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Student Section: Stretch Run Here We Come Episode #16

After sweeping a very bad Ohio State team (4-2 W, 6-2 W) the Gophers are back in the NCAA playoff picture. Obviously, the Pairwise is pretty fluid and with one bad loss, that could change again.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Good Morning Student Section! Last Sunday when the Student Section went live, the Minnesota Golden Gophers were outside the top 16 spots in the Pairwise Rankings.

What a difference a week makes.

After sweeping a very bad Ohio State team (4-2 W, 6-2 W) the Gophers are back in the NCAA playoff picture. Obviously, the Pairwise is pretty fluid and with one bad loss, that could change again.

After having only one of teams in the NCAA playoff picture last weekend, the Big Ten's fortunes changed in one week. If the NCAA tourney started today, Michigan would be headed to South Bend and Minnesota would probably be headed to Fargo. But hey, let's not get ahead of ourselves. Again, like I mentioned earlier, a couple of bad losses for either team and their position changes. Both teams need to win out to get locked into the tourney.

The problem is that the Big Ten Hockey Conference outside of Minnesota and Michigan is a very weak hockey conference. Penn State is a bubble team and swept (5-2 W, 4-1 W) a very bad Wisconsin team this past weekend. As I mentioned last week, the Big Ten's out of conference record 37-42-7 (.471) is killing them.

Taking a look at the Big Ten's Pairwise numbers

Last week, the Pairwise Number looked like this: (Michigan 14, Minnesota 19, Penn State 22, Michigan State 34, Ohio State 36 and Wisconsin 55).

This week, they look much better for the Big Ten: (Michigan 12, Minnesota 14, Penn State 20, Michigan State 34, Ohio State 39 and Wisconsin 55). (Net gain of 6). Three teams are now in contention to make the tourney.

This weekend, the Gophers entertain the Michigan Wolverines. A sweep for either team could bury the other.

It will be interesting to see how the Big Ten tournament shakes out. Minnesota has a 1-2-1 record in the state of Michigan this season and the B1G tourney is at the Joe in Detroit.

Breaking down Adam Wilcox's season

Last season, All-American goalie Adam Wilcox finished the season with a (26-6-6, 1.97 GAA and a .932 SV%). This season, Wilcox's numbers are very different. Through 26 games, Wilcox is (14-8-3, 2.62 GAA and a .901SV%).

Looking at the number closer, according to collegehockeyinc.com stats Wilcox is the 25th ranked goalie in the NCAA.

Minnesota started the season 7-1-0, Wilcox numbers were respectable (7-1-0, 2.12 GAA and a .913 SV%^). Since November 14, 2014, Wilcox is (7-7-3, 2.83 GAA and a .896 SV%).

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