Tag Archives: Notre Dame

How Cornell, Notre Dame, North Dakota, or Providence could miss the NCAAs

For each of Cornell, Notre Dame, North Dakota, and Providence, missing the tournament requires a poor PWR ranking because of the success of the others.

All but idle Providence control their own fates, being able to guarantee an at-large bid with a single semi-final win.

With no additional wins, each is likely to land somewhere in the 9-16 range in PWR. To miss the NCAA tournament requires landing at the bottom of that range, requiring other teams in that range to do well. In addition to the other teams in this list doing well, Penn State, Ohio State, Air Force, and Boston College all have opportunities to move ahead of one of these teams that remains winless.

How Cornell misses

Cornell misses in about 6% of the scenarios in which they lose their semifinal game.

Here’s a scenario that pushes Cornell down to #16, so out of contention:
https://goo.gl/hFduxl

In this scenario, Cornell’s RPI falls enough and teams just below Cornell are successful enough that they pass Cornell in RPI and take the PWR comparison. Notre Dame, North Dakota, Providence, Penn State, Ohio State, Air Force, and Boston College each take the comparison, moving Cornell from 51 comparisons won to 44, enough to fall to #16 and out of contention.

Note that in that scenario, only the WCHA is won by a team that doesn’t finish in the top 15 in PWR. If only some of those teams pass Cornell, such that Cornell lands somewhere in the #12-15 range, enough conferences would need to be won by teams outside the top 15 for Cornell to still miss it.

How North Dakota misses

North Dakota misses in about 11% of the scenarios in which they lose their semifinal game.

Here’s a scenario that pushes North Dakota down to #16, so out of contention:
https://goo.gl/o7E4Pz

In that scenario, North Dakota’s RPI falls enough and teams just below the Hawks are successful enough that they pass North Dakota in RPI and take the PWR comparison. Providence, Penn State, Ohio State, Air Force, and Boston College each take the comparison, moving North Dakota from 49 comparisons won to 44, enough to fall to #16 and out of contention.

Note that in that scenario, only the WCHA is won by a team that doesn’t finish in the top 15 in PWR. If only some of those teams pass North Dakota, such that UND lands somewhere in the #12-15 range, enough conferences would need to be won by teams outside the top 15 for North Dakota to still miss it.

How Notre Dame misses

Notre Dame misses in about 4% of the scenarios in which they lose their semifinal game.

Here’s a scenario that pushes Notre Dame down to #16, so out of contention:
https://goo.gl/cUZqLw

In that scenario, Notre Dame’s RPI falls enough and teams just below the Irish are successful enough that they pass Notre Dame in RPI and the PWR comparison. North Dakota, Providence, Penn State, Ohio State, Air Force, and Boston College each take the comparison, moving Notre Dame from 50 comparisons won to 45, enough to fall to #16 (due to losing the RPI tie-breaker w/Providence) and out of contention.

Note that in that scenario, only the WCHA is won by a team that doesn’t finish in the top 15 in PWR. If only some of those teams pass Notre Dame, such that Notre Dame lands somewhere in the #12-15 range, enough conferences would need to be won by teams outside the top 15 for Notre Dame to still miss it.

How Providence misses

Providence is the only idle team with a shot at an at-large bid, though its scenario highly resembles those of Cornell, North Dakota, and Notre Dame with a semifinal loss. Providence misses the NCAA tournament in about 4% of possible scenarios.

Here’s a scenario that pushes Providence down to #16, so out of contention:
https://goo.gl/NVhyEE

In that scenario, Providence’s RPI actually rises a bit but teams just below Providence are successful enough that they pass Providence in RPI and take the PWR comparison. Penn State, Ohio State, and Air Force each take the comparison, moving Providence from 47 comparisons won to 44, enough to fall to #16 and out of contention. (Note that Providence already loses the comparison to BC, but BC moves ahead of Providence in PWR ranking in this scenario on the basis of Providence’s decline in comparisons won).

Note that in that scenario, only the WCHA is won by a team that doesn’t finish in the top 15 in PWR. If only some of those teams pass Providence, such that Providence lands somewhere in the #12-15 range, enough conferences would need to be won by teams outside the top 15 for Providence to still miss it.

How Notre Dame could miss the NCAA tournament

Background

You may want to read the Background on how PWR matters for tournament selection and How the “can make it at-large teams” can make it sections of NCAA tournament possibilities (with less math), if you haven’t already.

How Notre Dame could miss

Given that Notre Dame is already #12, there are myriad ways to get the Irish to 12-13, totaling about 60% of total remaining scenarios (see Notre Dame PWR details).

Because that 12-13 range is the lowest the idle Irish can fall, the most important contributor to excluding Notre Dame is to have conference tournaments won by low-ranked teams. That chews up spots that could otherwise have gone to at-large teams, what we call “moving the cutline”.

For example, the following scenario has Minnesota-Duluth flip its comparison with Notre Dame to push the Irish down to 13. It then has 4 other conferences won by teams that wouldn’t have otherwise auto-qualified:

http://pwp.uscho.com/rankings/pairwise-predictor/?uniq=pwp_56e70bf082bcb

Those factors come together in about 7% of remaining scenarios.

Six teams have an opportunity to dramatically increase NCAA at-large odds this weekend

Likely in—#7 Yale, #8 Michigan, #9 Boston University, #10 Notre Dame

These teams are in good shape and likely to get an at-large bid if they win more than they lose in the coming two weekends.

If swept this weekend, their worst likely outcomes are falling to the 11-12 range, which would require keeping an eye out for potential additional downward movement and the cutlines (that is, how many of the at-large spots are taken away by autobids ranked lower than 16 in the PWR).

yale

michigan

bu

notredame

Of course, for Yale, Boston University, and Notre Dame, a pair of wins means another game. A loss in that game would probably result in giving back up some ground. But, that would still probably result in a safe position unless a lot of low ranked teams win their conference tournaments.

Note that Michigan’s position is slightly different because the Big Ten is still in regular season play. Even if swept by Penn State this weekend, the Wolverines would still have an additional game in the Big Ten tournament to either climb or fall. That worst possible outcome this weekend could drop Michigan as low as #12, from which another loss could push them out of position for an at-large bid.

Likely in if they win—#11 Harvard, #12 Mass.-Lowell

These teams would be in trouble if swept this weekend. Harvard’s likely fall could be to as low as 16, and Mass.-Lowell as low as 15. While it’s possible to climb a little bit while idle and have the cutline low enough to sneak into an at-large bid, it would be a bit of a longshot. I’ll also note that there are some extremely unlikely cases that could push these teams as low as 18 and 17 respectively if swept.

Sweeping, on the other hand, has the possibility of putting either in great shape — as high as 8 or 9 (though 9 to 11 more likely) with only 1 potential loss remaining.

harvard

uml

A few top teams are starting to look like locks for NCAA tournament

For the first time this season, the top PWR teams are starting to look like locks for the NCAA hockey tournament. Aside from current PWR ranking, the biggest determinant in how possible it is for a top team to fall out of contention is how many games it has remaining (because when looking for the worst case, each is a potential loss). Some teams are down to 4 regular season games remaining while others have as many as 8 (plus up to 2 conference tournament losses, in the worst case, for most teams).

While it’s tough to imagine #1 Quinnipiac or #2 St Cloud St losing out, including a pair in the conference tournament, even that probably wouldn’t be enough to bump them (dependent on how many conferences’ tournament champions come from outside the top of the PWR).

quinnipiac scsu

While #3 North Dakota is mathematically vulnerable, getting swept 4 more weekends (including into the conference tournament) seems unlikely.

und

With only 4 games remaining, #4 Boston College and #5 Providence are near locks (again, dependent on how many conferences’ tournament champions come from outside the top of the PWR).

bc providence

#6 Michigan is the highest ranked team with a significant chance of falling to the bubble, largely by virtue of having more games remaining than any other similarly ranked team.

michigan

Despite a brutal schedule of series against #5 Providence and #11 Boston University, #7 Notre Dame won’t fall much with only 4 regular season games remaining. But, 11-12 going into the conference tournament would leave the Irish vulnerable to being excluded with a poor performance.

notredame

With 6 regular season games remaining for each, it’s too early to call #8 Denver and #9 Nebraska-Omaha safe. It would take a slump for either to miss the NCAA tournament, but they do play each other head-to-head and the Mavericks have a particularly brutal schedule (#8 Denver, #3 North Dakota, and #2 St Cloud).

denver uno