Bracket ABCs: Championship Saturday Update
by Adam Wodon/Managing Editor
And so here we are, at Championship Saturday, with only seven more games left before the field for the 2014 NCAA tournament will be known.
If you're already familiar with the Pairwise system, you know that the NCAA uses it as the official calculation, and so we can present it to you as well. (For those who still don't, read our Pairwise Primer.)
But even better, with our You Are the Committee tool, you can plug in the results of Saturday's games and see how it would shake out. There are still 192 possible combinations, but a lot of them get you the same result.
Continue to follow our live blog throughout the day tomorrow for updates to where things stand.
Meanwhile, here's a quick update on things since our last Bracket ABCs article, with Friday's results now known.
1-3. Minnesota, Boston College, Union
These remain the top three seeds in the field, and will be at St. Paul, Worcester and Bridgeport, respectively. Nothing changed, as we'd already known.
4-7. Ferris State, Wisconsin, Quinnipiac, Mass.-Lowell
Three of these teams are still alive, and their position will be based, obviously, on which teams win and which lose. It appears the only team that can catch Ferris for the last No. 1 seed is Wisconsin. So a Ferris State loss to Minnesota State, and a Wisconsin win over Ohio State, puts the Badgers in Cincinnati. In fact, It's probably both Wisconsin and Ferris State will be there either way, it just depends on which seed.
With Quinnipiac losing, it will most likely finish sixth, but possibly seventh. So, the Bobcats figure to be in either of the East Regionals, just depending on where it lines up.
Lowell appears likely unable to finish higher than fifth. The question is whether the committee will put Lowell in Worcester, or keep it lined up with a 4-5 matchup against the team in Cincinnati. With Quinnipiac able to be in Worcester, too, the decision could be easier. But it's still hard to say.
8-9. Notre Dame, St. Cloud State
These two teams are not playing Saturday, and it appears they are locked into their slot. That means they are on a collision course for a game against each other in St. Paul.
The Friars look fine, despite the loss. It looks like it might be locked into the 10 slot as well. That would mean a matchup with someone like Quinnipiac in an eastern regional. There are a couple of rare scenarios that could drop Providence, even as far as 13, which would knock it out of the tournament with other upsets. It has to do with Canisius winning Atlantic Hockey and that getting Air Force to take a comparison. Don't ask.
11. Minnesota State
The Mavericks will slip to 13, it appears, with a loss to Ferris State in the WCHA championship game. That would make them OK to get in as long as New Hampshire and Ohio State don't both win their title games. A win over Ferris State, and the Mavericks hold this spot.
I've run every scenario imaginable, and cannot get Colgate to drop below 12, even with a loss to Union. Union's RPI is so good, that just playing the Dutchmen will mitigate a loss to them. A win could get Colgate as high as 10, but there's not much material difference between 10-12. Being at the 12 spot makes things a certainty because there are only four autobid spots that can possibly be taken by teams not currently in the tournament.
Vermont is in the same boat as Minnesota State. It can go no lower than 13, and would be in so long as New Hampshire and Ohio State don't win. If they both win, it can move to 12 and get in if Minnesota State then loses.
The Wolverines need North Dakota to lose or tie the consolation game, and then hope that New Hampshire and Ohio State lose. The cutoff is 14 at best now, because the 16th slot will be taken up by the Atlantic champ, and the 15th slot will now be taken up by the winner of the NCHC tournament — Miami or Denver, neither of which would've qualified otherwise. There might be "upsets" in Hockey East and Big Ten too, but we know for sure that there will be an upset champ in the NCHC.
15. North Dakota
Losing to Miami on Friday was a big blow, obviously. A win in the NCHC consolation game gets UND back into the Top 14, but it would still get knocked out with a win by UNH or Ohio State.
The Huskies, and every team below here, are toast.