Looking at the calendar, we are a few days more than two months to the WCHA Final Five. That fact alone should instill a sense of urgency in all the teams wanting to make the NCAA Tournament, especially UMD after last season’s poor showing in the second half.
The Formula for Getting Into the Tournament. With sights set on the prize of a trip into the NCAA’s, we will focus on the PairWise Rankings (PWR) for the rest of the season for rankings and use the PWR at USCHO. The PWR is a mimic of the selection criteria used to pick the 16 teams for the NCAA Tournament. Keep in mind that the five conferences get an automatic bid for their tournament winner.
UMD, though idle this past weekend, moved from #6 in the PWR to #2 tied with North Dakota. Why? I don’t know, but it must have something to do with Bemidji becoming one of the Teams Under Consideration (TUC) for the NCAA Tournament. TUC are the teams in the top 25 of the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) that ranks all Division I hockey teams. Tired of the acronyms yet? And we haven’t even gotten to the math…which is a mystery to almost everyone. And even if it wasn’t Bemidji, other teams are right on the bubble of being TUC’s and rankings may depend who is in or out of the TUC when the rankings are accessed.
Every game counts, but in the PWR system, some count more than others. From here to the end of the season, games against TUC teams are especially important. That list is long for UMD the rest of the way out and it starts this weekend with Wisconsin coming to Duluth.
The news coming out of Saint Cloud is not looking good. As it was written here, Hepp left for the pro ranks and Mosey was dismissed. It was also said here that Hepp was going to be dismissed, but was given the chance to sign. Further, newly reinstated David Eddy was going to be a healthy scratch for the series against MTU. Mosey action was reportedly for an incident at the Florida tournament, but we kept that all of the actions were for the incident. The story can be read here.
Now we learn that indeed Hepp was going to be dismissed prior to his signing. For the Eddy angle, the “third player involved” was not named, but who makes a newly reinstated player who was scoring in his first two games a healthy scratch? What is more disturbing is that the incident likely stemmed from alcohol consumption that the coaching staff had to know about as reported here. Are there any standards in Saint Cloud? I guess that they dismissed two guys and made them take the fall for lack of supervision by the coaching staff.
When will the Circle End? The Sioux name fight has gone to the government where it will again become a problem for UND and the NCAA. The Grand Forks Herald story is here.
Just give it up and save time and energy and pick a new name…or just stay North Dakota with no nickname. What is being forgotten is the other sports are still looking for a league home. The league that will take them have the condition of dropping the name. Hockey may be important, but it is not the only sport.