We were sweating it out for a little while, but after last night's conference semifinal results, BC is IN the NCAA men's hockey tournament. The two teams who were already locked into the NCAAs out of the WCHA, Minnesota State and Michigan Tech, advanced to their conference final, warding off some of the worst nightmare scenarios.
Here are the current pairwise rankings.
1. Minnesota State
2. North Dakota
4. Michigan Tech
9. St. Cloud State
16t. Bowling Green
The AHA champion will get in with an autobid at slot #16.
Tonight's conference championship game schedule:
7 PM: Mercyhurst vs. RIT - AHA Championship
7 PM: UMass-Lowell vs. BU - Hockey East Championship
7 PM - Minnesota State vs. Michigan Tech - WCHA Championship
7:30 PM: Harvard vs. Colgate - ECAC Championship
8:00 PM - Michigan vs. Minnesota - Big Ten Championship
8:30 PM - St. Cloud State vs. Miami - NCHC Championship
Also, because the NCHC is dumb, they will have a consolation game between North Dakota and Denver at 4:30 PM.
What does this all mean for BC?
I'm not going to calculate all the permutations because there are 192 different ways the season could end. But we can pick up a few general trends from playing with College Hockey News' Pairwise tool.
1. We want Denver to win the NCHC consolation game, but it probably won't matter.
Because BC has played Denver this year, it's an .0005 swing in our RPI for a Denver win vs. a NoDak win.
2. The easiest way to the "best case scenario" is probably BU winning against UMass-Lowell.
Your mileage may vary as to what you consider the "best case scenario." However, being a #3 seed and playing in an eastern regional is what I'd consider best case scenario, and that would lead to BC being in BU's bracket. Because UMass-Lowell can pass BC and bump the Eagles to a 4 seed, the 'Hawks beating BU would push BC into a spot where they must be matched with a western team in the first round. That could still be east, but it would be a tougher first round opponent and might end up out west.
3. UMass-Lowell is the only team that can pass BC and make them a 4 seed.
Colgate can also pass BC in the PairWise by knocking off Harvard in the ECAC championship, but that would knock Harvard behind BC and keep the Eagles 12th.
4. A Minnesota loss is the only way BC can move up to #11 (with help).
Minnesota would fall behind BC with a loss today. Harvard would as well, but as mentioned above, that would require Colgate winning, moving them above BC.
5. There is a really good chance BC ends up playing in an eastern regional
BU losing to UMass-Lowell, remaining a 1 seed, with BC falling to a 4 seed due to Lowell passing them would make it so that BC could not be in the same regional, but it would still mean there's a very good chance of BC staying East. Providence would be eliminated from the tournament under this scenario, and with PC out, BC would be a natural fit to take on a Western 1-seed in Providence.
6. The 2 seeds might end up being scarier on paper than the 1 seeds depending on what happens in tonight's games.
There's a chance that both Minnesota State and Michigan Tech are in the 1 seed band, and possible opponents for 4th-seeded BC. These are both good teams who would be favored against BC for sure, but I think I'd be more fearful of Miami, Denver, or Minnesota-Duluth, all of whom are currently in the 2 band.
7. If all favorites win, BC is probably facing Minnesota-Duluth in Manchester, with BU as the #1 seed in the Northeast regional playing Quinnipiac.
This seems to be the most logical result if all the favorites win. But let's be honest, all the favorites probably won't win.
We'll be updating information as the day goes on on Twitter.