It’s pretty crazy that this is the last weekend of games before the NCAA tournament, but here we are. This weekend’s quarterfinals had a few upsets, including the first 6, 7, or 8 seed to win a quarterfinal round in Hockey East.
Let’s check in on each conference and look at the odds of each team winning. The numbers are based on KRACH, which is built so that you can determine the odds of Team A beating Team B by the formula rA/(rA+rB), with rA and rB being the rating of each team.
UConn became the first team in conference history to advance to the semifinals as a 6, 7, or 8 seed. Before this year, the only upset to ever happen in the league playoffs was the 5 beating the 4. Thanks to conference reseeding, that means that Boston College, as the #1 overall seed, will get #7 UConn in the semifinals after dispatching #8 Vermont in the quarters. KRACH gives the Eagles a 86.82% chance of making it to the championship game.
While BC would have been a strong favorite regardless, the extra boost means they are the mostly likely team of everyone still alive in any conference to come away with a trophy.
The ECAC’s bracket is the polar opposite of Hockey East’s. All four teams sit in the top eight of the Pairwise among D-I programs, but St. Lawrence needs to win the ECAC to make the tournament. Using our Pairwise Predictor, we can get the Saints pretty close to passing Minnesota without winning the ECAC, but not quite there.
Look for the ECAC’s tournament to be one of the most intriguing this weekend.
Bemidji State came away with the 4 vs. 5 upset over Minnesota-Duluth, and they’re rewarded with a matchup against the #1 overall seed in the Pairwise, Wisconsin. The Badgers are down several players due to injury, so that could be more of a battle than we expect.
Minnesota sits on the #7 seed of the NCAA tournament bracket — the final at-large position — without the ability to pass anyone above them or be passed by anyone below them without either the Gophers or an unranked team winning their conference championship. Minnesota is definitely sitting on pins and needles this weekend hoping everything goes chalk: There is a 38.32% chance that some team below the Gophers in the Pairwise outside of the CHA wins their conference and sends them home for the offseason, virtually unchanged from last week’s 38.40%.
The CHA plays its entire conference tournament in one weekend, with the top two seeds getting a bye and the 3 through 6 seeds duking it out on Friday to advance to the semifinals. That means there are a lot more possibilities, but we can still plot them all out.
Robert Morris and Mercyhurst, the two teams with byes, are the two teams by far the most likely to win the conference at 53.03% and 29.03%, respectively. But given that the Lakers and Colonials split the season series, I’m not sure Robert Morris will be too excited should both teams advance to the championship game.
We’ve already said that Minnesota will be knocked out by there being at least one autobid outside the CHA, but it’s possible for there to be two or three as well. Here are the odds of each scenario (ignoring the CHA, because they are an autobid no matter what):
No one below Minnesota wins: 61.68%
Exactly one team below Minnesota wins: 34.93%
At least one team below Minnesota wins: 38.32%
Exactly two teams below Minnesota win: 3.31%
At least two teams below Minnesota win: 3.39%
Three teams below Minnesota win: 0.08%