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Bracketology: Home Stretch

It’s the last week of calm before a mad dash to the finish ensues.

Northeastern hosts Boston College with hardware, bragging rights and PWR consideration on the line in the Beanpot Final
John Quackenbos, BC Athletics

Welcome back to The Ice Garden’s Bracketology column. You can follow along from home using the PWR calculator the BCI’s Grant Salzano created from scratch here, on the site you can edit past and future results to see where the rankings would end up.

We are coming down to the wire and the top seems pretty settled, but there are still a lot of teams with an outside chance of sneaking in at the bottom.

Home Ice Locks

Still locked.

Wisconsin

Nothing has changed for Wisconsin and no one stepped up to join them yet.

Home Ice Contenders

These are the teams that are in line to host alongside Wisconsin.

Boston College

St. Lawrence

Minnesota-Duluth

Clarkson

Minnesota

No one did anything to standout but none of them lost either. Duluth will get to play North Dakota while Boston College gets Northeastern for the Beanpot finals. Wins by the Bulldogs and Eagles would put them in the drivers seat for a home ice spot. Clarkson and Minnesota meanwhile are slowly slipping out of hosting duties.

At Large Favorites

There is a huge disconnect between the top 6 and the rest of the country, so it is doubtful anyone here or below will be hosting.

Colgate

Robert Morris

Cornell

Quinnipiac

Princeton

Colgate is back in the conversation, while idle Quinnipiac slipped. Cornell and Robert Morris are in control of their destiny. Princeton moves up here with the flipping of a few PWR comparisons.

Auto Bid Thieves

These teams, while talented, are unlikely to garner the PWR comparisons they need to get in without winning their tournaments. Each has shown, both in the past and this season, flashes that could propel them into some glass slippers.

Northeastern

North Dakota

Boston University lost to lowly Merrimack to put their chances of hosting a conference quarterfinal in serious risk. They will still be the hosts of the Hockey East finals, but their loss to Boston College in the Beanpot calls into question their ability to pull off an upset. North Dakota could jump back in with four games against Duluth and Minnesota, while Northeastern has a pair against Boston College.

As Is Current Bracket

1. Wisconsin v 8. Robert Morris

2. St. Lawrence v 7. Cornell

3. Minnesota-Duluth v 6. Clarkson

4. Boston College v 5. Minnesota

The only change from last week is Clarkson dropping below Minnesota. While this would create some great matchups in the middle of the bracket, this is three flights and the committee will never let it happen unfortunately.

Likely Current Bracket

1. Wisconsin v 8. Robert Morris

2. St. Lawrence v 7. Cornell

3. Minnesota-Duluth v 5. Minnesota

4. Boston College v 6. Clarkson

Flip Minnesota and Clarkson back to where they were last week and keep it at only one flight since Robert Morris will be flying to anyone in the bracket. Any fluctuations in the bottom would likely only affect BC and St. Lawrence as the only team in striking distance from out west is North Dakota. In this case, they would bus to Minnesota if the Gophers host or fly to anyone else.

Matchup of the Week

Boston College @ Northeastern (2/7)

It’s the Beanpot final. No game would top it and it has big PWR implications. BC wants to lock up a home ice spot while the Huskies dare to keep their fragile Cinderella hopes alive.