How the NCAA Playoff Teams are determined
Current Pairwise Ranking
This is the time of the year when college hockey players, coaches and fans start obsessing about "Pairwise Rankings" and "RPI" which are two formulas that determine which "At Large" teams get invited to the NCAA Tournament. Since the field was expanded to 16 teams, 10 "At Large" teams and 6 Conference Playoff Champions are invited. Even though Denver is currently in first place in the WCHA, DU is ranked 20th and wouldn't qualify for the NCAA's unless they won the WCHA playoffs.
The good news for DU is that their RPI is going to get a huge boost over the next five weeks because they are playing some very highly ranked opponents. Currently DU has a winning percentage of 60.7%, an Opponents Winning Percentage of 50.4% and an Opponents-Opponent Percentage of 52.1%. With roughly 1/4 (22.3%) of the season remaining, the Opponents Winning Percentage should rise to around 55% and the Opponents-Opponent Percentage will rise to 53% based on the current numbers of MSU-Mankato, Minnesota, UND & CC.
Assuming DU goes 5-3-0 in the remainder of the regular season, wins the first round playoff series, and at least splits in the Final Five they should get in. DU's RPI is currently .5299. I expect that it will rise to around .5600 by the end of the regular season.
DU does have issues in PWR with teams under consideration and common opponents, but thats another topic for another day. Keep winning like they've been doing recently and it will all take care of itself.....I hope????