Category Archives: KRACH

KRACH predicts the NCAA tournament

Everyone’s favorite college hockey ranking scheme, KRACH, has the feature that it can be used to predict the likelihood of a team winning a matchup against another team. So, it is possible to use KRACH likelihoods to determine the likelihood of each team advancing through each game of the NCAA hockey bracket.

KRACHWestGame 1Game 2
Game 3
Game 4
768.0431. St Cloud St91.92%66.64%48.55%34.19%
67.5264. American Int’l8.08%1.52%0.30%0.05%
284.913. Ohio St48.92%15.36%7.70%3.65%
297.5052. Denver51.08%16.47%8.43%4.08%
359.9521. Massachusetts63.42%36.72%14.74%7.83%
207.5864. Harvard36.58%16.18%4.62%1.84%
249.2973. Notre Dame47.69%21.90%7.05%3.11%
273.4192. Clarkson52.31%25.20%8.60%3.99%
392.3781. Minnesota St65.86%39.54%22.02%10.13%
203.3694. Providence34.14%14.96%5.97%1.88%
230.8413. Cornell44.51%18.94%8.12%2.77%
287.7612. Northeastern55.49%26.56%12.79%4.98%
438.3721. Minnesota Duluth70.53%45.04%26.81%13.03%
183.1974. Bowling Green29.47%12.56%4.82%1.42%
204.1913. Arizona St41.87%15.89%6.51%2.05%
283.4632. Quinnipiac58.13%26.51%12.96%5.00%

On paper, there’s a tremendous advantage to being the #1 seed overall. Not only does St Cloud St have, by about 2-1, the highest KRACH overall; but, they’re also matched up against the lowest KRACH-rated team in the tournament, Atlantic Hockey champ American International. That gap gives the Huskies a formidable 92% chance of winning their opening game, a 67% chance of making the Frozen Four, and a 34% chance of winning the National Championship.

The remaining three regions are reasonably balanced, with each having something between a 17%-22% chance of producing the national champ.

The 1 seeds are reasonably strong, as rated by KRACH, with a 65% chance overall that one of them becomes the national champ.

KRACH predicts the NCAA tournament

Everyone’s favorite college hockey ranking scheme, KRACH, is also a favorite way to predict the odds of each team winning a game. As in past years, I used KRACH to predict each tournament team’s odds of winning it’s first round game, advancing out of the regional, winning a semifinal game, and winning the national championship.

For the first time in modern NCAA tournament history (the modern bracket came into existence when the field was expanded to 16 in 2003), all four 4-seeds are conference tournament champs who otherwise wouldn’t have been selected at-large.

That results in a very balanced bracket, minimizing “regions of death” for the top seeds.
KRACH gives all the 1-seeds a 70-85% chance of winning their opening round game. In fact, it further gives all four an 11-20% chance of taking the national championship. Cumulatively, straight KRACH probabilities result in a 63% chance of the tournament being won by a 1-seed, but only a 3.5% chance of it being won by a 4-seed.

The 2-3 seeds also have similar outlooks with most having a 2-3% chance of winning the national championship. The only exceptions are that slightly stronger performance out of the West this year gives 2-seed Minnesota St a 6% chance of taking the national championship, and 2-seed Denver almost a 10% chance.

West Game 1 Game 2 (Region Champ) Game 3 (Frozen four semifinal) Game 4 (National Champ)
1. St Cloud St 85.46% 54.96% 33.36% 20.06%
4. Air Force 14.54% 3.43% 0.74% 0.16%)
2. Minnesota St 56.16% 24.72% 12.13% 5.90%
3. Duluth 43.84% 16.89% 7.27% 3.11%
1. Ohio St 71.15% 39.11% 19.77% 10.62%
4. Princeton 28.85% 9.65% 2.90% 0.95%
2. Denver 63.40% 35.53% 17.94% 9.62%
3. Penn St 36.60% 15.71% 5.90% 2.39%
1. Cornell 68.25% 43.77% 24.16% 12.58%
4. Boston U 31.75% 14.42% 5.39% 1.83%
2. Michigan 54.07% 23.56% 10.19% 4.06%
3. Northeastern 45.93% 18.25% 7.22% 2.60%
1. Notre Dame 79.99% 55.83% 35.06% 19.82%
4. Michigan Tech 20.01% 7.33% 2.23% 0.56%
2. Providence 48.38% 17.48% 7.33% 2.62%
3. Clarkson 51.62% 19.37% 8.42% 3.13%

A new #1 in KRACH

Unlike PWR (which mimics the tournament selection process) , KRACH is just for fun. But, a lot of people like it and it’s what I use to estimate team strength when simulating game outcomes.

When writing yesterday’s post, I noticed there’s a new king of the hill in PWR – #2 North Dakota.

Only once this season has #1 Minnesota State been knocked out of first place in KRACH, on Dec. 29 by then second-in-PWR Harvard. The following week Harvard also took over first place in PWR. Harvard’s reign was short-lived, as Minnesota State took back the top rankings in both PWR and KRACH on January 12 and have held both until this week.