Two years ago, the NCAA women’s hockey selection committee deviated from their directives and set the women’s hockey tournament in a way that would minimize total costs at the expense of bracket integrity — rather than just the number of flights — when they set the bracket.
Sunday night’s bracket reveal on NCAA.com for this year’s tournament marked a return to by-the-book selection as set out in the tournament manual, maintaining bracket integrity while minimizing flights. In doing so, the committee will send Ohio State to Boston College instead of giving the Eagles the Hockey East Champions, Northeastern, which would have shortened a road trip and eliminated the cost of one team’s worth of hotel rooms.
We talked about it in-depth in our final bracketology this afternoon, but essentially, the committee could have sent the #7 to the #4 and the #5 to the #3 which would have saved costs at the expense of bracket integrity.
The eight teams that advance to the NCAA tournament are as follows (ranking provided is the Pairwise):
(1) Clarkson — ECAC Champion
(4) Boston College
(5) Minnesota — WCHA Champion
(6) Ohio State
(11) Northeastern — Hockey East Champion
(15) Mercyhurst — CHA Champion
After locking in the top 4 for seeding and moving the bottom four teams around as the committee saw fit, we were given a final bracket of:
Mercyhurst @ (1) Clarkson
Saturday, March 10th, 2pm EST
Ohio State @ (4) Boston College
Saturday, March 10th, 1pm EST
Minnesota @ (2) Wisconsin
Saturday, March 10th, 2pm CST
Northeastern @ (3) Colgate
Saturday, March 10th, 3pm EST
The NCAA quarterfinals are next weekend on Saturday, March 10th, with the winners advancing to the Women’s Frozen Four on March 16-18 at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, Minnesota.