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  • Div III Bracketology

    I fooled around with a women's bracketology based on the standings and Pairwise rankings as of 1/30/2023. While coming up with the participants was easy, having two NESCAC teams in the middle of the rankings made coming up with pairings difficult... There are going to be many ways the committee could pair up these teams, but I just throw one out here. I tried to give the byes to the highest ranked teams. Here are the criteria (that I got from the 2023 Pre-Championship Manual) that came up while I did this:
    • Mileage between schools (the "Adrian" issue) is 500 miles. Hamilton fell just outside this limit.
    • No inter-conference games in the first round. (exact wording: "Teams from the same conference will not be paired to play each other in the first contest.")
    Auto qualifiers:

    Amherst (1)
    Gustavus Adolphus (2)
    Plattsburgh (5)
    Elmira (13)
    St. Norbert (15)
    Nazareth (19)
    Suffolk (21)

    At - Large:

    Wisc-River Falls (3) Pool B
    Adrian (4) Pool C
    Hamilton (6) Pool C
    Middlebury (7) Pool C

    First Round:

    Nazareth @ Elmira
    St. Norbert @ Wisc-River Falls
    Suffolk @ Hamilton

    Quarterfinals:

    Nazarath/Elmira @ Adrian
    St. Norbert/Wisc-River Falls @ Gustavus Adolphus
    Suffolk/Hamilton @ Plattsburgh
    Middlebury @ Amherst

    That's what I came up with, but as I said, there were many ways this could have gone...
    Last edited by spwood; 01-30-2023, 04:25 PM.
    Steve
    Penn State Class of '95
    Plattsburgh State Class of '99

    If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, then what is baby oil made from?

  • #2
    Isn't Utica leading the UCHC? Would that change things at all?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by SHockey98 View Post
      Isn't Utica leading the UCHC? Would that change things at all?
      Using spwood 's formula, I think it does change quite a bit? You guys can check me, because Naz is pretty important to this bracket given its location. With Utica taking the auto-bid, I think it would be:

      Auto qualifiers:

      Amherst (1)
      Gustavus Adolphus (2)
      Plattsburgh (5)
      Utica (10)
      Elmira (13)
      St. Norbert (15)
      Suffolk (21)

      At - Large:

      UW-River Falls (3) Pool B
      Adrian (4) Pool C
      Hamilton (6) Pool C
      Middlebury (7) Pool C

      First Round:

      St. Norbert @ UW-River Falls
      Utica @ Hamilton
      Suffolk @ Middlebury

      Quarterfinals:

      Elmira @ Adrian
      St. Norbert/UW-River Falls @ Gustavus Adolphus
      Utica/Hamilton @ Plattsburgh
      Suffolk/Middlebury @ Amherst

      Once again, Adrian messes up the entire "cleanness" of this bracket, with Elmira the only one eligible to play them without a flight, which forces the "9-seed" Elmira to the Quarterfinals. River Falls gets screwed here big-time.

      The BIG question is, what happens if pairwise holds firm for the at-large bids, and all conference leaders win the auto-bid BESIDES Elmira. If Norwich (they're pretty close in the standings) gets hot and beats the Soaring Eagles, I have no idea what the committee would do.

      Has this ever happened before where there is no team within 500 miles for a team to play? Would they allow for a conference matchup between Adrian and St. Norbert? Would those to face off in the quarterfinals? Or would they fly them? Or would they force the extra driving to a school like Hamilton, Utica, or River Falls?
      Last edited by VTpucksouteast; 01-30-2023, 04:04 PM.

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      • #4
        I think they would break the intra-conference rule before doing 1st round flights

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        • #5
          Honestly, it might be something the NCAA could get around regardless. If the rule is technically just no "first-round" conference matchups, that game would get pushed to the quarterfinals given Adrian has no one else within driving distance. In effect, this would force GAC-UWRF to the quarterfinal round as well, given they have no one else they could play after the first round out west.

          I could see a first round of

          Suffolk-Norwich
          Utica-Hamilton
          Midd-Platty

          Quarters are

          SNC at Adrian
          UWRF at GAC
          SUFF/NOR at Amherst
          UTIC/HAM vs. MIDD/PLATT

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          • #6
            Number 2 Gustavus at Number 1 UW River Falls tonight for the rubber match. And yes, I could see the NCAA putting the number 1& 2 seeds against each other in the first round. After all they are only West teams, how good could they be? Oh ya, if it hasn't for a blown offside in overtime last spring, oh well.
            4 & 20 The All-American Sister's
            SNC 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014, & 2018 Mens DIII NCAA Champions & they have Women's Hockey

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 4and20 View Post
              Number 2 Gustavus at Number 1 UW River Falls tonight for the rubber match. And yes, I could see the NCAA putting the number 1& 2 seeds against each other in the first round. After all they are only West teams, how good could they be? Oh ya, if it hasn't for a blown offside in overtime last spring, oh well.
              Those two facing off is 100% happening, lol. It just sucks the "big changes" the NCAA was making won't actually be that significant for what matters. I don't wanna be that guy, but yeah... it's hard to tell here but the play was offsides. And especially given what the one ref said about it, I understand why they had to stay with the call on the ice. The cameraperson really screwed up not being on that pass though, because that was the evidence had it not been so blurry. The puck was just reaching the blue line with the skater already cleared it. See photo:

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              • #8
                River Falls wins it in OT with a goal from Abigail Stow.

                Top 10 in PWR is now:

                Amherst
                River Falls
                Adrian
                GAC
                Plattsburgh
                Hamilton
                Middlebury
                Colby
                Cortland
                Utica

                Plattsburgh hosts Cortland for 2 this weekend and Amherst takes on Colby for 2 so the PWR could change by quite a bit depending on how those games turn out.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Wow... with 5.5 seconds left, the Falcons take the OT victory. What a win for UWRF. On the other end, you have to think it might be the nail in the coffin for Carroll. If he can't win a title with this loaded team, it's not happening. They might be cooked now, since this loss all but clinches a road trip to Wisconsin in the quarters and most likely a loss. I know GAC beat them last year, but the Falcons are Carroll's kryptonite. I think the Gusties might be done.

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                  • #10
                    I was working on my own bracketology but it became too complex, especially considering things will probably look way different a month from now.

                    To do a bracket with the leaders now puts SNC in but I strongly believe that once they play Adrian and Adrian makes up the two games difference in conference game plays Adrian will take the top spot and likely win the NCHA Pool A.

                    I attempted to bracket under that assumption but if the season ended with Adrian as Pool A and PWR as it is we have the NESCAC not only with Amherst as Pool A but with all 3 Pool C bids (Hamilton, Middlebury, and Colby).

                    While mathematically possible I don't think they will all be there in a month, especially since they have regular season series against each other and then conference playoffs. Midd has 2 each against Wesleyan, Williams and Hamilton left plus a non-conference against Norwich. Hamilton has that Midd series plus 2 against Bowdoin and a Conn College squad that Midd couldn't beat this past weekend. Colby takes on Amherst this weekend, Wesleyan and then Conn Coll in 2 game sets. Amherst, who I think is safe for at least a Pool C has two against Colby and Williams each plus a non-conference against CCC leader Suffolk.

                    Outside of the NESCAC we still have Plattsburgh who has 2 against Cortland who has a win over them this season plus Plattsburgh will have to beat them and/or a tough Oswego team in the NEWHL.

                    This is as close as the league has ever been (at least in the East) since I've been following



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                    • #11
                      Now that the pre-championship manuals and host manuals are all updated on NCAA's website, I noticed this nugget:

                      "The final site of the championship will not be held in the same sport region more than three times in a period of four consecutive years."

                      There's probably your answer in terms of who's hosting. No one was for sure how they were going to handle the COVID situation given that it wiped out two championships in a row. Since it went to Middlebury last year, technically it could've been the West's turn to host. However, the way that the above statement is worded by saying "four consecutive years" confirms that the West doesn't have to host until 2025. Depending on the bracket, they could put it out west, but it ain't happening this year. Even if it's River Falls, GAC, and Adrian right at the top, there won't be enough teams behind them. So prepare yourselves, west fans. It's going east folks, whether it's at Amherst or not.

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                      • #12
                        If the top western team bids to host and meets the requirement it will be out west. If they only went out west when it was east 3 straight years, St. Thomas would not have hosted in 2019 just two years after Adrian did in 2017.

                        The only time it HAS to be hosted in one region is if its been in the other three consecutive years. In a case like this year it could go either way.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Scott_TG View Post
                          If the top western team bids to host and meets the requirement it will be out west. If they only went out west when it was east 3 straight years, St. Thomas would not have hosted in 2019 just two years after Adrian did in 2017.

                          The only time it HAS to be hosted in one region is if its been in the other three consecutive years. In a case like this year it could go either way.
                          In a perfect world, yes. And I understand there is still a slight, slight chance. But assuming the only west teams to make the NCAAs are River Falls and Gustavus, and the faux-west Adrian, I can't see the River-Falls/Gustavus winner hosting three teams who will be flying in. Even if UWRF/GAC are 1 and 2 in pairwise by the end, unless 2 of Eau Claire/Augsburg/St. Norbert/Aurora sneaks in, it's going to be east. There's no shot they pay for 3 flights.

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                          • #14
                            There seems to be some know it all's on here regarding what the NCAA will and will not do. Let me remind everyone that in 2010 three, that's 3 schools were flown out to Minnesota for the finals at Gustavus, Amherst, Norwich and Elmira. Also, and I don't have the time to look it up St. Norbert was flown out east for a first round game I believe against Plattsburg. So, yes the NCAA will fly teams for first round games to keep bracket integrity and have flown three teams to the finals in the past. I am not aware of any significant changes to make that any different this year, but I am just some schlep out here in fly over country.
                            4 & 20 The All-American Sister's
                            SNC 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014, & 2018 Mens DIII NCAA Champions & they have Women's Hockey

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 4and20 View Post
                              There seems to be some know it all's on here regarding what the NCAA will and will not do. Let me remind everyone that in 2010 three, that's 3 schools were flown out to Minnesota for the finals at Gustavus, Amherst, Norwich and Elmira. Also, and I don't have the time to look it up St. Norbert was flown out east for a first round game I believe against Plattsburg. So, yes the NCAA will fly teams for first round games to keep bracket integrity and have flown three teams to the finals in the past. I am not aware of any significant changes to make that any different this year, but I am just some schlep out here in fly over country.
                              My apologies, as I'm really not trying to be a know-it-all.. lol... However, I did look into those instances a little deeper.

                              In 2010, that was the fourth season where the rule was in place that the tournament had to be moved around and couldn't be in the same region for more than 3 consecutive years, meaning it was time for the West to host. Thus, the NCAA had no choice but to fly three teams west with a seven team field.

                              When St. Norbert flew east in the first round (2013), it was an eight team field. With the MIAC and NCHA getting auto-bids, this was prone to happen. Gustavus and St. Norbert won the auto-bids, and River Falls got the at-large. Thus, there was an uneven balance, with 3 West and 5 East. Thus, the NCAA had no choice but to fly one east.

                              The two commonalities between those two years, was that the NCAA had no choice but to do that.

                              In 2023, with an 11-team field and no western Frozen Four requirement means the NCAA will have plenty of choices. With a plethora of teams out East to rotate between and no other legitimate West options behind the big 2 (I'm not counting Adrian for this exercise given the mileage), the NCAA theoretically could still put it west, especially when they are high in pairwise. But they won't, because in this current iteration of the bracket, provided if there's only 2 western teams within the limit, it's going east, no matter how strong those two are. There needs to be 4 for this to be a real discussion of the Frozen Four going east or west. Even if there's 3, there's a first round game in the current bracket where the NCAA could eliminate one of them right off the bat and we're right back to the same predicament. If it's 4, it is at least a conversation.
                              Last edited by SHockey98; 02-02-2023, 12:41 PM.

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