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NCAA Bracketology: Championship Chase

There are five games and 32 outcomes remaining before we see the final reveal tomorrow night.

COLLEGE HOCKEY: FEB 05 Womens - Minnesota Duluth at Wisconsin Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Welcome to the championship (mostly) edition of The Ice Garden’s Bracketology column this year. In this column I will be discussing the NCAA bracket based on the PWR rankings both as they currently stand and how they will likely shape up. You can follow along from home using the PWR Calculator BCI’s Grant Salzano created from scratch - on the site you can edit past and future results to see where the rankings would end up.

With only five remaining games and 32 different brackets we are going to do this a little differently today. All the possible permutations have been run and with the assistance of KRACH (thanks Grant) each possibility is given a percentage based how likely each of the five results that make it are to happen. We will see how each seed is likely to play out. After which we will talk a little about each team and what their remaining games mean.

1 Seed

This will be either Minnesota or Ohio State. If OSU wins the WCHA, they’ll take the top seed. Otherwise, it’s Minnesota at number one.
KRACH Favorite: Minnesota (67%)

2 Seed

We have three possible teams: the two teams above and Northeastern. Northeastern will be here if they win and Ohio State loses, while Ohio State will be at least this spot, with a win over Wisconsin. Minnesota can not fall below this spot.
KRACH Favorite: Ohio State (37%)

3 Seed

Northeastern and Ohio State can finish here as can Wisconsin and Colgate. Both of the latter are less likely, combined 20% chance. Northeastern winning will lock them in at least this spot.
KRACH Favorite: Northeastern (49%)

4 Seed

Yale takes Ohio State’s spot here. The ECAC winner has a strong chance of landing here but Wisconsin controls over both of them, a WCHA win for Wisconsin would see all ECAC teams on the road.
KRACH Favorite: Colgate (39%)

5 Seed

Here we add Duluth into the picture for the first time, even if it is only a small chance. The ECAC winner would be at least at the 5 seed if not higher. Northeastern can not fall past this spot and only has a 4% chance of going on the road. Colgate actually has the best odds here too at 37% but we will look at them at 4 for now.
KRACH Favorite: Yale (31%)

6 Seed

While Wisconsin can reach all the way up to the 3 seed they are actually most likely to play at the 3 seed as the 6 seed. Colgate can’t fall past this spot.
KRACH Favorite: Wisconsin (49%)

7 Seed

Yale can fall behind Quinnipiac with a loss and Duluth likely would fall below this spot if they were to lose. Wisconsin can’t fall past this spot.
KRACH Favorite: Quinnipiac (52%)

8 Seed

While Yale could fall this far they most likely won’t. Whoever lands here earns a date with Harvard in Minneapolis or Columbus.
KRACH Favorite: Minnesota Duluth (74%)

9 Seed

Harvard lost their series to Princeton and as a result had no chance to improve this weekend. Thanks to Princeton’s collapse at Yale the Crimson are safely in the tournament.
KRACH Favorite: Harvard (100%)

10 Seed

Clarkson will be sitting by the TV tonight watching the Northeastern/ Connecticut battle to see if they will make the tournament. It is simple an NU victory and the Golden Knights can pack their bags for Boston, Columbus, or Minneapolis, otherwise they will be eliminated.
KRACH Favorite: Clarkson (79%)

Minnesota

If Ohio State does not win the WCHA Minnesota will be the one seed, if they do Minnesota will be the two seed. Seeds Available: 1-2

Ohio State

A win over Wisconsin locks them into at least the 2 seed, a Northeastern loss would do the same. If they win the WCHA they would take the top seed. Seeds Available: 1-3

Northeastern

Win and they host, it is really simple. Win plus get a boost from our next team, Wisconsin, and they get the 2 seed. On its own a fifth straight HEA title would net the Huskies at least the 3 seed. Of the 32 remaining brackets exactly two of them (4% chance) would see Northeastern traveling, to Colgate, if Wisconsin wins the WCHA, when NU loses to UConn while Colgate wins the ECAC crown. Seeds Available: 2-5

Wisconsin

While the Badgers have the highest odds of landing in the 6th seed they control their destiny for at least 4th, if they can win the WCHA. Seeds Available: 3-7

Yale

Yale did not have a great game against Princeton but could still take home ice with a win over Colgate and Wisconsin not winning the WCHA Seeds Available: 4-8

Colgate

Colgate is favored strongly to be in the 4/5 game, at 76%. They are favored in the ECAC which would see them at least 5th. Seeds Available: 3-6

Quinnipiac

A tough loss to Colgate limit the Bobcat’s options. They will be going somewhere for their first round game but will be the favored team seed wise no matter the results. Seeds Available: 6-8

Minnesota Duluth

Even if Duluth were to win the WCHA which is a long shot they could be down in the seeding. Seeds Available: 5-8

Harvard

Harvard is safe. Princeton losing to Yale locked Harvard into the 9 seed and they will be traveling to Minneapolis or Columbus. Seeds Available: 9

Clarkson

One thief down one to go. Clarkson and Connecticut are the only teams that can finish in the tenth seed. Seeds Available: 10-OUT

Connecticut

UConn is the only team that could sneak in at this oping but they are very much underdogs. Seeds Available: 10-OUT

Syracuse

The Orange won the CHA and will be the 11 seed. Seeds Available: 11

My Bracket Prediction

1 Minnesota hosting 8. Minnesota-Duluth v 9. Harvard

2 Northeastern hosting 7. Yale v. 10. Clarkson

3 Ohio State hosting 6. Quinnipiac v. 11. Syracuse

4 Colgate v 5. Wisconsin

I’ll stick to my guns on this. Colgate should win the ECAC as they looked like the much better team in their semifinal. In the WCHA Wisconsin could take one game but I don’t think they win it all, while NU should take Hockey East. This has a 6% chance from KRACH.

Chalk Bracket

This bracket is if all higher seeds win in each remaining conference tournament game. It never fully goes this way but often can be pretty close.

1 Minnesota hosting 8. Minnesota-Duluth v 9. Harvard

2 Ohio State hosting 7. Quinnipiac v. 10. Clarkson

3 Northeastern hosting 6. Wisconsin v. 11. Syracuse

4 Yale v 5. Colgate

While the 4/5 game is intra conference (and a repeat of their conference final) the committee has stated they will not switch around this game. The 7/10 matchup could be broken up to avoid the repeat meeting because only three ECAC teams will fall into the bottom six, We don’t know if they would flip 6/7 or 10/11 so we shall see what they do this year when flights are no longer a consideration. KRACH gives this a 4% chance.

As Is Current Bracket

1 Minnesota hosting 8. Minnesota-Duluth v 9. Harvard

2 Ohio State hosting 7. Quinnipiac v. 10. Clarkson

3 Northeastern hosting 6. Wisconsin v. 11. Syracuse

4 Colgate v 5. Yale

This would most likely result in at least one flip of the ECAC teams, but it would have some interesting second round matchups.