Monday, March 23, 2009

Sweet 16....sort of: NCAA gets some of it wrong

First of all, I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on NCAA hockey and I understand that there is history and tradition behind the moves, but I think some of the teams in the NCAA tournament shouldn't be there. But atleast they aren't the bull#$%@ that the BCS is in football. First of all, here's the schedule with things starting up this Friday.

Northeast Regional-Manchester
(1) Boston University Vs. (4) Ohio
(2) North Dakota Vs. (3) New Hampshire

East Regional-Bridgeport
(1) Michigan Vs. (4) Air Force
(2) Yale Vs. (3) Vermont

West Regional-Minneapolis
(1) Denver Vs. (4) Miami
(2) Minnesota-Duluth Vs. (3) Princeton

Midwest Regional-Grand Rapids
(1) Notre Dame Vs. (4) Bemidji
(2) Northeastern Vs. (3) Cornell

What I have a problem with is teams that have a great playoff run and don't make it to the big dance. Why the hell do they even play conference playoffs then. UMASS-Lowell has a terrific comeback win over Northeastern in the semi-final, then loses by a goal to the nations top team (after this weekends play) Boston University, and THEY DON'T MAKE IT IN????? To rub salt in their wounds, the team they beat in the semi's did, and didn't even have to win another game after losing Friday night because Hockey East doesn't have a 3rd place game. In the WCHA, Wisconsin beat North Dakota in the 3rd place game, but it's the Fighting Sioux who are moving on and the Badgers who are going home.

To me that's not the worst crime though. Ohio State and New Hampshire didn't even make the conference semi-finals in the CCHA and Hockey East respectively, but there they are, sharpening their skates and taping their sticks for tournament play.

Here's how I would fill up the 16 dance cards. There are 6 conferences. CHA and the Atlantic get one spot each, the conference playoff winners, like it is now. The other 4 :WCHA, Hockey East, CCHA and ECAC get 3, the playoff winner, 2nd and 3rd place teams. That brings us to 14. After that I would award 2 wild card teams, however, they would have to be teams that reached their conference finals. So here's the 16 teams that would be in my tournament.

Boston University
Boston College/Northeastern-winner of these 2 if they had a 3rd place game
St. Lawrence/Princeton-game ended in a tie, not sure if there is a curfew for ECAC
Notre Dame
Northern Michigan
Air Force

My two wild card teams this year would be

North Dakota
Northeastern/Boston College-loser of 3rd place game

This way I think it's less subjective and more about results, but I'm just a dumb Canadian and what do we know about hockey eh?

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