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What If? The 2018 NCAA Women’s Hockey Tournament Pairwise Predictor

Predict results, and see the projected NCAA tournament field

John Quackenbos, BC Athletics

For years, USCHO has provided a fantastic tool allowing you to plug in theoretical results of the men’s hockey conference tournaments and see its results on the Pairwise rankings. Unfortunately, a similar tool was never available for women’s hockey.

But as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. So here at BC Interruption, we built it ourselves. This is the fourth year of the BCI Women’s Pairwise Predictor, and version 4.0 carries over the same great features from past years.

The interface is pretty self-explanatory — just follow the instructions on the sheet. Starting with the CHA final weekend games on the bottom right, use the drop-down menus to select who you think will win each game, progress next to the conference quarterfinals, and then move across to the “Finals” and “Champion” columns.

The “Semis” column will autopopulate with matchups based on conference tournament re-seeding rules once you input the quarterfinals results, and the next round’s drop-downs will turn on once you complete the previous round’s selections. If you make a selection that’s not possible (for example, if you select BC winning in the “Finals” but then go back and make them lose in the “Semis,” the Predictor will inform you of the error and highlight the field(s) you need to fix).

You’ll notice that there’s a new “NEWHA” tournament. The six D-I/D-II independents of the New England Women’s Hockey Alliance, while not actually a conference, opted to set up a postseason tournament among themselves. While this tournament will not produce an NCAA autobid, the games do count and will affect the RPI of everyone else. So, input of the NEWHA tournament is required.

As you input results, the box at the top right will update to show the resulting Pairwise Rankings. Be patient, as it can take a few seconds for the rankings to re-calculate. Once all results are entered, the 4 autobids will be added to the field. The autobids will not update until all results are entered. The first two teams out will be provided as well, to see how close they were to making the field.

Lastly, there is a new switch added this year that will include or exclude the D-I/D-II Independents based on whether you select “Y” or “N”. In practice this will only have any effect on Saint Anselm, who currently sits in an NCAA Tournament at-large position as a D-II team. You can read up on the effect that these independents have had on the Pairwise here, here, and here, but if you’re not interested in the nitty-gritty, just know that while we have no inside information, it is our best guess that D-II Saint Anselm will not be included in the tournament despite sitting in an at-large position in the Pairwise.

Had the Hawks managed to go undefeated and sit at the top of the rankings at the end of the year the selection committee might have had a more difficult decision. But with their status as a bubble team, we expect that they will not be selected due to their overall body of work even if the Pairwise says they should be. As such, this switch will default to “N” in our Predictor.

Feel free to ask questions or let us know of any bug reports, either in the comments or by email at grant dot salzano at gmail dot com.

*Be patient after making changes. It can take a few seconds for the sheet to recalculate.*