Even after the afternoon games, Minnesota is still 14th in the PairWise Rankings by itself, leading some to ask how we can claim the Gophers are out of the NCAA tournament.
The answer lies with the Hockey East championship game between Boston University and Massachusetts-Lowell. The way it works out, no matter which team wins it hurts the Gophers.
UML winning is obvious — it gives the River Hawks the Hockey East autobid and therefore takes away an at-large spot, leaving Minnesota on the outside.
If BU wins Hockey East, it’s also bad for the Gophers, but in a different way. UML losing to BU drops Lowell’s Ratings Percentage Index enough to give the Ohio State-UML comparison to OSU.
That puts Ohio State into a tie with Minnesota for 14th, and the Buckeyes then win the tiebreaker. Wisconsin can get into the mix as well by flipping its own comparison with UML, in which case OSU wins the three-way battle for 14th and the last at-large bid.