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Minnesota lands No. 1 seed in 2014 NCAA tournament

The field of 16 teams for the 2014 NCAA tournament was announced Sunday and with Yale not making the tournament, there will be a new national champion crowned on April 12 in Philadelphia.

Three teams from the 2013 Frozen Four — Quinnipiac, St. Cloud State and Massachusetts-Lowell — are back in the tournament this year.

See the regional schedule here

Minnesota is the No. 1 overall seed, with Boston College No. 2, Union third and Wisconsin the fourth seed.

The Gophers open the West Regional in St. Paul, Minn., at the Xcel Energy Center against Atlantic Hockey champion Robert Morris.

fsuwatch Minnesota lands No. 1 seed in 2014 NCAA tournament

Ferris State players and fans gather at Buffalo Wild Wings in Big Rapids, Mich., to watch the selection show for the 2014 NCAA tournament (photo: Adelle Whitefoot).

St. Cloud State and Notre Dame play in the other West Regional opening game.

“All 16 teams are doing something right,” St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko said. “It’s a great field, and I think it’s another one of those years right now, it’s wide open. It’s anybody’s ball game to get after. Everyone is going to point at Minnesota and Boston College to be the two favorites to fight it out, but if history plays out the way it has the last few years, this thing’s wide open.”

See our NCAA tournament page

In Worcester, Mass., for the Northeast Regional, three conference champions will take part at the DCU Center as NCHC champs Denver open against Boston College and then Massachusetts-Lowell (Hockey East) plays Minnesota State (WCHA).

“At this point you want to play the best possible teams you can because you’re going to face them at some point,” Massachusetts-Lowell coach Norm Bazin said. “It’s going to be interesting in facing an opponent [in Minnesota State] that we haven’t faced.”

Said River Hawks captain Josh Holmstrom: “I think at this point we’re worried more about ourselves. I try to focus on what we can do and worry about our game plan more than who we’re playing.”

The Pioneers are back in the tournament under first-year coach Jim Montgomery.

“It’s great to add to the storied tradition that’s already here in place,” Montgomery said. “With the seven national championships and numerous WCHA regular season and postseason championships, it’s nice in the inaugural season to be able to add to it. All the alums, they are really proud. The social media messages and the phone messages I have received shows the pride all the Pios have.”

The East Regional in Bridgeport, Conn., at the Webster Bank Arena features Union playing Vermont and Providence facing 2013 national runner-up Quinnipiac.

Think you can pick a perfect bracket? Try at College Hockey Pickem 2014

Cincinnati’s U.S. Bank Arena hosts the Midwest Regional with North Dakota and Wisconsin battling in a game of ex-WCHA teams and Ferris State taking on Colgate.

North Dakota made it to the tournament only because Wisconsin beat Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game Saturday, keeping the Buckeyes out of the field.

“Obviously we’ve seen a lot of new and different things on the college landscape this year,” North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol said. “This is a new possibility. It comes down to the immediate season. Wisconsin has had a phenomenal year, No. 1 seed, coming into the tournament winning their league championship tournament. We’ve got our hands full coming in as a four seed. That being said, it should be an exciting game, a great matchup for fans.”

Colgate beat Ferris State 3-0 on Jan. 4 for the Mariucci Classic championship after the teams split a pair of season-opening games in Hamilton, N.Y.

“We’re familiar with [Colgate] and obviously they are very familiar with us,” Ferris State coach Bob Daniels said. “What’s interesting, we were talking about it, after that [NCAA] game, we’ll have played them more times than Minnesota State this year. We’ve got a healthy dose of respect for them.

“It didn’t come as any surprise to us they made the tournament. I thought they were one of the best teams we faced during the course of the year. Both them and Minnesota State and then Alaska-Fairbanks were in my opinion were three of the best teams we saw.”

The regionals begin Friday night and run through Sunday.

Contributing: Jim Connelly, Candace Horgan, Matt Mackinder, Matt Wellens


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  • Vinnie Vega

    I’m psyched! As long as Starman isn’t doing any of the games,

    • Brian

      Agreed about Starman.

      • ronl

        Tough seeing Lowell and BC in same bracket. HE toughest conference all year..

        • Brent Sucks

          When a conference sends five teams, it’s bound to happen.

          • ronl

            u r correct. Was hoping lowell would get the 1 seed and wisc the 2.

        • JakeB

          The committee could easily have swapped Lowell and Quinnipiac without losing bracket integrity… Obviously, they don’t want to one conference winning 3 or 4 regions… for good or bad.

  • JakeB

    Agreed, this is a very strong field, especially 1-10. Denver wasn’t in the mix last week… But kudos to them, they played themselves in and had a winning record before their tournament started. The teams who were in late and missed it (Michigan, Northeastern, Cornell)? Tough luck… they either played themselves out or just didn’t do enough. NO other team has any right to gripe.

  • Chrisgal

    Did Starman say he thinks Dowd is the favorite for Hobey???

    • smack_libs_around

      Starman will…at BEST..get two of his FF picks in. As for declaring that Goudreau won’t win Hobey and that BC won’t be one of those four teams, we’ll just have to sympathize with his ‘Senior Moment.’ He’ll crow about being ‘right’ if he ends up being, but I’ll happily bludgeon him if he isn’t.

      • Chrisgal

        Full disclosure, I’m a BC fan, but also an objective hockey fan. That being said, when was the last time there was a bigger Hobey lock?

        • patrickolson

          no kidding!

        • Brian

          Indeed!

        • tape

          I’m no BC fan, but if Gaudreau isn’t unanimous for the Hobey then people should get their votes taken away.

        • Daniel

          Agreed

  • James t. Kirk

    The only bad team in the tourney is Morris. Mankato is next, with Ferris state close behind. But mankato and FS are still decent teams capable of winning one or wo games here. I have seen them both play. I think FS is 1-6 against teams in the field. The WCHA this year is brutal. Top two conferences are NCHC and HE.

    • Brent Sucks

      You seriously think SCSU, UND, and DU are better than Union, Quinnipiac, and Colgate?

      Hell, one could make the argument that the B1G is equal to or greater than the NCHC given that it sent in two #1 seeds including the top overall.

      • James t. Kirk

        Yep, I do. Colgate? These programs are once in a blue moon programs. UND and Denver have been typically solid year in and year out. There is a reason UND has the streak at 12 years in a row to NCAAS, Denver is next with 7 years. They play in te toughest conference top to bottom. Pre season number 1 team finished last in the conference. Problem is if you’re not on you can’t catch your breath with any teams in NCHC. Weak Ten, there were two decent teams. HE have a few nice teams this year too. The tournies wide open. My point was anyone but Morris, and likely Mankato and FS could win this thing.

        • BJ

          hilarious. I think I read the same thing about Yale last year, and I do believe I read about 100 posts about how badly the Minnesota would destroy Holy Cross. If people think that teams like Morris, Minn St and Ferris cant win it all they are mistaken. And the argument on which conference is strongest… does it matter? NCHC, HEA, B10…. its a never ending pointless argument. All that matters is winning the title. If you are 1 of the 16 you just need to win 4.

          • James t. Kirk

            Here’s an idea, put a $1,000 on Morris and let me know how you do. Yale was a one in a million and it happened. If you want to argue could they win, of course they could because they are in it. If you want to have a serious conversation about them winning, then have it with your buddy Lloyd Christmas. “So you’re telling me there’s a chance.”

          • BJ

            2013 Yale was a fluke then 2012 Ferris State? 2010 RIT? 2009 Bemidji? If you ask me it seems that every year a team makes a run that no one expects. 2011 Duluth was a 3 seed. Its more of the norm then a one in a million. Could Morris get blown out.. sure. UofM basically playing at home but if they write morris off it will be another Holy Cross game.

          • Chrisgal

            This is where you have to stop. There is no way Morris can win this…..

          • Drew

            It appears that you have a poor understanding of statistics.

            The NCAA tournament is a “One and Done” format. This greatly increases the chances that “better” teams can lose. Just because Holy Cross beat Minnesota in a single game, doesn’t mean they are a better team. They simply won in a single trial.

            Do you play any poker? It is understood that AA is the “best” hand you can start with in Texas Hold’em poker. However, that hand still loses about 20% of the time. Can you confidently say that AA is better than QJ? Absolutely! If QJ wins, does that mean it is a “better” hand? Well, I guess you could say on that given day given the way the cards came off the deck, but anyone who is honest with themselves can admit that AA is still “better” than QJ, but that normal statistical variation allows QJ to win sometimes!

            Back to hockey, obviously there are more factors in hockey than in poker, but the same principal applies. SCSU, DU, UND “better” teams than Quinny, Colgate, Union? Of course. Hard to make a serious argument against that. Can Quinny, Colgate, Union beat SCSU, DU, UND in the tournament? Absolutely! Such is the beauty of this tournament format!

            Should be fun!

        • JakeB

          Wow!

        • smack_libs_around

          To be fair, Yale was a ‘Once-in-a-Blue-Moon’ program, too. As evidenced by last year…and this year. So you can’t dismiss them.

        • Brent Sucks

          You prove you know little by saying the B1G had just two decent teams. Michigan was the first team out (UND was the last team in) – putting those two on roughly equal footing. If you’re going to claim UND is decent (a #14 seed) and that Michigan sucks, that’s a comically arbitrary place to draw the line.

          If you’re going to claim Denver is good simply because they won the autobid (and are thus seeded a crappy #15), then you’re an OT goal (or a two goal lead hold) away from saying OSU was good. Do you see the problem with your logic yet?

          And lastly, program history has no bearing – zero, zip, nada – on how good a specific team is this year or right now. I’d pick Union, Quinnipiac, and toothpaste to outperform UND, SCSU, and DU in this tournament and be pretty damn comfortable in making that assertion. Those teams as a whole earned better seeds for a reason.

        • Matt Forget

          In case you haven’t been paying attention for the last like 20-30 years, smart one, all it takes is the “once in a blue moon” teams to win it.

        • Bob_McNotmyrealname

          These programs are once in a blue moon programs.

          Terrible logic. Results from last year or the last 10 years don’t have any influence on this year.

    • Joe

      The Nacho is one of the two best conferences? With the fourth-best OOC record? Really??

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