This article discusses who is likely to make the NCAA tournament based on potential outcomes this weekend. It’s largely based on the following forecast:
Wins needed to emerge at PWR rank
Now that we’re in conference tournament play, note that the forecast is for one week.
Near locks for the NCAA tournament
It would take highly unlikely (though not mathematically impossible!) bad luck for any of the current top 6 to miss the NCAA tournament.
#1 St Cloud through #6 Denver should emerge from the weekend in the top 8, even if they fail to advance. It would be exceedingly unlikely for any of them to then fall to #12 or below while idle AND have conference tournaments won by enough low ranked teams that teams in the #12 range fail to make the NCAA tournament at-large.
#1 St Cloud St
#2 Nore Dame
#4 Ohio St
#5 Minnesota St
Almost a lock?
A similar case can be made for #7 Michigan, who should fall between #7-#12 if they lose. But, it’s just possible enough to hit #12 (or below) and miss that I don’t yet dare call the Wolverines a lock.
Control their own destiny
#8 Clarkson through #12 Providence can drop to the bubble with loss(es), or position themselves well with win(s). None of these teams would be outright eliminated if they fail to advance this weekend, but would become dependent on others’ performances and some luck.
#11 Penn St
Watching from the sidelines
#13 Minnesota has already been eliminated from the Big Ten tournament, so is not playing this weekend, and is likely to emerge from the weekend between #10-14. Nothing is likely to change for the Gophers this weekend–they’re not yet eliminated, but will be dependent on others’ performances and some luck.
Need to win
It’s tough to imagine #14 Nebraska-Omaha or below making the NCAA tournament unless they advance this weekend. The Mavericks show some chance of emerging #15, with a slim remaining chance of an at-large bid, from a winless weekend; but even that hope doesn’t seem to extend to #15 North Dakota and below.
How it works
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.
- PWR Rankings (CollegeHockeyRanked.com)
- Forecasted PWR by team wins (CollegeHockeyRanked.com)
- CHN PWR Rankings (CollegeHockeyNews.com)
- USCHO PWR Rankings (USCHO.com)
- Explanation of how PWR mimics NCAA tournament selection (CollegeHockeyNews.com)