Many first-round NCAA tournament matchups have intriguing histories

North Dakota’s Andrew Kozek (left) gets set to fire home the overtime goal against Wisconsin in the 2008 Midwest Regional final (photo: North Dakota Athletics).

There are some college hockey rivalries that are kept in volumes, not chapters.

To illustrate, we present North Dakota and Wisconsin, first-round opponents in the 2014 NCAA tournament.

The Water Bottle Game. The Sioux winning the 1982 national championship game. The Badgers winning the 1983 WCHA semifinals in overtime — twice. An overtime thriller in the 2008 Midwest Regional final.

Things cool after a while, and no rivalry seems to be as intense as it was 30 years ago. Still, Wisconsin-North Dakota is a good way to kick off our look at the all-time history between the teams matched for the first round of the NCAA tournament.

In Sports Illustrated’s story on North Dakota winning the 1982 national championship over Wisconsin, E.M. Swift wrote:

The North Dakota-Wisconsin rivalry is one of the most bitter in collegiate hockey. In 1977-78 a brawl erupted on the ice before a game, and when [Wisconsin coach Bob] Johnson tried to break it up, he dislocated his little finger by catching it in a player’s jersey. The injury required surgery after the season when Johnson, who loves golf only slightly less than he does hockey, discovered he couldn’t grip a club properly. In that same fracas, A.G. Edwards, North Dakota’s trainer, was punched in the nose and had to crawl off the ice. In February 1981 the teams got into another set-to before a game. “That time I said, ‘The hell with it, let them brawl,’ ” says Johnson, mindful of his pinky.

Then there was the 1982 game in which Wisconsin’s John Newberry squirted North Dakota’s Cary Eades with water from the bench, leading to this fracas in what became known as the Water Bottle Game:

[youtube_sc url=]

En route to the national championship a year later, the Badgers beat the team then known as the Fighting Sioux in the third overtime of a second game of a total-goals WCHA semifinal series in Grand Forks.

But they had to do it twice. Ted Pearson scored what appeared to be the winner early in the third OT, only to have the goal taken away because his stick was ruled to be illegal. With Pearson in the penalty box for the stick infraction, the Badgers scored again, this time by Paul Houck and this time with a legal stick, for a 6-5 win.

Wisconsin has won more games in the series between the teams but North Dakota has won both NCAA tournament matchups — the 1982 title game in Providence, R.I., and the 2008 regional final at Madison’s Kohl Center in which UND rallied from two goals down in the third period to win in overtime for a spot in the Frozen Four.

The old WCHA rivals have played 163 games against each other but conference changes — Wisconsin to the Big Ten, North Dakota to the NCHC — made this the first season since 1967-68 that they weren’t scheduled to face off. The NCAA tournament took care of that.

Of the eight first-round NCAA games this season, seven feature teams that have a previous history with each other — all recent enough that there are players on each side who’ve faced the other team.

Minnesota-Robert Morris is the only first meeting among the group. Four of the first-round games are NCAA tournament rematches from some point in time, including a St. Cloud State-Notre Dame game from last year.

Colgate and Ferris State have already played each other three times this season, while Providence and Quinnipiac also have already played each other in 2013-14.

Here’s a history of the 256 games played between teams that are first-round opponents in this year’s tournament, in order from fewest games played to most:

Minnesota vs. Robert Morris

Series: No previous history

This will be the first meeting between the teams, but it’s not the Golden Gophers’ first time playing a current Atlantic Hockey team in the NCAA first round. They beat Mercyhurst 9-2 in 2002, lost to Holy Cross 4-3 in overtime in 2006 and beat Air Force 4-3 in 2007.

Minnesota is 11-2-1 against teams currently in Atlantic Hockey, while Robert Morris is 5-11-2 against Big Ten teams. The Colonials lost a pair of games to both Ohio State and Penn State this season.

Providence vs. Quinnipiac

Series: Providence leads 3-2-1

The teams played to a tie at Quinnipiac on Nov. 27, when Friars goaltender Jon Gillies made 20 saves in the third period and overtime.

DateWinner, scoreSite
12/07/2001Providence 5-2Providence, R.I.
01/02/2004Providence 7-1Providence, R.I.
12/05/2008Quinnipiac 5-2Hamden, Conn.
12/11/2010Providence 5-2Providence, R.I.
11/20/2012Quinnipiac 2-0Providence, R.I.
11/27/2013Tie 3-3Hamden, Conn.

Massachusetts-Lowell vs. Minnesota State

Series: Massachusetts-Lowell leads 4-3

The first three meetings in the series came in the Division II championships. The team then known as the Lowell Chiefs won two of those high-scoring games.

DateWinner, scoreSite
03/17/1979Massachusetts-Lowell 6-4North Andover, Mass. (1)
03/14/1980Minnesota State 8-1Elmira, N.Y. (2)
03/13/1981Massachusetts-Lowell 8-7 (OT)North Andover, Mass. (2)
11/26/2010Minnesota State 8-3Lowell, Mass.
11/27/2010Minnesota State 3-2Lowell, Mass.
10/14/2011Massachusetts-Lowell 4-2Mankato, Minn.
10/15/2011Massachusetts-Lowell 4-1Mankato, Minn.

(1) NCAA Division II championship game
(2) NCAA Division II semifinal

St. Cloud State vs. Notre Dame

Series: St. Cloud State leads 6-5

The Huskies broke a tie in the all-time series with a 5-1 win in last year’s Midwest Regional semifinal.

DateWinner, scoreSite
10/21/1988St. Cloud State 4-3St. Cloud, Minn.
10/22/1988Notre Dame 3-2St. Cloud, Minn.
11/17/1989Notre Dame 3-2South Bend, Ind.
11/18/1989St. Cloud State 8-2South Bend, Ind.
02/16/1990St. Cloud State 7-3St. Cloud, Minn.
02/17/1990St. Cloud State 3-2St. Cloud, Minn.
01/24/1997Notre Dame 5-2South Bend, Ind.
01/25/1997St. Cloud State 2-1South Bend, Ind.
10/17/1997Notre Dame 4-3 (OT)St. Cloud, Minn.
10/18/1997Notre Dame 4-1St. Cloud, Minn.
03/30/2013St. Cloud State 5-1Toledo, Ohio (1)

(1) NCAA Midwest Regional semifinal

Ferris State vs. Colgate

Series: Ferris State leads 7-6-1

The Bulldogs won the first game the teams played this season but the Raiders took the next two, both by shutout. The opening-weekend series was scheduled; the third game was for the championship of the Mariucci Classic in Minneapolis.

DateWinner, scoreSite
12/10/1999Colgate 4-1Hamilton, N.Y.
12/11/1999Ferris State 3-2Hamilton, N.Y.
11/03/2000Ferris State 5-4Big Rapids, Mich.
11/04/2000Ferris State 3-1Big Rapids, Mich.
10/17/2003Colgate 5-3Hamilton, N.Y.
10/18/2003Ferris State 3-1Hamilton, N.Y.
10/08/2004Colgate 5-4Big Rapids, Mich.
10/09/2004Colgate 4-3Big Rapids, Mich.
01/03/2009Tie 3-3Burlington, Vt. (1)
01/06/2012Ferris State 4-3Big Rapids, Mich.
01/07/2012Ferris State 3-1Big Rapids, Mich.
10/05/2013Ferris State 7-4Hamilton, N.Y.
10/06/2013Colgate 1-0Hamilton, N.Y.
01/04/2014Colgate 3-0Minneapolis (2)

(1) Sheraton/TD Banknorth Cup
(2) Mariucci Classic

Denver vs. Boston College

Series: Denver leads 14-11

The Pioneers have won the only two NCAA tournament meetings between the long-established programs, in the semifinals in 1968 and 1973.

The teams have split four meetings in the last five seasons.

DateWinner, scoreSite
03/14/1968Denver 4-1Duluth, Minn. (1)
12/26/1969Denver 6-2Denver
12/27/1969Denver 7-6 (OT)Denver
03/15/1973Denver 10-4Boston (1)
12/27/1974Boston College 5-2Denver
12/28/1974Denver 10-4Denver
11/09/1984Denver 8-3Denver
11/10/1984Boston College 7-4Denver
12/01/1985Boston College 4-3Chestnut Hill, Mass.
12/03/1985Denver 9-3Chestnut Hill, Mass.
01/09/1987Boston College 8-6Denver
11/27/1987Denver 6-4Boston
11/14/1988Boston College 6-2Denver
12/29/1993Denver 4-2Denver (2)
11/26/1994Denver 4-3 (OT)Chestnut Hill, Mass.
12/28/1998Denver 4-3 (OT)Denver (2)
10/20/2000Boston College 3-2Denver
10/21/2000Boston College 3-2Denver
10/12/2001Denver 4-3Anchorage, Alaska (3)
10/18/2002Boston College 4-2Chestnut Hill, Mass.
10/15/2004Boston College 6-2Chestnut Hill, Mass.
01/02/2010Denver 4-3Denver (2)
10/15/2010Boston College 6-2Denver
10/16/2010Boston College 3-0Denver
10/14/2011Denver 4-2Chestnut Hill, Mass.

(1) NCAA semifinal
(2) Denver Cup
(3) Nye Frontier Classic

Union vs. Vermont

Series: Vermont leads 18-10-2

The teams first met 88 years ago and were both members of the ECAC from 1991 to 2005, when Vermont left for Hockey East.

Vermont beat Union 2-1 in last season’s Catamount Cup.

DateWinner, scoreSite
02/20/1926Union 5-4Burlington, Vt.
02/12/1949Vermont 2-0Burlington, Vt.
01/09/1991Vermont 3-1Burlington, Vt.
02/07/1992Vermont 5-2Schenectady, N.Y.
11/23/1992Union 3-2Schenectady, N.Y.
02/12/1993Vermont 5-0Burlington, Vt.
01/29/1994Vermont 4-0Burlington, Vt.
02/11/1994Tie 4-4Schenectady, N.Y.
01/28/1995Tie 1-1Schenectady, N.Y.
02/10/1995Vermont 8-1Burlington, Vt.
11/11/1995Vermont 5-2Schenectady, N.Y.
02/16/1996Vermont 4-1Burlington, Vt.
11/09/1996Vermont 1-0Burlington, Vt.
02/14/1997Union 2-0Schenectady, N.Y.
11/07/1997Union 1-0Schenectady, N.Y.
02/22/1998Vermont 3-2Burlington, Vt.
11/13/1998Vermont 4-1Burlington, Vt.
02/20/1999Vermont 5-0Schenectady, N.Y.
01/07/2000Vermont 3-2Burlington, Vt.
01/27/2001Vermont 6-3Burlington, Vt.
02/02/2001Union 3-1Schenectady, N.Y.
01/26/2002Union 5-2Schenectady, N.Y.
02/01/2002Union 4-0Burlington, Vt.
01/25/2003Union 4-2Burlington, Vt.
02/28/2003Union 5-3Schenectady, N.Y.
11/15/2003Union 5-1Schenectady, N.Y.
01/30/2004Vermont 3-1Burlington, Vt.
01/07/2005Vermont 4-0Schenectady, N.Y.
01/29/2005Vermont 7-1Burlington, Vt.
12/29/2012Vermont 2-1Burlington, Vt. (1)

(1) Catamount Cup

North Dakota vs. Wisconsin

Series: Wisconsin leads 86-65-12

North Dakota has won six of the 10 games played on neutral ice.

DateWinner, scoreSite
12/13/1968Wisconsin 7-5Madison, Wis.
12/14/1968Wisconsin 11-7Madison, Wis.
11/14/1969Wisconsin 8-4Grand Forks, N.D.
11/15/1969Wisconsin 7-4Grand Forks, N.D.
03/06/1971Wisconsin 12-1Madison, Wis.
03/07/1971Wisconsin 4-2Madison, Wis.
11/26/1971North Dakota 2-1Grand Forks, N.D.
11/27/1971Wisconsin 3-2Grand Forks, N.D.
03/11/1972Tie 1-1Madison, Wis. (1)
03/12/1972Wisconsin 5-1Madison, Wis. (1)
01/26/1973Wisconsin 8-3Madison, Wis.
01/27/1973Wisconsin 4-3Madison, Wis.
02/22/1974North Dakota 5-4 (OT)Grand Forks, N.D.
02/23/1974Wisconsin 7-1Grand Forks, N.D.
01/31/1975Wisconsin 8-7Grand Forks, N.D.
02/01/1975Tie 2-2Grand Forks, N.D.
01/09/1976North Dakota 6-5 (OT)Madison, Wis.
01/10/1976North Dakota 5-2Madison, Wis.
12/10/1976Wisconsin 6-2Madison, Wis.
12/11/1976Wisconsin 11-6Madison, Wis.
01/14/1977Wisconsin 7-6 (OT)Grand Forks, N.D.
01/15/1977Wisconsin 8-7 (OT)Grand Forks, N.D.
02/24/1978Wisconsin 7-5Grand Forks, N.D.
02/25/1978North Dakota 4-2Grand Forks, N.D.
11/17/1978Wisconsin 2-1 (OT)Grand Forks, N.D.
11/18/1978North Dakota 3-1Grand Forks, N.D.
02/09/1979North Dakota 7-3Madison, Wis.
02/10/1979North Dakota 7-4Madison, Wis.
03/10/1979North Dakota 4-2Grand Forks, N.D. (1)
03/11/1979Tie 7-7Grand Forks, N.D. (1)
02/29/1980North Dakota 8-1Madison, Wis.
03/01/1980North Dakota 4-3Madison, Wis.
02/06/1981Wisconsin 10-1Grand Forks, N.D.
02/07/1981Wisconsin 5-4Grand Forks, N.D.
01/29/1982North Dakota 3-0Madison, Wis.
01/30/1982Wisconsin 3-0Madison, Wis.
02/19/1982North Dakota 5-4 (OT)Grand Forks, N.D.
02/20/1982North Dakota 3-1Grand Forks, N.D.
03/13/1982Wisconsin 9-0Grand Forks, N.D. (1)
03/14/1982Wisconsin 3-1Grand Forks, N.D. (1)
03/27/1982North Dakota 5-2Providence, R.I. (2)
11/19/1982North Dakota 6-2Grand Forks, N.D.
11/20/1982North Dakota 4-0Grand Forks, N.D.
01/28/1983Tie 2-2Madison, Wis.
01/29/1983North Dakota 3-1Madison, Wis.
03/04/1983Tie 1-1Grand Forks, N.D. (1)
03/05/1983Wisconsin 6-5 (3OT)Grand Forks, N.D. (1)
10/21/1983North Dakota 5-2Madison, Wis.
10/22/1983North Dakota 3-2Madison, Wis.
02/03/1984Tie 3-3Grand Forks, N.D.
02/04/1984Wisconsin 6-4Grand Forks, N.D.
11/30/1984Wisconsin 6-5 (OT)Madison, Wis.
12/01/1984Wisconsin 3-2Madison, Wis.
11/22/1985Wisconsin 8-1Madison, Wis.
11/23/1985Wisconsin 6-2Madison, Wis.
01/17/1986North Dakota 8-2Grand Forks, N.D.
01/18/1986North Dakota 6-4Grand Forks, N.D.
03/01/1986Wisconsin 6-2Madison, Wis. (1)
03/02/1986Wisconsin 6-5Madison, Wis. (1)
10/31/1986North Dakota 9-4Grand Forks, N.D.
11/01/1986North Dakota 6-2Grand Forks, N.D.
01/30/1987North Dakota 5-4Madison, Wis.
01/31/1987North Dakota 2-1Madison, Wis.
11/13/1987North Dakota 4-3Madison, Wis.
11/14/1987Wisconsin 5-4Madison, Wis.
01/29/1988Wisconsin 4-3Madison, Wis.
01/30/1988Wisconsin 5-4 (OT)Madison, Wis.
03/06/1988Wisconsin 2-1St. Paul, Minn. (1)
11/11/1988Wisconsin 5-2Madison, Wis.
11/12/1988Wisconsin 5-2Madison, Wis.
01/27/1989Wisconsin 3-2Grand Forks, N.D.
01/28/1989Wisconsin 4-2Grand Forks, N.D.
12/01/1989Wisconsin 7-5Grand Forks, N.D.
12/02/1989North Dakota 9-5Grand Forks, N.D.
02/23/1990Tie 5-5Madison, Wis.
02/24/1990Wisconsin 5-4 (OT)Madison, Wis.
11/23/1990North Dakota 4-2Madison, Wis.
11/24/1990Wisconsin 6-2Madison, Wis.
12/29/1990Wisconsin 3-2Milwaukee (3)
02/01/1991Wisconsin 5-3Grand Forks, N.D.
02/02/1991North Dakota 6-2Grand Forks, N.D.
03/11/1991North Dakota 5-2St. Paul, Minn. (1)
01/03/1992Wisconsin 9-4Grand Forks, N.D.
01/04/1992North Dakota 6-2Grand Forks, N.D.
02/28/1992Wisconsin 8-2Madison, Wis.
02/29/1992Wisconsin 4-2Madison, Wis.
12/04/1992North Dakota 3-2Madison, Wis.
12/05/1992Wisconsin 10-2Madison, Wis.
01/15/1993Wisconsin 3-2Madison, Wis.
01/16/1993Wisconsin 5-2Madison, Wis.
11/05/1993Wisconsin 7-3Madison, Wis.
11/06/1993North Dakota 5-4Madison, Wis.
01/28/1994Wisconsin 4-1Grand Forks, N.D.
01/29/1994North Dakota 5-4Grand Forks, N.D.
03/11/1994Wisconsin 6-1Madison, Wis. (1)
03/12/1994Wisconsin 4-2Madison, Wis. (1)
12/09/1994North Dakota 3-2 (OT)Grand Forks, N.D.
12/10/1994North Dakota 5-2Grand Forks, N.D.
02/03/1995Wisconsin 4-2Madison, Wis.
02/04/1995Wisconsin 5-1Madison, Wis.
10/27/1995Wisconsin 3-1Grand Forks, N.D.
10/28/1995North Dakota 4-2Grand Forks, N.D.
02/09/1996Wisconsin 6-3Madison, Wis.
02/10/1996Wisconsin 3-2Madison, Wis.
03/01/1996Wisconsin 6-5 (OT)Grand Forks, N.D. (1)
03/02/1996Wisconsin 5-4 (2OT)Grand Forks, N.D. (1)
01/17/1997Wisconsin 5-2Grand Forks, N.D.
01/18/1997North Dakota 8-6Grand Forks, N.D.
12/05/1997North Dakota 6-5Madison, Wis.
12/06/1997North Dakota 3-0Madison, Wis.
03/06/1998North Dakota 6-3Grand Forks, N.D.
03/07/1998Wisconsin 6-4Grand Forks, N.D.
03/21/1998Wisconsin 3-2Milwaukee (1)
12/11/1998North Dakota 6-1Grand Forks, N.D.
12/12/1998North Dakota 4-1Grand Forks, N.D.
02/27/1999Wisconsin 4-2Madison, Wis.
02/28/1999North Dakota 5-2Madison, Wis.
12/28/1999North Dakota 3-2 (OT)Milwaukee (3)
01/14/2000Wisconsin 3-2 (OT)Madison, Wis.
01/15/2000Wisconsin 6-5 (OT)Madison, Wis.
03/18/2000North Dakota 5-3Minneapolis (1)
02/09/2001Tie 3-3Grand Forks, N.D.
02/10/2001Tie 4-4Grand Forks, N.D.
10/26/2001Wisconsin 3-2Grand Forks, N.D.
10/27/2001North Dakota 6-4Grand Forks, N.D.
12/07/2001Wisconsin 7-6 (OT)Madison, Wis.
12/08/2001Wisconsin 3-1Madison, Wis.
11/22/2002North Dakota 2-0Grand Forks, N.D.
11/23/2002North Dakota 3-2Grand Forks, N.D.
03/07/2003North Dakota 5-2Madison, Wis.
03/08/2003North Dakota 5-0Madison, Wis.
02/06/2004Wisconsin 4-3 (OT)Madison, Wis.
02/07/2004Wisconsin 5-2Madison, Wis.
11/12/2004Wisconsin 1-0Madison, Wis.
11/13/2004Wisconsin 5-2Madison, Wis.
02/26/2005North Dakota 4-2Grand Forks, N.D.
02/27/2005Tie 1-1Grand Forks, N.D.
03/17/2005North Dakota 3-2St. Paul, Minn. (1)
11/04/2005Wisconsin 4-2Grand Forks, N.D.
11/05/2005Wisconsin 4-1Grand Forks, N.D.
03/17/2006North Dakota 4-3St. Paul, Minn. (1)
10/13/2006North Dakota 3-2 (OT)Madison, Wis.
10/14/2006Wisconsin 1-0Madison, Wis.
12/08/2006Wisconsin 4-3Grand Forks, N.D.
12/09/2006Wisconsin 4-2Grand Forks, N.D.
11/09/2007Wisconsin 4-0Madison, Wis.
11/10/2007North Dakota 3-1Madison, Wis.
03/30/2008North Dakota 3-2 (OT)Madison, Wis. (4)
10/31/2008North Dakota 3-2Grand Forks, N.D.
11/01/2008Wisconsin 5-2Grand Forks, N.D.
03/06/2009North Dakota 2-1Madison, Wis.
03/07/2009Wisconsin 4-1Madison, Wis.
03/21/2009Wisconsin 4-1St. Paul, Minn. (1)
12/11/2009Tie 3-3Grand Forks, N.D.
12/12/2009Wisconsin 4-3Grand Forks, N.D.
11/12/2010North Dakota 1-0Madison, Wis.
11/13/2010North Dakota 4-2Madison, Wis.
10/21/2011Wisconsin 5-3Madison, Wis.
10/22/2011Wisconsin 5-4Madison, Wis.
01/27/2012North Dakota 5-3Grand Forks, N.D.
01/28/2012North Dakota 4-2Grand Forks, N.D.
02/01/2013Tie 1-1Grand Forks, N.D.
02/02/2013North Dakota 4-1Grand Forks, N.D.

(1) WCHA playoff game
(2) NCAA championship game
(3) Badger Hockey Showdown
(4) NCAA Midwest Regional final