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One of the most prominent questions from college hockey coaches and fans alike in the wake of the NCAA’s announcement of changes to the selection criteria for the national tournament has been about the real-world implications.

Would the 2013 tournament field look different if it had been selected using the new set of criteria?

In terms of which teams earned at-large bids? No.

Committee chair Jim Knowlton of Rensselaer said the Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee used a number of analyses to determine how to adjust the selection criteria, which we represent here as the PairWise Rankings.

We asked to see how last season would have looked in the 2013-14 formula, and the NCAA agreed to release that information, which we’re including below.

The field would include the same 16 teams, although six of them would have different seeds:

• Minnesota State and North Dakota would have flipped seeds, with the Mavericks a No. 2 seed and UND in the No. 3 band.

• Wisconsin and Yale would have moved into No. 3 seeds, bumping Niagara and Denver to No. 4 seeds.

The top five spots in the PairWise are identical in each algorithm.

Here’s the NCAA’s representation of the 2012-13 season in the 2013-14 criteria (sorry in advance about the formatting; I’m working on that):

Rank Team                Record   PWCs    RPI  RK
-------------------------------------------------
  1  Quinnipiac         27- 7- 5 58- 0 | 57.06  1
  2  Minnesota          26- 8- 5 57- 1 | 56.70  2
  3 *UMass Lowell       26-10- 2 55- 3 | 56.06  3
  4 *Notre Dame         25-12- 3 55- 3 | 54.98  4
  5  Miami              24-11- 5 53- 5 | 54.89  5
  6  New Hampshire      19-11- 7 53- 5 | 54.48  6
  7  Boston College     22-11- 4 52- 6 | 54.44  7
  8  Minnesota State    24-13- 3 50- 8 | 54.28  8
  9  North Dakota       21-12- 7 49- 9 | 54.15  9
 10 *Union              21-12- 5 49- 9 | 53.89 10
 11 *Wisconsin          22-12- 7 48-10 | 53.83 12
 12  Yale               18-12- 3 46-12 | 53.63 14
 13  Niagara            23- 9- 5 45-13 | 53.86 11
 14  Denver             20-13- 5 45-13 | 53.81 13
 15  St Cloud           23-15- 1 43-15 | 53.62 15
 16  Western Michigan   19-11- 8 43-15 | 53.18 16
 17  Providence         17-14- 7 43-15 | 52.87 17
 18  Rensselaer         18-14- 5 41-17 | 52.49 18
 19  Boston University  21-16- 2 40-18 | 52.36 19
 20  Colorado College   18-19- 5 39-19 | 52.25 20
 21  Brown              16-14- 6 37-21 | 51.78 21
 22  Cornell            15-16- 3 37-21 | 51.46 22
 23  Ferris State       16-16- 5 36-22 | 51.12 23
 24  Robert Morris      20-14- 4 35-23 | 51.11 24
 25  Dartmouth          15-14- 5 35-23 | 51.05 25
 26  St Lawrence        18-16- 4 32-26 | 50.99 26
 27  Ohio State         16-17- 7 32-26 | 50.85 27
 28  Nebraska Omaha     19-18- 2 31-27 | 50.79 28
 29  Alaska             17-16- 4 31-27 | 50.64 29
 30  Michigan           18-19- 3 28-30 | 50.46 30
 31  Holy Cross         20-14- 3 28-30 | 50.06 31
 32  Northern Michigan  15-19- 4 28-30 | 50.01 32
 33  Merrimack          15-17- 6 26-32 | 49.98 33
 34  Air Force          17-13- 7 26-32 | 49.91 34
 35  Connecticut        19-14- 4 24-34 | 49.80 35
 36  Mercyhurst         19-17- 5 23-35 | 49.63 36
 37  Bowling Green      15-21- 5 23-35 | 49.39 37
 38 *Canisius           19-18- 5 21-37 | 49.19 38
 39  Colgate            14-18- 4 21-37 | 49.03 39
 40  Minnesota Duluth   14-19- 5 19-39 | 48.78 40
 41  Penn State         11-12- 0 18-40 | 48.77 41
 42  Maine              11-19- 8 16-42 | 48.43 42
 43  Lake Superior      17-21- 1 16-42 | 48.42 43
 44  Michigan Tech      13-20- 4 16-42 | 48.25 44
 45  Michigan State     14-25- 3 15-43 | 48.08 45
 46  Vermont            11-19- 6 14-44 | 48.04 46
 47  Princeton          10-16- 5 12-46 | 47.96 47
 48  RIT                15-18- 5 11-47 | 47.90 48
 49  Massachusetts      12-19- 3 11-47 | 47.90 49
 50  Clarkson            9-20- 7  9-49 | 47.29 50
 51  Harvard            10-19- 3  8-50 | 47.21 51
 52  American Int'l     12-17- 6  7-51 | 46.56 52
 53  Northeastern        9-21- 4  6-52 | 45.49 53
 54  Bentley            12-20- 3  5-53 | 45.06 54
 55  Bemidji State       6-22- 8  4-54 | 44.58 55
 56  Alaska-Anchorage    4-25- 7  3-55 | 43.56 56
 57  Army                7-22- 5  2-56 | 42.60 57
 58  Alabama-Huntsville  1-20- 1  1-57 | 38.38 58
 59  Sacred Heart        2-30- 4  0-58 | 38.18 59

You can see how last year’s PairWise and NCAA tournament actually shook out in this edition of Bracketology.

The order of teams from last year’s PairWise was:

1 Quinnipiac
2 Minnesota
3 Massachusetts-Lowell
4 Notre Dame
5 Miami
6 Boston College
7 New Hampshire
8 North Dakota
9 Denver
10 Niagara
11 Minnesota State
12 Union
13 St. Cloud State
14 Wisconsin
15 Yale
16 Canisius

Canisius, of course, was the Atlantic Hockey tournament champion and received an automatic bid.

Is the change worth much if it produces the same result in terms of deciding which teams get at-large bids? The committee wanted to be cautious about changes because of the new conference landscape and not yet knowing how that would impact things, but this could be considered overcautious.

But I guess we’ll have to let it play out and see what happens.