Minnesota Duluth sweeps No. 1 Notre Dame, North Dakota wins in front of boisterous support, Penn State and Quinnipiac are 5-0: Weekend Review Ep. 4

27 Oct 18: The University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks host the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers in the 2018 US Hockey Hall of Fame Game at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, NV. Photo: Jim Rosvold/University of Minnesota (Jim Rosvold/University of Minnesota)
Is there a future for a hometown college hockey team in Las Vegas? (Jim Rosvold/University of Minnesota)

Hosts Jim Connelly and Ed Trefzger look back on the weekend that was, including No. 3 Minnesota Duluth’s sweep of No. 1 Notre Dame on the road and a very successful U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame game in Las Vegas — at least for the fans and the atmosphere, but with some facility issues — as North Dakota downed Minnesota in front of a crowd dominated by Fighting Hawks fans. We discuss the possibility of getting a hometown program in Vegas.

Also in this episode:

  • Union and Cornell were both swept by unranked opponents
  • Arizona State is 6-2-0 on the season after sweeping Omaha at home
  • Penn State and Quinnipiac both improve to 5-0-0
  • Alabama-Huntsville is now 0-8-0 after giving up a third-period lead on Saturday
  • Michael Souza picks up first win as a head coach with New Hampshire’s 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Vermont in home opener
  • Army won seven of eight points in two weekend Atlantic Hockey road trips
  • Boston College’s and Boston University’s woes continue, sinking Hockey East’s out-of-conference record

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About the hosts

Jim Connelly is a senior writer at USCHO.com and has been with the site since 1999. He is based in Boston and regularly covers Hockey East. He began with USCHO.com as the correspondent covering the MAAC, which nowadays is known as Atlantic Hockey. Each week during the season, he co-writes “Tuesday Morning Quarterback.” Jim is the winner of the 2012 Joe Concannon award. He a former color analyst for UMass-Lowell hockey’s radio network and studio analyst for NESN.

Ed Trefzger has been part of USCHO since 1999 and now serves as a senior writer and director of technology. He is the radio play-by-play voice for Rochester Institute of Technology hockey on the RIT Tigers Sports Network, and has been involved with the broadcasts as a producer, studio host, and color commentator since their inception. He is co-owner and president of broadcasting company Genesee Media, and was general manager of the former Rochester, N.Y., sports radio station 97.5 The Team.

204 COMMENTS

  1. Being from ND I’d really like to cheer for and hope my neighbors in Minnesota win.  But…. Lucia and some of their fans are so arrogant that unfortunately I’m stuck cheering for BC.  The winner of this game will undoubtedly win it all.

  2. I used to work with Ferris hockey…life long fan. Ill be cheering for my boys! Im so proud of the team and everyine who works with them.

  3. why would you do that to Q, moving the 2nd toughest two seed to their region just for a little bit of attendance? UND always travel well and I’ll venture to guess that wouldn’t change even with an East region. Plus Quinnipiac is less then two hours from Providence… BC doesn’t need to be in their back yard just for a little more attendance…

    • splitting hairs with BC or UND in Quinipiacs region and NH and Miami are not going anywhere but Manchester and Toledo. Honestly not sure if it really matters…so I guess the committee will do exactly what Jason has suggested. Plus I think there will be a committed effort to keep one region WCHA free.

    • They always talk about protecting the overall number 1, so that would mean the 8 seed is in their bracket. But that wont happen cause the NC$$ will cater to BC to get them in providence and some of their fairweather fans may show up.

    • I agree….Boston College will always get the benefit. Even though I don’t think Q is the best in the nation, I do believe they deserve a proper placement based on the current rank they have.

  4. This looks pretty good. Much respect goes out to Michigan for a long NCAA tourney streak! I love seeing Michigan loose, but was still kind of pulling for them, just to keep such an impressive streak alive.

    • Kudos, but it had to end sometime. They almost lost it, I think, two? years ago, again getting hot in the final month to make the tournament. Always a great program, considering they lose kids early every year.

        • ????? This was intended for me? Hard to feel too bad for someone who lost more games than they won… regardless of being hot right now. Plus they lost today when they had to win. If you said WMU, you might have a gripe.

  5. “Now we run through all of our criteria again. What makes the best tournament?”

    Up to this point you are fine but then you mess it up with a lot of your opinion about what makes the “best tournament”. The best tournament for whom? The moneymakers? The Players? Boston College? I think it stinks.

      • I am sure you have all seen this too, but I think this bracket may be more likely:

        Providence: 1. Quinnipiac vs. 16. Canisius / 8. North Dakota vs. 10. Niagara

        Grand Rapids: 2. Minnesota vs. 15. Yale / 6. Boston College vs. 11. Minnesota State

        Manchester: 3. Mass.-Lowell vs. 14. Wisconsin / 7. New Hampshire vs. 9. Denver

        Toledo: 4. Notre Dame vs. 13. St. Cloud State / 5. Miami vs. 12. Union

        Adam Wodon

          • I don’t think they want one without a WCHA team. I really don’t think the committee cares, but Jayson seems to have it that way often. Just my opinion. Adam Wodon has been pretty good over the years too and his thinking is to not move lower seeds for attendance, the story is on CHN.

          • I would prefer it adam’s way. Think it makes for a better bracket…but just dont think it will go that way. I still would not be suprised if the comittee did not mix up both brackets by throwing 3 wcha teams into the GR region

          • I think it would be better too. Who knows, one could be spot on or they may both miss, it’s going to be a great tournament no matter what. Only 3 and a half hours and we can find out.

          • I am actually a UNH fan. SCSU was a lot of fun to watch back at the start of the season. A very quick, skilled team and a whole bunch of good, friendly fans that came out here to UNH. Best of luck in the tourney!

        • Hey! Either way, I’m good. BC or UND, pick your poison. But Canisius and Niagara together? Joe above makes good sense.

          • I have never been a person that claims “conference supremacy,” but, I do think if the WCHA gets 6 teams in, they should be split amongst the 4 brackets so they have the chance for the all WCHA FF again. Obviously, it depends on how the “bands” set up, but they would allow that this year. BTW, if I did, I would be a HE fan, but I think it’s only fair if that’s how the seeds work out for them.

          • It’s just a bracket made by another good college hockey writer, not mine. Just passing on the info for those who hadn’t seen it. Truthfully it looks like a better bracket to me, that’s all.

        • I would switch BC with Miami to aim for a BC/Notre dame showdown. Would love to see a BC/MN rematch in the frozen four which is of course why I would want BC and MN out of the same regional.

      • Jake…..since you are the most rational on this board. Please explain to WCHA apologist. Please switch Dakota with Denver in Northeast Regional. That bracket is stacked and they are still bitching. Not sure what part of the criteria that they do not get. Attendance has to be taken into account. The NE Regional will be sold out by 10 am tomr morning. That is a lock. I almost done reading anymore. It’s guys like you that give me a little interest. I understand that UND and Minn being put in same bracket does guarantee one of the best programs (not necessarily teams) not to make Frozen but regional attendance is almost the #1 factor in these decisions. If you have two empty buildings the NCAA loses money on our beloved sport. It’s easy economics. I think we all wish it were different but it is the nature of the game. Minn and UND along with Wisconsin and UNH (Maine and Michigan – not in it) are best traveling fan base. It’s really not even close. So the NCAA has to take this into account.

        • Thanks for the compliment. Unfortunately, your point about the NCAA is right on, and weak attendance makes the CH secondary in their eyes. I’m not sure UNH belongs in your mix. They didn’t show up the last time they were here for a regional.
          Cornell is another. I’ll go radical here… 8 best of 3s in the first round at home site. 2 four team regionals, one East and West, one Frozen Four. Wouldn’t have two regionals losing money. AFter all it is all about the money, right.

          • Like your thoughts. It used to be similar when I was a young lad. I think the teams that earn top seeds should get advantage and no attendance issues. I know the NCAA is looking at “your” proposal. I read it earlier in the season on CHN. It makes sense. I forgot Cornell. They do travel well. My larger point is that BC even with all of their success has an embarrassing following. My Frozen Four group has 4 BC Alums and we bust their chops every year. Last year in Tampa was embarrassing. UNH fills The Whit, Verizon and Garden very well. You do make a point that they do not “travel” as we’ll as I gave them credit.

          • This is not an excuse as to why UNH doesn’t travel as well out west, but a large number of us ( maybe 1000+, me included) that would travel, attend the FF every year, no matter who is there. The extra expense just a week or so before we would be traveling again is a lot. If that were not the case, I know UNH would travel very well, anywhere. For the people that can get the time off from work and afford it, that’s great.

          • I can’t argue with you on that. I know you guys are def one of the bet fan bases in College Hockey. I am an UMaine alum and former Portsmouth resident for several years. I know first hand the passion you guys have for your team and the sport. Going West for a regional as a fan can be tough if you are a regular FF attendee every like we both are. Is it possible that true UNH fans think its time for Umile to go? I have been reading that and I can’t believe that is the case. I realize no hardware yet but you are relevant every year including a great 2nd half run last year. Miss the NCAA’s 5 out 6 years like us. It’s freaking embarrassing. Good luck next weekend. Tough Bracket but if Casey is on, Pitt should be the expectation.

          • It is tough and I definitely know how you Black Bear fans travel and the passion you have. The FF is so much fun, no matter who is playing, as you know. I would have to say it’s about 75/25 for Umile to go. I am a Umile supporter and that’s how I look at it, is he puts a legitimate contender on the ice every year. Hopefully that NC will come soon, but I would hate to have the program go through what you have been through and I don’t think that will ever happen with Umile. Thanks for the luck, we sure could use it and good luck getting your program back on the right track. Things did get better later in the year, that freshman class looks very good.

        • I am a WCHA guy (SCSU fan) and the simple truth is UND is not a great program this year. Minnesota is the most talented…but they cant seem to put together two good games lately…UND is incredibly ordinary with average goaltending at best. SCSU is very skilled but has a lot to prove as they have not had much success when they get to postseason. I guess to my point Minnesota/UND/Saint CLoud/Wisconsin…etc should not bitch about anything. We are not that much better than anyone out there. Very even field!

          • Short and sweet. Parity in College Hockey has become the norm. I agree….if you are in the dance be happy and enjoy it. You have earned it. St Cloud does have a team that is fun to watch.

          • That’s why expansion only helps the sport… It’s obvious the talent base (US, and not just Canada) is out there to accommodate more teams at a high level.

          • Dakota does have one best lines in College Hockey. Just to be a little fair. This is not their best team and I am sure anyone who knows CH recognizes that. East or West. Good Luck.

        • My impression is that BC (and BU for that matter) only travel well locally now… I guess New England’s proximity spoils you. I remember seeing how few showed up in St. Louis 3 yrs? ago. An emerging fan base (and team of course) is Union. My understanding is they had a good showing Bridgeport last year… still they’re short by Cornell’s standards, and the entire ECAC is on Spring Break during their Championship and the Regionals weekends. I figure ND will have a strong Northeast following when they get to Hockey East.

          • I was in St. Louis as well. That was a good showing for BC believe it or not. I respect York, have a large contingent of BC friends and almost went there for post grad…..but the students don’t care after they leave. The local alums go to the Beanpot but outside of that….It needs improvement to equate the programs success and high level recruits. Everyone is on spring break / East Coast during Conference Tourney time. The difference is real schools have fan bases that are not just students. Union is doing a better job than most considering size of school. It was not a huge contingent in Tampa last year but you heard and saw them. I support the ECAC schools because they don’t get a ton of respect. Quinipiac is lot better than people realize. It should be interesting.

  6. After watching the MI/ND game it is hard to believe MI is not going to be in the NT. I cannot believe MI is not one of the better teams in the country right now, hard to fathom they are not getting in. I understand you have to look at a team’s entire season of work, but still….. I’m a Sioux fan and even though I am not too excited about the possibility of playing MN (if both teams win their 1st game, not a given by any means), but I would rather play them in Grand Rapids than some other location. Go Sioux and good luck to all the teams that make it into the NT.

  7. I think there is a legit chance that they will throw 3 wcha teams in the GR regional… Minnesota/yale & ND/Denver. Keeping Niagra closer to home with Manchester regional? Any body else think the committee might do this…especially with 6 WCHA teams?

      • In 2008 they had two wcha teams play each other in the first round. There were three teams from the conf in the same region. So it has happened in the past.

      • Not true. If there are 5 or more teams from one conference, intraconference matchups do not need to be avoided, and actually SHOULD not be avoided if it messes with bracket integrity according to the rules Jayson posts at the start of all of the weekly bracketology analyses.

  8. Jason, is there no longer the “6 teams from a conference” provision that basically allows first round matchups within a conference?

    • This rule is still in effect and it’s for five or more teams from one conference. The WCHA has frequently had 5 teams in the tournament for his blog posts, but I don’t think Jayson has mentioned this rule even once. The rule states that bracket integrity takes precedence over avoiding matchups, but for some reason, Jayson continues to say that we need to avoid intraconference matchups in the first round. However, with 6 WCHA teams in, it’s simply not true if the matchup involves two WCHA schools.

      • Cant imagine Gops fans would be thrilled to see Wisconisin in first round…although I think they would be more likely to keep UND and Denver (8v9) and put them in with Minn and Yale.

        • The way the Badgers are playing right now, I’d be less than thrilled with that opening round matchup. I could definitely see the committee using/abusing the 5-team rule to put Minn, UND, and Denver all in Grand Rapids, which would be a travesty in my opinion.

          • Denver is a pretty poor team in my opinion though…probably one of the bottom 4 teams in the field. I have seen them like 3 times this year and they are just very unimpressive. Gophs, Huskies and Wisconsin are the cream of the crop in the WCHA this year. UND is good…but for there standards not as strong as normal. Just an opinion…so UND fans dont jump all up in my business.

          • I will point out that I saw Bemidji State in a Frozen Four with my own eyes and that my RIT friends saw them at a Frozen Four with their own eyes, too.

            One hot goaltender for four games.

          • Nobody wants to play Wisconsin right now. I will just be happy if the Gophers show up and play the game that they are capable of playing. Sometimes I am more worried about that than the opposition!

  9. One could say that BC can beat all the other three in its bracket. But they can lose to any of those three just as easily. The Eagles ought to be happy they’re boarding a bus rather than a plane. Also, some seem to be saying, “Let’s put Michigan in there for ‘old-time’s sake.'” Yes…and we’ll deal with BU’s demand for the same treatment sometime later…

    • Exactly. Hard to feel sorry for a team with a losing record. They’ve had there share of NCAA good fortune over the years.

    • Those that say “Let’s put Michigan in there” know nothing about the way the selections must be made. It is the one concrete thing the committee has no choice.

    • BU and its fans expressed nothing of the kind in these threads. We BU alumni know that the price for a terrible January/February stretch against Harvard and Northeastern was being outside the top sixteen.

      Seeing Merrimack in the Hockey East quarter finals, we knew that the TUC cliff was in play. The rules were clear and we all knew we had to beat Lowell in the finals. We did not and we are watching other teams play.

  10. Toledo is a very tough bracket if it lines up this way. ND, Miami and SCSU are all very legit teams…and Mankato can play with anyone. No easy games there. Manchester is also tough as Lowell would be my tourny favorite but might have to beat the hottest team in hockey (wisconsin) and then beat NH at home. being a WCHA snob…Denver is the weakest of the WCHA teams in my opinion.

  11. – No WCHA teams in the East region
    – Union and Quinny in the same region
    – Miami and ND in the same region
    – UM-L and UNH in the same region

    All major lame-ness.

    The fun of the NCAAs is playing teams you don’t play much.

    No one wants conference re-matches in the second round.

    • Every year is the same old garbage. The NCAA committee goes by no criteria, and certainly doesn’t care about conference re-matches. The only standard they use is that the #1 seeds get “home” sites. The other quadrants (5-8. 9-12, 13-16) they put where they want in the excuse of ATTENDANCE.

      • Yes, and as long as attendance is a large factor then we will have this discussion every year. Of course they could just have the games at neutral sites that have shown the propensity to drawn a good crowd in the past, but that would be too easy.

        • Is there such thing as a “neutral site”? Unless you are thinking the Forum, the Pond, or Jobing.Com arena? Only those sites in the far west could be considered neutral.

          • Well, not in that sense, no. But if they are not on campus and no in some location where attendance is an overriding concern, that would at least remove the issue from the selection committee. For DU the Pepsi Center would be a good option. Is that neutral, it is in the fact that it is not on campus. But places like the Pond, I remember when the Frozen Four was there and there were like 8 people in the crowd. What purpose does that serve?

          • next years regional sites: west: Denver, Midwest Grand Forks, East: Excel center Northeast: Green Bay, Hell why not 4 sites west of lake Michigan

          • Would have to find another arena in Grand Forks. The Ralph is Olympic size ice surface, NCAA never uses anything but NHL ice in Regionals and FF.

          • You are correct, held there 3 times. In 2000 it was scheduled for new XCEL but arena was not ready. Normally they keep away from larger ice.

          • Last time it was at Mariucci was 2005. I agree that they keep away from the larger ice, although I am not sure why.

          • Yes, the west got screwed. Expanding the base never seems to do so. I am in NH, but didn’t understand 2 regionals near each other ( Michigan and Ohio ) and nothing west of Chicago. Stupid.

      • if Eastern fans loved hockey as much as western fans we wouldn’t have to worry about attendance, WCHA dominates in attendance figures

        • Much bigger schools. Hockey East has pretty good attendance numbers. ECAC and AHC do not. The CCHA does not have great numbers outside the 2 huge Michigan schools.

          • It has little to do with school size and a lot to do with local interest. CC is a small private college that averages 6000+ fans per game. That is about double their enrollment! Denver is another modest-sized institution that averages 6000 or so per game. Same with St. Cloud and Duluth. Then there’s UND, a school roughly comparable to BU in terms of enrollment – and they lead the nation in attendance.

            Yes, MN and WI are up there in attendance and are big schools to be sure, but they are the exception, not the rule.

    • FYI- Here’s the current committee. Make of it what you will.
      • Tom Nevala, Notre Dame associate athletic director (chair)
      • Col. William Walker, Air Force deputy athletic director
      • Rand Pecknold, Quinnipiac coach
      • Kevin Sneddon, Vermont coach
      • Rick Goeb, Bemidji State athletic director

    • 6 WCHA teams in and you are still whining??? Give me a break. For Lowell to win it they probably need to beat UW, Denver, Minnesota ( or UND ) just to get into the final. They keep some teams in the same region to (try) get better attendance. No more WCHA whining please. I hate to say it, but BC will play Minnesota in the final. There are 3 tough Regionals then there is BC cruising in the East Region. Lowell got screwed, but the WCHA did not. Last time they had 6 teams, they went 3-6 and had 1 team in the Frozen Four.

      • Please explain Lowell getting “screwed.” No. 3 vs. No. 14 is true bracket integrity. Who would you like to play, Canisius? Don’t be so sure about playing Denver either, UNH has beaten them this year already. Not saying it will happen again, but could. Two ill advised penalties kept UNH from Boston. Hopefully they can both pull the first one out, would love to see another UNH/UML game.

      • Stop repeating yourself. At least you finally realized the WCHA sent a team to the frozen four in the six-team year, so there is SOME hope for you, albeit very little.

  12. Brackets are better with a Notre Dame with rather than Michigan, but I don’t get how you can put 2 WCHA teams in each bracket, but somehow put none in the East regional?

    • That’s lame. Just cause there was an all wcha final four once in a hundred years? Are you really that worried the wcha will win every region?

      • I think the committee wants to avoid any conference getting the majority of frozen four teams. However, it turns out yearly that the WCHA gets 4-5 in while others have about 3, so you often find at least 1 or if they can 2 regions without WCHA teams, even if it messes with bracket integrity

        • well next year that will change. No WCHA I think it will be interesting to see how the Big 10 fairs next year. They will have a chance to schedule a lot of non-conference games. NCHC should be a very good league

      • And how many times has there been an all HE, or all ECAC FF?? That would be NOT ONCE in a hundred years. If you can read, take a look at all Regionals since 2005 and you will never see a WCHA team in every regional. You would probably call that a coincidence, right?

        • If you can read, you’d know that there was a wcha team in every regional in 2008.
          West regional had CC
          Midwest had UND, DU, and UW
          East had SCSU
          Northeast had MN

  13. Obviously I am a UND hockey fan. Everyone will rag on UND-MN being in the same region. Obviously both fan bases dont want this, but lets instead look at Quinnipiac. How unfair is it they have the 6 team in their region. So much for “bracket intergrity” to protect the #1 seed. Quinnipiac fans should be upset they got BC instead of UND.

  14. Step 1: Determine the field.
    Step 2: Assign seeds.
    Step 3: Place 1 seed in regions based on geography / host teams.
    Step 4: Attendance! Attendance! Attendance!
    Step 5: Eat some pizza
    Step 6: Take a nap
    Step 1950103: Bracket Integrity.

    • Well done. HEA fan here loving your humor. We true East Coast Hockey Fans are big Dakota fans. The UMaine fans will never forget in 2001 when UND came to Alfond and skated onto the ice and every (After Coach Walsh passed away) player uniform had Walsh for the name on the back of Jersey. It was classiest move I have seen in sports. Your fan base is awesome and mostly classy and truly love the sport. So a public thank you and letting you know that the”Sioux” have a big fan base in the east. I go to the Frozen Four every year I hang out with Dakota fans out of respect. (The Dakota Jerseys were auctioned off and raised $50K for cancer research). Lets have a great tourney!!

      • I didn’t know of this. I like to believe my fellow fans and Sioux team are a classy bunch. North Dakota often gets criticized for their rough style of play and boozing. People forget that most of these young kids are Canadians and or considered gods on campus. I’ve always been told a hockey game up in Maine is one of the best to see, with the some of the loudest fans in college hockey.

        • Alfond rocks, even when the Black Bears are down. This BU alum appreciates all schools and all leagues. I even appreciate everything BC has done, although I am not personally happy with any BC success.

          • Great Post. The BU / UMaine rivalry is awesome on the Ice. There has been bad blood but the games are just intense and I love them and have great respect. Jack even grew on us. New Blood will be good. Miss Walter Brown even tho Agannis is best overall arena in Conf. Till next year.

          • I have never seen a game at Agganis as I. Moved to Northern Virginia. I LOVED Walter Brown Arena for games. Section Eight was awesome. Glad that it is now the home for the Women’s program.

            I will see a game there soon, just not sure when.

        • Every good Hockey Program that is not in the city has athletes that are a little rough and party a bit too much. City schools have issues as well. I am a Boston kid who played hoops @ UMaine. I was no Angel but reading about other Athletes at city schools I am comfortable with what we did. UND plays a different style than your conference. Dean Blais liked a few players with an edge. Nothing wrong with that. UMaine and BU do as well. Hockey has many nuances and that is the beauty of it!

          • J, I have to make the trip to Engall. I have heard it is a true hockey experience. Alfond is definitely worth a trip someday as well. It has an Old School Hockey Barn feel to it. It’s newer and bigger than the older arenas but it was built to mix the old with new. Good time. I also know who the coach is at UND. I was just saying Dean seemed to set the tone for the program and it has continued. Kind of like it.

    • Never happen.. The committee can do a lot of stupid things but they HAVE to take the top 16 PWR, minus autobids. Thank goodness they at least have to go by that criteria, or they would make it a lot worse and screw it up beyond repair.

  15. So guys. This whole “anti-WCHA conspiracy” motivated by some vague “fear” of an all-WCHA frozen four is total bogus. Now let’s talk about why.

    Basically, it doesn’t make much sense. If you look at the results from the NCAA tournaments of the past ten years or so, you will notice a couple of things:

    For one, look at (i) the number of WCHA teams in the tournament; (ii) the number of potential frozen four berths claimable by WCHA teams; and (iii) the number of frozen four berths ACTUALLY claimed by WCHA teams. You will see that relatively rarely have WCHA teams claimed all the potential frozen four berths available to them: 2005 (4) and 2006 (2). Most of the time, that does not happen. Average number of WCHA participants since 2000 is just under 5, average potential WCHA FF berths is just over 3, and average ACTUAL berths claimed is about 1.4. And this is even WITH the fact that when there’s two WCHA teams in one regional, it should make it MORE likely that at least one WCHA team moves on, which is what happened in 06, when they made up 50% of each regional that they moved on from. Even so, you just don’t see it happening.

    So what does this mean? It means it doesn’t make any sense to totally screw up brackets out of fear that something that is unlikely to happen, has only happened once, and has shown no real signs of ever happening again, somehow might happen. WCHA teams just don’t claim all the potential spots often enough for someone to look at it and say to themselves, “This is a problem that requires affirmative intervention, so we’re going to screw over MN & UND.”

    Second, in 2008, six WCHA teams WERE put in four regions. So why would this conspiracy not care in 08, but then care every other year? Why would they not care in 08, but then five years later, people are like “oh wait! remember 2005? That thing that’s not really shown much likelihood of happening again? That we didn’t care about in 2008 for some reason? We should be AFRAID of that!”

    Finally, there’s an alternative explanation. They care about attendance, and because of that they seem to look at geography, and if geography is correlated with conference affiliation then placing teams with attendance in mind will bring about a concentration of conferences in regionals.

    Now granted, I agree with everyone who thinks this is dumb. I think they should just seed the teams and then place according to seeds. Avoiding first round interconference matchups makes sense to me, but everything else should just be according to the seeding. That said though, it’s time to give it a rest with the conspiracy stuff.

  16. So much for “bracket integrity” and protecting the number one overall by putting the 8 seed in their bracket. Love how they try and move boston college closer to home so their fans will maybe show up. Bet they still have a half full arena in providence

  17. This is the time of year Gopher fans cry foul about a potential regional game against The Mighty Sioux.
    Each bracket will have a possible conference matchup so grab a tissue and just play the game .

  18. So…BU and Michigan are out. Couldn’t be happier. Thought for sure the refs would tilt the ice for Scandal Jack and BU. And that Mich would be given a break to keep their streak alive; good PR, U know? ( well, it WAS Notre Dame).
    It’s a brave new world.
    Go Dutchmen!!!

    • about the entire year…not just this weekend or one series. IN the end my SCSU huskies almost won the WCHA and missed the tourney. This is because they were terrible in non-conference. You have to look at everything. Trust me SCSU was 3-1 against Denver and 2-0 against Minnesota State Mankato…but they are a lower seed.

  19. Disappointed BU didn’t make it in but very excited for our 3 representative teams. With HE getting assigned high seeds, hopefully UM-L or UNH can win it all. I wouldn’t mind BC doing well, but I’d rather see a different team win it to give more validity to our conference.

  20. Around here, Minnesota, the media doesn’t cover it enough for average sports fans to be interested. We have 5 DI programs, 3 likely in the tournament, and we’re saturated in basketball coverage. Get better coverage and the sport would grow.

    • Same in New England. College Hockey is more popular than Basketball, but the local TV stations cover BB more. I don’t get it.

  21. I have gotten to know a few of his players, while they were here and after they left as well. Also, we sit around a lot of the parents. There are very few bad words that come from them. Many of the ex players come back when they can and parents whose kids have already graduated come to games too. They certainly wouldn’t, if they didn’t respect the program and especially the coach.
    Agreed on ESPN and Melrose, they are trying to kill it. I wonder if they will have Union (NY) on the board this year, or if they have figured out where it is.
    As UNH/Maine, obviously we are going to “hate” on the ice, but it’s more fun to have a little friendly ribbing and respect all programs. It is generally not the UNH/UMaine fans that trash talk here, that’s for sure. Maybe someday we will get that elusive NC and you will have to find a new chant, I have heard the “We have 2 how ’bout you,” for too long now!
    I am sure we will catch up on the board again. Enjoy the tourney!

  22. Andy, that is the main problem. The NCAA only cares about butts in the seats, not expanding the fan base. I would love to see a couple of regionals in an “expansion” area but there would be too many empty seats for NCAA’s liking.

      • Iowa? Ugh. Putting one in Chicago makes more sense than that. At least the fans wouldn’t want to commit ritual suicide in a corn field after the games.

      • No regionals in Duluth or st cloud or iowa.. We need more regionals in Grand Forks or Denver.. Trust me.. look at the past attendance #’s

  23. Hey, would everyone stop with the bracket complaining….it gets so annoying and it is totally senseless. It’s not perfect and it never will be under the current set up. I’m a Sioux fan and I think we do not have one thing to complain about. There are other teams in the NT that were mistreated…in a manner of speaking….far worse than the Sioux were. Listen, the Sioux are like many teams in the NT……good team but did not win when they needed (not enough wins anyway). When you are not a #1 seed all bets are off. This is just the way it has been and it’s how things will be until a new format is brought forth. For now, let’s just be happy “our” respective teams are in the NT and let’s hope everybody plays their best. Besides, I don’t think there is truly a home ice advantage with any of these locations. If BC had to play at The Ralph, for example, that would be unfair. But, these regionals are not that well attended so I just don’t think there is much advantage other than the #1 seeds (and host teams) don’t have to travel as far. Is this some kind of huge advantage? I don’t know…I suppose a slight advantage…??
    As it stands the NT is set so maybe we can start talking about pairings instead of complaining about the brackets. With this being said, can somebody from Niagara tell me about your team? I have not seen Niagara play this year…..appreciate some insight with your team…TIA.

  24. I think this is pretty accurate. Though both nmu and bsu have beaten their opponent once this season. I think the bulldogs and the mavericks better keep their heads in the game. If either team views this weekend as a gimme weekend they will lose one, maybe the series.

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