Making a case for attendance-based switches

Welcome to the next installment of our Bracketology, and we’ll keep bringing you a new one every week until we make our final picks before the field is announced.

If you want to skip the inner workings and get to the results of the analysis, then click here.

Here are the facts:

• Sixteen teams are selected to participate in the national tournament.

• There are four regional sites (East — Bridgeport, Conn.; Northeast — Worcester, Mass.; Midwest — Green Bay, Wis.; West — St. Paul, Minn.)

• A host institution which is invited to the tournament plays in the regional for which it is the host, and cannot be moved. There are four host institutions this year: Yale in Bridgeport, Holy Cross in Worcester, Michigan Tech in Green Bay and Minnesota in St. Paul.

• Seedings will not be switched, as opposed to years past. To avoid undesirable first-round matchups, including intra-conference games (see below), teams will be moved among regionals, not reseeded.

Here are the NCAA’s guidelines on the matter, per a meeting of the championship committee:

In setting up the tournament, the committee begins with a list of priorities to ensure a successful tournament on all fronts including competitive equity, financial success and likelihood of playoff-type atmosphere at each regional site. For the model, the following is a basic set of priorities:

• The top four teams as ranked by the committee are the four No. 1 seeds and will be placed in the bracket so that if all four teams advance to the Men’s Frozen Four, the No. 1 seed will play the No. 4 seed and the No. 2 seed will play the No. 3 seed in the semifinals.

• Host institutions that qualify will be placed at home.

• No. 1 seeds are placed as close to home as possible in order of their ranking 1-4.

• Conference matchups in first round are avoided, unless five or more teams from one conference are selected, then the integrity of the bracket will be preserved.

• Once the five automatic qualifiers and 11 at-large teams are selected, the next step is to develop four groups from the committee’s ranking of 1-16. The top four teams are the No. 1 seeds. The next four are targeted as No. 2 seeds. The next four are No. 3 seeds and the last four are No. 4 seeds. These groupings will be referred to as “bands”.

Given these facts, here is the top 16 of the current PairWise Rankings (PWR), and the conference leaders (through all games of Feb. 7, 2012):

1 Boston University
2t Michigan
2t Massachusetts-Lowell
4 Ferris State
5 Minnesota-Duluth
6 Boston College
7t Minnesota
7t Merrimack
9 Maine
10t Notre Dame
10t Union
12 Ohio State
13t Michigan State
13t Northern Michigan
15t North Dakota
15t Colorado College
— Air Force

Here are the current conference leaders based on winning percentage:

Atlantic Hockey: Air Force
CCHA: Ferris State
ECAC Hockey: Union
Hockey East: Massachusetts-Lowell
WCHA: Minnesota

Notes

• Bracketology assumes that the season has ended and there are no more games to be played. i.e., the NCAA tournament starts tomorrow.

• Because there are an uneven amount of games played inside each conference, I will be using winning percentage, not points accumulated, to determine who the current leader in each conference is. This team is my assumed conference tournament champion.

Step one

From the committee’s report, choose the 16 teams in the tournament.

We break ties in the PWR by looking at how the teams rank in the Ratings Percentage Index, and add in any current league leaders that are not currently in the top 16. The only team that is not is Air Force.

From there, we can start looking at the ties and bubbles in a more detailed fashion.

The ties and bubbles consist of Michigan and Massachusetts-Lowell at 2, Minnesota and Merrimack at 7, Notre Dame and Union at 11, Michigan State and Northern Michigan at 13 and North Dakota and Colorado College at 15.

We break all of our ties based upon the RPI.

Therefore the 16 teams in the tournament, in rank order, and adding in any conference leaders not already in the Top 16, are:

1 Boston University
2 Michigan
3 Massachusetts-Lowell
4 Ferris State
5 Minnesota-Duluth
6 Boston College
7 Minnesota
8 Merrimack
9 Maine
10 Notre Dame
11 Union
12 Ohio State
13 Michigan State
14 Northern Michigan
15 North Dakota
16 Air Force

Step two

Now it’s time to assign the seeds.

No. 1 seeds — Boston University, Michigan, Massachusetts-Lowell, Ferris State
No. 2 seeds — Minnesota-Duluth, Boston College, Minnesota, Merrimack
No. 3 seeds — Maine, Notre Dame, Union, Ohio State
No. 4 seeds — Michigan State, Northern Michigan, North Dakota, Air Force

Step three

Place the No. 1 seeds in regionals.

No. 1 Boston University is placed in the Northeast Regional in Worcester.
No. 2 Michigan is placed in the Midwest Regional in Green Bay.
No. 3 Massachusetts-Lowell is placed in the East Regional in Bridgeport.
No. 4 Ferris State is placed in the West Regional in St. Paul.

Step four

Now we place the other 12 teams so as to avoid intra-conference matchups if possible.

Begin by filling in each bracket by banding groups. Remember that teams are not assigned to the regional closest to their campus sites by ranking order within the banding (unless you are a host school, in which case you must be assigned to your home regional).

If this is the case, as it was last year, then the committee should seed so that the quarterfinals are seeded such that the four regional championships are played by No. 1 vs. No. 8, No. 2 vs. No. 7, No. 3 vs. No. 6 and No. 4 vs. No. 5.

But we have to place Minnesota first, as it is a host institution.

So therefore:

No. 2 seeds

No. 7 Minnesota is placed in No. 4 Ferris State’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 8 Merrimack is placed in No. 1 Boston University’s regional, the Northeast Regional.
No. 6 Boston College is placed in No. 2 Michigan’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 5 Minnesota-Duluth is placed in No. 3 Massachusetts-Lowell’s regional, the East Regional.

No. 3 seeds

Our bracketing system has one regional containing seeds 1, 8, 9, and 16, another with 2, 7, 10, 15, another with 3, 6, 11, 14 and another with 4, 5, 12 and 13.

No. 9 Maine is placed in No. 8 Merrimack’s regional, the Northeast Regional.
No. 10 Notre Dame is placed in No. 7 Minnesota’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 11 Union is placed in No. 6 Boston College’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 12 Ohio State is placed in No. 5 Minnesota-Duluth’s regional, the East Regional.

No. 4 seeds

One more time, taking No. 16 vs. No. 1, No. 15 vs. No. 2, etc.

No. 13 Michigan State is sent to No. 4 Ferris State’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 16 Air Force is sent to No. 1 Boston University’s regional, the Northeast Regional.
No. 14 Northern Michigan is sent to No. 3 Massachusetts-Lowell’s regional, the East Regional.
No. 15 North Dakota is sent to No. 2 Michigan’s regional, the Midwest Regional.

The brackets as we have set them up:

West Regional:
Michigan State vs. Ferris State
Notre Dame vs. Minnesota

Midwest Regional:
North Dakota vs. Michigan
Union vs. Boston College

Northeast Regional:
Air Force vs. Boston University
Maine vs. Merrimack

East Regional:
Northern Michigan vs. Massachusetts-Lowell
Ohio State vs. Minnesota-Duluth

Our first concern is avoiding intra-conference matchups. We have some for sure in Michigan State vs. Ferris State and Maine vs. Merrimack.

Let’s start with Michigan State vs. Ferris State.

Michigan State must be moved, but it can only be moved to play Boston University or Massachusetts-Lowell. The lower of the two seeds is Massachusetts-Lowell, so therefore we move Michigan State to a matchup versus Massachusetts-Lowell.

But now, we have to figure out where to put Northern Michigan. We can only have Northern Michigan play Boston University. So, as the rules go, we place Northern Michigan against Boston University. And in turn, Air Force then goes to play Michigan, as we want the lower overall seed playing the highest overall seed whenever possible. And in turn, North Dakota moves to a matchup against Ferris State.

So after that swapping around, considering the intra-conference rules and bringing in the high-low concept, we have:

West Regional:
North Dakota vs. Ferris State
Notre Dame vs. Minnesota

Midwest Regional:
Air Force vs. Michigan
Union vs. Boston College

Northeast Regional:
Northern Michigan vs. Boston University
Maine vs. Merrimack

East Regional:
Michigan State vs. Massachusetts-Lowell
Ohio State vs. Minnesota-Duluth

Now we have to take care of the second intra-conference matchup, Maine vs. Merrimack.

Maine can play either Minnesota or Minnesota-Duluth. Maine is the No. 9 overall seed, so again, going with the high-low concept, we swap Maine with Notre Dame, to create less of a bracket integrity gap.

West Regional:
North Dakota vs. Ferris State
Maine vs. Minnesota

Midwest Regional:
Air Force vs. Michigan
Union vs. Boston College

Northeast Regional:
Northern Michigan vs. Boston University
Notre Dame vs. Merrimack

East Regional:
Michigan State vs. Massachusetts-Lowell
Ohio State vs. Minnesota-Duluth

We now have a bracket that does not have any intra-conference matchups.

Can we make it better?

Week in and week out we say that attendance is always a concern.

Last week I didn’t really want to move any matchups that broke bracket integrity. I sacrificed some attendance for the integrity.

This week though, I may have to sacrifice bracket integrity for attendance.

What am I talking about?

Swapping the matchups of Union vs. Boston College and Ohio State vs. Minnesota-Duluth.

By swapping these two games and locations, you immediately get an attendance boost at both locations. Union vs. Boston College is now in Bridgeport, which now would feature three Eastern teams rather than three Western teams. And Ohio State vs. Minnesota-Duluth would increase attendance in Green Bay, drawing the UMD and OSU crowds.

In comparison to last week, when there would only be a slight boost in attendance, in this case I think there is a guarantee of a larger attendance boost.

Therefore, if I were the committee, I would make that change in a heartbeat.

So the bracket is now:

West Regional:
North Dakota vs. Ferris State
Maine vs. Minnesota

Midwest Regional:
Air Force vs. Michigan
Ohio State vs. Minnesota-Duluth

Northeast Regional:
Northern Michigan vs. Boston University
Notre Dame vs. Merrimack

East Regional:
Michigan State vs. Massachusetts-Lowell
Union vs. Boston College

This is how things can change from week to week where one factor might be more important than another factor, but it will change depending on how the PairWise shakes out.

So that is it. My bracket for the week.

See you here next week for the next Bracketology.

Here’s a summary of everything that we have covered.

This week’s brackets

St. Paul
15 North Dakota vs. 4 Ferris State
9 Maine vs. 7 Minnesota

Green Bay
16 Air Force vs. 2 Michigan
12 Ohio State vs. 5 Minnesota-Duluth

Bridgeport
13 Michigan State vs. 3 Massachusetts-Lowell
11 Union vs. 6 Boston College

Worcester
14 Northern Michigan vs. 1 Boston University
10 Notre Dame vs. 8 Merrimack

Conference breakdowns

CCHA — 6
HEA — 5
WCHA — 3
ECAC — 1
AHA — 1

On the move

In: Michigan State, Air Force
Out: Miami, Rochester Institute of Technology

Attendance woes?

I am quite comfortable with what I’ve done.

Last week’s brackets

St. Paul
16 RIT vs. 1 Minnesota-Duluth
9 Minnesota vs. 8 Michigan

Green Bay
14 Denver vs. 4 Ferris State
12 Notre Dame vs. 5 Boston College

Bridgeport
13 Northern Michigan vs. 3 Massachusetts-Lowell
11 Miami vs. 6 Merrimack

Worcester
15 Union vs. 2 Boston University
10 Maine vs. 7 Ohio State

Interesting …

• Michigan Tech and Wisconsin are hovering right below the .5000 RPI line. Some wins there and it could get interesting on the bubble for some teams from the WCHA.

137 COMMENTS

  1. Dont like the idea of UMaine going out west in St. Paul…..especially since Minnesota is hosting that regional….Maine draws well, so I dont see this happening, rather they may have to send Merrimack out west…..plus Maine has been the hottest team or maybe the 2nd hottest in the nation since end of November…time will tell, hockey east is all over the place anyhow, like it usually is this time of the year.  Dont be a hater now, its just my opinion, LOL

  2. Real interesting for Northern Michigan. They are 2-0 vs Michigan Tech and St Cloud, 1-0-1 against Alaska and 1-1 vs. Wisconsin. All are RPI bubble teams. How those teams end up could have a drastic affect on how NMU finishes in the PWR in the TUC category.

  3. I really despise the “Host Institution” crap rule.  Minnesota will essentially be playing on home ice no matter where they end up seeded…really an unfair advantage. 

        • Didn’t the Gophers win a NCAA Title in St. Paul?? The Sioux use it as spring board to go choke in another arena under Hakstol!!!

          • Yeah the Rodents might have won once.  I’m probably just not old enough to remember it.  And while ND might (or more than likely will) choke if they’re in the finals guess who was the spring board that has the imprint of their skate blades all over themselves….  :)

          • Hakstol with the Goon Squad..  0 NC…  Lucia 2 NC..  Come talk to me when the Goons and Choker win something that matters.. ND 1-3 against the Gophs this year and thats all that matters…We arestill called the Gophers.  What’s your team name ?  Forgot lost yours…

          • Goon Squad?  They play hockey the way it’s meant to be.  Fast and hard hitting.  Not this basketball mom, foul if you touch me, whine all the way home Gopher style hockey.  Fast and hard hitting is not goon hockey.  That’s HOCKEY.  You whiners who cry every time you get checked should stick to basketball and quit trying to ruin the best sport there is.  And, it’s the last 16 games in the country that count dude.

          • Call it what you want. Hakstol’s way doesn’t win championships. Just remember being a runner up is just the 1st loser.

          • You are another miss informed Gopher hater and that is ok. I’ll help you out. Doug Woogs last season behind the Gophers bench was 1999. Don Lucia took over in the fall of 1999, his 1st season was 1999-2000. Are you following along so far? Good! The Gophers won the 2002 NCAA Title. That would be in Lucia’s 3rd season. The Gophers won again in 2003 that would be Lucia’s 4th season. So yes, in Lucia’s 1st title run he may have had a few of Woogs players left over. I’m pretty sure the 2nd title was pretty much made up of his own recruits. So I guess he has done something with his recruits. Do some math before you run your mouth. Hakstol didn’t do anything with Blais’ recruits and hasn’t done anything with his own either.The 7 is more than 5 bit is your only defense, why don’t you just stick to that.

          • League and Tourney Titles just last year added more hardware to THE FIGHTING SIOUX collection of hardware at the greatest rink on the planet, bar none…  Not to mention a ND kid helped mn win in ’02 after 23 years of futility…  23 years is a looooonnnng time…

          • How ironic is it, that if North Dakota wins the national championship this year, again one ND kid will have helped win it.

          • Let me rephrase it for you then.  If North Dakota wins the NC this year 7 MN kids will have helped win it.  If that is not a relevent statement, then I guess you ought to rethink your comments as well.

          • I think it’s funny UMinn can’t keep its in-state kids from going to UND.  But on a sidenote, it would take a miracle for UND to win the NC this year.  Way to many injuries and defections.

          • It’s not really about keeping kids in Minnesota.  There are only so many spots to fill on any given roster.  Currently in the WCHA there are 103 active players that are native to Minnesota.  23 of them play for the U of M.  There are another 72 playing division 1 hockey in other conferences. UND has a rich hockey tradition and has been very successful over the years, but the entire state of Minnesota has a rich hockey tradition north to south, east to west.  The last several years the U of M has had the injuries and defections.  It was only a matter of time before it happened to UND as well.  The NHL has been a mixed blessing for both of these colleges.  While the opportunity to play for them can lead to the playing at the pro level, it tends to take the best players before their four years is up.  Need I mention Zack Parise. I really believe that had Thomas Vanek not left after his sophomore year, he could have won the Hobey Baker and led the U of M to at least one more national championship.  (Yes, with the help of the Grand Forks Potulny brothers).  Okposo, Kessel, Johnson.  We’ll see about Rau, Bjugstad and Haula in the future, but right now it is nice to back on top at least for a season.  Can’t we all just get along and bash Eastern Hockey like we should?

          • Again I ask, how is that relevant?  The discussion is recruiting classes, not birth-place or state of residence.  Perhaps you should read before you respond???

          • Lucy had only 2 years of recruits on that team, do the math…  99-00 were not his recruits.  Are you following so far?  Lucy had 11 of Woogers upper-classmen to work with inj 02. It took kids from ND and Europe to fix the gofers…  Running your mouth buried you.

          •  They just dont get that ND and Europeans helped then to a couple championships. Not those MN boys they claim are so great.

          • 1 European and 2 kids from North Dakota. You don’t get that Minnesotan’s helped North Dakota win their titles eitther.

          • I have no problems with mn kids, or California kids or the east coast kids…  mn is mn’s team.  Given the kids The Fighting Sioux use they should be called North America’s Team…

          • I point out that the gofers have won the same number of titles as The Fighting Sioux during the “Hakstol” era… 0.

          • Like I said do the math on 2003 team it was in his 4th season. That would be 3 recruiting classes.  I suppose you figure Woog recruited 4 years out like coaches do today. Woog didn’t operate that way. Woog was famous for signing kids during their senior seasons.

          • Your pretty tough, just like the Hack. How many titles does Hack have? Stop counting, I will help you out – ZERO!

          • If you mean pulling someone out of the line during shaking hands, not to mention the smallest on the team, then yes I wouldn’t call them the Good Squad. Also, it’s not just the Gopher who complain about the Souix playing cheap, it’s the whole freakin conference.

          • I think that the whole loss of the team nickname is rediculous.  Just think of all of the young hockey players in that great state that are raised in the Fighting Souix tradition that will now be denied…oh wait, that’s right they only have one player from NoDak on there roster.  Nevermind.

          •  These people just cant grasp what tough hockey actually is. You want momma’s hockey, go hit up the ECAC and hit the ice with them in their tuxedos. You expect that players should be able to go up and down the ice without being touched. Hockey is supposed to be a rough sport. Suck it up and quit making excuses for your bunch of babies goophs squad

          •  As of last night, the name is Fighting Sioux. Should watch some news shows or read the paper. But as a goophs fan, you must be illiterate. So I guess you wont be able to read this post anyway…….

          • You do realize the Gophers have won 2 titles since UND last won back in the 20th century, right?  So you must be 7 years old?

          •  It was 2000. Apparently you love to look like an idiot, just spewing out pointless jargon like the other goophs fans, before actually looking at facts.

          • 2002 and 2003.  First team in 50 years to go back to back. (Denver has also done it B2B since then) If you’re not old enough to remember that, it’s probably past your bedtime when the games are played on Friday and Saturday nights. 

          • 50 years?  You must be forgetting about BU in 1971-1972 and DU in 1968-1969 or in “new math” does 2003-1972 now equal 50 years?  (it was 30 years, still impressive but certainly well short of 50)

          • Yeah, the Gophers beat Maine 4-3 in 2002 to win it all with a power play goal on a questionable penalty in OT. I always thought they musta had some homer refs to go with their home ice!

    •  You have a point but it always comes down to money. Home town yes, but not home ice. The gophers play on an Olympic size rink and the x is much smaller.

    • Maine has played there before, against that team……I just dont believe they could put Maine out there, since they do travel well, they’ll do what they can to keep Maine in the east someplace…..fingers crossed, lol

    •  Why does it seem that the goophs host either the west or midwest regional every year? Seems they just moved between them each year. Ridiculous.

  4. Does the NCAA count the hall of fame game? In years past when it used to start the season  it didn’t count towards the rpi or tuc but It looks like it does now. Seems to me it should count but I am curious.

  5. I have no problem with anyone going to St. Paul.  It’s not like Minnesota won’t choke.  If Maine didn’t do them in, ND will.

    •  I would love to see this matchup in St. Paul with the Sioux stomping on the Goofs to go to another frozen four!  End the season now and lets do this lol

      • Surprise, UND trolls coming out of the woodwork to talk smack about a team that is 3-1 against them this year.  Also, I think you guys have rewritten the book on under-performing in the NCAA tourney of late.  Oil.

      • Before the Souix Nation starts stomping Gophers, I think that they ought to be thinking about beating Nebraska Omaha ( a team that you have split with)  Michigan Tech, and Denver.  All of whom are ahead of you in the standings, by the way.  Otherwise, you are not going to be playing any WCHA tournament hockey games in the greatest hockey arena in the history of the universe. 

        •  Before you start talking you should get your facts strait ok bud!  Denver is ahead in the WCHA standings by 2 points and the Sioux are tied with Tech and the Cloud at 22…  And ahead of all 3 in the Pairwise!  But you do have one thing right, the games coming up against Denver and Duluth (the biggest one for me) are crucial.  Im not as close to worried about playing Tech and Minnesota State at home to close the season out

          •  Actually, the Sioux are tied with Tech and Nebraska. And the Sioux dont play Nebraska again this year. Apparently it is absolutely true that jd doesnt know how to read.

        • Is that your mn education again?   S I O U X !!!       Don’t get me wrong, the x is a nice, albeit antiseptic, arena.  Have you been to the Ralph when a top team like mn visits?  Makes the John, well, good taste prevents me…

  6. Another week, another blatant disregard to the championship committee’s guidline of: “Conference matchups in first round are avoided, unless five or more teams from one conference are selected, then the integrity of the bracket will be preserved.”

    I read that as any all Hockey East matchup (5 teams in tourney) or any all CCHA matchup (6 teams in tourney) will remain to preserve bracket integrity.

    This article’s title argument Mayson makes in its final paragraphs of moving teams amongst regions for attendance concerns over bracket integrity is extraneous. Mayson already blew up bracket integrity by ignoring the above noted NCAA guidline.

  7. Moy does a great job with this column.  Why ruin it with all of the non-sense and chirping?  None of you are playing in the tournament and, most likely, none of you even play/coach the Game now.

    Enjoy the great hockey that it brings whether you are from the East or West. 

    I am a Michigan fan and last year’s loss still stings, but I do not take anything away from UMD–perfect line change in OT.  Good for them.  Respect and appreciate the game and Moys column by keeping the trash talk out.

  8. Not a fan of what you have for a bracket.  Seriously, MN or UMD will both be 2 seeds.   They have both been on top of the polls since the begining of the yr almost.  One of the two will get a #1 seed.   I also question how the “afraid to check league” AKA HEA gets 5 times.  I know you gotta go by the rankings this week.  But they will change, not gonna happen. 

  9. Another string of comments and more whizzing matches between competing fan bases.  Why can’t you ever get any decent commentary on fan forums? 

    My idea is the entire tournament should be placed in the regionals by geography as the #1 seeds already are.  Top seed to the closest region and so on.  Best #2 (5 overall) in the closest region to them and so on.  We already allow for movement from within the bands for needed tweaks (intra-conference avoidance, host teams, etc) so why not do it with all the teams.  A “one” seed will still play one of the “four” seeds and with all the parity in the NCAA is this really an issue anymore?  My Irish versus BSU in 2009, in case anyone needs one example as a reminder?

    This way most teams would be as close to home as possible (barring a huge contingent from one of the conferences and them being bunched closely together in the ordering 1 to 16) and you still can usually come close to meeting the 1-16, 2-15, 8-9 idea in the first round.  See for yourself with the current field.  I think no one is more than 2 seeds off where they should naturally be in this scenario. 

  10. Lol at all the Souix fans commenting now that their team has finally squeaked their way into talks off going to the NCAA tourney. If you want to talk sh*t let’s talk about this year. You are 1-3 against the Gophers, the Gophers are first in the conference, and they have the second best defense and offense in the nation. 

    • Im a die hard sioux fanbut i am realistic. Ill argue to the death that we have the best program in the country. Ill also admit that weve choked in recent years, though last year we just ran into a goaltender that playedout of his mind. This year, though has been fairly disappointing,but generally we are too drunk in thefirst half oftheseason anyway. Well make the tournament and well make a decent run at it, we always do. I still would rather play our real hockey than all the other crap out there. You want to know why blood went captain destructo in the handshake line! After the game was over a gopher came off the bench and chopped him behind the knees to the ice. Theres a difference between hard hitting hockey and playing like a man and being a bunch of classless goons. We play like men and win or lose we booze. Stop being so soft and deal with it. Stop chirping and posturing and play instead of picking, cheaping, and whining.

    • And reading gofer posts as they spiral out of contention is amusing…  Read the pairwise recently?  A couple more Friday debacles and it is bye-bye, again…

      • I still don’t think that makes any sense, if they aren’t good enough okay, but then the other 5 teams shouldn’t make it either.  Them and Ferris are the only teams in the conference that don’t need help from other teams.

  11. Ferris state would mess their pants seeded against the Sioux first round….would that even be considered an upset???

  12. It’s funny how almost every article on this Website (WCHA related or not) gets veered towards the topic of the Gophers. For a team that hasn’t even been relevant the last few years they sure are on a lot of people’s minds.

  13. If everyone is so concerned about attendance “woes” then why not go back to the beast of three series on campus locations, then play the frozen four. This way there will be no attendance issues and there will be a true champion at the end. With all due respect to RIT and Bemidji and all the other “under dog” schools out there, I would much rather see a true frozen four with the best four teams in it. Taking the ’10 Frozen four for example, there is no way RIT should have made it. In a 2 out of 3 situation in the first two rounds, Denver (the best team that year) would have likely  made the final four. The 2 out of 3 takes the one game and your done out of the equation and lets the best teams out there win, and not the hottest goalie. 

  14. Jasom, can you PLEASE stop ignoring this rule: “• Conference matchups in first round are avoided, unless five or more teams from one conference are selected, then the integrity of the bracket will be preserved.”. With 6 CCHA and 5 HEA teams, you DON’T have to avoid first round matchups involving them.

  15. think this is union’s year – best goalie and team D in college hockey, top 10 offense & top 3 power play.  I’d like to see ECAC in a NCAA final, at least.

  16. Canisius won their tournament in front of less than 1000. ECAC had under 5000. Last year in Wisconsin, there were tons of empty seats. What was the excuse last year???

    • Well being that wisconsin was not there and minnesota and north Dakota were at st paul minnesota which averaged over 10,000 which I was there I could really care less about what went on in wisconsin were u at wisconsin???

      • No. I root for Lowell. Even in Minnesota it was half full, about 9000 fans. I keep hearing that if Minneapolis/St. Paul hosted a regional it would sell out. Last year, not so much.

  17. Niagara won their league and were an at-large team, no one is saying they are a powerhouse, but it certainly seemed like UND didn’t overlook them as Minnesota did to Yale. Do you really think Yale has more talent or is a better team than Minnesota? Of course not, but they played better for one game which is what this tournament is all about. Take the top 4 teams from the WCHA, CCHA and Hockey East, and there isn’t much of a difference. They are all really solid, talented and well coached teams. As for fans traveling, NO ONE goes to the regionals. The WCHA fans just spent a ton of dough going to St. Paul one week earlier, and have no idea where their team will be placed until 5 days before the start of the NCAA’s. But they do know where the sites are, and no one wants to go to Grand Rapids, Toledo, Manchester or Providence for a vacation over Easter. Bring 2 of those regionals to Minnesota, Grand Forks, or even Wisconsin, and attendance will be far greater. Its pretty easy for UNH and Lowell to (partially) fill an arena 45 minutes from campus. Same with BC year in and year out.

    • You’d better give more love to the ECAC. Yale beat your precious Sioux three years ago, and we knocked off Minnesota last night. Three national quarterfinals in four years. And Quinnipiac is #1.

      • What is wrong with you ECAC people? Are you that low on yourselves you need constant praise from people you don’t know? I literally just said the Gophers overlooked Yale and Niagara is good. QU hasn’t played yet, and has no NCAA meaningful history lately to judge, so I have no need to comment on them. Are you illiterate?

        • Right, you said Yale only won because Minnesota, which is in your view a far superior hockey team, didn’t show up. I disagree. Any hockey team can throw in clunkers any day of course, but the teams were more closely matched in talent than you are giving them credit for. Yale has gone…wait let me do the math…3-0 this year against the WCHA, twice away and once at a neutral site. Before their clunker weekend in AC they had had a sensational in-conference and out-of-conference season, particularly when you take out games their starting goalie didn’t play. ND will be a huge challenge and Yale better bring their A++ game today, but it’s dismissive to suggest they only won yesterday because Minnesota played down to their level.

    • What is your point? If UND has all that talent, then they should crush the Niagara’s of the world. Lowell has 4 draft picks and 1 is as good as any, our goalie. I hope we see UND in Pittsburgh. It would be fun. Lowell has never made the Frozen Four. UND has been there quite a lot.

  18. So much talk about bad attendance. Here is my solution: instead of having the Regionals a week after league tournaments, how about 2 weeks afterwards. This would give fans time to set up their trips far away. There is already a weekend off next week, why not have this weekend off? Also, try to have regionals where they get decent attendance like Manchester, Boston, Minnesota, Milwaukee, Detroit, Denver and forget Grand Rapids, Toledo and Bridgeport. Just an opinion.

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