Consider the bear poked. Five weeks out from the Final 8, it is worth it to begin bracketing.

At first blush, there is a parity paradox which will wend its way down-bracket when, wait for it, it comes to whether the wild card team will be a semifinalist out of Canada West or Ontario. It is easier at this point to identify three clear worthies out west — Calgary, Alberta with Brody Clarke back and Manitoba are all north of .600 in conference RPI and above .800 in overall win percentage — than it is to identify how the hierarchy of OUA falls into line behind the Behemoth off Bronson Ave. that is the Carleton Ravens. Ontario is clearly the most competitive conference, with a good five teams one could see getting hot in the playoffs and winning an auto-berth.

The first principles are just to help to foster understanding of the seeding rules. Conference tournament winners must be seeded in the top six; same-conference matchups in the quarterfinals are frowned upon but not forbidden; and common sense just suggests that Carleton and host Ottawa will be on opposite sides of the draw. But the OUA's three-division format and 12-team playoff bracket might make that tricky.
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