The road to the NCAA Frozen Four in St. Paul begins in earnest this week, as five of the six college hockey conferences begin play in their tournaments.
Winners of the six conference tournaments — Atlantic Hockey, Big Ten, ECAC, Hockey East, NCHC and WCHA — will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, while 10 at-large teams will be selected by the NCAA using a mathematical formula. The PairWise Ratings mimic the NCAA's formula and have consistently been accurate in predicting the NCAA field.
With that in mind, let's look at the current PairWise Ratings and see the likely NCAA teams from each conference: 1. St. Cloud State; 2. Notre Dame; 3. Cornell; 4. Minnesota State Mankato; 5. Denver; 6. Ohio State; 7. Clarkson; 8. Minnesota Duluth; 9. Minnesota; 10. Michigan; 11. Northeastern; 12. Providence; 13. Penn State; 14. North Dakota; 15. Nebraska Omaha; 16. Boston College.