Feb 4, 2013, 6:45 AM EDT
We’re taking you “Back To Class” for our roundup of the weekend’s action in college hockey. Look for more college hockey on NBCSN this Friday night at 8:30 p.m. ET as No. 7 North Dakota takes on No. 14 Nebraska-Omaha.
The college season is beginning to wind down and when match-ups come up, most college sports fans will judge the games based on where each team is ranked in the polls. I’m here to tell you that at this point of the year, you’re being lied to.
Watching the polls in February and March, whether it’s the USA Hockey/USA Today poll or the USCHO.com poll, is a pointless process and proof you’ve been conditioned by college football or basketball to buy into these arbitrary rankings. Since the season is winding down, it’s time for college hockey fans to put those voted-on rankings away and focus all attention on the Pairwise Rankings (PWR).
The Pairwise is what the NCAA uses to pick the at-large teams for the NCAA tournament. If your team is amongst the top 16 teams, you’ve got a chance. If they’re in the top 11, you’re virtually guaranteed a spot in the tourney. Unlike the BCS in college football, Pairwise uses all math and no polls to determine how teams shake out. Eliminating the human element, aside from the players on the ice actually winning and losing and tying games, helps makes the process virtually inarguable.
4. Boston College
5. New Hampshire
6. Western Michigan
8. St. Cloud State
10. North Dakota
11. Boston University
13. Minnesota State
16. Notre Dame
19. Union College
20. Northern Michigan
When you compare that to how the polls look when they come out later today, you’ll likely see some big differences and that’s because people are who they are.
Polls are based on human opinions and often times those voting in the polls don’t see everyone they’re casting (or not casting) votes for. PWR, thankfully, eliminates that and focuses on whether or not teams are under consideration (TUC) and what a team’s record is against TUCs. Check out College Hockey News’ explanation of the whole thing if you’re feeling lost, it’s worth your time.
Games to look out for this weekend: Aside from our Friday night game which shapes up to be a great WCHA battle, that conference has another killer tilt with Minnesota facing conference-leading St. Cloud State. Their weekend battle is one not to be missed. In the CCHA, Miami and Western Michigan face off for a pair in Kalamazoo to see who can take charge there.
Quinnipiac owns the ECAC: The Bobcats ran their unbeaten streak to 19 games after tying Brown and handing rival Yale their lunch on their ice to the tune of 6-2. Quinnipiac was down 2-0 right off the bat but came romping back through to turn it into a laugher. QU is now seven points up on second-place Yale and 10 up on Dartmouth and Union.
The Niagara situation: The Purple Eagles are the best team in Atlantic Hockey. At 17-4-5 they’re taking care of their business and they’ve got a heck of a goalie leading the way for them. They’re now also up to ninth in the PWR which puts the whole Pairwise situation in a different place.
In the past, teams had to try and aim for at least 15th in the PWR because a less-than great Atlantic team would get one of the spots in the tourney. If Niagara stays strong and rolls through the conference tourney on their way to an auto-bid, it’s possible that winding up 16th in PWR might just land you a spot in the NCAA tournament.
(Photo: ECAC Hockey)
Apr 24, 2014, 3:46 PM EDT
He’s listed with an upper-body injury, which may or may not be related to the puck he took in the face in Game 1.
Apr 24, 2014, 3:28 PM EDT
“We know what to expect from him.”
Apr 24, 2014, 3:16 PM EDT
“It’s our puck battles. It’s our willingness to play in those areas and make it a tough game. “
Apr 24, 2014, 2:41 PM EDT
Kings captain will play on the top line for tonight’s elimination game.
Apr 24, 2014, 2:16 PM EDT
“Since March 20, 2011, I’ve been a changed player. I’ve approached the game differently. I think differently about the game.”
Apr 24, 2014, 1:07 PM EDT
Mikael Granlund became only the fifth NHL player in the last 75 years to score his first career playoff goal in a 1-0 overtime game.
Apr 24, 2014, 12:41 PM EDT
3-4 month timetable for recovery.
Apr 24, 2014, 12:33 PM EDT
Seems like a good thing to write about after last night’s game in Columbus.
Apr 24, 2014, 12:26 PM EDT
His first start of the series.
Apr 24, 2014, 12:20 PM EDT
“They played hard, but for us it was more what we weren’t doing than what they were doing.”
Apr 24, 2014, 11:43 AM EDT
Detroit hosts Boston at the Joe tonight.
Apr 24, 2014, 11:31 AM EDT
Toews won it last year, Bergeron the year before that.
Apr 24, 2014, 10:31 AM EDT
Would be his series debut, and first game since the Sochi Olympics.
Apr 24, 2014, 9:50 AM EDT
Will Andersen or Hiller start in Game 5?
Apr 24, 2014, 9:01 AM EDT
“I think he likes the big stage.”
Apr 24, 2014, 8:04 AM EDT
Elsewhere, Detroit will play Boston and Colorado will face the Wild.
Apr 24, 2014, 1:59 AM EDT
The Blackhawks gave the Blues a taste of their own medicine.
Apr 24, 2014, 12:52 AM EDT
Another memorable moment for the American star.
Apr 24, 2014, 12:25 AM EDT
The NFL defensive back strategy.
Apr 23, 2014, 11:29 PM EDT
Nice gesture … bad sign?
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- Cooke: I didn’t intend to collide knee-on-knee with Barrie 61
- On ‘score effects,’ and the challenges of playing with the lead 8
- MacKinnon: Avs ‘shut ourselves down’ in Game 3, not Wild 23
- Bergeron, Kopitar and Toews named Selke finalists 31
- Report: Zetterberg to return to Detroit lineup tonight (Update: Game-time decision) 60
- Kane’s OT goal ties Blackhawks – Blues series at 2-2 34
- Stars chase Andersen, tie series with Ducks 2-2 21
- Penguins blow three-goal lead, Columbus evens series 94
- NHL suspends Matt Cooke for seven games 104
- Video: Seabrook ejected for charging Backes; will face hearing (update) (153)
- Bad luck strikes twice: Lightning goal waved off, Stamkos takes knee to head (137)
- Keith doesn’t remember if he taunted Backes after Seabrook hit (125)
- Video: Lucic spears DeKeyser from behind (118)
- Flyers want to ‘punish’ McDonagh (113)