Michigan? What’s a Michigan?

In my days in college hockey I’ve seen plenty of people give teams the ammunition to win. But in all my time have I seen such little respect given to a team that, in the history of the NCAA tournament, has more championships than any other club.

Michigan will play North Dakota this weekend in the NCAA West Regional, but I’m pretty sure that if you’re surfing around the Internet over the past few days you might be led to believe that North Dakota, along with fellow WCHA participant Minnesota, have been given automatic byes to the regional title game.

Here’s what Michigan head coach Red Berenson had to say the other day when asked about his team’s participation in the tournament:

“Everyone is talking about Minnesota and North Dakota being the teams — I don’t think they even know we’re in the tournament. You know there is going to be an underlying current that needs to come out of our locker room and show up in that game Saturday. Hopefully we can do something.”

In a way, I think that Berenson actually controlled his remarks pretty well. If you think the message will be that simple or calm to his team, you’re very wrong. In this writer’s mind, there is not a single doubt that Michigan will give North Dakota 150% of what they’re capable of (and save the references to the fact that giving 150% is impossible – it’s hyperbole).

Come NCAA tournament time, there’s certainly nothing like adding fuel to a team’s fire.

Less than 48 hours until the first puck drops. Let’s get ‘er going.