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NCAA by the numbers: Who’s in and who’s out of the playoffs with two weeks left

Two titles are locked up, but there’s plenty more to play for

Michelle Jay

This week a few more positions were locked up, including our first two top seeds. With only two weeks to go for most of the conferences, margins are getting slimmer for teams to finalize their playoff positions.

One of the first orders of business is explaining how we arrive at this data. Each conference has a set number of in-conference games each team plays based on the number of members. This varies by conference: ECAC teams only play two each, while Hockey East teams play three, and the WCHA and CHA play four each.

This gives each team a maximum point total at the start of the season — go undefeated and you match that; each loss or tie reduces your max. You can calculate a team’s current max by adding their current total of points to their games remaining times points per win. Once a team’s maximum point total is too high to be caught by a certain team the leading team can no longer finish below them, or vice versa. The number of points either won by Team A or lost by Team B is the magic number for that comparison to be decided.

CHA

With three weeks remaining for this conference there is still a lot left settle, but things are settling as they are expected to.

CHA (Win = 2 pts, Tie = 1 pt)

Team Win Loss Tie Points Games Remaining Max Points Highest Position Lowest Position
Team Win Loss Tie Points Games Remaining Max Points Highest Position Lowest Position
Robert Morris 10 3 3 23 4 31 1 3
Mercyhurst 9 5 2 20 4 28 1 4
Syracuse 8 6 2 18 4 26 1 5
RIT 7 8 1 15 4 23 2 6
Penn State 4 8 4 12 4 20 3 6
Lindenwood 3 11 2 8 4 16 4 6

The CHA is one of the everyone-makes-the-playoffs conferences. None of these teams are going to be able to make the NCAA tournament without the autobid, though, so winning the CHA regular season will give the winner the best chance to take that bid.

ECAC

Three teams have clinched home ice and three have been eliminated. The rest of the ECAC is up for grabs for now.

ECAC (Win = 2 pts, Tie = 1 pt)

Team Win Loss Tie Points Games Remaining Max Points Highest Position Lowest Position
Team Win Loss Tie Points Games Remaining Max Points Highest Position Lowest Position
Princeton 15 2 3 33 2 37 1 3
Cornell 15 3 2 32 2 36 1 4
Clarkson 15 5 0 30 2 34 1 4
Colgate 13 4 3 29 2 33 2 4
St. Lawrence 8 7 5 21 2 25 5 8
RPI 10 9 1 21 2 25 5 8
Harvard 9 9 2 20 2 24 5 8
Quinnipiac 9 9 2 20 2 24 5 8
Yale 6 12 2 14 2 18 9 9
Dartmouth 4 15 1 9 2 13 9 12
Brown 2 16 2 6 2 10 10 12
Union 2 17 1 5 2 9 10 12

The ECAC is the biggest conference in the country with 12 teams. They have a format where the top four host, next four travel, and the bottom four stay home. They look to put three to four teams into the NCAA tournament.

Ivy League

Princeton has won this going away. Since this is not a playoff league the seeding doesn’t have a factor on anything but bragging rights.

This league is part of the ECAC and does not have an autobid, but there is a lot of history among these teams.

Ivy League (Win = 2 pts, Tie = 1 pt)

Team Win Loss Tie Points Games Remaining Max Points Highest Position Lowest Position
Team Win Loss Tie Points Games Remaining Max Points Highest Position Lowest Position
Princeton 8 0 2 18 0 18 1 1
Cornell 7 2 1 15 0 15 2 2
Harvard 4 3 1 9 2 13 3 4
Yale 3 5 0 6 2 10 3 5
Brown 1 7 0 2 2 6 5 6
Dartmouth 1 7 0 2 2 6 4 6

Hockey East

Northeastern has locked the top seed and, barring a massive meltdown, the regular season crown. Boston College has locked home ice, and Boston University is on the cusp. The seeding for the four traveling teams will require a lot more information to sort out.

Hockey East (Win = 2 pts, Tie = 1 pt)

Team Win Loss Tie Points Games Remaining Max Points Highest Position Lowest Position
Team Win Loss Tie Points Games Remaining Max Points Highest Position Lowest Position
Northeastern 20 3 2 42 2 46 1 1
Boston College 19 7 0 38 1 40 2 3
Boston University 14 5 6 34 2 38 2 3
Providence 14 9 2 30 2 34 4 5
Merrimack 12 9 4 28 2 32 4 5
New Hampshire 10 14 2 22 1 24 6 7
Connecticut 9 13 4 22 1 24 6 7
Vermont 8 15 3 19 1 21 8 9
Maine 7 15 4 18 1 20 8 9
Holy Cross 1 24 1 3 1 5 10 10

Hockey East is another conference where teams will miss the playoffs — the bottom two. It has been a top-heavy conference in recent years, like most of the conferences.

WCHA

There are now three separate tiers in the WCHA. The top seed is a two-horse race between the usual suspects. The middle tier is a three-team mess that is likely only competitive between two teams for the last two home ice spots. The bottom two are fighting to avoid having to play whichever comes in second — Minnesota or Wisconsin.

WCHA (Win = 3 pts, SOW = 2 pts, SOL= 1 pt)

Team Win Loss Tie SOW Points Games Remaining Max Points Highest Position Lowest Position
Team Win Loss Tie SOW Points Games Remaining Max Points Highest Position Lowest Position
Wisconsin 18 4 0 0 54 2 60 1 2
Minnesota 17 4 1 0 52 2 58 1 2
Ohio State 12 10 0 0 36 2 42 3 5
Bemidji State 10 10 2 0 32 2 38 3 5
Minnesota-Duluth 9 11 2 2 31 2 37 3 5
St. Cloud State 5 19 0 0 15 0 15 6 6
Minnesota State 3 16 3 2 14 2 20 6 7

The WCHA is an all-team playoff, but the top seed gets a bye into the semifinals.