Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Skating 16

Today the NCAA brackets were announced and no surprise, BU did not make  the field of 16. Last night BC, Yale, North Dakota, Miami and, Air Force won each of their respective conference tournaments. BC and Merrimack both went down to the wire in Hockey East. Miami won in a land-slide over Western Michigan in the CCHA final. I did not get a chance to see any of the Atlantic Hockey Championship game, so all I know is that Air Force beat RIT. The best game of the night by far was the WCHA championship game. Matt Fratten won the Brodmore trophy for the Sioux in the second overtime of a very exciting hockey game. Yale also crushed Cornell 6-0 in the ECAC final.

East Regional, Bridgeport Connecticut 
The ECAC champion, Yale Bulldogs are the number one overall seed in this year's tourney and will face Ari Force in their first game. This is a rematch of the 2009 regional opener. Air Force upset the three seeded Bulldogs, but lost the next night in double overtime to Vermont. In the other end of this regional is the WCHA's Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs, the 9 seed, and the surprising ECAC regular season champs of Union College, the 8 seed.
Prediction: Union beats Yale to go to the Frozen Four 

Northeast Regional, Manchester New Hampshire 
The first game sees the Miami Red Hawks take on site host New Hampshire. Usually Miami would like to stay away from Hockey East teams (especially ones from Boston), seeing how the last four years their season has ended at the hands of a Hockey East team. On the other side of this bracket, Merrimack will see Notre Dame in their first trip to the NCAA tournament since 1988.
Prediction: Miami beats Notre Dame in the regional final then heads to St. Paul

MidWest Regional, Green Bay Wisconsin  
The second seed in the tournament might have the easiest first game out of all the one seeds in the dance. North Dakota will play Rensselaer, a team that has not played a game in two weeks. RPI lost 2 out of 3 to Colgate in the ECAC opening round at home. In the later game, Denver takes on a surging Western Michigan team.
Prediction: North Dakota drops Denver (again) in the final and heads to St Paul 

West Regional, St Louis Missouri 
This is the most competitive bracket out of the four regionals. Really any of the four teams could win this pool. Despite being the third seed in the tournament Boston College will make the trip to the Gate Way City and face Colorado College, a team that is playing their best hockey of the season at the right time. Not much travel here for 12th seeded Nebraska Omaha, who take on Michigan in the late game. 
Prediction: Boston College goes back to the Frozen four with a win over Omaha

Frozen Four picks:
Miami knocks off Union 5-4 and the Sioux take revenge against BC from 2008. UND 4, BC, 2

UND 5, Miami, 3

Printable Bracket 

In Other News
The woman's team fell 4-1 to Wisconsin in the National Championship game. It was BU's first trip to the Championship game in the six year history of the program. BU was also the first Hockey East team ever to make the final. 

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