Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow him on Twitter @RomanStrib.

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If NCAA hockey tournament started today, U would be on bubble

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Gophers, Men's hockey Updated: December 3, 2012 - 11:59 PM

If the NCAA hockey tournament were starting today -- and let's assume the current first-place teams won their respective postseason conference tournaments -- the Gophers would be the last of the 16 teams in the field.

Or, if anybody but Niagara emerged as the Atlantic Hockey tournament champion or there was a major upset winner in any of the other postseason tournaments, the Gophers would be out.

Never mind that they are No. 4 in the uscho.com national poll this week, or No. 5 in the USA Today poll.

Interesting, eh?

Here is how I've come to these conclusions. As we all know, the PairWise ratings -- based on team comparisons that a computer can do easily -- mimic how the NCAA picks it's at-large teams.

The champions of the five conferences get automatic bids. Then nine at-large teams are named.

So who is in the field?

Well, the current conference leaders are Niagara in Atlantic Hockey, Miami in the CCHA, Quinnipiac in the ECAC, Boston College in Hockey East and Denver in the WCHA. For the purposes of this exercise, let's say they all win their conference tournaments and get automatic bids.

The four tops seeds -- who will be in separate regionals -- according to the current PairWise ratings would all be schools out East:

Top overall seed: Boston College, No. 1 in the PairWise, first in Hockey East (automatic bid, assuming Eagles win conference tournament), defending NCAA champion, coming to Minneapolis for the Mariucci Classic. Coaches by legendary Jerry York, who just tied the record for most victories by a Division I college coach.

Second seed: New Hampshire, No. 2 in PW.

Third seed: Dartmouth, No. 3 in PW. Would be sent to Midwest or West Region

Fourth seed: Yale, No. 4 in PW. Would be sent to Midwest or West Region.

The four No. 2 seeds in the regionals would be: Boston University, Notre Dame, Miami (automatic bid) and Quinnipiac (automatic)

The four No. 3 seeds: Western Michigan, Denver (automatic), Cornell, Union

The four No. 4 seeds: North Dakota, Harvard, Gophers and Niagara (automatic) ... Gophers, No. 15 in PW, would be last at-large team in.

If one team -- or more -- below Niagara in the PW ratings wins a conference tournament, thereby grabbing an automatic spot, then the Gophers would be out of the NCAAs.

Just missing as of today: Ohio State, tied with Niagara for No. 16 in PW, and three WCHA teams -- No. 18 Nebraska Omaha, No. 19. St. Cloud State and No. 20. Colorado College.

Obviously, a lot can change with the PW ratings week to week. And there are still three months left in the regular season and postseason tournaments to play. This is just a snapshot look at how things stand on Dec. 3.

Here is a breakdown by conference of who would be in:

Atlantic Hockey (1): Niagara

CCHA (3): Notre Dame, Miami, Western Michigan.

ECAC (6): Dartmouth, Yale, Quinnipiac, Cornell, Union, Harvard.

Hockey East (3): Boston College, New Hampshire, Boston University

WCHA (3): Denver, North Dakota, Gophers.

Six ECAC teams in the NCAAs! That would be something for that league. Probably won't end with that many. Things will sort out.

The WCHA only has three because everyone is beating everyone in the conference. Take Saturday for example, lowly Wisconsin wins on the road at first place Denver and Alaska Anchorage gets its first conference win over visiting St. Cloud State, tied for second.

The top four teams in strength of schedule, which influences RPI, an important stat in the PW ratings, are: Dartmouth, Boston College, Boston University and Yale. Three of those teams would be No. 1 seeds today.

The Gophers and Nebraska Omaha, two NCAA bubble teams (as of today) who just split with each other, are Nos. 42 and 43, respectively, out of 59 Division I teams.

The Gophers' strength of schedule will take a jump with Colorado College, Air Force, Boston College and Notre Dame coming up in that succession. They sorta eased into this season. Now it gets rough.

YORK ON CUSP OF MARK

Boston College coach Jerry York's march to a milestone hit a speed bump on Friday. The Eagles, who lost their seassn opener to Northeastern 3-1, won 10 in a row until losing at Boston University 4-2.

But on Saturday, BC bounced back to win 5-2 at home. It was the 924th win for York, tying York with retired Ron Mason of Michigan State for most wins all-tiime as a college hockey coach.

York's record is now 924-558-94 in 41 seasons. He will try to break Mason's mark on Friday at Providence.

The Friars are 7-6-1, 5-4-0 in Hockey East, so a road win is not a foregone conclusion.

If BC, 11-2, 10-2, should lose, there next game is not until the Mariucci Classic. So Gophers fans would have a chance to see hockey history. The Eagles play one-win Alabama-Huntsville on the first day of the tournament and the Gophers on the second.

 

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Cincinnati - LP: J. Broxton 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: T. Watson 2
Minnesota - LP: T. May 1 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 9
NY Yankees - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
Toronto - LP: M. Buehrle 3
Philadelphia - LP: J. Diekman 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 4
Boston - WP: A. Ranaudo 8 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: C. Archer 4
Miami - LP: C. Hatcher 2 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: D. Carpenter 5
Cleveland - WP: D. Salazar 6 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Vargas 1
Detroit - WP: J. Verlander 7 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: S. Carroll 1
Texas - WP: S. Baker 13 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Oberholtzer 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: N. Ramirez 7 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: P. Neshek 2
Colorado - LP: R. Brothers 2 FINAL
Arizona - WP: B. Ziegler 5
Oakland - LP: J. Lester 0 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Weaver 4
Los Angeles - LP: K. Correia 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: T. Stauffer 3
Washington - WP: J. Zimmermann 8 FINAL
Seattle - LP: F. Hernandez 3
Milwaukee - LP: W. Peralta 2 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: R. Vogelsong 13
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Houston 3 FINAL
Sporting Kansas City 1
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 71 FINAL
Phoenix 85
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2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
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