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I’m not going to prematurely celebrate as things can still change on a dime, particularly if Dave decides to leave his brain behind and pick differently than I do in most games this weekend in a singular attempt to catch up. But I picked up two more games on Dave last weekend and hold a six game lead with just three weeks remaining.

That’s all I’ll say for now.

Jim last week: 8-4-0
Jim to date: 173-63-36 (.702)
Dave last week: 6-6-0
Dave to date: 167-69-36 (.656)

(Each three-game playoff series will include three picks from each columnist. Game three is “if necessary” in all series)

No. 12 Massachusetts at No. 5 Boston University
Jim’s picks: Last year, UMass pulled off an upset in game one. I just don’t see that team playing well enough to upset BU.
BU 5, UMass 2; BU 3, UMass 1; BU 5, UMass 2
Dave’s picks: Even though I’m six games behind and closing in on mathematical elimination, you’d still have to put a gun to my head for me to pick UMass in a single game. The Minutemen haven’t just been losing for several months now, they’ve been losing ugly. I don’t see a Glock pointed at my forehead, so it’s all BU.
BU 5, UMass 1; BU 4, UMass 0; BU 5, UMass 0

No. 11 Maine at No. 6 Northeastern
Jim’s picks: Even if Northeastern hadn’t swept Maine last weekend, it would be impossible to pick against them this weekend given how strong the Huskies have been in the second half.
NU 5, Maine 3; NU 4, Maine 1; NU 4, Maine 1
Dave’s picks: Here’s another series where I think the underdog has just about a zero chance. I’d be picking a Northeastern sweep, too, if not for the six-game deficit. But since I’ve got to make up some ground, I’ll go with the Black Bears catching the Huskies overconfident in game one.
Maine 3, NU 2; NU 5, Maine 1; NU 4, Maine 1

No. 10 New Hampshire at No. 7 Merrimack
Jim’s pick: For some reason, I don’t see UNH rolling over and dying easily in this series. But I also don’t see them winning at Lawler Rink. Thus, I’m going with the sweep.
MC 3, UNH 2; MC 4, UNH 3; MC 4, UNH 2
Dave’s picks: The Wildcats may have a lot to do with my six-game deficit. I kept believing and kept believing and kept (mostly) believing. So let’s see if they can get past their recent struggles and win me back a couple of those games. These last two series do have a legitimate chance of going either way.
UNH 4, MC 3 (OT); UNH 3, MC 2 (OT); UNH 5, MC 4 (OT)

No. 9 Vermont vs. No. 8 Connecticut
Jim’s pick: This is the only series I see an upset occurring. And while this might take three games for the Catamounts, I’ll pick a sweep so as to not get the Game 1-2 split incorrect.
UVM 3, UConn 2 (OT); UVM 2, UConn 1 (OT); UVM 2, UConn 1
Dave’s picks: Jim has certainly outfoxed me on this one. If he’d chosen any first-two-game-split this weekend, I’d have pounced on the opportunity to pick the opposite way. Instead, I’ve got to pick the opposite way in all three games here, which I’m not unhappy with at all. This series should have a razor thin margin of difference between the two teams, so give me UConn all the way, winning on the strength of its special teams.
UConn 3, UVM 2 (OT); UConn 2, UVM 1; UConn 3 UVM 2 (OT)