When the conference tournament quarterfinal round wrapped up Sunday night, we rolled out our PairWise Predictor, which lets you see how the rankings react based on results you enter for the final 21 games before selection Sunday.
Out of curiosity, I was wondering if we could get three NCHC teams as No. 1 seeds — it hasn’t happened since 2005, when the WCHA put Denver, Colorado College and Minnesota on the top line and North Dakota joined them in an all-WCHA Frozen Four.
It’s possible to get North Dakota, St. Cloud State and Denver as No. 1 seeds this season, but it might require a specific and unusual result: a tie between the Fighting Hawks and the Huskies in the NCHC’s third-place game in addition to the Pioneers winning two games.
Meanwhile, thanks to the work of Jim Dahl at CollegeHockeyRanked.com, we know that there are nine teams that are locks to make the field of 16:
St. Cloud State
Dahl ran all 3,145,728 possible outcomes for the 21 games that will be played Thursday through Saturday and came up with the chances for each team to be selected for the NCAAs.
From that, we see that seven teams are still in the hunt for an at-large bid to the tournament, with varying levels of hope.
Notre Dame (93.1%)
Michigan Tech (29.1%)
Yale, Notre Dame and Cornell all are out of their conference tournaments and can do nothing but keep their fingers crossed.
There are 14 other teams left in conference tournaments that can make the NCAA tournament only via the automatic bid that comes with the championship:
Rochester Institute of Technology
Army West Point