It’s that time of year again. The NCAA tournament is around the corner, so it’s time to project what the field of 16 will look like in March. This is my third year doing Bracketology, but a quick primer anyways:

1. My bracketology is based not on how the field would look if the season will end today, but how I think it will look in a month or so when the field is actually announced.

2. Like other NCAA Sports, the conference champions from each of the five conferences get an automatic bid to the field.

3. The remaining 11 bids are handed out by looking at the Pairwise rankings, which is an objective system developed by the committee in the early 90s.

4. Teams that are in the tournament and are hosting a regional automatically get put into their home region.

This year’s hosts are:

East/Bridgeport: Yale

Midwest/Green Bay: Michigan Tech

Northeast/Manchester: New Hampshire

West/St. Louis: CCHA

Let’s look at this week’s bracket:


1. Yale

4. RIT

2. Merrimack

3. Miami


1. Denver

4. Dartmouth

2. Minnesota-Duluth

3. Michigan


1. Boston College

4. Wisconsin

2. Union

3. New Hampshire


1. North Dakota

4. RPI

2. Nebraska-Omaha

3. Notre Dame

So there we have our first bracket. Depending on what happens in the WCHA I think Merrimack actually has a chance to snag that final #1 seed due to playing some Hockey East bottom feeders to end the regular season (though of course a lot of that depends on the health of Stephane Da Costa). As for the 2/3 seeds, I would have no problem flipping Union/UNH or Omaha/Notre Dame.

In terms of the strength of the respective brackets, the East looks the strongest to me and the West the weakest.

My projected Frozen Four this week would be: Miami, Denver, Boston College, North Dakota