Tag Archives: Minnesota State

The mathematical long shots for at-large NCAA bids

While #24 Minnesota St is pretty unlikely to climb to an at-large position by the end of the regular season, with a perfect run they could get close enough that an at-large bid wouldn’t be out of the question with some additional success in the conference tournament and a little luck.

The same is true, with decreasing likelihood with the lower ranks, down to about #29 Ferris St.

#24 Minnesota State
#25 Robert Morris
#26 Northeastern
#27 Bowling Green
#29 Ferris State

(Note that #28 Union getting into position for an at-large bid is particularly unlikely — that doesn’t mean mathematically impossible, it just didn’t come up enough in the simulations to be noticeable).

mankato

ferrisst

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.

krach

pwr

Big PWR games of the week

#10 Minnesota appears in the Big PWR Game of the Week for a second time. Buoyed by a road split last weekend, the Gophers probably need a better performance hosting #33 Michigan State to avoid falling back down to the bubble.

Getting swept could incite numerous “Time to get rid of the stupid PWR?” forum threads, as Minnesota would likely fall 8-9 places.

minnesota_oneweek

The runner-up, #22 Northeastern, could provide a shock in the other direction by appearing on the bubble if they sweep #6 Boston University.

northeastern_oneweek

Finally, #1 Minnesota State faces the biggest threat to its ranking in weeks with a series hosting #5 Michigan Tech. The Mavericks need a sweep to hold off #2 North Dakota.

mankato_oneweek

michtech

Tournament cutlines and weekend PWR outlook

Welcome new visitors. You might want to start with my introductory post, Hello world, to see what this blog is about. It may not be for everyone.

Review of last week’s cutlines

I don’t report on the cutlines (the rankings above which teams are locks for the tournament and below which teams are unable to make the tournament at-large) weekly, because their movements are usually pretty intuitive. If I reported that a team needs to win 5 out 8 and it subsequently wins 2 games, it then needs to win 3 out of 6; the PWR curves usually look about same, just the curve labels change from “5 more wins” to “3 more wins” and so forth. To illustrate that, let’s quickly review a few of the teams that had charts in last week’s article (you may want to open its charts side-by-side for comparison if you can).

By winning 2 games, #4 Minnesota-Duluth made the old “win 0” curve drop off and now just needs 1 or 2 more wins to stay on or above the bubble.

minnesotaduluth_endofseason

#5 Bowling Green also won 2 games, so now just needs about 4 wins to go into conference tournaments on the bubble.

bowlinggreen_endofseason

Further down the chart, #14 Minnesota shifted all of its curves with a pair of wins — the Gophers now need about 6 or 7 wins out of 10 (consistent with last week’s 8 or 9 out of 12) to climb onto the bubble before conference tournaments.

minnesota_endofseason

#30 Bemidji State, which I said last week could only afford about 2 losses, has racked up 2 losses. They would pretty much need to win out for a shot at an at-large bid.

bemidjistate_endofseason

Interesting potential movements this weekend

First, is this the week #1 Minnesota State falls out of first? It only seems possible if they get swept (which KRACH gives about a 2.6% chance of happening), and even then someone nipping at their heels (North Dakota seems the only possibility) has to do well. You can’t see the “Win 1” curve because it’s in exactly the same place as “Win 2″—100% at 1.

mankato

The matchup of the weekend is definitely #12 Michigan vs #14 Minnesota. Neither has much upside potential, but if either sweeps the other will plummet up to 10 spots.

michigan minnesota

#15 Mass.-Lowell needs a sweep to hang on, but pair of losses could send them into the twenties.

masslowell

Remember when #16 Harvard was ranked 1st and I said that a “not particularly likely” bad 2nd half could still push them out? Two more losses this weekend could push them into the twenties.

harvard

#22 St Cloud State, mentioned last week as the lowest ranked team with a good chance of climbing into contention, can make up some ground this weekend. An unlikely sweep of #5 Minnesota-Duluth could catapult them up onto the bubble, while even a split could result in a climb of a position or two.

stcloudst

#26 Western Michigan is also poised for huge jump with an also unlikely sweep over #4 Nebraska-Omaha.

westernmichigan

Methodology

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.

Resources

Saturday morning update

This is a big article will in four parts:

  • Changes from yesterday
  • A new summary of the overall outlook
  • Specific scenarios that determine which of the at-large candidates make it
  • A table of all remaining PWR possibilities

As we near the end, I want to remind everyone that there’s a noticeably higher than other years chance that this information is wrong. The NCAA changed its selection process this year. While USCHO, CHN, and I have attempted to faithfully implement it and came up with identical PWR rankings, it wouldn’t be shocking if something different came out of the committee than what’s in our final PWR tables.

Changes from yesterday

Colgate is a lock
Cornell is out
Northeastern is out

Overall outlook

In

  • Minnesota
  • Boston College
  • Union
  • Ferris St
  • Wisconsin
  • Quinnipiac
  • Mass.-Lowell
  • Notre Dame
  • St Cloud (added Thursday)
  • Colgate (added Friday)

In the running at large

  • Providence (about 94%)
  • Michigan (about 17%)
  • Mankato (can also get auto bid, about 75% with loss)
  • North Dakota (about 28% with win)
  • Vermont (about 93%)

Can make it with a conference championship

  • New Hampshire
  • Ohio St
  • Denver (playing Miami)
  • Miami (playing Denver)
  • Robert Morris (playing Canisius)
  • Canisius (playing Robert Morris)

Scenarios of interest to at-large teams

North Dakota

UND makes it in about 28% of the scenarios in which it wins. UND seems to need:

UND and Mass.-Lowell win and either (Wisconsin wins) or (Canisius, Ferris St, and Miami win)

The Mass.-Lowell, Wisconsin, and Ferris St wins prevent the cut line from moving by giving auto bids to teams already above the cut. In the case of UML + Ferris, UND needs a little PWR help from the other two wins.

Minnesota State

Minnesota State is in with an auto bid with a win.

Minnesota State also makes it in about 75% of scenarios in which it loses. Those scenarios are a bit complex.

Mankato misses if:
Ferris St, Ohio State, New Hampshire win and (North Dakota, or Canisius, or Denver win)

or

Ferris St, Ohio State, Mass.-Lowell, North Dakota, Canisius, and Miami win

Michigan

Michigan makes it in about 17% of scenarios.

Michigan is in if:
Wisconsin and Mass.-Lowell win and UND either ties or loses.

Wisconsin and Mass.-Lowell wins prevent the cut-line from moving, and a UND tie should keep them below Michigan in the PWR.

Providence

Providence makes it in about 94% of scenarios.

Providence only misses if:
New Hampshire, Mankato, Colgate, and Ohio State win.

Vermont

Vermont makes it in about 93% of scenarios.

Vermont only misses if:
Ohio State, New Hampshire, Western Michigan, Ferris St, Robert Morris, and Miami win

OR

Ohio State, New Hampshire, Mankato, and Union win

Both scenarios require Ohio State and New Hampshire to move the cutline; the other games are about keeping other teams from taking all the available at-large bids.

Remaining PWR possibilities

Team PWR Possibilities
Overall By number of wins
UMN #1 100.0%
Tournament invites: 100.0%
n/a
Boston College #2 91.1%
#3 8.9%
Tournament invites: 100.0%
n/a
Union #2 8.9%
#3 91.1%
Tournament invites: 100.0%
PWR Win 0 Win 1
#2   17.7%
#3 100.0% 82.3%
Tournament invites: 100.0% 100.0%
Ferris State #4 74.0%
#5 22.4%
#6 0.0%
#7 3.6%
Tournament invites: 100.0%
PWR Win 0 Win 1
#4 47.9% 100.0%
#5 44.8%  
#6    
#7 7.3%  
Tournament invites: 100.0% 100.0%
UW #4 25.0%
#5 50.0%
#6 25.0%
Tournament invites: 100.0%
PWR Win 0 Win 1
#4   50.0%
#5 50.0% 50.0%
#6 50.0%  
Tournament invites: 100.0% 100.0%
Quinnipiac #6 75.0%
#7 25.0%
Tournament invites: 100.0%
n/a
Mass.-Lowell #4 1.0%
#5 27.6%
#6 0.0%
#7 71.4%
Tournament invites: 100.0%
PWR Win 0 Win 1
#4   2.1%
#5   55.2%
#6    
#7 100.0% 42.7%
Tournament invites: 100.0% 100.0%
Notre Dame #8 100.0%
Tournament invites: 100.0%
n/a
Providence #10 12.5%
#11 38.5%
#12 36.5%
#13 12.5%
Tournament invites: 93.8%
n/a
SCSU #9 100.0%
Tournament invites: 100.0%
n/a
Michigan #14 64.6%
#15 34.4%
#16 1.0%
Tournament invites: 16.7%
n/a
Mankato #10 50.0%
#11 0.0%
#12 2.6%
#13 45.3%
#14 2.1%
Tournament invites: 87.5%
PWR Win 0 Win 1
#10   100.0%
#11    
#12 5.2%  
#13 90.6%  
#14 4.2%  
Tournament invites: 75.0% 100.0%
UND #13 2.1%
#14 31.3%
#15 4.2%
#16 18.2%
#17 18.8%
#18 17.2%
#19 8.3%
Tournament invites: 9.4%
PWR Win 0 Win 1
#13   6.3%
#14   93.8%
#15 6.3%  
#16 27.3%  
#17 28.1%  
#18 25.8%  
#19 12.5%  
Tournament invites: 0.0% 28.1%
Vermont #11 11.5%
#12 49.5%
#13 39.1%
Tournament invites: 92.7%
n/a
Colgate #10 37.5%
#11 50.0%
#12 11.5%
#13 1.0%
Tournament invites: 100.0%
PWR Win 0 Win 1
#10 25.0% 50.0%
#11 50.0% 50.0%
#12 22.9%  
#13 2.1%  
Tournament invites: 100.0% 100.0%
Cornell #16 8.3%
#17 34.4%
#18 41.1%
#19 16.1%
Tournament invites: 0.0%
n/a
New Hampshire #14 2.1%
#15 10.9%
#16 12.0%
#17 13.5%
#18 36.5%
#19 25.0%
Tournament invites: 50.0%
PWR Win 0 Win 1
#14   4.2%
#15   21.9%
#16   24.0%
#17   27.1%
#18 50.0% 22.9%
#19 50.0%  
Tournament invites: 0.0% 100.0%
Northeastern #15 36.5%
#16 40.1%
#17 18.2%
#18 5.2%
Tournament invites: 0.0%
n/a
Western Michigan #21 66.7%
#22 33.3%
Tournament invites: 0.0%
PWR Win 0 Win 1
#21 50.0% 100.0%
#22 50.0%  
Tournament invites: 0.0% 0.0%
Ohio State #15 14.1%
#16 20.3%
#17 15.1%
#18 0.0%
#19 27.6%
#20 22.9%
Tournament invites: 50.0%
PWR Win 0 Win 1
#15   28.1%
#16   40.6%
#17   30.2%
#18    
#19 54.2% 1.0%
#20 45.8%  
Tournament invites: 0.0% 100.0%
Bowling Green #24 14.1%
#25 8.3%
#26 77.6%
Tournament invites: 0.0%
n/a
AA #27 100.0%
Tournament invites: 0.0%
n/a
Denver #23 50.0%
#24 0.0%
#25 50.0%
Tournament invites: 50.0%
PWR Win 0 Win 1
#23   100.0%
#24    
#25 100.0%  
Tournament invites: 0.0% 100.0%
Mercyhurst #32 100.0%
Tournament invites: 0.0%
n/a
Miami #29 27.6%
#30 22.4%
#31 50.0%
Tournament invites: 50.0%
PWR Win 0 Win 1
#29   55.2%
#30   44.8%
#31 100.0%  
Tournament invites: 0.0% 100.0%
Michigan State #37 18.8%
#38 81.3%
Tournament invites: 0.0%
n/a
Robert Morris #44 50.0%
#45 0.0%
#46 0.0%
#47 0.0%
#48 50.0%
Tournament invites: 50.0%
PWR Win 0 Win 1
#44   100.0%
#45    
#46    
#47    
#48 100.0%  
Tournament invites: 0.0% 100.0%
Canisius #44 7.3%
#45 21.9%
#46 14.6%
#47 6.3%
#48 50.0%
Tournament invites: 50.0%
PWR Win 0 Win 1
#44   14.6%
#45   43.8%
#46   29.2%
#47   12.5%
#48 100.0%  
Tournament invites: 0.0% 100.0%
Niagara #49 21.9%
#50 78.1%
Tournament invites: 0.0%
n/a
Penn State #51 49.5%
#52 50.5%
Tournament invites: 0.0%
n/a

Friday morning update

With the first two Big Ten games down, there are only minor changes to the overall tournament outlook.

St Cloud St now appears to be a lock for an at-large bid.

Michigan has taken on the expected “0 win” scenario from previous columns (about a 22% chance of making the tournament at-large).

Each of the bubble teams — Mankato, UND, Vermont, Colgate, and Cornell — improved their one win at-large chances by about 10% (idle Vermont’s overall chances increased by about 10%).

A more in-depth look at the at-large chances for teams on the bubble

With this year’s simplification of PWR (primarily moving the good wins bonus into RPI), there are far fewer fluky outcomes that push teams up or down. Teams trying to make the tournament from the #12-16 range are looking for two things:

  • maximizing the number of teams that make the tournament on the basis of PWR
  • maximizing their own PWR

The first is accomplished by minimizing the number of autobids that go to teams with lower PWRs.

Because of the new PWR’s simplicity, the second is usually accomplished by teams with rankings near the team in question is losing. If the team in question wins, it is helped by teams around it losing to clear a path. If the team in question loses, it is mostly focused on teams below it also losing so as not to be overtaken.

PWR Rankings (SiouxSports.com)

Autobids to high ranking teams

If you think of the tournament as having 6 autobids (for conference tournament winners) and 10 at-large bids, then each autobid that goes a team that would have made it at-large essentially frees up the at-large bid for the next lower ranked team.

So, if four autobids go to teams that otherwise would have made the tournament, then #14 in PWR will get a bid. If only two autobids go to teams that otherwise would have made the tournament, then only through #12 in PWR will get a bid.

So, the teams on the at-large bubble of #12-#16 want as many conferences tournaments as possible to be won by teams that were going to make the tournament regardless. Those are:

Big Ten

  • #1 Minnesota
  • #5 Wisconsin

ECAC

  • #3 Union
  • #6 Quinnipiac

WCHA

  • #4 Ferris State

Hockey East

  • #7 Mass.-Lowell
  • #8 Notre Dame
  • #9 Providence

#2 Boston College and #10 St Cloud St are idle.

As teams like #11 Michigan and the teams featured in this article advance to the point that they’re pretty much guaranteed a tournament spot, it may similarly benefit the featured teams for those teams to continue to succeed and claim conference championships. However, the Atlantic Hockey tournament autobid guarantees that at most the top 15 in PWR will make it, so teams featured in this article have to be cheering for at least some of the others to lose.

Minnesota State

#12 Minnesota State makes the tournament in 54% of scenarios in which it wins 1 game and 6.4% of scenarios in which it has no wins.

Minnesota State is most helped by #16 Cornell, #17 New Hampshire, #13 North Dakota, and #15 Colgate losing (note that #14 Vermont is not playing).

Minnesota State, like all teams featured in this article, is also helped by autobids going to highly ranked teams as described above.

North Dakota

#13 UND makes the tournament in 42% of scenarios in which it wins 1 game and .5% of scenarios in which it has no wins (a tie in the consolation game seems to be required).

Because the NCHC has a consolation game, UND could exit the tournament with one win either by winning then losing, or by losing then winning. The two have slightly different outlooks.

If UND wins its first game, it makes the tournament in about 46% of scenarios in which it loses the championship game. Most useful to UND in this situation seems to be #12 Minnesota State, #16 Cornell, #15 Colgate, and #11 Michigan losing (note that #14 Vermont is not playing).

If UND loses its first game, it makes the tournament in about .5% of scenarios in which it ties the consolation game or about 36% of scenarios in which it wins the consolation game. Most useful to UND in this situation seems to be #17 New Hampshire, #21 Ohio State, #16 Cornell, and #15 Colgate losing (note again that #14 Vermont is not playing).

North Dakota, like all teams featured in this article, is also helped by autobids going to highly ranked teams as described above.

Vermont

#14 Vermont has no opportunity for an auto bid but makes the tournament at large in 69% of scenarios.

Because Vermont is idle, it’s counting on others to clear it a path. Its own PWR is most helped by losses from #11 Michigan, #15 Colgate, #16 Cornell, #12 Mankato, and #13 North Dakota.

Vermont, like all teams featured in this article, is also helped by autobids going to highly ranked teams as described above.

Colgate

#15 Colgate makes the tournament in 77% of scenarios in which it wins a game, but only 2% of scenarios in which it has no wins.

Colgate is most helped by #12 Minnesota State, #16 Cornell, #13 North Dakota, and #17 New Hampshire losing (remember that #14 Vermont is idle).

Colgate, like all teams featured in this article, is also helped by autobids going to highly ranked teams as described above.

Cornell

#16 Cornell makes the tournament in 85% of scenarios in which it wins a game, but under 1% of scenarios in which it has no wins.

Cornell is most helped by #15 Colgate and #13 North Dakota losing (remember that #14 Vermont is idle).

Cornell, like all teams featured in this article, is also helped by autobids going to highly ranked teams as described above.