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March 18, 2006 E-MAIL PRINT Bookmark and Share

NCAA Bracket ABCs: Live

Maine, New Hampshire in Danger

by Adam Wodon/Managing Editor

Bentley's Cinderella run is over, and everyone from New Hampshire and Maine, the NCAA Committee chair Marty Scarano is breathing a huge sigh of relief.

St. Cloud State can still bump Maine out, but the Huskies are losing the WCHA final right now.

Omaha can breath a collective sigh. Nebraska-Omaha is definitely IN the tournament, no matter what.

There are 15 teams with automatic spots right now. It comes down to MAine and

(Try it yourself with "You Are the Committee")

It had been assumed that Nebraska-Omaha was the team with the most to lose by an upset occurring in the conference tournaments. However, with losses by Maine and New Hampshire, it looks like they would be left out.

That's despite the fact that Nebraska-Omaha is currently No. 14 in the Pairwise (with a reasonable "bonus" amount factored in). Remember, 16 teams make the tournament, but with automatic bid spots saved for the CHA (Bemidji State) and Atlantic Hockey champs, that leaves just 14 spots.

Maine needs North Dakota to defeat St. Cloud State. If St. Cloud wins, it wouldn't bump UNO, it would bump Maine. That's because the comparison between St. Cloud State and Maine would flip, giving Maine less comparison wins than UNO.

If Bentley wins Atlantic Hockey, and North Dakota knocks off St. Cloud State, then New Hampshire is out.

Of course, if Bentley and St. Cloud State win, the BOTH New Hampshire and Maine are out.

The reason this is an issue, is because Holy Cross might make it as an at large team anyway even if it loses Saturday's AHA final, giving Atlantic Hockey two bids. This phenomenon was explaind in our last article. Basically, Bentley's win would make them a Team Under Consideration, by rule. Since Holy Cross would be 4-1 against Bentley this season, it automatically raises their Record vs. TUC enough to flip numerous comparisons, such as against Colorado College and Boston College.

This would put Holy Cross AND Bentley in the tournament, and knock out Maine, UNH or both.

This is a nightmare scenario, because then the committee needs to make a subjective decision.

According to rule, the committee reserves the right to throw out Holy Cross' bid if it makes the determination that the conference's lack of overall strength unfairly inflates Holy Cross' ranking.

Should be quite a night.

No. 1 Seeds

Wisconsin earned the No. 1 overall seed with a WCHA consolation game win over Minnesota. Remarkable considering how, at one time, the Badgers seemed like a lock for it — then they swooned while the Gophers went 20-1-1 coming into the weekend. But then the Gophers lost two straight, and ... there you go.

Miami and BU, meanwhile, have already helped themselves in terms of securing a No. 1 seed. Miami is doing this flip-flop thing with Michigan State for one of the final two No. 1 seed spots. BU's win helps.

Michigan State still gets a No. 1 seed with a loss, if BU loses.

If Michigan State wins, BU still gets a No. 1 seed with a loss.

In fact, BU is fourth overall either way, most likely, if Miami loses.

However ... this is all precipitated on Harvard losing.

If Harvard defeats Cornell in the final, it would get a No. 1 seed so long as BU loses. If BU wins, Harvard still gets the No. 1 seed if Miami defeats Michigan State.

If Michigan State and BU win, then Harvard cannot be a No. 1 seed.

It doesn't look like Cornell can be a No. 1 seed.

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