Back to Class: Tournament time is the best time
We’re taking you “Back To Class” for our roundup of the weekend’s action in college hockey. Look for more college hockey on NBCSN this Friday night as No.1 Boston College hosts UMass at 7:30 p.m. ET in the Hockey East Tournament.
NCAA basketball might have the market cornered on March Madness, but in college hockey March is as good as it gets. All the conferences are now either well into their conference tournaments or will kick them off this weekend. We’ve already seen wild action and upsets in the ECAC and CCHA while Atlantic Hockey provided us with a host of thrillers. With Hockey East and the WCHA getting started on Friday night, we’ll be full bore into the insanity of the postseason.
It’s at this time of the year where the polls don’t matter anymore and teams start watching match-ups and games across the country to see how they’ll tweak the NCAA tournament-deciding Pairwise rankings. Unlike the basketball tournament or the BCS, Pairwise is a mathematically sound and unbiased beast that nails down the tournament field each year. Of course, if you’re not a fan of how the numbers work for your team you can just win the conference tournament and not have to worry at all.
With only 16 spots in the NCAA tournament and 11 at-large bids to be handed out, let the fun begin.
Elsewhere in college hockey:
The ECAC Tournament is always good for a couple upsets in the opening round. Rensselaer and Dartmouth did the trick this time around upsetting Clarkson and St. Lawrence respectively. (Parting Schotts, Dartmouth)
This weekend’s ECAC pairings: Union College vs. Rensselaer; Cornell vs. Dartmouth; Harvard vs. Yale; Colgate vs. Quinnipiac
Northern Michigan is going to start hating Bowling Green as the Falcons upset them in the first round for the second straight season. The loss may have put a bullet in Northern’s NCAA tournament hopes. (Bowling Green)
This weekend’s CCHA pairings: Ferris State vs. Bowling Green; Michigan vs. Notre Dame (!!!); Western Michigan vs. Lake Superior State; Miami vs. Michigan State
All seeds held in the first round of the Atlantic Hockey tournament although Robert Morris had their hands full with American International College blowing a 3-0 lead in Game 3 before winning 4-3 in overtime. (Robert Morris)
This weekend’s Atlantic Hockey pairings: Air Force vs. Connecticut; Niagara vs. Robert Morris; R.I.T. vs. Bentley; Mercyhurst vs. Holy Cross
Here’s how the Hockey East tournament sets up this weekend: Boston College vs. UMass; UMass-Lowell vs. Providence; Boston University vs. New Hampshire (!!!); Maine vs. Merrimack
The WCHA tournament pairings set up some dizzying match-ups: Minnesota vs. Alaska-Anchorage; Minnesota-Duluth vs. MSU-Mankato; Denver vs. Wisconsin (!!!); North Dakota vs. Bemidji State; Colorado College vs. Michigan Tech; St. Cloud State vs. Nebraska Omaha
Finally, let’s end with a tear-jerker of a story about how a young leukemia patient found the strength to battle on thanks to the Brown University hockey team. (USCHO)