Tag Archives: Vermont

Who’s in position for the NCAAs with four weeks left in the regular season?

With most conferences having just four weeks of games remaining before their tournaments begin (the Big Ten has five), the field is tightening up a bit compared to my first look at the cutlines.

Still, no one is mathematically a lock — leaving the regular season in the 10-14 range, as is possible for even the top teams, is not safe because each can accumulate two additional losses and no wins in the conference tournament (only in the Big Ten conference tournament is the worst case scenario exiting immediately with a single loss and no wins).

#1 Quinnipiac
#2 St Cloud St
#3 North Dakota
#4 Boston College
#5 Providence
#6 Michigan
#7 Notre Dame
#8 Boston University
#9 Nebraska-Omaha
#10 Yale
#11 Harvard
#12 Denver

Through #12 Denver should be safe for an at-large bid unless they slump and sink below .500 in their remaining games. Teams near the top have more margin for mistakes than near the bottom.

qu

denver

From #13 Mass.-Lowell through #26 Minnesota-Duluth can position themselves for an at-large bid, with those near the bottom requiring near perfect records.

#13 Mass.-Lowell
#14 Cornell
#15 Penn St
#16 Dartmouth
#17 Clarkson
#18 Michigan Tech
#19 Robert Morris
#20 Rensselaer
#21 Minnesota St
#22 Minnesota
#23 Bowling Green
#24 Miami
#25 St. Lawrence
#26 Minnesota-Duluth

masslowell

umd

#27 Northeastern and below would need near perfection and some luck to sneak into position for an at-large bid. Even then, success in the conference tournament would be required to not fall out of position. These teams should plan to do well in their conference tournaments.

#27 Northeastern
#28 Ferris St
#29 Union
#30 Northern Michigan
#31 Air Force
#32 Holy Cross
#33 Bemidji St
#34 New Hampshire
#35 Vermont
#36 Western Michigan
#37 Ohio St
#38 Wisconsin
#39 Mercyhurst
#40 RIT
#41 Merrimack
#42 Bentley
#43 Connecticut
#44 Colgate
#45 Massachusetts
#46 Alaska Anchorage
#47 Michigan St
#48 Maine
#49 Colorado College
#50 Army
#51 Lake Superior
#52 Princeton
#53 Brown
#54 Sacred Heart
#55 Canisius
#56 Alaska
#57 Alabama-Huntsville
#58 Niagara
#59 Arizona St
#60 American International

northeastern

These lines are approximate because it’s entirely possible for a currently lower ranked team to have a better chance of a higher finish than a higher ranked team. Individual teams’ records, remaining games, and opponents can result in different potentials. For example, most of the teams in the 30s have literally no chance of rising onto the bubble, see #35 Vermont, but then you occasionally stumble across a chart like #36 Western Michigan.

vermont

westernmichigan

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.

Resources

Tonight’s headlines – PWR effects of Hockey East games

The bulk of games are tonight, so there will plenty of PWR tables, simulations, blogs, and tweets about PWR implications of the outcomes. I’ll try to give you a preview of some of those in advance.

These claims are a little less certain than my usual articles because they involve a fair amount of human tweaking, tallying, and writing. So, I may have introduced some error, so I’ll use the words “appear to be” a lot.

Like the ECAC, Hockey East has quite a few teams near the bubble. However, the outcomes of their games tonight have far less impact on other teams’ scenarios than do the ECAC teams’.

  • Quinnipiac appears to be able to secure an at-large bid with just one additional win if Boston University and Mass.-Lowell win tonight.
  • Harvard appears to move into the position of needing at least one win to still have a chance at an at-large bid if New Hampshire and Vermont win tonight.

Plus the effects on the playing Hockey East teams themselves, previously discussed:

  • New Hampshire appears to need to win the conference tournament to advance
  • Mass.-Lowell appears to need at least one win to advance, so losing tonight would eliminate them
  • Vermont appears to need at least one win to advance, so losing tonight would eliminate them

 

Tonight’s headlines – PWR effects of ECAC outcomes

The bulk of games are tonight, so there will plenty of PWR tables, simulations, blogs, and tweets about PWR implications of the outcomes. I’ll try to give you a preview of some of those in advance.

These claims are a little less certain than my usual articles because they involve a fair amount of human tweaking, tallying, and writing. So, I may have introduced some error, so I’ll use the words “appear to be” a lot.

I’m starting with the effects of ECAC outcomes because the large number of bubble teams in the ECAC makes those among the most interesting.

  • Minnesota appears not to be able to make it at-large with 0 wins if Harvard wins today.
  • Boston College appears to be guaranteed an at-large bid if Harvard and St. Lawrence win today.
  • Mass.-Lowell appears not to be able to make it at-large (though could still be alive in their own tournament) if Harvard wins today.
  • Yale appears not to be able to make the tournament if Quinnipiac and Colgate win today.
  • Vermont appears not to be able to make it at-large (though could still be alive in their own tournament) if Harvard and Colgate win today.

Plus the effects on the playing ECAC teams themselves, previously discussed:

  • St. Lawrence appears to need to win its conference tournament to get a bid
  • Colgate appears to need at least one win to make the tournament, so would be eliminated with a loss tonight

 

A look at the bubble teams

If you haven’t read them yet, you might want to start with my articles from earlier this week, Who’s a lock for the NCAA tournament? and Who might fall out of contention for the NCAA tournament? Having visited those two extremes, this article goes into a little more depth on the teams in between.

Background on how PWR matters for tournament selection

Because we get lots of new readers during the tournament season, here’s some background information that my posts generally assume you know:

  • The PWR rankings are not a poll or computer model, but are instead an implementation of the same process the NCAA uses to select its tournament participants. They have correctly predicted the NCAA tournament participants for a decade or two.
  • Each conference gets to send one tournament winner to the NCAA tournament. So, we don’t need to look at the PWR of a team that wins its conference tournament.
  • The remaining 10 slots are given to top teams as ranked by the process implemented in PWR. So, PWR ranks 1-10 are in for sure; but, for 11-16 to make it requires some of the autobids to have gone to teams ranked above them (e.g. if an autobid goes to the team ranked #3, then an extra slot is open for the team ranked #11, and so on).

Because of that structure, we think of teams that are going to finish in the 12-15 range as “on the bubble”. Teams’ prospects are dependent not only on their final ranking, but also on how many lower ranked teams wins conference tournaments. Bubble teams’ chances for an at-large bid increase as slots are freed up by more conference tournaments being won by teams that would have made the NCAA tournament at-large.

A look at the bubble teams

#9 Providence would be on the bubble if eliminated from their conference tournament this weekend. They’d then need a bit of luck to make the NCAA tournament, needing to either climb a bit while idle and/or have a lot of conference tournaments won by top ranked teams.

If Providence wins this weekend, they’ll be in pretty good shape. A semifinal loss would probably push them back down to the high end of the bubble, while a win would nearly lock up a bid.

providence

#10 Boston College is in a very similar position to Providence. They’d be on the bubble if eliminated this weekend and would be watching the other conference tournaments carefully.

If they advance this weekend, they’ll be in pretty good shape — favored, though probably not mathematically secure, for an NCAA bid.

bostoncollege

#11 Bowling Green would likely be pushed down below the bubble if eliminated this weekend. It would take a lot of luck to climb back onto the bubble while idle and have most of the conference tournaments won by top ranked teams.

If Bowling Green advances, they would still probably need a semifinal win to stay on the bubble.

bowlinggreen

#12 Quinnipiac has a chance of staying on the bubble if eliminated this week, but would have to watch future tournament results carefully.

If they advance, another win would probably be needed to stay atop the bubble.

quinnipiac

#13 Yale is likely to be pushed just below the bubble if eliminated this weekend, but would stand a slim chance of climbing onto it dependent on other tournament results.

Advancing this weekend would position them well, but not secure a spot in the NCAAs. With an additional win, Yale would be favored to secure a spot.

yale

#14 Minnesota hasn’t entered conference tournament play yet, so does not face elimination. Getting swept this weekend would put them in a bad spot for an at-large bid, but would also probably force them to play in the Big Ten quarterfinals. The extra game would give them the chance to go 2-1 in the conference tournament and possibly get back onto the bubble.

minnesota

#15 Mass.-Lowell is likely to end well below the bubble if eliminated this weekend. It would take a very unlikely confluence of events for them to move into an at-large bid from that position.

Advancing puts them in a precarious spot on the bubble, such that a subsequent loss would probably push them off.

masslowell

#16 St Cloud St is currently at 11-12-1 so needs one more win than loss in its remaining games to meet the .500 requirement for consideration for the NCAA tournament. So, the Huskies won’t be considered if eliminated this weekend. If they advance (either 2-1 or 2-0), they’ll be in a decent bubble position, but probably need at least one more win.

stscloudst

#17 Harvard will be below the bubble if eliminated this weekend and it’s very unlikely they could slide into position for an at-large bid while idle.

Advancing would put them right on the bubble, such that they’d probably want another win to stay there.

harvard

#18 Colgate is out if eliminated this weekend. Advancing puts them on the low end of the bubble, such that a subsequent loss would probably push them off. Best to advance and win one more.

colgate

#19 Vermont is very likely out if eliminated this weekend. Advancing would put them right on the low end of the bubble, such that another win would probably be required to make the tournament at-large.

vermont

#20 Michigan is not yet in its conference tournament so is not facing elimination this weekend. Two losses would likely put an at-large bid out of reach, while two wins would bring the bubble within sight. A first round bye, though, would reduce their opportunities to climb in the PWR.

michigan

#21 Bemidji State is out if eliminated this weekend. It’s possible, though not particularly likely, that Bemidji State could position itself for an at-large bid by advancing to the conference tournament final and losing.

bemidjist

#22 St. Lawrence is almost identical to Bemidji State. They’re out if they lose this weekend. It’s possible, though not particularly likely, that St. Lawrence could position itself for an at-large bid by advancing to the conference tournament final and losing.

stlawrence

#23 Dartmouth is out if they fail to advance. Dartmouth is better positioned than the teams above it to get an at-large bid by winning a few games then losing the conference final. Winning the conference tournament would be a safer bet.

dartmouth

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.