Pairwise update (Friday pregame)
BOSTON — Boston University beat Providence in the weekend's opening game at TD Garden, which is good news for Merrimack. That improves the Warriors’ chances of qualifying for the NCAA Tournament as an at-large team.
However, in St. Paul, Colorado College beat Denver in the weekend's opening game for the NCHC. That keeps a potential spoiler team alive. Meanwhile in Lake Placid, Colgate beat Quinnipiac in double overtime. That keeps another potential spoiler team alive.
The BU win was good for Merrimack. The CC win and Colgate wins were bad for Merrimack and they could be potentially catastrophic if the Warriors don’t beat Lowell tonight.
Obviously, Merrimack is guaranteed an NCAA berth if the Warriors win the Hockey East championship.
Here is what Merrimack wants moving forward:
North Dakota vs. St. Cloud State: This is the big one. Merrimack wants St. Cloud State to win this game. If North Dakota wins, it will set up an NCHC final between two spoiler teams tomorrow night. That would guarantee the elimination of an at-large bid. It also would mean that Merrimack would be eliminated from NCAA Tournament contention tonight with a loss to Lowell.
If St. Cloud wins, Merrimack will enter tomorrow night with a chance (albeit a small one) of qualifying for the NCAA Tournament, even if they lose to Lowell tonight.
A Merrimack loss tonight would drop the Warriors to No. 15 in the Pairwise. However, the cut line would be moved up to the No. 14 spot if Colorado College vs. North Dakota is the NCHC championship game because both of those teams are spoiler teams. Make sense?
So basically, if North Dakota wins, Merrimack HAS to win tonight.
Cornell vs. Harvard: It doesn’t really matter. It might help slightly if Cornell wins this game.
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