Sunday, December 19, 2010

NCAA Hockey Tournament predictions

So I need a study break before this last final and am going to try to take a look into the future and predict the seeding and regionals for the NCAA Men's Hockey Tournament. I will try to keep my biases aside but that tends to not work out for me. Well here we go:

Note- number in parentheses next to #1 seeds indicate overall seed

East Regional (Arena@ Harboryard Bridgeport,CT)

1 Yale(4) vs. 4 Wisconsin
- I think the Badgers sneak back into the tournament even though as of now they would be out. The Kohl Center is too much of a home-ice advantage to not get on some type of run in the second half.

2 Boston(Newton) College vs. 3 Notre Dame - Nothing to build hype for a game like a battle of Catholic schools. Priests gonna be moving masses around all over America to watch this one.

Midwest( Resch Center, Green Bay, WI)

1 North Dakota(1) vs. 4 Robert Morris
- Robert Morris gets in for winning Atlantic Hockey which sucks but just how it is. Atlantic Hockey is like the NFC West of football but what you going to do? ND trounces them in the first round and take the #1 overall seed like they deserve over Yale.

2 Minnesota-Duluth vs. 3 Michigan
- A high quality first round matchup as both teams were #1 in the country at some point in the season and have alot of talent on both sides.

Northeast(Verizon Wireless Center, Manchester,NH)

1 New Hampshire(3) vs. 4 Union- I think Union sneaks into the tournament barely based on RPI but in the process knocks RPI down to a 4 seed also(See west). Yes UNH as one seed. I still don't see them getting out of Manchester but who knows? Maybe this is the year to advance a round for the University of No Hardware.

2 Miami vs. 3 Maine- The Black Bears make the tournament after a streaky season and hope to get hot against a very good Miami team before a possible fourth matchup with UNH on the season.

West(Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri)

1 Denver(2) vs. 4 RPI - The Engineers make it 3 ECAC teams in the tournament this year because the national media loves them for playing cupcakes and winning. It is not what I want. I just don't see these teams losing to the Princeton's of the world to fall out of their current Pairwise spot.

2 BU vs. 3 Nebraska-Omaha- The Terriers(after a strong second half) return to the home of their IceBreaker Tournament title to play the regionals and get streaky Nebraska-Omaha in the first round.

My overall seedings for the tournament therefore look like this
1. North Dakota
2. Denver
3. UNH
4. Yale
5. BC
6. BU
7. Miami
8. Minnesota-Duluth
9. Michigan
10. Maine
11. Nebraska-Omaha
12. Notre Dame
13. Wisconsin
14. RPI
15. Union
16. Robert Morris

- There aren't too many shockers here. Someone has to come out of Atlantic Hockey or so I am told. That would mean #31 Pairwise Robert Morris right now. I refuse to make predictions on what will happen in the tournament because I could not not pick BU to win it and there is a long way for this team to grow before that is a possibility. I have to BC ahead of us right now and still think they could grab a #1 seed but Yale plays no one the rest of the way which pisses me off. They will walk to a number one seed playing no one difficult all season long. Play a Hockey East team besides lowly Vermont. Hockey East gets four teams into the tournament comfortably with Merrimack fading late when everyone catches up to their Merrihack strategy.

Also here is a piece from ESPN.COM college hockey section on each HE coach's wish list from Santa. It ain't as bad as it sounds so give it a look.

- Here is a piece from about the BU and BC freshman and sophomores joining together on team USA to try to repeat in the World Junior Championships later this month in Buffalo,N.Y.

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