URL for this frameset: http://www.elynah.com/tbrw/tbrw.cgi?1998/pairwise.980202.shtml
Everybody's on the same page now; Mankato State is eligible for the tournament and included in the NCAA Tournament selection procedure. With that settled, let's calculate the selection criteria, starting with game results from the Division I Composite Schedule on US College Hockey Online. (USCHO also maintains a current RPI and current PWR, which will agree with these independently-calculated numbers until Monday's games.) This week there are 22 teams with .500 or better winning percentage, and here are the results of pairwise comparisons among them.
Team PWR RPI Comparisons Won 1 Mich State 21 .607 NDBUNHMiWiMmYaBCSCCgOSCrNMNELSCkCCPnRPPvDa 2 North Dakota 20 .626 __ BUNHMiWiMmYaBCSCCgOSCrNMNELSCkCCPnRPPvDa 3 Boston Univ 19 .618 ____ NHMiWiMmYaBCSCCgOSCrNMNELSCkCCPnRPPvDa 4 New Hampshire 17 .619 ______ MiWiMm__BCSCCgOSCrNMNELSCkCCPnRPPvDa 5 Michigan 17 .596 ________ WiMmYaBCSCCgOSCrNMNELSCkCCPnRPPvDa 6 Wisconsin 15 .589 __________ Mm__BCSCCgOSCrNMNELSCkCCPnRPPvDa 7 Miami 15 .585 ____________ YaBCSCCgOSCrNMNELSCkCCPnRPPvDa 8 Yale 15 .559 ______NH__Wi__ __SCCgOSCrNMNELSCkCCPnRPPvDa 9 Boston Coll 13 .573 ______________Ya SC__OSCrNMNELSCkCCPnRPPvDa 10 St Cloud 12 .546 __________________ CgOSCrNMNELSCkCCPnRPPvDa 11 Colgate 12 .553 ________________BC__ OSCrNMNELSCkCCPnRPPvDa 12 Ohio State 10 .534 ______________________ CrNMNELSCkCCPnRPPvDa 13 Cornell 7 .517 ________________________ NMNELS____PnRPPvDa 14 Northern Mich 7 .534 __________________________ NELSCkCC__RPPvDa 15 Northeastern 6 .533 ____________________________ LSCk__PnRPPvDa 16 Lake Superior 6 .504 ______________________________ CkCCPnRPPvDa 17 Clarkson 6 .521 ________________________Cr______ CCPnRPPvDa 18 CO College 6 .534 ________________________Cr__NE____ PnRPPvDa 19 Princeton 4 .510 __________________________NM________ RPPvDa 20 RPI 2 .480 ______________________________________ PvDa 21 Providence 1 .490 ________________________________________ Da 22 Dartmouth 0 .448 __________________________________________
To play the tournament selection game, let's first assign the automatic berths for regular season champions to the current leaders: Wisconsin, Michigan, Yale and BU. The pairwise comparisons tell us unequivocally that the at-large bids should go to Michigan State, Wisconsin, Miami, St. Cloud and Ohio State in the West, and New Hampshire, BC and Colgate in the East. Since there's an East-West imbalance in the field, we designate Ohio State an honorary Eastern team before ranking the teams within their regions:
West East 1 Mich State 5 .607 NDMiWiMmSC | 1 Boston Univ 5 .618 YaNHCgBCOS 2 North Dakota 4 .626 MiWiMmSC | 2 Yale 3 .559 NHCg__OS 3 Michigan 3 .596 __ WiMmSC | 3 New Hampshire 3 .619 __ CgBCOS 4 Wisconsin 2 .589 ____ MmSC | 4 Colgate 2 .553 ____ BCOS 5 Miami 1 .585 ______ SC | 5 Boston Coll 2 .573 Ya____ OS 6 St Cloud 0 .546 ________ | 6 Ohio State 0 .534 ________
It's easy to see that Michigan State and North Dakota claim the two byes in the West (unless Michigan and/or Wisconsin get the automatic byes for winning their respective tournaments). In the East, BU gets the top bye. Yale and New Hampshire each win three comparisons with "Eastern" teams (including Ohio State), but the Bulldogs win the comparison with UNH, so they would be the second seed. This is despite the fact that in the overall PWR above, UNH ranks fourth in the nation, and Yale only eighth. The two Western teams that UNH beats and Yale loses to don't help the Wildcats here. The teams to be swapped, based on the numbers, are again straightforward in the West (Miami and SCSU); in the East we see Ohio State should be swapped back to the West regional; Colgate and BC each win PWCs with two teams in the East, but Colgate wins the individual comparison with BC and thus outranks them. Making those swaps gives regionals of:
West East 1 Mich State (C) 1 .607 ND | 1 Boston Univ (H) 1 .618 Ya 2 North Dakota (W) 0 .626 | 2 Yale (E) 0 .559 3 Michigan (C) 3 .596 WiBCOS | 3 New Hampshire (H) 3 .619 MmSCCg 4 Wisconsin (W) 2 .589 BCOS | 4 Miami (C) 2 .585 SCCg 5 Boston Coll (H) 1 .573 __ OS | 5 St Cloud (W) 1 .546 __ Cg 6 Ohio State (C) 0 .534 ____ | 6 Colgate (E) 0 .553 ____
Now let's inspect things for conference matchups. If we seeded the tournament as is, Michigan and Ohio State would meet in the first round and Colgate might play Yale in the second. That's easily remedied by swapping the five and six seeds in each region. (Ordinarily when two seeds are swapped to avoid a second-round intraconference game, the other two are also switched to maintain the first-round pairings, but in this case, that would result in a potential--and more likely--second-round game between UNH and BU. So here are the brackets:
5W Ohio State (C) 6E St Cloud (W) 4W Wisconsin (W) 3E New Hampshire (H) 1W Mich State (C) 2E Yale (E) 2W North Dakota (W) 1E Boston Univ (H) 3W Michigan (C) 4E Miami (C) 6W Boston Coll (H) 5E Colgate (E)
Are we done, on the first try for once? There's one potential second-round matchup in the West, but that was inevitable given the conference imbalance. From an attendance standpoint, you certainly can't complain about the field in Ann Arbor (although confused fans might show up expecting football games :-)); you might argue the issue of keeping BC in the East over Colgate, but the latter is rather closer to Albany, plus putting BC in the East would mean adding a potential all-Hockey East game in the second round.
If you want to see the reasons why each of the pairwise comparisons turned out the way it did, here they are.