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March 27, 2008 E-MAIL PRINT Bookmark and Share

What Are the Odds?

by John Whelan/CHN Staff

"What are the odds?" That's a question college hockey fans often ask themselves this time of year. What are the odds that my team will beat its first-round opponent in the NCAA, what are the odds it will win two games and make it to the Frozen Four, what are the odds it will win the whole thing?

Well, one way of answering these questions is to use KRACH, the rating system recommended by CHN for assessing the strengths of teams based on the outcomes of their games, accounting for strength of schedule. KRACH is based on a model that says a team's odds of winning a particular game is the ratio of their rating to their opponent's rating.

For example, North Dakota's KRACH rating (613.7) is about four times the rating (157.1) of Princeton, their first-round opponent. So their odds of winning that game are 4-to-1, or about an 80 percent chance. In the other Midwest Regional semifinal, Denver's rating is about twice that of Wisconsin (471.8 to 230.4), so it has about a 67 percent chance of winning in the first round.

What are the odds of North Dakota winning two games and making the Frozen Four? Well, if it wins its first game (an 80 percent chance, remember), it has a 67 percent chance of playing Denver (which, it turns out, it has a 57 percent chance of beating) and a 33 percent chance of playing Wisconsin (which it should beat 73 percent of the time). Putting it all together — 0.80 x ((0.67 x 0.56) + (0.33 x 0.73)), for those of you who majored in math or science — you come up with a 49 percent chance that the Sioux will make the Frozen Four this year.

So here they are, the odds of each team making it through each round of the NCAAs, according to KRACH:

Seed TeamKRACH Odds of Winning
   1 game 2 games 3 games 4 games
1W New Hampshire 427.7 69% 33% 15% 7.1%
2W Colorado College 585.3 67% 42% 22% 12%
3W Michigan State 294.5 33% 16% 5.8% 2.2%
4W Notre Dame 192.5 31% 9.2% 2.6% 0.77%
Seed TeamKRACH Odds of Winning
   1 game 2 games 3 games 4 games
1M North Dakota 613.7 80% 49% 29% 16%
2M Denver 471.8 67% 34% 18% 8.4%
3M Wisconsin 230.4 33% 11% 4.0% 1.2%
4M Princeton 157.1 20% 6.1% 1.7% 0.41%
Seed TeamKRACH Odds of Winning
   1 game 2 games 3 games 4 games
1N Miami 558.6 91% 62% 33% 17%
2N Boston College 265.7 50% 18% 6.7% 2.3%
3N Minnesota 268.4 50% 19% 6.9% 2.3%
4N Air Force 55.06 9.0% 1.5% 0.17% 0.018%
Seed TeamKRACH Odds of Winning
   1 game 2 games 3 games 4 games
1E Michigan 769.4 89% 68% 43% 26%
2E St. Cloud State 285.5 61% 20% 8.0% 3.0%
3E Clarkson 180.7 39% 9.4% 2.8% 0.79%
4E Niagara 97.14 11% 3.3% 0.62% 0.11%

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