NCAA Hockey Tournament Blind Brackets

Matt Christians

Make your picks based on numbers, not bias.

One of the more popular tools in recent years when it comes to filling out brackets for the NCAA basketball tournament is the Wall Street Journal's Blind Bracket predictor. The idea behind it is very simple. Every team in the field is rated on a scale of 1-5 in six important categories. The Blind Bracket predictor shows you the profile of two teams that will play each other without showing you the name of either school. You pick the team whose profile looks stronger, and when you're done, they show you the bracket you've predicted. The concept is simple. It allows casual fans to still make educated picks, and allows hardcore fans to make selections without letting preconceptions get in the way.

We've decided to apply the same idea to the NCAA hockey tournament, albeit in a decidedly more low-tech fashion. Below is a break down of the four teams in each region based on six categories--Offense, Defense, Power Play, Penalty Kill, Strength of Schedule, and Streak. Decide which stats you value most and make your picks. The identities of each team will be revealed in the first comment of this post.

A few quick notes for clarification on this:

-All of these numbers were objectively determined based on national statistical rankings. Teams ranked 1-5  in a given stat were rated a 5, teams 6-10 rated 4.5, and so on down the line until you get the bottom nine teams, at which point everyone gets a 0.5 just for trying.

-The national rankings used for determining each category were as follows: Offense: Goals per game. Defense: Goals allowed per game. Power Play: PP%. Penalty kill: PK%. Strength of Schedule: KRACH SOS ranking. Streak: Winning percentage since February 28th.

-Though the teams have been randomized, Team A will always play Team B, and Team C will always play Team D in the first round, in case you want to compare power plays/penalty kills each other.

Region #1

Team
Offense Defense Power Play Penalty Kill Strength of Schedule Streak
Team A
3 4.5 0.5 5 2.5 5
Team B
5 5 4.5 5 2.5 4.5
Team C
2 4.5 1.5 4.5 4.5 2.5
Team D
5 5 4 2 2.5 5

Region #2

Team
Offense Defense Power Play Penalty Kill Strength of Schedule Streak
Team A
4.5 0.5 2 0.5 0.5 5
Team B
4.5 5 4.5 3.5 5 4
Team C
3 5 2.5 4 5 4
Team D
5 1.5 5 0.5 4 2.5

Region #3

Team
Offense Defense Power Play Penalty Kill Strength of Schedule Streak
Team A
5 4.5 5 5 4.5 1.5
Team B
1.5 4.5 4 5 1 4
Team C
2.5 5 4 1.5 4 4.5
Team D
4 4 5 5 1 5

Region #4

Team
Offense Defense Power Play Penalty Kill Strength of Schedule Streak
Team A
4.5 4.5 2 4.5 0.5 4
Team B
2.5 3 2.5 2.5 4.5 4
Team C
4 3.5 3 4 2 5
Team D
3 2.5 3.5 3 2.5 3

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