It’s coming down to the nitty gritty, as they say. We have quarterfinal action in five of the conferences and the final regular season action in the Big Ten. We have a lot of ramifications in terms of what would happen depending upon which teams win series this weekend.
From a general overall view, things are going to get pretty boring if all the home teams win each series this weekend. What will be in doubt will be seedings next weekend, but there will be a lot of suspense gone should all the home teams win.
Let’s take a look at what I’m talking about. We have a lot of series where we have a team which seems entrenched in the top 12 of the PairWise Rankings playing teams that are on the bubble. Let’s take a look conference by conference.
Cornell at Quinnipiac
Dartmouth at Yale
Rensselaer at Harvard
All of these series have a home team in the top 11, and Quinnipiac and Yale are pretty solid, while Harvard is also pretty much there. A series win by Cornell, Dartmouth or Rensselaer will push them further toward the top 13 with a chance next weekend to take the autobid or a possible at-large spot.
Should the home teams all win, Cornell, Dartmouth and Rensselaer will end their seasons.
The other series is Clarkson at St. Lawrence, two teams on the bubble. The winner stays alive for both the autobid and a possible at-large, while the loser finishes its season.
Omaha at Denver
Omaha is in free-fall mode at the moment. The only way to stay in the hunt for an NCAA spot is to win the series this weekend. Denver is pretty solid.
Miami at Minnesota-Duluth
UMD just slipped into the last at-large spot in the latest PWR, but I think it’s safe to say that the losing team here is done. Miami most likely needs to win it all, while UMD can go into next weekend with a chance at an at-large bid.
Colorado College at North Dakota
Western Michigan at St. Cloud State
Upset wins here would give CC and Western Michigan a chance at an autobid, but that’s it. North Dakota and St. Cloud are in, but losses might jeopardize No. 1 seeds.
Boston University at Massachusetts-Lowell
The loser of this series has to sit and wait. So we’ll be talking about the loser next week, that’s for sure. The winner can write their ticket.
Northeastern at Notre Dame
Northeastern has risen up the PWR, but a win is the only way to stay alive. Notre Dame is pretty safe.
Vermont at Boston College
Merrimack at Providence
Vermont and Merrimack need to win it all. Losses by BC or Providence knock them out of the running for a No. 1 seed.
Michigan Tech and Minnesota State are the only teams left with a chance at an at-large, and Minnesota State’s chances are slim for even that.
It looks like in order for the WCHA to get two teams into the tournament, Michigan Tech needs to lose the championship game.
The winner of the tournament will be a 14, 15 or 16 seed.
Ohio State at Michigan State
See you Thursday for the Big Ten tournament.
Penn State at Michigan
Wisconsin at Minnesota
Michigan looks in. But Penn State and Minnesota have shots at at-large bids should they not win the tournament. It will be interesting to see how these games play out this weekend and who winds up with the byes in the tournament next week.
Summing it all up
Things could get a lot less interesting next week should all the home teams win their series this coming weekend. But this is college hockey, where anything and everything will happen.