March 17, 2006 PRINT Bookmark and Share

NCAA Bracket ABCs: Live

Maine and New Hampshire in Danger

by Adam Wodon/Managing Editor

(UPDATE, Saturday afternoon: It appears that Michigan is also in trouble, if it loses today's consolation game.)

Poor little Bentley.

It is the story of the postseason so far, but most people want them to lose. Otherwise, it could throw a serious monkey wrench into the NCAA picture — especially for Maine and New Hampshire.

St. Cloud State's amazing 8-7 OT win over Minnesota also is causing palpitations in northern New England.

Omaha can breath a collective sigh.

From everything we can tell, as opposed to previous assumptions, Nebraska-Omaha is definitely IN the tournament, no matter what. If anyone comes up with a reason that this is wrong, then please e-mail us.

(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

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.

The winner of the consolation game between Minnesota and Wisconsin gets the No. 1 overall seed.

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