The field is set, bracket prediction to come

Our field is set. Air Force and Rensselaer get the final two spots.

The teams in the field:

Yale

North Dakota

Boston College

Miami

Michigan

Merrimack

Denver

Union

Minnesota-Duluth

Western Michigan

Notre Dame

Nebraska-Omaha

New Hampshire

Colorado College

Rensselaer

Air Force

There you have it.

Bracket prediction to come.

42 COMMENTS

  1. Where is the big RIT fan who was loving life as a 4 seed playing Yale. Before you get excited you might want to make the tournament. Oh well, congrats to the Air Force Academy…..

  2. Bridgeport, CT Regional
    1-Yale vs. 16-Air Force
    8-Union vs. 9-Minnesota-Duluth

    Green Bay Regional
    2-North Dakota vs. 15-RPI
    7-Denver vs. 10-Western Michigan

    Manchester, NH Regional
    4-Miami vs. 13-New Hampshire
    6-Merrimack vs. 11-Notre Dame

    St. Louis Regional
    3-Boston College vs. 14-Colorado College
    5-Michigan vs. 12-Nebraska-Omaha

    • I think there is a chance if the committee doesn’t protect integrity and places RPI against Yale in Bridgeport (i.e. 1 vs 15). I don’t see RPI going to Manchester…

      • RPI and Yale are both ECAC teams and they will not put two teams from the same conference facing each other in the first round.

    • Probably not. Yale is the host school (and can’t play RPI since the NCAA does not allow league opponents to match up in the first round and UNH will probably be the 4 seed in Manchester. Just one question: If they play in GB like SpartyOn says, what day are those games?

  3. Bridgeport – Yale vs Air Force, Denver vs W. Michigan
    Green Bay – North Dakota vs RPI, Union vs UMD
    Manchester – BC vs Colorado College, Michigan vs UNH
    St. Louis – Miami vs UNO, Merrimack vs Notre Dame

    I agree they don’t put Denver with North Dakota and with one swap they move Union away from Yale and Denver away from ND. UNH shouldn’t be a 3 seed, but if they want to keep BC close to home then UNH becomes the 3 seed and UNO drops from the 12 to 13 overall as the 4th seed in St. Louis. This configuration leaves 3 regions with a 1 and 3 seed from the same league. The only way to avoid that would be to move BC to St. Louis and reseed the teams like this:

    Bridgeport – Yale vs Air Force, Denver vs W. Michigan
    Green Bay – North Dakota vs RIP, Union vs NotreDame
    Manchester – Miami vs UNH, Merrimack vs UMD
    St. Louis – BC vs Colorado College, Michigan vs UNO

  4. Why would the powers that be punish UND and Denver by puting in same bracket and leave one regional devoid of WCHA teams? Are they afraid of an all WCHA Frozen Four? Which would sell out the X

      • Not much in Mpls either for that matter, although the Nacho does get a bit of credit for cracking the 10K mark. Not as good as HEA, but solidly mediocre.

    • If B1G hockey fans don’t seem to travel, where should the tourney be held? Campus site? It was disappointing to see all the empty seats all weekend.

      • The WCHA did campus sites this year. I can only speak for what I saw at the semifinal series in Houghton (MTU-MnSU). MTU had home ice guaranteed in the first two rounds. However, those first two rounds coincided with spring break, which meant very few students were in town. Thus, they only had 2000-2600 attendance in a 4200-seat building. Tech got home ice for the final when Bemidji lost, so with the students back they went over capacity at 4466. That’s still the 2nd smallest attendance of the six conference final games (source for all attendance figures is USCHO box scores, Google/Wikipedia for arena capacity figures, me and a calculator for percentage of capacity figures):
        HEA – 12,309 (Boston, 17,565 cap., 70% full)
        NCHC – 10,297 (Mpls, 19,356, 53%)
        B1G – 5,601 (Detroit, 20,066, 28%)
        ECAC – 4,830 (Lake Placid, NY, 7,700, 63%)
        WCHA – 4,466 (Houghton, MI, 4,200, 106%)
        AHA – 650 (Rochester, NY, 13,000, 5%)
        Note – I copied that AHA figure accurately. It is possible that USCHO’s box score is incorrect, but if accurate, holy wah.

        • I get your point. Some schools are on Spring Break. How about instead of throwing $$$ at a big venue that seats 15,000+, find a venue that seats 8,500-10,000, like an AHL arena. Of course, you are now talking about smaller places that might not be too or as inviting. No easy answer to this. I know we had SB when Wisconsin came to Pegula, but had two sellouts because the town came out.

          • I think part of the problem was that contracts with Joe Louis, Xcel, etc. for conference tournaments were set up several years in advance, and when the conferences re-arranged, they kind of had to keep them in place. Besides, for the most part, the CCHA and WCHA tournaments had been successful – in large part, because a large enough contingent of alums/fans of the various league schools were clumped around the Twin Cities (WCHA) and Detroit (CCHA), along with large schools in close proximity to ensure good crowds regardless of who the teams were. That all changed with the rearrangement, but I think the conferences and arenas went ahead with the existing setup to see if their previous successes could be maintained. I think we now know the answer to that. None of the western conferences has that kind of geographic setup anymore.

            As to using an AHL arena, the WCHA already tried that last year in Grand Rapids, and was under half-capacity both nights (5049 for the semis, 4048 for the final in a building that holds 10,834 – and for whom the champion Ferris State was basically the “home” team). Similar results two years earlier. That’s why the WCHA went ahead with campus sites. I presume their contracts with neutral-site venues had either expired, or the parties mutually agreed to terminate. The other AHL cities in the WCHA main area (MN, WI, IL, MI, OH) are in Milwaukee, Rockford, IL, Rosemont (Chicago burb), IL, and Cleveland. GR was about the most conveniently located of the bunch, and it bombed twice.

            There’s no doubt in my mind that in the current environment that campus sites are the way to go for conference tournaments. You’re much more likely to get full buildings (although mostly small ones), but you give up the large-and-evenly-split crowds that you often got during the old WCHA and CCHA tournaments.

    • Detroit would *seem* like a logical place to hold the B1G tournament, since it’s centrally located, and has drawn well for CH in the past (GLI, CCHA tourneys, etc). Perhaps the biggest problem that I see is that the alumni presence in the Detroit area for B1G schools without “Michigan” somewhere in the name are kind of small, and local fans/students have money & time constraints preventing them from making the trip. GLI and the CCHA tourneys did well because so many of the teams involved (like MTU, Ferris, WMU, etc) were closer and had bigger alum/fan bases in the Detroit area. The WCHA tournament (before the splits) did so well in St. Paul for the same reasons. Since the splits, *no* conference’s tournament has done particularly well, attendance-wise, regardless of site.

      • You can’t keep it in the same place. You have to move it around. The problem with Michigan is both Michigan teams in the league are more basketball schools then hockey and they are more likely to stay home and watch hoops. There is little draw from them. Put it on campus sites and save money.

        • See my post below about my recent experience with campus site playoffs. There are trade-offs to be made, and in the current CH environment, it’s certainly worthwhile to make them but there *are* drawbacks.

          PS: I get the point you want to make about UM & MSU being basketball schools, but make no mistake, they are football schools, first and foremost. It’s driven away basketball coaches from Michigan (see Freider, Bill). Hockey will never be more than third or fourth banana (behind football, men’s BB, and possibly women’s BB) at *any* B1G school (although you could possibly swap football and MBB at IU and Purdue…). Note also that WI and MN both had teams in the NCAA men’s BB tournament this weekend

          • But the BIG Hockey Tournament isn’t competing with Michigan or MSU football. It’s competing with the NCAA hoops tournament which the tournament goes head to head against. I don’t consider Minnesota a basketball school. Minnesota is a hockey school first. As a graduate of Denver, I know Wisconsin hockey fans travel. In addition, both Michigan teams sucked this year, so there was a lack of interest from their respective fan base for staters.

  5. What a game that was. Heartbroken by the ending but what a ride this season has been. It’s a shame attendance of the B1G Tourney is so poor.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here