After last night, Michigan State ended in a tie for 12th in the PairWise rankings, a tool that mimics the NCAA selection process. Michigan State was tied with Minnesota, but won the comparison, so MSU would be the 12th seed in the NCAA tournament (or the last #3 seed).
Based on this projection, MSU would face Boston College in St. Paul
At first glance, that is one heck of a bracket. Michigan, the top seed, would have to deal with Minnesota who would be playing a home game. Michigan State would have to face a tough Boston College team for the second time this year. Four big time programs in the same regional. That would be a tough hill to climb, but let's face it, most MSU fans would be happy just being in the tournament this year given how last season went.
Most of us thought MSU would be improved, but now the Spartans are in position to be in the top 4 of the CCHA as well as a NCAA tournament team, and as the 2007 Spartans showed - you just need to get in to win. Who would want to face MSU in the tournament at this point? The Spartans would be a very dangerous team.
So, what would it take for MSU to get there? At first glance, MSU would be in pretty good position if they earned 9 of their final 12 points, and won a series in the CCHA tournament. The assumption here is MSU would be at the Joe. The only drawback there might be that MSU has to win at least a game at the Joe (at least the 3rd place game).
It's certainly an exciting time of year to be a Spartan hockey fan. Coach Anastos and company has this team playing very well right now.