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

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.


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)

TeamWinLossTiePointsGames RemainingMax PointsHighest PositionLowest Position
Robert Morris10332343113
Penn State4841242036

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.


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)

TeamWinLossTiePointsGames RemainingMax PointsHighest PositionLowest Position
St. Lawrence8752122558

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)

TeamWinLossTiePointsGames RemainingMax PointsHighest PositionLowest Position

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)

TeamWinLossTiePointsGames RemainingMax PointsHighest PositionLowest Position
Boston College19703814023
Boston University14563423823
New Hampshire101422212467
Holy Cross12413151010

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.


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)

TeamWinLossTieSOWPointsGames RemainingMax PointsHighest PositionLowest Position
Ohio State1210003624235
Bemidji State1010203223835
St. Cloud State519001501566
Minnesota State316321422067

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