them alive but with no control.
Minnesota and Penn State would each have an additional shot to climb in the Big Ten tournament, even if swept this weekend. But, each would also be in a pretty deep hold without a win. Even with a sweep, Minnesota won’t climb much, with 15-18 the most likely outcome. The Gophers would need an additional conference tournament win to gain confidence in an at-large bid. Penn State fares a bit better with either a single win or a pair of wins, being able to climb to the top of the bubble with the latter.
Though Northeastern could climb to the 12-13 range with a pair of wins, 14-15 is much more likely. Clarkson and Rensselaer face a broad range of possible outcomes with a sweep, being able to reach 13-14, but with 15-18 more likely, and even 19-21 realistic. All three need to win, plan to win next weekend, and get some help from others.
These teams are long shots for at-large bids. Even with a sweep this weekend it would take a lot of luck to come out ranked #15. A subsequent win and a loss in the conference tournament shouldn’t move either much, so it would take some PWR luck and some cutline luck to get in at-large. Better just plan to win the conference tournament.
#21 Robert Morris
Win the conference tournament
These teams could give their fans some false hope by cracking the teens with a pair of wins this weekend. Unfortunately, it’s pretty unlikely to climb from there to above the cutline with a win and a loss.
#24 Minnesota St
#25 St. Lawrence
Other teams not yet mentioned don’t even seem likely to be able to crack the teens this weekend. It would take an extremely unusual confluence of events for any of them to move into position for an at-large bid.