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NCAA Women's Hockey Bracketology: February 6th, 2013

An update on where the Eagles stand in the NCAA tournament after the 1st round of the Beanpot.

via Doug Wallick

This is so much easier than men's hockey.

When we last took a look at the rankings, the Eagles were #3 in the Pairwise, with Harvard #2 and Boston University #4. Since, the Crimson have taken a bit of a tumble, dropping out of home ice and shaking things up a bit, and the Eagles have risen to #2. The win in the Beanpot semifinals really tightened our grip on the position as well.

Let's grab our 8 teams from the Pairwise and see where we end up:

1. Minnesota -- WCHA Champ
2. Boston College -- Hockey East Champ
3. Cornell -- ECAC Champ
4. Boston University
5. Harvard
6. Clarkson
7. Mercyhurst
8. North Dakota

Next, we seed the top four teams and start out with perfect bracket integrity:

#8 North Dakota @ #1 Minnesota
#7 Mercyhurst @ #2 Boston College
#6 Clarkson @ #3 Cornell
#5 Harvard @ #4 Boston University

The committee adjusts the bottom 4 teams in the tournament field to minimize flights and to avoid intraconference matchups provided it does not create additional flights.

The teams on the NCAA tournament bubble are all WCHA teams in North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Minnesota-Duluth, so it would appear that no matter who makes it, they are pretty much locked in to going to visit the Gophers despite the intraconference matchup, because it won't involve a flight.

The middle two contests right now give us a flight (Mercyhurst to BC) and an intraconference matchup (Clarkson and Cornell). Because of the minuscule difference between #6 and #7 right now (and honestly, if it were bigger it wouldn't matter all that much), the committee would have no qualms in swapping the two teams to give us what turns out to be a pretty miraculous bracket:

#8 North Dakota @ #1 Minnesota
#6 Clarkson @ #2 Boston College
#7 Mercyhurst @ #3 Cornell
#5 Harvard @ #4 Boston University

We're left with just the one pretty much required intraconference matchup between the WCHA teams, but then not a single flight (which has never happened before) and no more intraconference matchups.

This is pretty much the dream scenario for the committee. They could pretty much go in with a box of Dunkin Donuts Munchkins and just shoot the breeze for a bit before coming out with their bracket.

BC fans should really hope for a tournament matchup against Clarkson or Meryhurst, both of whom are probably the weakest teams in the field, and right now that's how it's shaping up to be.

We'll take a look again further out, but as of right now the Eagles are sitting pretty.