Tag Archives: Rensselaer

With two weeks until conference tournaments begin, teams on the bubble need to get hot

Picking up where I left off yesterday, in A few top teams are starting to look like locks for the NCAA tournament, those teams currently ranked #10 and below in the PWR need to do some work to ensure being positioned for an NCAA tournament bid.

If #10 Yale and below lose more than they win, they risk going into conference tournaments in the teens and having to glue themselves to this blog. #11 Boston University and #12 Harvard have very similar outlooks to Yale, each with 4 scheduled regular season games remaining, and each wanting two wins to maintain their current position.

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#13 Mass.-Lowell can also maintain its current position, or slip slightly, with a pair of wins. But, that would leave them squarely on the bubble going into conference tournament play.

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Because the Big Ten regular season extends later into March, #14 Penn State has 6 games remaining. But, the Nittany Lions need 4 wins to make maintaining their #14 ranking the most likely outcome.

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#15 St. Lawrence has kept me in business this year, with a wild ride from #10 in my inaugural January article, down to as low as #27 at the end of January. I noted back in January that they would need to win about 9 of their last 10 to go into the conference tournament on the bubble. After a 5-0-1 run, the Saints are still positioned for a #13-14 ranking with no more losses, or a #15-16 ranking with one loss.

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The #16 Minnesota Gophers have 6 games remaining, and most likely need 5 wins just to maintain that ranking going into the conference tournament.

That should be no surprise, as all the way back on January 6, I published a chart on Minnesota that suggested Minnesota needed to win about 12 of its remaining 16 to end up ranked #15-16. Including two additional tournament games, Minnesota has gone 8-4 over that period, leaving them little room for additional losses.

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#17 Rensselaer, #18 Cornell, #19 Michigan Tech, #20 Miami, #21 Dartmouth, and #22 Clarkson all need to win out to be most likely to end the regular season in the #13-14 range.

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#23 Minnesota-Duluth has a bit more wiggle room, with a finish in the #14-16 range likely with even just 4 wins in its remaining 6 games. The Bulldogs have the notable RPI improvement possibility, and challenge, of playing #2 St. Cloud and #3 North Dakota on the road.

In late January, I suggested that the Bulldogs would need to win 8/9 out of their final 11 to end up in the 14-16 range. In the interim, they’ve delivered a 3-2 performance, so it’s a modest upside surprise that they might be able to afford two more losses.

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Weekend outlook – a new #1?, St. Lawrence, and the bubble watch

Could there be a new #1?

Coming off 3 ties in the last 6 games, Quinnipiac is just damaged enough that falling from #1 has become a realistic possibility. Losses to both Cornell and Colgate this weekend would make a fall to #3-#4 quite likely.

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What’s up with St. Lawrence?

After a 1-6 run dropped #27 St. Lawrence from #9 to #26, a pair of wins last weekend failed to advance them in the PWR (on the bottom end of my prediction for that scenario).

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However, you should think of those wins as creating additional ranking potential in the Saints, such that if they can keep winning we could see that potential unleashed in a big jump. Coming out of the weekend between #18 and #22 is reasonably likely if they can notch victories over Rensselaer and Union.

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Weekend bubble watch

Looking at #9 Nebraska-Omaha through #18 Minnesota State, only UNO and Dartmouth have really overachieved and underachieved to get there (and Dartmouth wouldn’t be at all surprising if you instead started looking on Jan 4, after a pair of wins vaulted them from #32 to #21).

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#9 Nebraska-Omaha should have a pretty quiet week off, though might slip a little (particularly if Notre Dame experiences success over Vermont and/or BU defeats Mass.).

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#10 Notre Dame and #11 Mass.-Lowell face typical outlooks for their positions — the possibility of a small rise with a pair of wins, or a bit steeper fall with a pair of losses.

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#12 Denver shouldn’t move much while idle, though might climb a little if Mass.-Lowell and/or Notre Dame falter.

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After tumbling a bit from a split last weekend, #13 Yale is unusual in this pack for facing a little more upside than downside potential.

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#14 Rensselaer is standing on the edge of a cliff — a couple wins should strengthen its position without much of a corresponding rise in PWR, while a couple of losses could send them plummeting toward 20. Looking at their PWR details, the elevated risk seems to come from a large number of ties in COP that will turn comparisons against them with losses to St. Lawrence and Clarkson.

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#15 Dartmouth, #16 Cornell, #17 Penn St, #18 Minnesota St all face noticeably more downside risk from losing than upside potential from winning this week.

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Methodology

Forecasts include the results of games played through Tuesday of this week.

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.

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