Final look at PWR possibilities

I hacked on the simulator last night and got it supporting conditional games (e.g. winner of this game plays winner of that) and I’m glad I did — the results were pretty interesting.


Decked out in blacks for the Final Five, here’s the distribution of possible outcomes of the Final Five.


NOTE — unlike during the regular season, outcomes are not weighted as to their likelihood. So, instead of reading the chart “UND has a 35% chance of finishing #5 if games go as predicted by KRACH”, it should be read “35% of possible Final Five outcomes results in UND finishing #5”.

What to cheer for

A game-by-game cheering guide can be found in the “UND finishes #3” scenario in the Extreme outcomes section below. However, not all games are equally important. Here’s what seemed to matter in the simulations.

These are the minimum individual events required for a #3 finish (other things have to happen, too, but they involve combinations of outcomes)

  • Notre Dame wins 1
  • Alaska wins 1
  • Michigan can’t win any
  • Yale can’t win 2
  • St. Lawrence wins 1
  • UW wins 1
  • Northern Michigan wins 1

Interesting tidbit — UND can lose a game and still be #4. It looks like most of those scenarios involve UND losing to UW in the title game, but there are a few others floating around out there.

Extreme outcomes

As many have speculated, UND does seem to be a lock for the tourney. Though likely outcomes seem to range from #4 to #10 in the pairwise rankings, possible finishes range from #3 to #13 (a broader range than I’ve seen speculated anywhere else). The fun thing about CHN’s You Are the Committee being out now is that you no longer have to take my word for it, I can give you the scenarios, proving that the simulator does something useful 🙂

UND finishes #3

UND finishes #3 in about .2% of possible outcomes. Given that there are about half a million possible outcomes of the remaining 19 games, that’s about 1000 different ways UND could finish #3. Here’s one of them.

Northeastern > Mass.-Lowell
Boston University > Boston College
Boston University > Northeastern

Cornell > Princeton
St. Lawrence > Yale
St. Lawrence > Cornell
Princeton > Yale

Mercyhurst > RIT
Bentley > Air Force
Bentley > Mercyhurst

Alaska > Michigan
Notre Dame > Northern Michigan
Alaska > Notre Dame
Northern Michigan > Michigan

UW > Denver
UMD > Denver

UND finishes #13

UND finishes #13 in about .005% of possible outcomes. If my game count above was right, that’s about 25 different ways UND could finish #13. Here’s one of them.

Northeastern > Mass.-Lowell
Boston College > Boston University
Boston College > Northeastern

Princeton > Cornell
St. Lawrence > Yale
Yale > Cornell
Princeton > St. Lawrence

RIT > Mercyhurst
Air Force > Bentley
RIT > Air Force

Michigan > Alaska
Northern Michigan > Notre Dame
Northern Michigan > Michigan
Notre Dame > Alaska

Denver > UW
UMN > Denver

What now?

  • PWR thread remains hopping with a lot of people who are probably smarter than I am — head over there to discuss, pontificate, and learn
  • John Whelan’s You Are The Committee (hosted at CHN) lets you test my scenarios and your own

Leave a Reply