ECAC Hockey picks: Championship weekend

Nate: Last week: 2-2

Overall (playoffs): 6-2

Three of the of the top four teams in the regular season standings meet in Atlantic City this weekend to decide this year’s ECAC champion.

No. 7 Brown is the only team out of the top four to make it to the finals weekend, although I wouldn’t call that an upset given the Bears’ play of late. Including the playoffs, Brown is 6-2-1 over the last month.

Two teams are seeking their first league title, although both Brown and Quinnipiac meet in Friday’s opening game, so a new champion isn’t guaranteed.  Union is looking for its second title in a row, while Yale is trying to make it two in three years after getting knocked out in the quarterfinals last season.

Arena reporter Brian Farrell and I will be at Boardwalk Hall for all four games, so be sure to check in for live coverage all weekend long.  All four games will be broadcast by Fox Sports Atlantic, and each game will also be streamed online.

Brian Sullivan: I, lamentably, will be missing the ECAC Championship Weekend for the first time in a long time… life intervenes, unfortunately. That said, I will be assisting Nate and Brian Farrell with coverage from afar, and I will even make some picks! Read on…

Friday, March 22

No. 7 Brown vs. No. 1 Quinnipiac, 4 p.m.

Season series: 0-0-2

Nate: This is the third year in a row these team have met in the postseason, although the two prior matchups where  first-round series in Hamden, both of which were won by the Bobcats.  I don’t buy the fact that  a double-overtime Game 3 was a sign that Quinnipiac is slumping at the finish line. Cornell entered the postseason as one of the hottest teams in the conference, and gave the Bobcats a good test, minus Game 2’s 10-0 shellacking.

Both games between the teams this year ended in a tie, with the Bobcats scoring a late second-period goal Feb. 1 in a 1-1 draw, and Brown rallying for two third-period goals  Feb. 23 for a 3-3 final.

I’ve got a sneaky feeling about Brown this weekend. Like Quinnipiac, the Bears emphasis defense first, and keep just about everything to the outside. It’s a toss up in goal between Brown’s Anthony Borelli and QU’s Eric Hartzell, both whom have been outstanding this year. With the exception of the Bears’ Matt Lorito, I think the Bobcats have the edge in offensive talent. I’m picking them to advance to the championship game, but it will be close. Quinnipiac wins

Brian: Brown is – as always – playing with house money, which is a doubly fitting metaphor given the venue. The Bears have made life difficult for most of their 2013 foes, and the Bobcats should be no exception. That said, QU has now battled through a top goaltending performance by Cornell’s Andy Iles in Game 3 last Sunday, so Borelli’s bag of tricks may frustrate, but are unlikely to deflate the top seed. Likewise, the Q will absolutely not be taking Brown for granted (if there were ever such a fear) given the regular-season results.

Bruno should be heartened by those draws, but if the Bobcats are really as good as their record indicates, they will ultimately bury Brown. I, too, pick Quinnipiac.

No. 4 Union vs. No. 3 Yale, 7:30 p.m.

Season series: Union, 1-0-1

Nate: Both these teams have been here before: Union won the title last season, while Yale beat Cornell in 6-0 in the 2011 championship. Dutchmen goalie Troy Grosenick has more big-game experience than his counterpart, Jeff Malcolm, who was the backup to Ryan Rondeau two seasons ago, although I’m not sure if that matters.  Still, the senior goalie’s importance to the Bulldogs can’t be understated: Malcolm is 16-4-2, while backups Connor Wilson and Nick Maricic are 2-6-1.  Yale has a lot of speed and can transition very well, while Union will pounce on any mistakes and convert them into opportunities (see last year’s opening game against Colgate). If the Dutchmen can do that, I think they’ll prevail. Union wins

Brian: I’m going to disagree with Nate on this one: I think that Yale is the second-best team in the league in talent and depth, if not in the standings… and that drop from second to third was due in large part to the sudden absence of Malcolm. Yale is a markedly, almost inexplicably better team with the senior in net, and not just because he’s the stronger netminder. The Bulldogs play significantly stronger, quicker, more confident hockey in front of Malcolm, and while both teams have a large group of experienced players, I like Yale’s jump and jam to defeat Union. Yale wins.

Saturday, March 23

Brian: I’m going to wimp out and make my Saturday picks on Friday night or Saturday morning, as incentives will change drastically after Friday’s games are in the books.

No.7 Brown vs. No. 3 Yale: Consolation game, 4 p.m.

Season series: 1-1

Nate: Depending on how things shake out, this could be a must-win for the Bulldogs if they want to make the NCAA tournament. That looks unlikely, although a victory would certainly help Yale’s seeding. I’m hesitant picking against Brown again, as it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Bears came away with at least one win this weekend. Still, I’m sticking with the Bulldogs. Yale wins

No. 4 Union vs. No.1 Quinnipiac: Championship game, 7 p.m.

Season series: Quinnipiac, 2-0

Nate: I think this game will be decided by special teams. The Bobcats went o-for-eight on the power play Sundayagainst Cornell, but their penalty kill is currently tops in the country, percentage points ahead of Canisius. Union’s power play (second) and penalty kill (seventh) have been among the nation’s best all season. The Bobcats can’t try and do too much against the Dutchmen, as any extra passes could result in turnovers the other way.  QU is one of the better neutral-zone teams in the league, so Union will need to work the puck deep and get their forecheck going.  Quinnipiac wins (OT)

Stay in the loop!

Along with blogs, features, and recaps, continue to check the Twittin’ box for NCAA/PairWise ramification updates from myself (SullivanHockey) and Nate (Nate_Owen41). Do it!

254 COMMENTS

    • You said the same thing last year. In the 2012 NCAAs the ECAC went 3-2 and the WCHA was only 4-4 and both leagues sent one team to the Frozen 4. This year, the ECAC has the best crop of teams in a long time and any one of them (and I will throw in RPI too) could return to the Frozen Four. I can’t speak for the HE or the WCHA but the ECAC will be ready to dance.

  1. Don’t even bother worrying about people from other conferences posting because they’re trolls. It’s obviously a teenager if you read his other posts because his main point in life is to sound off on the polls. Really glad today’s games are being carried on FCS. Really curious what Borelli does today!

  2. Don’t even bother worrying about people from other conferences posting because they’re trolls. It’s obviously a teenager if you read his other posts because his main point in life is to sound off on the polls. Really glad today’s games are being carried on FCS. Really curious what Borelli does today!

  3. For ECAC Pick The Playoffs
    Nate: Need championship game score :-)
    Brian: Give us a pick for consolation and championship before 4pm today :-)

  4. For ECAC Pick The Playoffs
    Nate: Need championship game score :-)
    Brian: Give us a pick for consolation and championship before 4pm today :-)

    • You are correct however they have a game in hand on BC so like Jim stated either one BU win or one BC loss clinches the title for BU…which makes it seem like they have a 6 pt lead in the standings

      • Thank you Benjamin, however if you look at what Jim wrote: “With a six-point lead in the standings over Boston College and a game in hand on the Eagles, BU needs just one win (or a BC loss) over the final two weekends of the regular season to clinch the season-long title.” He is saying that “with” meaning they currently have a six point lead “and” a game in hand. So by using that logic, wouldn’t that translate into an eight point lead? I do agree that if BU wins one of their final four HE games, they will clinch at least a tie, but if BC wins out under that scenario, both teams would have 30 points. Not familiar with tie-breaking, but BC and BU split the series with a wash in goal differential.

  5. Honestly, the only eastern teams in the tournament right now that will help attendance much are BU and BC. Quinnipiac was in Bridgeport a few years ago and the place was half empty. They’re not going to help much in Providence. As for Harvard, they don’t travel well to the Beanpot (most fans rooting for Harvard are actually rooting against their opponent), so they’re not going to come en masse to Providence or Manchester. The key for attendance is getting BC to Providence, and that can’t be done without having an NCHC matchup in the first round.

  6. I’m just happy to be in the dance at this point, considering how poorly my squad played for a long time. I have tons of respect for all the teams in my region but this looks about as good as it could. Bring on the Mavericks!

  7. Maybe they need to worry a little less about attendance and worry a little more about the match-ups the teams have earned. Yeah…I know attendance is important. Revenue is important. Etc., etc… I get it.

    But…

    If the Northeast can’t even sell out a regional final with two teams less than an hour from the arena, what’s the point?

    Last year’s Northeast regional FINAL had Lowell and BC – both less than 60 minutes from Worcester.

    Wikipedia says the DCU Center can hold up to 12,000 for hockey.

    The attendance for the championship game?

    5,474.

    • This is a marketing issue. We go through this every year. Hockey East playoffs do great at TD Garden, where they can sell beer and use the same rink set up as the Bruins. They do not have to take up the ice and remove all the advertising, include the Bruins logo. Five days later, the regionals are played during a lot of spring break. Hockey East and other conference finals are destination games you can plan in December, unless your team collapses or upsets higher ranked schools.

      The Frozen Four is destination, many people make that their annual vacation. Also, the fans have two weeks to make their plans and the event is big, even in cities like Boston or Minneapolis.

      The regionals also face competition from the first round of the NCAA basketball tournament, drawing people away, as well as many schools on break. Not every school is North Dakota, with a huge traveling fan section. As a BU alum, I respect how the UND fans come out to support the team. But a lot of schools are small and play in smaller home rinks for a reason.

    • I didn’t go because the ticket prices for Worcester were extremely high, despite being a Lowell alum who lives in Boston. Tickets were over $100 with the “convenience” fees. Get a grip, NCAA.

      • If you think ticket prices were “high” for Worcester you really have no idea how bad it can be. In 2007 we had to buy 4 tickets to the Regional at Pepsi Center just to be “eligible” to buy 2 tickets for the FF there next year. The NC$$ cares nothing about the sport, only how much profit they can consume from the fans.

  8. I say a way to set up the tourney would be to keep the 16 teams but get rid of two week conference tourneys and have the 1 and 2 teams from each conference’s regular season standings have a best of 3 series to decide post season champs, kind of like college football, and at large bids then use the extra week to have each match up in the tourney be a best of 3 series at the higher seeds home rink 1 vs 16 2 vs 15 etc it will keep bracket integrity have 3 best of 3 series each weekend and then have the championship at a neutral nhl rink (Another best of 3 series) …then the best teams will get weeded out, more games to make the nc$$Supper plans? their money and better atmospheres! Everyone wins!

  9. The Denver v. Miami NCHC semifinal loser will probably end up with the better NCAA draw. Being the 3rd highest seeded NCHC team probably keeps them in South Bend and away from a Eastern death draw.

    • Providence, as it now stands, is far from an Eastern death draw. If Afterfurtherreview is correct, and I certainly believe him, the only real fan support will come from Quinnipiac. I realize things will change next week, but if DU loses Jayson has consistently put them in Fargo. IMHO, that would be a very tough regional, or death draw. The only reason they cannot be sent to Fargo now, is that they are in the same “band” as UND.

  10. Jason – with all the 2nd band seeds from the West, why should the 5/6 seeds to go East by default? Wouldn’t they rather stay closer to home vs. face lower seeded second round opponents out East? You could send Miami and Omaha east and reward Duluth and MTU by keeping them home

  11. UND is overrated. They are not better than Mankato State, much less Minnesota. Put Minnesota, UND and Mankato in the same bracket and let them fight it out.

    • Really overrated? How are you getting that? They played a harder schedule than either Mankato State or MN and have as good as (Mankato) and a better record (than MN).

      Hey people named Peter are stupid. See I can just make crap up too. How about coming with something other than your opinion. And I would be fine with that bracket because I know UND is coming out of that one.

  12. It would be garbage if Denver was made to play a road game against Providence in the first round. That should be BU’s game as the lowest #1 seed. Would also help attendance as you don’t need BU and BC in the same regional.

  13. Making Michigan Tech move from the Northeast to the West essentially drops them from being the #5 seed to being the #8 seed. Completely unfair.

  14. bracketology haha.

    get off your high horse. anyone can win. UND loses. Quinnipiac loses. look for St. Lawrence to come out of nowhere with a good offense and a hot goalie to take it all. Watch and enjoy. Even if St. Lawrence loses, too.

  15. People, come on, the B1G did not make a mistake when it formed the B1G Hockey Conference.

    Even with only 6 teams, 1 of which didn’t exist as a Div 1 team until 2 or 3 years ago, the B1G still can claim more NCAA Natl Titles than any other conference I believe. 9 for Michigan, 6 for Wisconsin, 5 for Minnesota, 3 for Michigan St, so 23 total.

    And compare which teams have the most former players playing in the NHL and scoring the most points. Last year Wisconsin was #1 in points scored with Minnesota #2 and Michigan was either #3 or #4? At the All-Star break this year, Minnesota was #1 and Wisconsin was #2 with Michigan #3 or #4 again. UND, BC & BU for the most part fill in the #3/4, #5 and #6 spots. So is it really that hard to figure out why the B1G can sometimes have a down year?

    Face it, the B1G teams as a whole went out and played all the other conferences in the first half of the season and stunk it up. Minnesota doing so badly after bringing back so many from last years Runner Up team really hurt the conference as a whole because then when Minnesota got it together and started beating most of the other B1G teams, which they were probably going to do no matter what, those losses hurt even worse, and the times teams got wins against the Gophers didn’t help them as much as it otherwise would have.

    But the thing is, the B1G TV network plays alot of hockey, Minnesota, and Michigan are still big names and draws and are still bringing in top notch recruits and will continue to be NHL player factories, and hockey is HUGE at PSU. I read PSU made over a million dollars in profit from hockey last year. And they have become quite competitive very quickly and its gotten the attention of hockey players coming up through the ranks. Michigan St and Wisconsin both have Natl Titles in the last Decade so neither of those programs are as bad off as it may seem, although not sure about Wisconsin, but if UW brings in a new coach, who knows, and its possible that the success both schools are having with Football and Basketball are hurting their hockey programs? But the B1G will never get all 6 teams into the tourney, so it isn’t the end of the world to have 2 or 3 teams that are having down years. If all 6 are good, they will beat up on each other and a deserving team may get left out, but with at least 2 down teams, it can sort of pad the stats a little and help the top 4 at least get in. A year like this year, it seemed all 6 teams either had down years, or just plain sucked or went through a slump at the wrong time? If two of these 3 teams, Minny, Michigan and PSU take turns having good seasons while one has a down year, and one of the other 3 teams has an up season, the B1G could get 3 or 4 teams into the tourney, which would be either 50 or 66%, which would be incredible. They are NOT going to only get 1 in every year. The Conference may never do this badly again? And even getting 2 in is still 33% of the conference, which is comparible to other larger conferences getting 3 in. And if they do only get 1 in, its because all of its best players are making millions in the NHL.

    • Wow, 33% in. That is wonderful, until you compare it to a conference that has 75% in. It is a real shame that UND, DU, UMD, Miami, St. Cloud, CC, UNO, and Western Michigan have never lost anyone early to the NHL. The B1G “may never do this badly again”, but they may. They also might do worse. Do you have any more excuses as to why they suck? By the way, do you think Paul Statsny, Beau Bennet, Tyler Bozak, Matt Carle, Chris Butler, Drew Shore, Jason Zucker, Patrick Wiercioch, or Matt Donavan are part of the current “players making millions”?

      • One last note, since my last post obviously was not long enough. Let me know if you want to talk # of players teams send to the US Olympic teams, or # of former players in the US Hockey Hall of Fame. :)

  16. Huskies are in because they played most teams that appeared in top 10 and at least split against all of them. Strength of schedule….teams that swept low ranked non-conference teams are not in…very simple

  17. Tough to think that Lowell doesn’t make it as the Pairwise computers may need to be tweeked. Is the NCHC that strong that they get 6 teams in, one that is barely over .500? Time will tell. If that conference only gets 1 team in the Frozen Four you have to wonder.
    Having BC and BU in the same region seems to F up the chance of more than 1 HE team in the FF. Western fans are always whining about the brackets, but that one makes no sense. PC doesn’t have a great following so moving them is OK except for the fact that hardly any team would have to travel if a region was in their back yard. UNH never had to leave Manchester when it was there. That being said UND should worry about Jon Gillies in net for PC as they would get screwed by that match up if it happens.
    Here is an idea going forward: Have 14 teams picked by the computers and then have 4 teams ( picked by humans ) having a play-in series to get the right to be a part of the ‘sweet 16’. This way an Atlantic Hockey team that is weak would have to prove itself against a Michigan or Lowell before they play in the Regionals.
    Just a thought.

    • NBCSN showed Lowell’s poor end to the season and that was just enough to make it a bubble team. I have seen my Terriers be ranked number one in the country in mid January and not make the tournament. I do not recall the year, but I do know BC won the Beanpot, which was the start of the decline.

      In 2013, Jack Parker’s final season, Lowell eliminated BU in the Hockey East final. It is just a wheel of karma. Every year, there will be that team that does not make it. Two years ago, the last team in the tournament won it all.

      • That 2-7-1 stretch in Jan-Feb really did them in. They were outside the top 16 when the HEA tournament started. Colgate reaching the ECAC final was probably the dagger in the PWR. UML had to pretty much win the HEA title to get in.

    • The short answer about the NCHC being good enough to deserve 6 teams is, no, they’re probably not. But it does have enough good teams so that the losses look better. St. Cloud State has 18 losses. 18. They’re only 1 game above .500. However, the inflated NCHC strength of schedule helps them because now those losses inside the conference don’t hurt as much and the wins they have in conference look even better. Is it fair, no. It’s basically the BCS. And we all know how well that worked.

    • Then you just don’t understand how the PWR works and trying to explain it would take too long. The bottom line is this, scsu played a much harder schedule and that makes a lot of the difference.

      • Its true. Bowling Green and St Cloud both knew going into the weekend that they would have to each win at least one game. The Huskies did that and the Falcons did not.

  18. I’ve predicated this twice before and in both years got burned badly… I’m calling this Miami’s year. No better time to step up to finally win the big one., and prove the naysayers (like me) wrong… The field is wide open. Red Hawks have the goalie, and are on an end of the year run.

    • You could be right but it will be all about which teams goalie plays better for the next four games. There are a number of teams that have legit shots, Miami included. I know that UND was awful this weekend but hopefully that is out of their system and they get providence a team they can beat first round and if McIntyre can play to his potential I thik that UND has a chance as well but so does bu, mn, du, the list goes on and on. I really don’t see a favorite at all this year.

      • Agreed… Like I said, wide open! I think you questioned me a few weeks ago when I said Miami was overrated. They just have a long history of blowing it at this time of year after coming in with tons of creditionals. CCHA champion, #1 or #2 ranking, etc. Last year they were predicted to win NCHC, and finished last. So, I’m calling them and Blasi to the mat. I really think this is their best opportunity.
        They played real well down the stretch, beating DU, UND, St Cloud, and “won” the NCHC. They have a good team… No better year to take advantage of a wide open field.
        That said, I’m not holding my breath… It won’t surprise if I’m dead wrong.

  19. First, thank younJason for your fine work every year. The pairwise rankings, your analysis and at the near the end of the season, your excellent what if discussions, make the process the committee uses nearly transparent.

    Second, thank goodness we do not have a UNH/Manchester AND a Yale/Bridgeport host conundrum.

    I like the bracket, and as a BU alum and current student who watches the Terriers every time they are broadcast, let me say this. Every time BU is a first band team, we end up in Northeast/East, staring down a Hockey East foe in a potential regional final. There is no problem with that, it makes for a great audience in person if that comes to pass. Even with the final at TD, it does not matter when we play BC in the tournament, if we do, it will be a great game, just like a Minnesota/North Dakota or Michigan/Michigan State game.

    Not every year is BU beating BC at the Beanpot final, again at Hockey East/ECAC finals and once more for the NCAA at the Garden/Providence Civic Center. I would be fine with a sixth national title.

  20. Just because Brown is the host for the Providence regional instead of Providence seems to me a technicality that should be ignored. Yale is always a host at Bridgeport so this is a chance for them to go west for a change. Ironically, it was Harvard’s wins in the ECACs that ultimately got them in. The whole host school thing seems unfair to schools that are far away from big enough rinks and can never be a host school.

  21. Imagine that, North Dakota and Minnesota in the same bracket again….. Why not just declare it, at the beginning of the year…

    • Providence is a tough draw because of Gillies, not because of being home. I am shocked they didn’t send them to Fargo though and have QU or Yale in Providence as they would draw just as well and have better bracket integrity.

      • Better than no draw. Obvious they were going to be at home if they were in, and most likely versus the worst 1 seed to avoid punishing a higher 1 by making them play a road game.

        So you recognized that Providence isn’t a big draw, but then didn’t put BC and BU in separate regionals? Another fail.

  22. I really don’t understand what the committee was thinking this year. The Midwest stuck with the 1v16/8v9 seeding line. Fine start. But then they throw that out by putting Providence (#15) into the East regional with #4 MIami, instead of keeping either Quinnipiac or Yale.
    TL;DR: NCAA needs to stop ignoring their procedures when it suits them.

    • Clearly they think Providence is more important to the attendance in Providence than Quinnipiac or Yale. It’s just that most of us think that’s an incorrect assumption.

      • Probably because having to host and have your team at separate sites is a complete nightmare and completely stupid.

        Then Miami gets them because to give a higher #1 seed a road game would be ridiculous. How I thought it always would be.

        USCHO got it wrong this year, and I said so about two iterations of the bracket ago.

        • Providence has nothing to do with hosting this year. Please stop saying it. Their staff has nothing to do with the tourney this year.

  23. Committee moved Providence where they were always going to go, and then gave UND the next worst of 13-16 after RIT.

    Committee basically chose to move BC for attendance reasons rather than Harvard. Obvious. They didn’t care about moving teams back east that don’t draw, and they shouldn’t have.

    • Except you disproved your own argument. If they didn’t care about moving teams back east that don’t draw, they wouldn’t have moved Providence.

          • You could do worse. AFR knows what he is talking about. BC will be the fan “draw” in Providence, not PC. There might be some more locals there now, with PC out of NCAABB tourney.

          • From your mouth to God’s ears. This will be tough, DU playing in front of hostile crowd. We played them early in season at DU, split with both games ending 2-1. Nice to have BC and/or BU on our schedule every year. Always helps SOS and gives good indication of your year. Lots of respect on my end for both.

          • Look at the bracket. Committee obviously thought of Providence as a home draw. Live with it.

          • Tournament was bracketed exactly as I would have expected. I don’t have to contradict myself. Maybe I should write this column next year. This is so much easier than basketball or baseball bracketology.

          • I’ll be looking forward to reading your columns. Hope your resume is up to date and you know the host teams ahead of time. You may not have to contradict yourself, but you did. I like the way it’s bracketed, I would have had PC in Fargo and QU in Providence.

          • If you read the earlier comments, I’m far from the only one that was barking up this tree.

            The committee saw Providence as “home”. That is obvious. That you didn’t see it that way really doesn’t mean jack crap.

            I wish Providence was going to Fargo because they looked like crap in Grand Forks. But the committee was only ever going to go one way.

          • It doesn’t surprise me that they did it this way, at all. If you read earlier comments, I’m far from the only one that thinks PC doesn’t help attendance. I think the draw would have been better with QU and it would have kept integrity, which they stress… until they change their minds.

          • Yeah, if I was a QU fan I’d be pissed that I got tossed out west in favor of a lower overall seed. That said, they were technically tied with Providence in the PWR (even though QU wins the tiebreaker over PC).

          • From what I can tell as long as they keep each team in the same 4 team bloc, they’ll pretty much do what makes sense to bring in fans and avoid conference matchups. They didn’t switch UMD and UMN, for example, because it’s not a league game.

          • But as bracketed, UMN really should have been in UND’s bracket. So, this year, after all of the abuse they have taken about putting them together in the past, for no real reason, they moved them. I am happy that game is in Manchester, as I am looking forward to being there. BC should be playing UMD and if the committee had so much faith in PC fans coming, they should have left the integrity alone. Obviously they didn’t because they made unnecessary moves.

          • It is easier, but it’s also only 16 teams, and any number of websites has the ranking system that determines what those 16 teams are.

          • No disagreement here. That’s why I said it. 64 teams is almost impossible. 16 teams, not so much. At least we don’t have to read Moy’s crowing about never having gotten it wrong before, because sure did this year.

          • I’m actually surprised it was so far off. It seemed like most of the issues with intra-conference matchups worked themselves out. I had the same matchups as him, except I had a feeling they would move BC to Providence for attendance. I just didn’t think they’d worry about moving Providence, too. The last few weeks though it’s been crazy how much maneuvering had to be done.

          • Providence sold out 2 games all season in an arena that’s barely 3,000 people. It doesn’t take a genius to see that they’re not a big attendance draw.

          • Also doesn’t take a genius to see that some is better than none.

            Providence and BC will draw in that regional better than Harvard and Yale. The committee got it right. USCHO, and apparently you dopes, didn’t.

          • Yes, but the point is they wouldn’t necessarily bring any more people than Yale or Quinnipiac, and you’d have better bracket integrity. I understand why they did it, I just think it was pointless.

  24. Surprised they didn’t swap Harvard and Minnesota? South Bend might be the biiggest yawner I can remember. Swapping those teams puts Harvard back East and draws the Gophers fans who could drive it.

    • Yes very odd they didn’t make that change. I bet they will regret it with attendence in south bend. Plus that is switching 9 and 10 which is nothing and you get the inter state rivalry thing. They really set this up for the top seed to have an easy path.

  25. Why does Miami get screwed yet again by being a “seeded” team whose opponent get a home game? Happened a few years ago too….they got sent to Manchester NH to play New Hampshire as “seeded” team. Someone must have it out for them

    • When you are the last one seed, there are no other options of where to be placed. They needed to be one of the top two one seeds to not have to go out east.

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