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NCAA Women’s Hockey: Conference Tournament Odds

Who comes out of the weekend with some hardware?

Patrick Daly, BC Athletics

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m definitely addicted to KRACH.

Settle down, kids. I’m talking about the mathematical system used in college hockey (as well as in other sports) to rank teams.

While its calculation is pretty complex, the theory behind it is pretty simple — take the season results of a team, and calculate the odds of them winning each game using their KRACH rating (50% here, 45% there, another 70% here, another 35% there). You set each team’s rating so that when you add up their odds of winning each game (0.5, 0.45, 0.7, 0.35), you get how many games they actually won (0.5+0.45+0.7+0.35 = 2 wins).

That means that if you win a game, your rating will always go up, because the chances that you (preemptive [sic]) won a game that you won (100%, obviously) were higher than your chances of winning the game before it happened (which was somewhere between 0% and 100%). And the opposite is true when you lose. So, there are no goofy “bad win” corrections like you have in RPI.

Anyway, because KRACH, by definition, involves calculating each teams’ odds of winning a game, we can get in on some of that sweet probability action to determine the odds of each team winning its respective conference tournament.

Vegas may not have odds posted (hi, Enzo!), but we do here at BC Interruption!

Hockey East:

Boston College is favored to win Hockey East by a pretty solid margin, thanks to their good odds of taking the semifinal against Vermont.

Your semifinal odds turn out to be a pretty big factor in determining what your overall chances are. Take Vermont, for example — they sit at only a 9.29% of winning the league, but BC is by far their toughest test regardless of who they might face in the final. If they can get past the Eagles, their chances of winning skyrocket to 40-41%, depending on their opponent.

ECAC:

It’s much closer battle at the top in the ECAC, as Clarkson and St. Lawrence have been pretty close in KRACH (and in the Pairwise) all season. Clarkson’s late season surge has them ahead, and that gives them the edge.

Despite the strength of, really, all four of these teams, KRACH gives the ECAC a much lower chance of producing a bracket-busting autobid than Hockey East (21.52% to 46.43%). That’s thanks to Hockey East only having one team in an at-large position.

WCHA:

The WCHA is the only conference that is not projected to go “all chalk.” Minnesota-Duluth, the #3 seed in the conference, is ranked higher than Minnesota in both the Pairwise and KRACH.

They play each other in the semifinals, so being “2 vs. 3” or “3 vs. 2” matchup doesn’t make a difference, but it would have been interesting had it been a question of the 3 seed having a lower KRACH than the 4 seed.

CHA:

Calculating odds for the CHA was way more complicated than the others, because they still have their quarterfinals to be played — which take place this afternoon — and they will re-seed for the semis. Ignore the noise and just focus on the “final odds” at the bottom.

The bottom few teams in the CHA are going to have a really bad time. Robert Morris and Syracuse have first round byes, so the bottom four teams have odds that are significantly lower.

RIT and Lindenwood are among the worst teams in the country, so their chances of winning the tournament are pretty bad. Mercyhurst has a surprisingly good chance at winning the title given that they have to play a quarterfinal, although it’s because they’re ranked so much higher than Lindenwood in KRACH that it might as well be a first-round bye for the Lakers.

What Else?

We can calculate the odds of how many bracket-busting autobids there will be.

We’ll ignore the CHA, because none of the teams in that conference can make the tournament as an at-large.

Odds of a WHEA autobid:
Northeastern = 19.42%
+ Boston University = 17.72%
+ Vermont = 9.29%
= 46.42%

Odds of an ECAC autobid:
Cornell = 12.92%
+ Princeton = 8.60%
= 21.52%

Odds of a WCHA autobid:
North Dakota = 1.76%
= 1.76%

Odds of no autobids:
not WHEA = 53.58%
x not ECAC = 78.48%
x not WCHA = 98.24%
= 41.31%

Odds of exactly 1 autobid:
(WHEA x not ECAC x not WCHA) = 35.79%
+ (not WHEA x ECAC x not WCHA) = 11.33%
+ (not WHEA x not ECAC x WCHA) = 0.74%
= 47.86%

Odds of exactly 2 autobids:
(WHEA x ECAC x not WCHA) = 9.81%
+ (WHEA x not ECAC x WCHA) = 0.64%
+ (not WHEA x ECAC x WCHA) = 0.20%
= 10.66%

Odds of all 3 autobids:
WHEA = 46.42%
x ECAC = 21.52%
x WCHA = 1.76%
= 0.18%

Odds of at least 1 autobid:
1 autobid = 47.86%
+ 2 autobids = 10.66%
+ 3 autobids = 0.18%
= 58.69%

Odds of at least 2 autobids:
2 autobids = 10.66%
+ 3 autobids = 0.18%
= 10.83%

If you weren’t drunk on numbers before reading this, you will be now!

The CHA quarterfinals kick things off this afternoon, with the rest of the conferences dropping the puck on their semifinals on Saturday.