Minnesota State, with 63 points, will almost assuredly finish in 1st place and win the MacNaughton Cup. They have a five-point lead on Northern Michigan, and there are only two situations that the teams tie:
- 64 points: Northern gets two standard wins and Minnesota State loses twice, once standard and one over-overtime. Mankato and Northern tie at A, and Mankato wins at B, 21-20.
- 63 points: Northern gets two wins, one standard and one over-overtime, and Minnesota State suffers two standard losses. Mankato and Northern tie at A, and Mankato wins at B, 21-19.
In short: if Bemidji State sweeps Minnesota State and Northern Michigan sweep Michigan Tech, the Wildcats win the MacNaughton. In every other instance, Minnesota State is the #1 seed.
Northern is not guaranteed 2nd place, as Bowling Green is just three points back. The teams tie in the following scenarios:
- 61 points: Bowling Green gets two standard wins, and Northern Michigan gets one. The teams tie at A; Northern Michigan wins at B, 19-18.
- 61 points: BG gets two standard wins, and Northern Michigan wins once in over-overtime and loses once in over-over time. The teams tie at B, 18-18, and BGSU wins at C, five standard losses to six.
- 60 points: BG gets one standard win and one over-overtime win; NMU gets one over-overtime win and a regulation loss. NMU wins at B, 18-17.
- 60 points: BG gets one standard win and one over-overtime win; NMU gets two over-overtime losses. NMU wins at B, 18-17.
- 59 points: BG gets one standard win and one over-overtime loss; Northern gets one over-overtime loss and one standard loss. NMU wins at B, 18-17.
- 59 points: BG gets two standard over-overtime losses; Northern gets one over-overtime loss and one standard loss. NMU wins at B, 18-16.
- 58 points: BG gets one standard win and one standard loss; Northern is swept. Northern Michigan wins at B, 18-17.
- 58 points: BG gets two over-overtime losses; Northern is swept. Northern Michigan wins at B, 18-16.
In short: Bowling Green can finish in 2nd if they pass Northern Michigan or if they sweep Alabama-Huntsville and Northern Michigan gets three points in two over-overtime games. Otherwise, Northern Michigan finishes 2nd.
Hi, everyone. While I was off slinging 632 GB down from space (harder than you’d think), the WCHA has played half of its season! Jimmy. I’m hoping to catch up here now that 2018 is upon us. We’ll see.
2017-18 Week 10 BELOW
Above are the 2017-18 BELOW rankings after Week 10 of WCHA conference play (70 of 140 games played).
|Team||BELOW||ExpWin%||Week 0 BELOW||+/-
As you’d expect, BELOW at the halfway mark pretty well mirrors the league standings. BELOW still likes Bemidji State, probably because the Beavers have played just 12 games (as have Alaska-Anchorage) while Michigan Tech has played 18 (most in the league; all others have played 14).
Speaking of Tech, they’re the stunning team of the season, free-falling from 1st in BELOW at the start of the season to eighth now due to the second-best league offense (Minnesota State is tops in GF) going unsupported by the second-worst defense (Lake Superior is last in GA). Where’s the beef, indeed.
Supplanting the Huskies in the standard top-three is Northern Michigan, which has excelled under first-year coach Grant Potulny. The Wildcats have truly been an excellent team this season.
If you’re new, here’s a decent guide to BELOW. Note that teams were reverted towards the mean at the start of the season because of the nature of college hockey player turnover.
I’ll be back later this week (hopefully).
- Michigan Tech: 62% of the time
- Bowling Green: 38% of the time
- Michigan Tech: 65% of the time
- Bowling Green: 35% of the time
I’ve been doing ABOVE projections with a randomizing element since late January. The reason for this is pretty basic: if you want to test that an estimate is right, you can use a group of estimates clustered around a single estimate and see if any of them are right or wrong. I’ve been using a randomization band of +/- 40, so in a case where I ran 81,000 cases (I run 100,000 to 1,000,000 based on how many games I’m estimating), I’d expect to see around 1,000 uses of each BELOW input.
That first estimate is the randomized BELOW estimate churned through the ABOVE calculation 1,000,000 times. Coming into the final, Michigan Tech is at BELOW 1701 and Bowling Green is at 1617, its highest mark in 2016-17. As a result, we could have a matchup of MTU 1741, BGSU 1577; in that matchup, Michigan Tech would be picked to win 72% of the time. We could also see MTU 1661, BGSU 1657, and that’s a dead heat.
When I noticed that BGSU was at its best mark of the year, I decided to additionally randomize between the best and worst marks for each team. MTU has been as high as 1739 and as low as 1586; BGSU is at 1617 now and was as low as 1479. This gives us a band of 54% BGSU favored to 82% MTU. Throw that in the wash and you get that second pair of numbers.
Which is better? It’s a single game. BG fans will probably rib me if their team wins on Saturday. MTU fans will probably accuse me of jinxing them. I’ll probably be frustrated either way, but it’s a certainty that I’ll be back next year.
Ed.: Post updated to fix the date of the final game.
Congratulations to Bowling Green for downing top seed Bemidji State, a team that hadn’t lost two league games in a row all season and lost both games in a series just twice (to #1 North Dakota and a streak-starting Princeton team).
Minnesota State pulled off a 1-0 win over Michigan Tech to push the 2-3 semifinal to a third game. Here are your projections:
- Michigan Tech is expected to win on Sunday 58.131% of the time. If they win, they are favored to beat Bowling Green in Houghton next weekend 67.802% of the time.
- In the 41.869% of trials where Minnesota State wins on Sunday, they beat BG in a game they host 60.981% of the time.
- Despite the fact that they are a strong underdog in both finals matchups, Bowling Green is projected to be the Broadmoor Trophy winner 35.054% of the time, second to Michigan Tech at 39.414% and ahead of Minnesota State at 25.532%.
If Michigan Tech wins on Sunday and Bowling Green wins next week, we will have the same combination of playoff seed wins as last year: 1-2-3-4 in the quarters, then 2-4 in the semis with a 4 in the finals. It would be truly interesting for the Falcons to win given their start.
Enjoy the games! We have just two left, and that is sad.
After a 5-1 Michigan Tech and a 4-3 overtime Bowling Green win, it’s time to update Friday’s projections.
Overall Broadmoor Trophy Projection:
- Bemidji State: 16.278%
- Michigan Tech: 48.734%
- Minnesota State: 11.848%
- Bowling Green: 23.140%
Bowling Green (1587) at Bemidji State (1640)
- Bowling Green sweep: 21.618%
- Bowling Green in 3: 42.469%
- Bemidji State in 3: 35.91%
Minnesota State (1642) at Michigan Tech (1700)
- Michigan Tech sweep: 58.282%
- Michigan Tech in 3: 21.428%
- Minnesota State in 3: 20.290%
Michigan Tech at Bemidji State final:
- Occurs 28.525% of the time
- Bemidji State wins 44.673% of those matchups.
- Michigan Tech wins 55.327% of those matchups.
Minnesota State at Bemidji State final:
- Occurs 7.332% of the time
- Bemidji State wins 48.213% of those matchups.
- Minnesota State wins 51.787% of those matchups.
Bowling Green at Michigan Tech final:
- Occurs 51.053% of the time
- Michigan Tech wins 64.545% of those matchups.
- Bowling Green wins 35.455% of those matchups.
Bowling Green at Minnesota State final:
- Occurs 13.091% of the time
- Minnesota State wins 61.508% of those matchups.
- Bowling Green wins 38.492% of those matchups.
First semifinal: Bowling Green (BELOW 1568) at Bemidji State (BELOW 1659)
- Bemidji wins 66.850% of the time: in 2: 41.926%; in 3: 24.924%
- BG wins 33.150% of the time: in 2: 16.591%; in 3: 16.559%
Second semifinal: Minnesota State (BELOW 1672) at Michigan Tech 1670
- Tech wins 49.614% of the time: in 2: 27.742%; in 3: 21.871%
- Mankato wins 50.386% of the time: in 2: 22.109%; in 3: 28.277%
- Bemidji-Tech: 33.145%.
- Bemidji-Mankato: 33.705%.
- Tech-BG Final: 16.460%.
- Mankato-BG Final: 16.681%.
- Bemidji State: 33.350%
- Michigan Tech: 24.850%
- Minnesota State: 25.242%
- Bowling Green: 16.558%
Once you get to the finals, all four are 50-50 matchups. Here’s why:
- Because Michigan Tech and Minnesota State are in a dead heat with Bemidji State close behind, the Tech-Mankato winner is going to be just a little bit better because that season is generally going to be close.
- If Bowling Green gets the upset, they’ll be pretty close to their finals opponent.
This is a lot like last year, where the top three teams were pretty clustered in terms of an estimate and Ferris broke through and were the better team that weekend. ABOVE, by randomizing BELOW estimates within a range, accounts for teams getting hot and going cold and, over time, averages that out. Now it makes more sense for a regular season projection, but it works here in the finals.
So what you see above is the projection of Bemidji State likely winning 2/3 of the time and the Tech-Mankato semifinal being a toss-up. I could run that 1,000,000,000 times and probably get something close to the same result as I did with 1,000,000.
Enjoy the games. The math means little when the puck drops.
2016-17 Week 21, Series 68: Alabama-Huntsville (1413) at Bowling Green (1479)
|BGSU 5 points (W, OTW)||6.57%
|UAH 5 points (W, OTW)||4.64%
|BGSU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)||4.13%
|UAH 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)||3.39%
This series projection is probably a lot closer than people would expect, but BELOW likes UAH’s win over BSU a lot and brings them in, and it looks at the Falcons going 6-0-0-10 in their last 16 WCHA games and gives them a big ol’ ¯(°_o)/¯.
2016-17 Week 18, Series 58: Northern Michigan (1426) at Bowling Green (1533)
|BGSU 5 points (W, OTW)||8.99%
|BGSU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)||6.66%
|NMU 5 points (W, OTW)||3.82%
|NMU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)||2.05%
Before NMU smoked UAA — a team that’s no great shakes this year, but a team that BELOW considered to be on par with the Wildcats — it looked like Northern Michigan might be headed for the scrap heap. Instead, its strong showing against Alaska-Anchorage and the struggles of Alabama-Huntsville could take Walt Kyle off of the hot seat in Marquette.
Chris Bergeron’s team has to find an identity. Minnesota State has a date against cellar-dweller UAA (who admittedly are a tough out, especially on Friday nights at home), and while the two teams immediately behind them are idle this weekend, the fact of the matter is that BG plays just one series after this weekend — home against UAH to close the season. It’s put-up or shut-up time at the Mad House on Mercer for a team with just five games to play this month.
2016-17 Week 17 BELOW (In Progress)
Above are the 2016-17 BELOW rankings after Week 12 of WCHA conference play (105 of 140 games played).
|Team||BELOW||ExpWin%||Pts/GP %||Pts (Max)
Friday night’s results:
- Michigan Tech (5-2, including an ENG) defeated Alabama-Huntsville. Tech moves to BELOW 1738, Huntsville drops to 1359.
- Bowling Green (3-2, OT) defeated Ferris State.
- Minnesota State (4-2) defeated Lake Superior.
This firms up the playoff picture a bit:
- Bemidji State has clinched home ice in the playoffs with the Lake Superior loss. If Ferris State takes any points from the Falcons tonight, the Beavers will have third clinched.
- Michigan Tech has clinched a playoff berth, as none of Alabama-Huntsville, Alaska-Anchorage nor Northern Michigan can pace the Huskies. The Huskies can finish no worse than 7th, and if the results tonight are like last night’s, the Huskies will finish no worse than fifth.
- Bowling Green leads Ferris State 2-0-0-1 in the A tiebreaker between the two teams. If the Falcons pick up any points tonight, they win at A in a tie with the Bulldogs.
- The same is true of Minnesota State and Lake Superior — if the Mavs pick up any points, they win any (improbable) tiebreakers.
- Michigan Tech has won the A tiebreaker over Alabama-Huntsville, though this scenario has no relevance.
Some folks have asked for Saturday predictions, but I ran into script-writing problems. Maybe for next week.
2016-17 Week 17, Series 53: Bowling Green (1559) at Ferris State (1486)
|BGSU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)||7.20%
|FSU 5 points (W, OTW)||6.53%
|BGSU 5 points (W, OTW)||3.73%
|FSU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)||2.74%
The teams split a pair in Ohio back on the first weekend in November before Bowling Green had their act together. The spread of probabilities in the above table feels right to me. It would make sense for BG to come out well ahead this weekend, but then they’ve played .530 hockey in league play this year. The Falcons are better on the road this season. I’d take a split, but I know that no one wearing orange wants that.