Last night I took a shot at predicting the tournament, and got all the 1s and 2s right. The others? Not so much. Nevertheless, we now have a final picture set in stone, and have just 15 games left in this season. Win or go home time.
Here are the match-ups. The regional winners will meet in a fashion that if the 1-seeds were to advance, it would be 1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3.
Northeast Regional (Worchester, MA)
No. 1 Boston College vs Air Force
Minnesota-Duluth vs Maine
West Regional (St. Paul, MN)
No. 4 North Dakota vs Western Michigan
Minnesota vs Boston
East Regional (Bridgeport, CT)
No. 3 Union vs Michigan State
Miami vs UMass-Lowell
Midwest Regional (Green Bay, WI)
No. 2 Michigan vs Cornell
Ferris State vs Denver
My quick thoughts and pick 'em information is after the jump.
So Miami did pretty well. They are in the same region as Michigan State, who they blasted in the CCHA 2nd round, Union, who comes from a conference that hasn't put a team in the Frozen Four since 2003 when Cornell did it, and UML, who lost to Providence in a best-of-3 series in the first round of the Hockey East tournament. If Miami isn't in Tampa, I'll be surprised.
In the Midwest, Michigan is a strong team on a mission, and should come out. Denver would probably give them the most struggle, and Ferris State will have to prove they still have it after falling to Bowling Green.
In the Northeast, Boston College kinda got screwed. Not in the first round. They got Air Force, the only team outside the Pairwise 16. I'm talking about the 2nd round. They may get a tough defending champion Minnesota-Duluth team that was #1 for a good portion of the season.
And in the West, I'm calling it right now: The group of death. The Northeast could almost get that honor, but with Air Force there, and Maine and Boston being interchangeable almost, the West runs away with it. North Dakota drew a hot WMU team, and Minnesota is the host here, but gets a tough Boston squad. The Xcel Center is a huge place, and the 2 WCHA schools are very familiar with the venue, as it annually hosts the Final Five.
If you want to test your wits against mine, you can join the Pickem group I made. Just click here, to register and do all the mumbo jumbo that goes along with it. Join our group:
Group name: HustleBelt
The tournament starts Friday so join now!