UND is currently ranked #5 in the PWR, though the Sioux are definitely looking up the ladder, not down.
Predicting UND’s PWR as of Feb. 15
Predicting for Tuesday, to include Monday night’s Beanpot games, UND is well-positioned to improve on its current ranking.
A sweep this weekend would almost guarantee a nice climb for UND (leaving only a about a 7% chance of ending the weekend #5 or lower). In that scenario, there would be about an 74% likelihood of UND being ranked #2-#3.
A split would really put UND’s fate in other team’s hands, with anything between #3 and #6 being moderately likely, but leaning toward #5-#6.
Games to watch this weekend
- SCSU over UMD By far the most important series (other than its own) for UND this weekend. A Duluth loss could give UND the PWR comparison with Duluth (based on RPI and perhaps even TUC). However, SCSU could also become a TUC, giving UND 2 valuable TUC wins. That would be enough to possibly take the TUC comparisons from BC, UMD, and UNH (at least for one week, see “TUC Cliff Revisited” below).
- UMN over Denver This is important from a defensive perspective, to keep Denver from overtaking UND. Denver wins could help the Pioneers surpass UND in both RPI and COP, depending on UND’s results this weekend.
- Robert Morris over Mercyhurst This seems to be a pure TUC-cliff play, Robert Morris winning keeps their RPI over .500 and keeps them a TUC.
- Bemidji State over MTech Another TUC-cliff play. The Beavers aren’t currently a TUC, but with a couple wins they could be, giving UND 2 more wins vs. TUCs.
TUC cliff revisited
The “TUC cliff” is a phenomenon in PWR where a team’s PWR ranking can be quite different depending which teams are “under consideration” (an RPI over .500).
As I noted in this message board post, UND has a winning record vs. the following teams near the TUC cliff:
- Alaska (1-0)
- Robert Morris (2-0)
The more of those that become TUCs, the better for UND.
Far more significantly, UND could end with a winning record vs. the following teams near the TUC cliff:
- Alaska-Anchorage (currently 0-0-1, 2 remaining)
- St. Cloud (currently 2-0-0, 2 remaining)
- Bemidji St. (currently 2-0-0, 2 remaining)
UND wants to beat those teams to get the maximum numbers of wins against them, but those losses will make it much harder for those teams to become TUCs. It’s like rain on your wedding day.
End of regular season outlook
With only 8 games left in the regular season, this is starting to shape up.
Edit… the above chart is the percentage share of possible outcomes. If you read those as probabilities, you’re essentially assuming that each team has a 50-50 chance of winning each game. More realistic, if you want to know what outcomes are actually likely, is guessing the winner of each game based on past results. The below chart does that (using KRACH).
The below notes refer to the probabilities of outcomes.
- Win 4 — Minimum required to stay reasonably safe for an at-large bid.
- Win 6 — Puts UND about where it is now, likely PWR ranking of #5-#6.
- Win 8 — Very likely to be top 4 (82% chance).
Current PWR rankings (SiouxSports.com)
Explanation of how PWR mimics NCAA tournament selection (CollegeHockeyNews.com)
USCHO Bracketology Blog (USCHO.com)