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So here’s the current state of the PWR

Rk Team                GP  W- L- T  Win%  Rk     RPI  Rk  PWR

1 Mercyhurst          24 21- 1- 2 0.9167  1 | 0.6272  1 | 17

2 Wisconsin           26 22- 1- 3 0.9038  2 | 0.6090  2 | 16

3 Dartmouth           21 15- 4- 2 0.7619  6 | 0.5995  3 | 15

4 Harvard             19 14- 3- 2 0.7895  4 | 0.5921  4 | 14

5 St. Lawrence        26 19- 5- 2 0.7692  5 | 0.5818  6 | 13

6 New Hampshire       23 17- 3- 3 0.8043  3 | 0.5899  5 | 12

7 Minnesota-Duluth    24 15- 7- 2 0.6667  8 | 0.5622  7 | 11

8 Minnesota           24 15- 8- 1 0.6458  9 | 0.5607  8 | 10

 

The best bracket projection that preserves bracket integrity is:

  • Minnesota at (1) Mercyhurst
  • St. Lawrence at Harvard
  • New Hampsire at Dartmouth
  • Minnesota-Duluth at (2) Wisconsin

Note that this matchup includes an ECACHL intraconference matchup between St. Lawrence and Harvard. This may be turn out to be an unavoidable problem. Right now, there appears to be considerable separation between three groups: {Mercyhurst, Wisconsin}, {Dartmouth, Harvard, SLU, and UNH} and {UMD, Minnesota}. This may change as the season progresses, but if the season where to end today, I do not think the committee would sacrifice bracket integrity in order to avoid an ECACHL intraconference matchup.

A few other notes:

  • Mercyhurst’s lead over Wisconsin for the No. 1 seed is due largely to its strength of schedule (and the Lakers’ success against it). Mercyhurst has played the second-toughest schedule to date by the RPI’s measure, while Wisconsin’s ranks just 12th. Wisconsin’s schedule will be tougher down the stretch. In a future post I will examine whether or not Mercyhurst controls its own destiny for the No. 1 seed. My intuition is that the answer is yes.
  • UNH’s No. 6 PWR is a bit of a surprise given that the Wildcats have been No. 2 or No. 3 in the polls most of the season. An interesting set of statistics to watch down the stretch will be the number of teams in each conference that maintain an RPI above .500. UNH will benefit relative to the ECACHL teams if, say, BU’s RPI soars above .500, and a team like Clarkson, which has struggled the past two weeks, falls below .500. I’ll try to look closer at these issues in future posts.