Headlines: An Uphill Battle for BC

Brian: The men's hockey team reappears in this week's USCHO.com/CBS Sports Division I Men's poll. The Eagles are ranked in the final spot in the poll, #20. Earlier I had mentioned that the Eagles could get lucky if teams above them in the PairWise rankings fizzle out down the stretch and the Eagles surge.

The problem with looking at the PairWise is it isn't as simple as taking the Top 16 teams and creating a tournament given that you have to factor in the conference auto-bids. The bad news for the Eagles is that RIT and Niagara are assumed to be the CHA and Atlantic Hockey conference autobids, respectively. And both team don't rate in the Top 16 of the PairWise rankings. So in order to secure the last NCAA at-large bid, I suspect the Eagles would have to finish 14th. The Eagles are currently tied with Colorado College and St. Cloud State for 17th in the PairWise and would need to jump 3 teams not including Colorado Coll. and SCSU to make the field of 16. This also assumes that no team ranked in the PairWise below BC will win their conference tournament and the auto-bid.

Here is a look at the other teams on the Division I Men's tournament bubble.

T-14 Ohio State
Record 20-12-4, 13-11-4-3 CCHA
Record Rank 16
RPI Rank 14
PWR Comparisons Won St. Lawrence, Minnesota, Colorado College, Boston College, Air Force, Wisconsin, Lowell, Minnesota State, Alaska, RIT
Games Remaining 03/06/2009 vs. Bowling Green (CCHA Tournament)

03/07/2009 vs. Bowling Green (CCHA Tournament)

Analysis - BGSU is 11-22-3, 8-19-1-0 CCHA this season, good for last in the CCHA and going nowhere fast. Ohio State swept the regular season series on the road, so I can't expect anything less than a Buckeye sweep next weekend. Chances that BC overtakes Ohio State in the PairWise are not very good.


T-14 St. Lawrence
Record 19-11-4, 11-7-4 ECAC
Record Rank 15
RPI Rank 15
PWR Comparisons Won Minnesota, Colorado College, Boston College, St. Cloud St., Air Force, Wisconsin, Lowell, Minnesota State, Alaska, RIT
Games Remaining 03/13/2009 ECAC Quarterfinal Game 1 TBD

03/14/2009 ECAC Quarterfinal Game 2 TBD

Analysis - Hard to project out anything for St. Lawrence given that their ECAC Quarterfinal opponent is yet to be determined. St. Lawrence finished in the top 4 in the ECAC regular season standings so they receive a first round bye in the ECAC tournament. If they are swept out of the quarterfinals, though, there is a chance BC could overtake them with some points this weekend.


16 Minnesota
Record 14-11-7, 11-10-5 WCHA
Record Rank 21t
RPI Rank 16
PWR Comparisons Won Colorado College, Boston College, St. Cloud St., Air Force, Wisconsin, Lowell, Minnesota State, Alaska, RIT
Games Remaining 03/06/2009 @ Michigan Tech

03/07/2009 @ Michigan Tech

WCHA Opening Round games

Analysis - Minnesota went 1-0-1 against Michigan Tech back in November. Michigan Tech hasn't won a game in 2009 (0-7-5). Minnesota should pick up two Ws this weekend easily, making the likelihood of BC jumping the Gophers slim.


T-17 Colorado College
Record 16-10-9, 12-9-6 WCHA
Record Rank 18
RPI Rank 17
PWR Comparisons Won Boston College, St. Cloud St., Wisconsin, Lowell, Minnesota State, Alaska, RIT
Games Remaining 03/07/09 @ Denver

WCHA Opening Round games TBD

Analysis - CC is 1-0-1 against Denver this season but Denver has the edge in the WCHA standings. If CC loses at Denver this weekend and BC gets 3-4 points this weekend, the Eagles will likely overtake Colorado College in the PWR heading into the conference tournaments.


T-17 Boston College
Record 15-12-5, 10-10-5 Hockey East
Record Rank 21t
RPI Rank 18
PWR Comparisons Won St. Cloud St., Air Force, Wisconsin, Lowell, Minnesota State, Alaska, RIT
Games Remaining 03/06/2009 @ Northeastern

03/07/2009 vs. Northeastern

Hockey East quarterfinals TBD

Analysis - The Eagles easily the toughest draw remaining for the teams in this pack. The Eagles were able to pull it off down the stretch last year, but this year the road is that much tougher.


T-17 St. Cloud State
Record 18-14-2, 13-12-1 WCHA
Record Rank 20
RPI Rank 19
PWR Comparisons Won Ohio State, Air Force, Wisconsin, Lowell, Minnesota State, Alaska, RIT
Games Remaining 03/06/2009 vs. Minnesota State

03/07/2009 @ Minnesota State

WCHA Opening Round games TBD

Analysis - SCSU and Minnesota State currently hold down the 7 and 8 seeds in the WCHA. SCSU has already beaten Minnesota State 4-2 back in December. Best possible outcome for the Eagles is SCSU drops their last two to Minnesota State.


Overall, unless BC has a very strong showing this weekend and in the Hockey East quarterfinals, I don't think they will have enough to overtake the teams above them. Looks like too little, too late this season unless the Eagles can find a way to win the Hockey East tournament and get the conference's auto-bid.

BC has had a forgettable 2009 for sure, posting a pedestrian 6-7-3 record. If the Eagles miss the postseason for the first time since 2001-2002, in my opinion you have to look at the 1 point weekend against Lowell back on February 13-14 as the straw that broke the camel's back.

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