If you’re a University of North Dakota fan like me, I can guess that after seeing the tournament bracket on Sunday, you were either terribly annoyed with the NCAA or you wouldn’t want the bracket any other way.
For those not in the know, if UND and Minnesota win their first-round games, the rivals will battle for a spot in the Frozen Four for the second consecutive year.
I’ve got to admit that I was in the former category on Sunday night. Let’s face it: Minnesota is a great team this season, entering the tournament with a #2 ranking in the polls, sharing the MacNaughton Cup with St. Cloud State, and going 1-0-1 against UND in the season series.
But as a UND fan (or a Minnesota fan), would you really want it any other way? With the rivalry going on hiatus for an undetermined amount of time, it only feels right that the heated rivals would meet for a shot at the Frozen Four. A UND-Yale or Minnesota-Niagara matchup just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
From an overall WCHA perspective, it’s hard to be happy. Though six WCHA teams made the tournament, the NCAA split them into three regions rather than all four regions. Meanwhile, the way the NCAA set up the East Region guarantees a team from out east will make the Frozen Four. Surprise surprise.
Obviously as a UND fan, I don’t exactly like the other teams in the WCHA, especially Minnesota and Denver. However, with this being the WCHA’s last season before a complete revamp, I hope three WCHA teams make the Frozen Four, whichever teams they may be.
Without further ado, here’s the tournament bracket:
For more details such as channel information, check out the bracket on the NCAA website.
Since I never got the opportunity to watch non-WCHA teams play unless a WCHA team was playing a non-conference game, I won’t pretend that I’m an expert on the teams and the first-round matchups.
Instead, here are some links to previews from other sites:
- USCHO – East Region, Midwest Region, Northeast Region, West Region, All-time series records of first-round opponents
- Yahoo! Sports’ Puck Daddy blog – Overall tournament preview
- Sioux Sports – KRACH predicts the NCAA tournament
Who do you have in the Frozen Four?