Four weeks out, and this is beginning to be a trend

Denver has an RPI lead of .0001 over Omaha, which moves the Pioneers into the second band and the Mavericks into the third (photo: Michelle Bishop).

It’s time once again to do what we like to call Bracketology, college hockey style. It’s our weekly look at how I believe the NCAA tournament will wind up come selection time.

It’s a look into what are the possible thought processes behind selecting and seeding the NCAA tournament teams.

We’ll keep bringing you a new one every week until we make our final picks before the field is announced on March 20.

Those of you that are veterans of the college hockey scene know that it is all about the PairWise Rankings. This is USCHO’s numerical approach that simulates the way the NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey committee chooses the teams that make the NCAA tournament.

Since USCHO began the PairWise Rankings, we have correctly identified all of the teams that have been selected to the NCAA tournament.

I am the only prognosticator to have correctly predicted the exact brackets for the NCAA tournament in four of the last five years, meaning that I have predicted how the committee thought when putting together the brackets.

This is not a be-all, end-all analysis of the bracket. I am trying to give you, the reader, an idea of what the committee might be thinking and not exactly what they are thinking.

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 — Albany, N.Y.; Northeast — Worcester, Mass.; Midwest — Cincinnati; West — St. Paul, Minn.).

• A host institution that 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: Union in Albany, Holy Cross in Worcester, Miami in Cincinnati and Minnesota in St. Paul.

• Seedings will not be switched. To avoid undesirable first-round matchups, including intraconference games (see below), teams will be moved among regionals, not reseeded.

Here are the NCAA’s guidelines on the matter, from the 2016 pre-championship manual:

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 the likelihood of a playoff-type atmosphere at each regional site. For this model, the following is a basic set of priorities:

1. Once the six automatic qualifiers and 10 at-large teams are selected, the next step is to develop four groups from the committee’s rankings of 1-16. The top four teams are 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. The next four are targeted as No. 2 seeds. The next four are No. 3 seeds and the last four are No. 4 seeds.

2. Step two is to place the home teams. Host institutions that qualify will be placed at home.

3. Step three is to fill in the bracket so that first-round conference matchups are avoided, unless it corrupts the integrity of the bracket. If five or more teams from one conference are selected to the championship, then the integrity of the bracket will be protected (i.e., maintaining the pairing process according to seed will take priority over avoidance of first-round conference matchups). To complete each regional, the committee assigns one team from each of the remaining seeded groups so there is a No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 seed at each regional site.

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

1 Quinnipiac
2 St. Cloud State
3 North Dakota
4 Boston College
5 Providence
6 Michigan
7 Notre Dame
8t Denver
8t Omaha
10t Yale
10t Boston University
12 Harvard
13 Massachusetts-Lowell
14 Penn State
15 St. Lawrence
16t Minnesota
16t Rensselaer
22t Minnesota State
25 Robert Morris

Current conference leaders based on winning percentage:

Atlantic Hockey: Robert Morris
Big Ten: Minnesota
ECAC Hockey: Quinnipiac
Hockey East: Notre Dame
NCHC: St. Cloud State (Based on total goals tiebreaker)
WCHA: Minnesota State

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 the current leader in each conference. This team is my assumed conference tournament champion after applying the tiebreakers.

Step one

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

We break ties in the PWR by looking at the individual comparisons among the tied teams, and add in any current league leaders that are not currently in the top 16. The only teams that are not are Minnesota State, Minnesota and Robert Morris.

From there, we can start looking at the ties and bubbles in a more detailed fashion. We break all of our ties based upon the RPI.

Denver and Omaha are tied for eighth, while Yale and Boston University are tied for 10th. Denver has a minuscule RPI advantage over Omaha, and Yale has a wider lead over Boston University.

Therefore, the 16 teams in the tournament, in rank order, are:

1 Quinnipiac
2 St. Cloud State
3 North Dakota
4 Boston College
5 Providence
6 Michigan
7 Notre Dame
8 Denver
9 Omaha
10 Yale
11 Boston University
12 Harvard
13 Massachusetts-Lowell
14 Minnesota
15 Minnesota State
16 Robert Morris

Step two

Now it’s time to assign the seeds.

No. 1 seeds: Quinnipiac, St. Cloud State, North Dakota, Boston College

No. 2 seeds: Providence, Michigan, Notre Dame, Denver

No. 3 seeds: Omaha, Yale, Boston University, Harvard

No. 4 seeds: Massachusetts-Lowell, Minnesota, Minnesota State, Robert Morris

Step three

Place the No. 1 seeds in regionals.

No. 1 Quinnipiac is placed in the Northeast Regional in Worcester.
No. 2 St. Cloud State is placed in the West Regional in St. Paul.
No. 3 North Dakota is placed in the Midwest Regional in Cincinnati.
No. 4 Boston College is placed in the East Regional in Albany.

Step four

Now we place the other 12 teams so as to avoid intraconference 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 would be played by No. 1 vs. No. 8, No. 2 vs. No. 7, No. 3 vs. No. 6 and No. 4 vs. No. 5.

So therefore:

No. 2 seeds

No. 8 Denver is placed in No. 1 Quinnipiac’s regional, the Northeast Regional.
No. 7 Notre Dame is placed in No. 2 St. Cloud State’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 6 Michigan is placed in No. 3 North Dakota’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 5 Providence is placed in No. 4 Boston College’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 and 15; another with 3, 6, 11 and 14; and another with 4, 5, 12 and 13.

No. 9 Omaha is placed in No. 8 Denver’s regional, the Northeast Regional.
No. 10 Yale is placed in No. 7 Notre Dame’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 11 Boston University is placed in No. 6 Michigan’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 12 Harvard is placed in No. 5 Providence’s regional, the East Regional.

No. 4 seeds

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

Since Minnesota is a host institution, we must place Minnesota in the West Regional.

No. 14 Minnesota is sent to No. 2 St. Cloud State’s regional, the West Regional.
No. 16 Robert Morris is sent to No. 1 Quinnipiac’s regional, the Northeast Regional.
No. 15 Minnesota State is sent to No. 3 North Dakota’s regional, the Midwest Regional.
No. 13 Massachusetts-Lowell is sent to No. 4 Boston College’s regional, the East Regional.

The brackets as we have set them up:

East Regional (Albany):
13 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 4 Boston College
12 Harvard vs. 5 Providence

Northeast Regional (Worcester):
16 Robert Morris vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 Omaha vs 8 Denver

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
15 Minnesota State vs. 3 North Dakota
11 Boston University vs. 6 Michigan

West Regional (St. Paul):
14 Minnesota vs. 2 St. Cloud State
10 Yale vs. 7 Notre Dame

Our first concern is avoiding intraconference matchups. We have two this week in Massachusetts-Lowell versus Boston College and Omaha versus Denver.

We can only switch Massachusetts-Lowell with Robert Morris or Minnesota State. We switch with Minnesota State in this case, trying to even out bracket integrity and protect the No. 1 overall seed.

East Regional (Albany):
15 Minnesota State vs. 4 Boston College
12 Harvard vs. 5 Providence

Northeast Regional (Worcester):
16 Robert Morris vs. 1 Quinnipiac
9 Omaha vs 8 Denver

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
13 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 3 North Dakota
11 Boston University vs. 6 Michigan

West Regional (St. Paul):
14 Minnesota vs. 2 St. Cloud State
10 Yale vs. 7 Notre Dame

Then we look to swap Omaha, and we do so by either switching with Boston University or Yale. We swap with Yale for bracket integrity reasons.

East Regional (Albany):
15 Minnesota State vs. 4 Boston College
12 Harvard vs. 5 Providence

Northeast Regional (Worcester):
16 Robert Morris vs. 1 Quinnipiac
10 Yale vs 8 Denver

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
13 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 3 North Dakota
11 Boston University vs. 6 Michigan

West Regional (St. Paul):
14 Minnesota vs. 2 St. Cloud State
9 Omaha vs. 7 Notre Dame

Now let’s look at more attendance aspects.

It’s the same teams as last week (and the two weeks before), and there’s not much more we can do here.

So that’s about all we can do for this week.

See you here next week for the next Bracketology.

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

This week’s brackets

East Regional (Albany):
15 Minnesota State vs. 4 Boston College
12 Harvard vs. 5 Providence

Northeast Regional (Worcester):
16 Robert Morris vs. 1 Quinnipiac
10 Yale vs 8 Denver

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
13 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 3 North Dakota
11 Boston University vs. 6 Michigan

West Regional (St. Paul):
14 Minnesota vs. 2 St. Cloud State
9 Omaha vs. 7 Notre Dame

Conference breakdowns

Hockey East — 5
NCHC — 4
ECAC Hockey — 3
Big Ten — 2
WCHA — 1
Atlantic Hockey — 1

On the move

In: None

Out: None

Attendance woes?

Cincinnati is still iffy, even with North Dakota and Michigan there.

Last week’s brackets

East Regional (Albany):
14 Robert Morris vs. 4 Boston College
11 Harvard vs. 5 Providence

Northeast Regional (Worcester):
15 Minnesota State vs. 1 Quinnipiac
10 Yale vs 8 Boston University

Midwest Regional (Cincinnati):
13 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 3 North Dakota
12 Denver vs. 6 Michigan

West Regional (St. Paul):
16 Minnesota vs. 2 St. Cloud State
9 Omaha vs. 7 Notre Dame

177 COMMENTS

  1. Hmm….I wonder if you might reconsider your vote after seeing Mike Connelly for UMD after playing the UMTC? He dominated both ends of the ice Friday night after Gophers were thanking their answered prayers they got a point after getting their goalie stood on his head so they could get a tie and the Mike rattled off 5 GOALS on Saturday night. Yes, he skates on without ANY question the best line in college hockey (ask any NHL scout as I have), but he is the best player on that line and is dominant on BOTH ends of the rink. Plus he plays in the Big Boy conference – the WCHA – not the CCHA – other the MTU, no layups in this physical conference.

  2. Hmm….I wonder if you might reconsider your vote after seeing Mike Connelly for UMD after playing the UMTC? He dominated both ends of the ice Friday night after Gophers were thanking their answered prayers they got a point after getting their goalie stood on his head so they could get a tie and the Mike rattled off 5 GOALS on Saturday night. Yes, he skates on without ANY question the best line in college hockey (ask any NHL scout as I have), but he is the best player on that line and is dominant on BOTH ends of the rink. Plus he plays in the Big Boy conference – the WCHA – not the CCHA – other the MTU, no layups in this physical conference.

  3. Every week you pick a split with MIch Tech amd their opponents and MTU keeps sweeping the weekend. Last weekend was the exception we at least Tied with MInn State on their ice. Tech easily beat Northern tonight and expect more of the same tomorrow. Lets go Tech!

    • .
      Just making a comment…

      It may be to Northern’s advantage to “lose” the game tonite; if I were a NMU fan, I would rather play BG then Bemidji. It is still all dependent on the Ferris game however.

      But just a note…
      .

  4. Bemidji just beat Minnesota state 5-2. Same results tomorrow for Mich Tech and Bemidgi and Mich Tech wins the Division. It could happen!

  5. .
    As of Saturday morning:

    MSU -vs- UAH/LSSU
    MTU -vs- UAH/LSSU
    BGSU -vs- NMU/FSU
    BSU -vs- NMU/FSU

    And in a way, to be fair to Fairbanks, I am glad that Anchorage was the team left out this year. Seemed to work out…

    I think MTU rather play UAH and NMU rather play BGSU.
    .

  6. Alabama drags this whole conference down. I dont know why my school hired Corbett. He is a horrible recruiter and coach. Its time to either stop operations or hire a real coach. A guy who knows how to build to build a program like bergeron at BGSU. Corbett is an idiot. He is embarasing

  7. Of course officials make bad calls – happens in every sport because they are human. But with video replay, the officials are much more often right than people realize. Secondly, attacking the officials is a sure way to ruin the game entirely, since it cannot be played without officiating. If your team didn’t win, it might be because the puck went in your net more than in your opponent’s net, not because of the officials.

    • See that is just the problem. If he blew the call with his eyes and waved off the goal thats one thing. It would have been a terrible call but you know he gets the benefit of the doubt. The problem is that he actually looked at the replay and overturned the goal. On ice officials have no magic cameras that we can’t see. The UVM player never even touched Demko….you miss the point…its always the Italian Mafia doing the hatchet work for HE

  8. Seems like to me we have an elimination game in the 1st semi Friday night. With UML just out of the top 16 and UVM sitting 19th in the pairwise both are in must win games and for UVM probably have to win the tourney to have a shot at the NCAAS which is really too bad for a 22 win season. You win 22 games and still can’t make the tourney means you had a rough non-conference schedule I guess.

    • It likely is, although the PW Predictor says UVM can finish as high as 9th should they win the tournament, and as low as 15th should they make the NCAAs without winning the tournament. So they probably have to make the final, but may not have to win the final.

    • That’s the funny thing about the Pairwise. UNH had 22 wins last season, got to the HE Final and didn’t make it, UVM had 20 and did. By “rough non-conference schedule,” I assume you mean weak, relatively speaking.

  9. I wasn’t there, and I haven’t seen the replay of the game YET; but this BC/BU official bias is wrong. Did you ever think that “maybe that officiating as a whole” is not that good? Having seen BC many times, every time I see a certain official, I know there’s going to be some bad calls. I’m ALL FOR letting the players decide the outcome of the game, I just think the officials call far too many ‘questionable’ penalties. And, no, the same official did not make that OT call against NU in the Beanpot Final (that’s the first thing I looked at!).
    For the series, BC had 12 powerplays, Vermont 10 … that’s not a decided edge to one team. I did see game 2 and BC was dominating (4 PP’s to 3 for Vermont) in that game, they just could not score (the story of their 2014-2015 season).
    Kudo’s to Vermont. They were down 4-0 in Game-1, changed goalies … and won the series!

  10. I know the PWR is a lot more objective method for choosing teams for the NCAA tournament, but I think more weight should be put on games in the second half of the season. The tournament games are such a heavy focus for most teams now and these games should be weighted accordingly.

    • I would agree with you, but the strength of schedule varies so much, it can’t be, As a UNH fan, they played a much tougher schedule the first half of the year. So, if you count the 2nd half with more weight and they split at UVM, split with BU, took 2 from UConn, took the next 2 from Merrimack (not to mention a split at Omaha)… started the playoffs with a sweep over UConn and win a series 2-1 from PC… does that mean they are a top 16PWR team now??? Not in my opinion… they won 5 games in the first half, so they have to win out.

    • There is another wrinkle to this issue. As a Sioux fan, we’re safe this year as a host team. If we weren’t, and UNH won out, we would have spent the year securing the #1 seed to earn the pleasure of a trip to NH to face the “lowly” Wildcats. Mankato would see Robert Morris or equiv. as the #2. Nothing against the Colonials, but drawing a tournament experienced team who got real hot late in the season just because they couldn’t get out of their own way in November doesn’t sound like a fair shake to me.

  11. The UVM/UML matchup is very intriguing. UML played a great series against ND & have the HEA tourney resume. The way Hoffman is playing right now combined with a UVM defense that has returned to its first half level and a return of timely scoring means that they have a shot, though. UML doesn’t have the advantage of facing a team that had just played the equivalent of 5-6 games the previous week with a week off themselves beforehand. Instead, they get a veteran goalie who basically took 5 weeks off and caught fire on his return.

    Regarding Hoffman’s sudden reemergence, I wouldn’t be surprised if two major contributing factors to his success were not only the natural competitive desire to retake the starting spot when the opportunity was handed to him but also the rest he received from the time off. So I would think he still has gas left in the tank. You just hope UVM didn’t empty the tank emotionally beating BC in historic fashion, because there is more work to be done.

    • If Vermont can get back a couple key injured guys it will be huge. They get Mario Puskarich, Kyle Reynolds, and Kevin Irwin back that would be big. Can you imagine a line with both Brady Shaw and Mario. Or even if you seperate them that’s 2 pretty dynamic lines. In regards to Hoffman I’ve been to every UVM home game this season and a lot last year and between Hoff and Santa I always thougt Hoffman was the better goalie even though Santa’s done a good job these past 6 weeks. Should be a fun one Friday as UML only faced Santa when they went 1-0-1 against UVM last weekend of the season so UVM’s giving them a different look this time around

      • I agree, Hoff is the better goalie in my opinion as well, even though they were both pretty good this year. Hoff just had the small mid season slump with the misfortune of another pretty good goalie they could turn to as the starter for a while, but his presence on the bench also meant that they could turn right back to him as soon as Santa slipped up a bit (which had clearly started in the previous series at least, and only grew in G1 at BC). The holes that BC could shoot at on Santa just weren’t there on Hoff, partially due to the size difference, and the juicy rebounds dried up too.

    • While both teams seem to be fairly even. Everyone on that Vermont team has no experience in the big dance. While the senior class for Lowell has won it the past two years.

      And what do you mean, Hoffman has caught fire? He’s only played two games since being back.

      Lowell has only lost 1 in their last 8 games so if we determine if someone is hot by two games, what should we consider Lowell? Liquid hot magma?

      • I didn’t say that UML hasn’t been playing well too – that’s why the game intrigues me.

        To say that no one on UVM has any experience is unfair – much of the team played in the NCAAs last year. They may not have made it to the Garden, but they did make it to the bigger dance and got the experience from that. And they pushed the eventual HEA tournament champs in UML to 3 games in the process.

        Technically, Hoff has played 3 games – he came in cold 4 minutes into the second period of G1. And he proceeded to stop 87 of 88 shots on goal by BC. I’d say that stopping 98.89% of shots on the road at Kelley Rink after coming in cold is pretty darn impressive, particularly when you haven’t started a game in 5 weeks. If you watched any of the three, it was obvious that the opportunities that BC had against Santa were not there against Hoff. One game, maybe two games, OK. I can chalk that up to potential flashes in the pan. You stop 87 of 88 in 8 periods, that’s more than a flash in the pan. Yes, UVM limits good opportunities based on their defensive system. But to discredit Hoffman’s performance this weekend is unfair.

        • Vermont’s only recent experience in the NCAA tournament was one game and they lost. And the last time someone had to make 87 saves in 8 periods was Cal Peterson. And he gave up 13 goals in 3 games last weekend.

          • Yes, UVM lost…to the eventual champions in the middle of what became a 12 game postseason winning streak. Doesn’t mean they got no experience out of it

            Peterson had to play 11 periods and make 149 saves against UMass. Not 8 and 87. He also gave up 7 goals in the series, compared to Hoffman’s 1. Nor did he have the advantage of such an extended time off beforehand – rather, in the prior 3 weeks he had faced PC, BU, and BC. That, plus the extended game to start the series against UMass, is grueling for anyone.

          • Was it just me or did Hoffman look a little rusty? It might have been all that time off he had. Na na na na, hey hey hey.

          • Someone’s celebrating a lot for a team that still isn’t necessarily in the tournament. Good to know UML fans are so classy.

            No, he didn’t look rusty to me. He had no chance on the first one, and the last two were deflections off UVM players. I’d love to see any goalie stop those, especially the third. The second was really the only one he had any kind of a chance at. And he made a lot of good saves in between that kept them in the game. Only someone who went in with the story already written in their opinion would claim otherwise.

            Credit to UML. They played a good game, capitalized on their biggest opportunity, and got the bounces tonight. C’est la vie. Good luck in the final.

          • I wasn’t thrilled with their game tonight, but I also would not pass a sweeping judgment based on one game where you’re playing for your season. UVM typically plays a physical but clean game. And if you’d seen the regular season games against UML at a minimum, you would know that. All I need to say is that UVM won the league’s sportsmanship award this year. And I know both UML & UVM were near the top of the conference in fewest PIMs/game. So passing judgment on either team based on this game alone is wrong.

          • That second goal Hoffman have up came because he just couldn’t catch it. There was no deflection to it at all. And the hit near the end to the head of a UML player was a dirty play that came out of frustration. Very dangerous hit.

            Also, we can brother easier with out win and the fact that Robert Morris lost.

          • Your last sentence wasn’t totally understandable, but I’ll try & infer your meaning.

            * So you agree that Hoffman can only truly be expected to stop one of the goals. Sounds like a contradiction to your original claim. You can’t claim someone was rusty when 2/3 goals allowed were not stoppable. It’s not like he was out of position all night.
            * I already said I wasn’t pleased with some aspects of this game. As someone who plays, I know full well how dangerous that hit was. But one play in one game does not a team’s reputation make, and the way you worded your comment suggested that they played like that routinely, which is false. If you meant certain times of this game alone, then, yes, I was disappointed with a couple plays.
            * the Atlantic Hockey champ is still taking the #16 spot. RMU was not in the top 16, and neither will the champ be. The win helps, yes, but the RMU loss doesn’t really. Beat BU and you can truly breathe easier.

      • Lowell’s recent success can pretty Mich be attributed to a goalie who is no longer there. I was at both UML UVM games this year, and he was shakey at best. UML won because the D did a good job clearing the juicy rebounds out. Now Lowell has a lot of fire power I won’t take that away; however if Hoff stands strong I think the weakness in net will be UMLs downfall. I’ll take the VCats 2-1

        • You think Lowell will only score one goal against a goalie who is coming off a long break? The same Lowell team that scored 13 goals in 3 days? Or the same Lowell team that has a senior class who has scored 11 goals in the last two seasons at the Garden? That might be wishful thinking.

          • Hoffman’s the more experienced goalie between him and Santa as he played in ALL of the playoff games last year including the NCAA tourney. Don’t under-estimate a hot goalie who can steal a game or 2 for his team. Especially now in a one and done game where loser is out of the NCAA tourney. Look at Merrimack beating Northeastern and of course Vermont beating BC. Vermont and Lowell match up is intriguing because they both play the same style of D so yes I could see a 2-1 scoreline.

          • Would you have expected BC to only score 1 at home in that situation? Often extended breaks can lead to rust, but not always. Sometimes the rest factor wins out, as has apparently been the case here, because if he had been rusty, I highly doubt UVM would still be playing right now.

            I should also note that UML scored more goals against ND & UNH in the tournament last year combined than they did against UVM in 3 games combined, or any one game. And all three games – at UML – were one goal games, with UML not scoring more than 3 in any one game, and only 2 in two of the games. So to expect UML to win in blowout fashion might also be wishful thinking.

  12. The BC / BU bias is real. The fans who say that BU and BC get a lot of penalties against them don’t really look at all the stats. A lot of BU and BC games have these two getting the better of the calls for the first 2 periods and then a few PP’s go the other way when the game is already at hand. Lowell got absolutely screwed against BU in 2009 in the HE final and Vermont got hosed last night against BC. BC dives as good as the Canadians. It boggles the mind considering that BU and BC have great talent. They don’t need the calls as well. BU will get a couple of key calls on Friday night. Remember the Beanpot final?

    • What about the Beanpot final? What about all of the penalties committed by NU that when uncalled in the third period of the Beanpot final?

  13. Ted Ryan from the Burlington Free Press got an explanation from the HE commissioner about the no goal on Sunday and here’s what he said.

    HEA commissioner Joe Bretagna on Monday replied via email to a request for clarification this way:

    “The
    NCAA Rules Committee spent a good deal of time on the area of
    goaltender interference. At one level a player standing in any part of
    the crease, cannot physically or visually impair the goalie. In other
    words, you can’t screen the goalie if you are in the crease.

    “The
    committee also ruled that if a goalie’s feet are in the crease the rest
    of his body and equipment, even if hanging out beyond the crease, are
    considered ‘in the crease’. So if I stand at the top of the crease and
    extend my arms, as goalies will, an attacking player can’t interfere
    with my ability to move my hands to the puck even if the player doing so
    is completely outside the crease.”

    Hence Benedetto determined
    that while UVM’s Mike Paliotta was not in the crease, he had still
    interfered with BC goalie Thatcher Demko’s ability to play the puck.

    • Yes, I got a similar explanation from my former roommate, who said he was told it was a new rule this year.

      Honestly, while I have accepted the call and moved on, as it thankfully did not have an impact on the outcome and therefore is much ado about nothing, I do think that they need to reexamine the rule. In some ways it seems overly broad and easily taken advantage of in situations it was not intended to affect. My former roommate noted that it was strange that Demko extended the opposite arm from the side the shot came in from.

  14. I would think the committee would look to switch Yale and BU so that the large BU fan base can make the short trip to Worcester. If they didn’t do that, I think they would strongly consider switching the entire Albany and Worcester brackets in order to get BC and Providence as big attendance draws. In other words, the way this is set up with Yale and Q’piac as the anchors of Worcester is far from optimal.

    • Providence is far from being a “big attendance draw”. They were virtually non-existent last year at the Dunkin’ Doughnuts Arena.

        • How hard is it to sell out a 3,000 seat arena, even though they sell 95% of the seats? How well do they travel? I have no idea for this year, last year was a joke.

        • Well PC fans will have to prove it… The attendance in Providence looked pretty sparse, if I’m not mistaken. Let’s see how many show up in Albany (about a 4 hr trip I’d guess) if that’s where they end up. A BC vs PC final would be special.

    • Agree with switching the whole east and northeast brackets. Having PC and BC close to Worcester is a real gift. As for Albany, that’s an ECAC city, so QU and Yale are used to the trip. Even if it isn’t quite as close as Worcester, it still it isn’t that much more unreasonable from New Haven. Also, Yale certainly and probably QU have alumni in NYC, and Albany can draw from there better than Worcester. Denver I guess can get more flights into NYC cheaper and rent cars for about the same price.

  15. I would think the committee would look to switch Yale and BU so that the large BU fan base can make the short trip to Worcester. If they didn’t do that, I think they would strongly consider switching the entire Albany and Worcester brackets in order to get BC and Providence as big attendance draws. In other words, the way this is set up with Yale and Q’piac as the anchors of Worcester is far from optimal.

    • Providence is far from being a “big attendance draw”. They were virtually non-existent last year at the Dunkin’ Doughnuts Arena.

        • How hard is it to sell out a 3,000 seat arena, even though they sell 95% of the seats? How well do they travel? I have no idea for this year, last year was a joke.

        • Well PC fans will have to prove it… The attendance in Providence looked pretty sparse, if I’m not mistaken. Let’s see how many show up in Albany (about a 4 hr trip I’d guess) if that’s where they end up. Regardless, a BC vs PC final would be special.

    • Agree with switching the whole east and northeast brackets. Having PC and BC close to Worcester is a real gift. As for Albany, that’s an ECAC city, so QU and Yale are used to the trip. Even if it isn’t quite as close as Worcester, it still it isn’t that much more unreasonable from New Haven. Also, Yale certainly and probably QU have alumni in NYC, and Albany can draw from there better than Worcester. Denver I guess can get more flights into NYC cheaper and rent cars for about the same price.

  16. If I was a Denver fan I would like this draw, I would rather be in Quinnipiac’s regional then St. Cloud, North Dakota, or Boston College. The midwest and west regionals look tough minus the very average gopher team of course.

    • I agree but it kind of sucks for me though. I am tired of spending $500 for a flight and booking hotel with 5 days notice. Selfishly, I would rather play in St. Paul and let the chips fall where they may. Sooner or later you need to beat the best anyway.

      • Yeah the travel for fans would stink, Denver can skate with the best as they proved this past weekend. Good thing is the bracket will most likely change a lot here. Denver needs to host a regional here again, its been too long.

        • The travel for fans of any team blows and, in my opinion, one of the things that hinders attendance. Definitely not cheap to get to places like Grand Rapids….and especially not on 4 or 5 days notice.

          • Agreed, the gophers are lucky cause most of the time they don’t have to travel due to having the regional in minnesota often. It seems like North Dakota gets the regional once every 3 or 4 years. I think Denver should put in more requests to host, either at the pepsi center or DU.

          • Not even close to every 3 or 4 years for ND. Prior to last year, UND hosted in 2006…..and before that, your guess is as good as mine without looking it up.

          • Wasn’t UND the “host” team in Fargo last year? Technically Scheels Arena is not the home venue for UND, but they were the host there, just like Minnesota is the host in St Paul even though Mariucci is their home arena. The same rule applies this year in Cincy should Miami qualify because they are the host team even though they are 90 miles away in Oxford.

          • Yes, I know how it works. He said UND hosts every 3 or 4 years. Before last year when they hosted, it was 2006. So definitely not every 3 or 4 years. The rodents host pretty much every other year some how.

          • The NCHC should put in bids to host, either in Minnesota or Fargo/Grand Forks. That way if minnesota would make the tournament the NCAA would be obligated to put an NCHC team there before a gopher team. I think it would work like that if the conference hosted, correct me if I’m wrong.

          • I’ve never thought about it that way, I’m not sure how it works if an entire conference is the host.

          • I have to tell you hockeystate, I am not so sure MN has had more success playing in St. Paul than they have had at other regional locations..?? In all honesty, I cannot recall MN playing anywhere but MSP for their regional play. I will have to look at their NT history, but I know UND has at least a .500 record against MN in St. Paul. The biggest advantage MN has playing in St. Paul is that their fans do not have to travel. If this accounted for more MN fans being at the Gopher’s games, this would surely be an advantage to MN. However, the last two times they played UND, there were more UND fans in the stands by a noticeable margin. Again, the disadvantage is the cost of travel for UND fans (vs Gopher fans). Honestly, I think the majority of UND fans do not mind the trip to MSP. It goes without saying UND fans would prefer to have the regional at The Ralph, but this will not happen under current NCAA guidelines. I would much prefer watching UND at MSP (even if this meant playing against MN, SCSU, UMD, etc..), than having to travel to Cincinnati or Milwaukee….or some other off the wall place that has zero interest in college hockey. The atmosphere, for fans anyway, does matter to a certain degree….imo anyway.

          • The goophs have had way more success in MSP. 2012….went to FF….played regional in St. Paul. 2014….went to FF….played regional in St. Paul. 2013 and 2015, they travel and choke in round 1. 2008….travel out east….round 1 choke. Since 2000, the goophs have not made it to the FF without having a regional in Minneapolis or St. Paul. The only exception was in 2002, when the FF was in St. Paul so the regional was not in MN. They obviously have had better success by somehow being a “home” team every 2 or so years…..if they make the tourney….we all remember 2009-2011. If they go on the road……they choke.

          • Yea, I hear what you are saying. These facts present such a small sample size that it is hard to say with certainty if MN has truly had an advantage playing in MSP. For example, we don’t know what kind of success they would have had in ’12 and ’14 had they played in a regional outside of MSP? Again, it’s just hard to say if there is a true advantage.
            I don’t know, I think the fans should take precedence over the idea of marketing CH in places like Cincinnati. I think we have to split regional play into East and West for reasons I have expressed before. CH has lost much of the rivalry factor and fan support is dwindling at many schools. I wish CH had a stronger singular voice. it can’t always be what is best for one conference vs the other. I know various AD’s and HC’s are on different committees, but is there anyone who is actually looking out for the well-being of CH at the national level?

          • Since York took over, BC has lost once out west in first round- ’11 in St. Louis vs CC. Believe they were number 1 overall seed that year, but host school rule (UNH in Manchester, Yale in B-port) screwed them. Only other 2 times they went west (’99 in Wisco, ’00 in Minny) they made FF. Only other times they lost first round was ’13 and last year in Providence

          • Like Golden said, the last two times it was at St. Paul the gopher went to the frozen four, 2014 they beat St. Cloud 4-0 and 2012 they beat North Dakota 5-2. I think the only previous meet up within the last 10 years in the regionals with North Dakota was the West regional in Denver in 07 with North Dakota won in OT. But like most teams they do better when they are closer to home.

          • For some reason I thought North Dakota hosted more then that, but they are on the same schedule it seems as Denver/Colorado, every 6 years.

          • Round trip air fare to St. Paul cost $136, with 3 day advance purchase. Same trip to Boston is over $500 from Denver. Hotels are equivalent pricing. I would rather pay 1/3 total cost and have to face the Wild.:-)

          • From MSP to basically anywhere out east on 4 days notice is ridiculous. I couldn’t believe when I found airfare for under 200 one time.

          • Yep, and there really is no solution since no team knows, unless they are a lock to get in and are the “host” team, where they will be playing.

      • Based on the way Denver is playing right now, if these brackets stay the same, you may want to consider skipping the regionals and just buy tickets to Tampa. No disrespect to the others in that Worcester region, but even considering the travel, Denver looks like the clear favorite to come out of that bracket.

        • Clear favorite, eh? You mean like the last three seasons when the NCHC’s clear favorites were no shows in the NC game. I’ve learned not to count out the HEA or ECAC teams in a one and done tourney.

          • Some fans think playing tough schedule catches up to NCHC teams at the end of the season. This thought is not just from fans west of Mississippi, or Hudson.

          • Still flappin that jaw huh? 34th hardest schedule? Give yourself a big pat on the back for playing some amazing teams! Your team of cronies gave up 15 goals to Wisconsin this year. Nice job!

          • Still bitter I see…. I just find it funny you’re trying to convince yourself that the North Dakota would somehow have a better chance if the NCAA would switch to having it a 3 game series. Not gonna happen anytime soon!

          • Any team can win in a one and done…..best of 3, totally different story. Keep giving up 4 goals a game and you’ll be lucky to win a game in the Nat’l……if you make it.

        • Depends on their regional, they seem to have a favorable draw in the recent bracketology. If they were put in the regional with St. Cloud, UND or BC I would not like Denver’s chances as much. Still a lot of puck to be played though.

      • DU fans are better off in Worcester… The flight(s) to Albany (instead of Boston) are always more expensive, and unlikely to be direct.

        • True, need to connect at Kennedy, LaGuardia, or Newark for Albany. Just as easy to land at one of them, preferably Newark, and rent a car.

          • Good point. Newark is far easier than NYC… A 2.5 hr or so drive. Cost might wash then, most everything else would be less expensive.

          • Boston is only slightly longer than Newark to Albany, still under 3 hours, if the prices are better.

  17. If I was a Denver fan I would like this draw, I would rather be in Quinnipiac’s regional then St. Cloud, North Dakota, or Boston College. The midwest and west regionals look tough minus the very average gopher team of course.

    • I agree but it kind of sucks for me though. I am tired of spending $500 for a flight and booking hotel with 5 days notice. Selfishly, I would rather play in St. Paul and let the chips fall where they may. Sooner or later you need to beat the best anyway.

      • Yeah the travel for fans would stink, Denver can skate with the best as they proved this past weekend. Good thing is the bracket will most likely change a lot here. Denver needs to host a regional here again, its been too long.

        • The travel for fans of any team blows and, in my opinion, one of the things that hinders attendance. Definitely not cheap to get to places like Grand Rapids….and especially not on 4 or 5 days notice.

          • Agreed, the gophers are lucky cause most of the time they don’t have to travel due to having the regional in minnesota often. It seems like North Dakota gets the regional once every 3 or 4 years. I think Denver should put in more requests to host, either at the pepsi center or DU.

          • Not even close to every 3 or 4 years for ND. Prior to last year, UND hosted in 2006…..and before that, your guess is as good as mine without looking it up.

          • Wasn’t UND the “host” team in Fargo last year? Technically Scheels Arena is not the home venue for UND, but they were the host there, just like Minnesota is the host in St Paul even though Mariucci is their home arena. The same rule applies this year in Cincy should Miami qualify because they are the host team even though they are 90 miles away in Oxford.

          • Yes, I know how it works. He said UND hosts every 3 or 4 years. Before last year when they hosted, it was 2006. So definitely not every 3 or 4 years. The rodents host pretty much every other year some how.

          • The NCHC should put in bids to host, either in Minnesota or Fargo/Grand Forks. That way if minnesota would make the tournament the NCAA would be obligated to put an NCHC team there before a gopher team. I think it would work like that if the conference hosted, correct me if I’m wrong.

          • I’ve never thought about it that way, I’m not sure how it works if an entire conference is the host.

          • I have to tell you hockeystate, I am not so sure MN has had more success playing in St. Paul than they have had at other regional locations..?? In all honesty, I cannot recall MN playing anywhere but MSP for their regional play. I will have to look at their NT history, but I know UND has at least a .500 record against MN in St. Paul. The biggest advantage MN has playing in St. Paul is that their fans do not have to travel. If this accounted for more MN fans being at the Gopher’s games, this would surely be an advantage to MN. However, the last two times they played UND, there were more UND fans in the stands by a noticeable margin. Again, the disadvantage is the cost of travel for UND fans (vs Gopher fans). Honestly, I think the majority of UND fans do not mind the trip to MSP. It goes without saying UND fans would prefer to have the regional at The Ralph, but this will not happen under current NCAA guidelines. I would much prefer watching UND at MSP (even if this meant playing against MN, SCSU, UMD, etc..), than having to travel to Cincinnati or Milwaukee….or some other off the wall place that has zero interest in college hockey. The atmosphere, for fans anyway, does matter to a certain degree….imo anyway.

          • The goophs have had way more success in MSP. 2012….went to FF….played regional in St. Paul. 2014….went to FF….played regional in St. Paul. 2013 and 2015, they travel and choke in round 1. 2008….travel out east….round 1 choke. Since 2000, the goophs have not made it to the FF without having a regional in Minneapolis or St. Paul. The only exception was in 2002, when the FF was in St. Paul so the regional was not in MN. They obviously have had better success by somehow being a “home” team every 2 or so years…..if they make the tourney….we all remember 2009-2011. If they go on the road……they choke.

          • Yea, I hear what you are saying. These facts present such a small sample size that it is hard to say with certainty if MN has truly had an advantage playing in MSP. For example, we don’t know what kind of success they would have had in ’12 and ’14 had they played in a regional outside of MSP? Again, it’s just hard to say if there is a true advantage.
            I don’t know, I think the fans should take precedence over the idea of marketing CH in places like Cincinnati. I think we have to split regional play into East and West for reasons I have expressed before. CH has lost much of the rivalry factor and fan support is dwindling at many schools. I wish CH had a stronger singular voice. it can’t always be what is best for one conference vs the other. I know various AD’s and HC’s are on different committees, but is there anyone who is actually looking out for the well-being of CH at the national level?

          • Since York took over, BC has lost once out west in first round- ’11 in St. Louis vs CC. Believe they were number 1 overall seed that year, but host school rule (UNH in Manchester, Yale in B-port) screwed them. Only other 2 times they went west (’99 in Wisco, ’00 in Minny) they made FF. Only other times they lost first round was ’13 and last year in Providence

          • Like Golden said, the last two times it was at St. Paul the gopher went to the frozen four, 2014 they beat St. Cloud 4-0 and 2012 they beat North Dakota 5-2. I think the only previous meet up within the last 10 years in the regionals with North Dakota was the West regional in Denver in 07 with North Dakota won in OT. But like most teams they do better when they are closer to home.

          • For some reason I thought North Dakota hosted more then that, but they are on the same schedule it seems as Denver/Colorado, every 6 years.

          • Round trip air fare to St. Paul cost $136, with 3 day advance purchase. Same trip to Boston is over $500 from Denver. Hotels are equivalent pricing. I would rather pay 1/3 total cost and have to face the Wild.:-)

          • From MSP to basically anywhere out east on 4 days notice is ridiculous. I couldn’t believe when I found airfare for under 200 one time.

          • Yep, and there really is no solution since no team knows, unless they are a lock to get in and are the “host” team, where they will be playing.

      • Based on the way Denver is playing right now, if these brackets stay the same, you may want to consider skipping the regionals and just buy tickets to Tampa. No disrespect to the others in that Worcester region, but even considering the travel, Denver looks like the clear favorite to come out of that bracket.

        • Clear favorite, eh? You mean like the last three seasons when the NCHC’s clear favorites were no shows in the NC game. I’ve learned not to count out the HEA or ECAC teams in a one and done tourney.

          • Some fans think playing tough schedule catches up to NCHC teams at the end of the season. This thought is not just from fans west of Mississippi, or Hudson.

          • Still flappin that jaw huh? 34th hardest schedule? Give yourself a big pat on the back for playing some amazing teams! Your team of cronies gave up 15 goals to Wisconsin this year. Nice job!

          • Still bitter I see…. I just find it funny you’re trying to convince yourself that the North Dakota would somehow have a better chance if the NCAA would switch to having it a 3 game series. Not gonna happen anytime soon!

          • Any team can win in a one and done…..best of 3, totally different story. Keep giving up 4 goals a game and you’ll be lucky to win a game in the Nat’l……if you make it.

        • Depends on their regional, they seem to have a favorable draw in the recent bracketology. If they were put in the regional with St. Cloud, UND or BC I would not like Denver’s chances as much. Still a lot of puck to be played though.

      • DU fans are better off in Worcester… The flight(s) to Albany (instead of Boston) are always more expensive, and unlikely to be direct.

        • True, need to connect at Kennedy, LaGuardia, or Newark for Albany. Just as easy to land at one of them, preferably Newark, and rent a car.

          • Good point. Newark is far easier than NYC… A 2.5 hr or so drive. Cost might wash then, most everything else would be less expensive. Denver and BC or BU or PC end up here, I’ll be happy.

          • Boston is only slightly longer than Newark to Albany, still under 3 hours, if the prices are better.

  18. Regional hosts definitely need to go. There doesn’t need to be a host. Should just be placed closest to your home, in order of the pairwise/seeding.

  19. Regional hosts definitely need to go. There doesn’t need to be a host. Should just be placed closest to your home, in order of the pairwise/seeding.

    • Because bracketology assumes that the current conference leaders will win their conference tournaments and get an auto bid into the national tournament. At 15, St. Lawrence would be bumped out because lower ranked teams would win their conference tournament (Atlantic Hockey, WCHA, big joke conference)

    • Because bracketology assumes that the current conference leaders will win their conference tournaments and get an auto bid into the national tournament. At 15, St. Lawrence would be bumped out because lower ranked teams would win their conference tournament (Atlantic Hockey, WCHA, big joke conference)

    • No. If they’re going to rely on a conference championship autobid to make the tourney, they’ll be a 4 seed as shown above in the article.

      • If they win out, which probably won’t happen then they may get a 3 seed, but I don’t see them getting a 2 seed. If they sweep Mich and beat Michigan again in the conference tourney they could get the lowest 2 seed, but that is very doubtful with how average this team is. Most likely they will have to win the conference tourney like you said.

    • No. If they’re going to rely on a conference championship autobid to make the tourney, they’ll be a 4 seed as shown above in the article.

      • If they win out, which probably won’t happen then they may get a 3 seed, but I don’t see them getting a 2 seed. If they sweep Mich and beat Michigan again in the conference tourney they could get the lowest 2 seed, but that is very doubtful with how average this team is. Most likely they will have to win the conference tourney like you said.

  20. If Miami is the host school for Cincy then I’m crossing my fingers they slide into the tournament so UND would get kicked out of there (can’t have a 1 vs 4 same conference matchup as we all know) and put into St. Paul haha

    • That would still be NCHC vs NCHC with SCSU against Miami. If Miami gets in and UND and SCSU remain as 1 seeds then UND will be shipped east (or further east).

      • Idk if the NCAA has to choose between a UND fan base at St Paul or a St Cloud fan base they might chose UNDs as a safe bet to make money…I watched St Cloud play in the North Star cup on TV and it didn’t seem like SCSU had much of a following then, but then again they may show up more when it comes to tourney time

        • I don’t think they would get to choose. If St. Cloud remains above UND they would get to play closest to home, which would be St. Paul. Plus, as has been stated many times, UND fans will follow the team anywhere, right?

  21. If Miami is the host school for Cincy then I’m crossing my fingers they slide into the tournament so UND would get kicked out of there (can’t have a 1 vs 4 same conference matchup as we all know) and put into St. Paul haha

    • That would still be NCHC vs NCHC with SCSU against Miami. If Miami gets in and UND and SCSU remain as 1 seeds then UND will be shipped east (or further east).

      • Idk if the NCAA has to choose between a UND fan base at St Paul or a St Cloud fan base they might chose UNDs as a safe bet to make money…I watched St Cloud play in the North Star cup on TV and it didn’t seem like SCSU had much of a following then, but then again they may show up more when it comes to tourney time

        • I don’t think they would get to choose. If St. Cloud remains above UND they would get to play closest to home, which would be St. Paul. Plus, as has been stated many times, UND fans will follow the team anywhere, right?

  22. There’s a lot of “what if’s” being mentioned…..and that’s fine. Bracketology is supposed to provide this kind of debate. There will be substantial movement in the NCHC, WCHA, and the determination of the B10 champion (presumably that conference’s only NT participant) over the next several weeks. I’m reluctant to make any predictions since I failed so miserably at calling the DU-UND series last weekend. As much as I hate to see my Sioux (Ok, F’n Hawks) lose, I think this past weekend may bode well for both teams in some weird twist of fate. DU got a boost in the standings, as well as a boost in confidence. UND thought (or played like) they would walk away with a sweep simply because all of their players were healthy. The fact DU took it to UND (yea, the games were tight, but DU won most of the puck battles) could very well benefit UND in the long haul. In CH, in particular in the NCHC, you can never rely on talent alone to win games. UND clearly has talented players, but unless you put it on the line every single shift, you will not be successful in the NCHC….or in CH in general. Let’s see which teams dig deep and come out fighting over these next 6 games. Should be an exciting finish all CH fans.

  23. So lets take a look at the pairings if the NCAA only had two regional sites, and we are going rank the teams matching the PWR (1-16, 2-15 etc)

    East Regional (you can pick a site)

    Thursday games: Quinnipiac playing Robert Morris (1-16)
    Denver Playing Omaha (8-9)
    Winners play Saturday move on to Final 4

    Fridays games: Boston College playing Massachusetts-Lowl (4-13)
    Michigan playing Boston University (6-11)
    Winners play Saturday and move on to Final 4

    Western Regional (again pick a site)

    Thursday games: St. Cloud State playing Minnesota State (2-15)
    Notre Dame playing Yale (7-10)
    Winners play Saturday move on to Final 4

    Fridays games: North Dakota playing Minnesota (3-14)
    Providence playing Harvard (5-12)
    Winners play Saturday move on to Final 4
    2 sites more fans, No host team, You play who your ranked against no moving teams because of location or conference. 100% PWR ranking

    • wouldn’t you put the top 4 teams in general playing the earliest to have the most rest for the Saturday game? Seems like a little disadvantage to basically be a “top seed” and get only one day of rest as opposed to two.

      • You can change it to finals on Saturday and sunday then. But teams today play back to back games, Just was thinking it would be great for the fans to see two finals in one day

    • You would have to have a 4 day tourney in the proposal above. It is entirely unfair to make one team play less rested than the other. Moreover, I think there is a NCAA rule on this….maybe the USCHO ppl can comment on this..??

      • not really there is nothing in the NCAA, take a look at the basketball first round bracket. If you want to change having the final games on Saturday and sunday that’s ok

    • If you stick to your bracket integrity, you would have to switch BU/Michigan with Providence/Harvard, so #4 would play #5 if they both won.

    • Agreed. Again. No good reason teams from same conference shouldn’t play each other first round. You’d like to not have them match up (maybe), but i hate moving teams around and f’ing with bracket integrity. Same argument for host schools…..

  24. So lets take a look at the pairings if the NCAA only had two regional sites, and we are going rank the teams matching the PWR (1-16, 2-15 etc)

    East Regional (you can pick a site)

    Thursday games: Quinnipiac playing Robert Morris (1-16)
    Denver Playing Omaha (8-9)
    Winners play Saturday move on to Final 4

    Fridays games: Boston College playing Massachusetts-Lowl (4-13)
    Michigan playing Boston University (6-11)
    Winners play Saturday and move on to Final 4

    Western Regional (again pick a site)

    Thursday games: St. Cloud State playing Minnesota State (2-15)
    Notre Dame playing Yale (7-10)
    Winners play Saturday move on to Final 4

    Fridays games: North Dakota playing Minnesota (3-14)
    Providence playing Harvard (5-12)
    Winners play Saturday move on to Final 4
    2 sites more fans, No host team, You play who your ranked against no moving teams because of location or conference. 100% PWR ranking

    • wouldn’t you put the top 4 teams in general playing the earliest to have the most rest for the Saturday game? Seems like a little disadvantage to basically be a “top seed” and get only one day of rest as opposed to two.

      • You can change it to finals on Saturday and sunday then. But teams today play back to back games, Just was thinking it would be great for the fans to see two finals in one day

    • You would have to have a 4 day tourney in the proposal above. It is entirely unfair to make one team play less rested than the other. Moreover, I think there is a NCAA rule on this….maybe the USCHO ppl can comment on this..??

      • not really there is nothing in the NCAA, take a look at the basketball first round bracket. If you want to change having the final games on Saturday and sunday that’s ok

    • If you stick to your bracket integrity, you would have to switch BU/Michigan with Providence/Harvard, so #4 would play #5 if they both won.

    • Agreed. Again. No good reason teams from same conference shouldn’t play each other first round. You’d like to not have them match up (maybe), but i hate moving teams around and f’ing with bracket integrity. Same argument for host schools…..

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