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Final Bracketology

Will BU end up in Providence or Manchester
Will BU end up in Providence or Manchester
Matt Dewkett

Here it is. After weeks of speculating and practicing, it's time for the real thing. All the games have been completed and we now know which 16 teams will make up the field for this year's NCAA Tournament. Here is our best guess at where those teams will be placed tomorrow morning.

First, we'll start with the field. Here is how the final pairwise rankings ended up. (As a reminder, here is how the Pairwise Rankings work, which are the sole criteria for determining at-large bids)

1. Minnesota State[WCHA Autobid]

2. North Dakota

3. Boston University [Hockey East Autobid]

4. Miami[NCHC Autobid]

5. Denver

6. Minnesota Duluth

7. Michigan Tech

8. Nebraska-Omaha

9. Harvard [ECAC Autobid]

10. Minnesota [Big Ten Autobid]

11. Boston College

12. St. Cloud State

13. Yale

14. Quinnipiac

15. Providence

16.  RIT (Atlantic Hockey Autobid)

If we created a bracket with perfect 1 vs 16/2 vs. 15/etc. bracket integrity, we'd have a bracket that looks like this:

Northeast Regional
Verizon Center
Manchester, NH

1. Miami

2. Denver

3. St. Cloud State

4. Yale

West Regional
Scheels Arena
Fargo, ND

1. North Dakota

2. Michigan Tech

3. Minnesota

4. Providence

Midwest Regional
Compton Arena
South Bend, Ind.

1. Minnesota State

2. Nebraska-Omaha

3. Harvard

4. RIT

East Regional
Dunkin Donuts Center
Providence, RI

1. Boston University

2. Minnesota Duluth

3. Boston College

4. Quinnipiac

This is less than ideal in a number of situations. While the NCHC has more than five teams in the tournament and could technically play an intra-conference first round match-up, we'll try to avoid it at nearly any cost. We can also make some switches to keep teams closer to home.

The generally accepted rule is that we can move teams around their seed band(the four #2 seeds are interchangeable, for example) but we can't change any team's actual seed (1-4 are #1 seeds, 5-8 #2 seeds)

My best stab at it is something that looks like this:

Northeast Regional
Verizon Center
Manchester, NH

1. Boston University

2. Minnesota Duluth

3. Harvard

4. Quinnipiac

West Regional
Scheels Arena
Fargo, ND

1. North Dakota

2. Michigan Tech

3. St. Cloud State

4. Providence

Midwest Regional
Compton Arena
South Bend, Ind.

1. Minnesota State

2. Nebraska-Omaha

3. Minnesota

4. RIT

East Regional
Dunkin Donuts Center
Providence, RI

1. Miami

2. Denver

3. Boston College

4. Yale

I only had to switch around some three seeds to make this bracket work. I switched Minnesota and St. Cloud State so that St. Cloud State wasn't playing a fellow NCHC team. I then switched Minnesota and Harvard so that Harvard stays in the east and Minnesota sort of stays in the west, and then one final switch of Harvard and Boston College to help the Providence regional with the bigger Eagle fanbase. I like this because everything pretty much makes sense and there's very little switching from straight bracket integrity.

The big decision is determining whether Boston University is the #1 seed in the East or Northeast regional. We ended up choosing Northeast in order to keep Yale in Providence, which might help attendance a little bit more there.

For comparison's sake, Adam Wodon of College Hockey News came up with the same thing, though he didn't make that final switch of Boston College and Harvard.

If the Committee decided to be really aggressive, Jeff Cox came up with this scenario that also makes a lot of sense:

Northeast Regional
Verizon Center
Manchester, NH

1. Boston University

2. Michigan Tech

3. St. Cloud State

4. Quinnipiac

West Regional
Scheels Arena
Fargo, ND

1. North Dakota

2. Minnesota Duluth

3. Minnesota

4. Providence

Midwest Regional
Compton Arena
South Bend, Ind.

1. Minnesota State

2. Nebraska-Omaha

3. Harvard

4. RIT

East Regional
Dunkin Donuts Center
Providence, RI

1. Miami

2. Denver

3. Boston College

4. Yale