Monday, March 24, 2008

The Other March Madness: NCAA Hockey Bracket Analysis

Hey everyone, stephen a back again. I suppose I could be called The Sports Flow's resident college hockey writer, with all of two posts under my belt. Last year I dropped a Frozen Four Preview as well as a prediction on who would win the Hobey Baker Award. I went 1 for 3 on the Frozen picks but I did get the Hobey right so I'll take it. This year my role has been expanded a touch and I'll be taking a general overview of the entire tournament to get everyone ready for the Frozen Four in three weeks. And as always, thanks to everyone at The Sports Flow for putting up with me. Here we go.

The NCAA hockey tournament
Who: The tournament champions of the six conferences (WCHA, CCHA, Hockey East, ECAC Hockey, Atlantic Hockey and the CHA) plus 10 at large teams
Where: Albany, NY; Worcester, Massachusetts; Madison, Wisconsin; Colorado Springs, Colorado
When: Either this Friday and Saturday, or Saturday and Sunday. Frozen Four is April 10th and 12th in Denver.

For the full bracket, go here.

Bracket Winners: Wisconsin, Michigan, WCHA. Wisconsin gets into the NCAA tournament with a sub .500 record, Michigan has probably the easiest road to Denver, and the WCHA got a record 6 teams into the NCAA Tournament.

Bracket Losers: New Hampshire, Minnesota State. New Hampshire has to travel across the entire country to play in Colorado Springs with the WCHA champs and defending national champs. Minnesota State would take that in a heartbeat, as they got left out of the field altogether in favor of Wisconsin, a team they finished two spots higher than in the WCHA standings.

NCAA Tourney by the Numbers: 0: The number of NCAA tournament games ever won by St. Cloud State. They get their second shot in as many years at Clarkson on Friday.

0: Number of times since the field expanded to 16 teams that all four 1 seeds have made the Frozen Four.

6: The number of WCHA teams in the field, a record.

9: The number of NCAA titles Michigan has won, the most of any team.

3: number of 3 seeds in last years Frozen Four. The 3 seeds this year are Wisconsin, Michigan State, Clarkson and Minnesota.

102: Points scored by North Dakota defensemen this season, tops in the country, they also lead the country in goals allowed per game.

That's all for today. I'll be back tomorrow with my picks for all of the tournament games, in case your basketball bracket is worthless you can maybe win a couple bucks back from a hockey one.


grittysquirrels said...

Great post.
I'm anxious to see how you're going to pick your bracket. I sat down and filled out what mine looks like. I wanna get your honest opinion on the odds of UND winning it all this year.

Also what do you think of the odds of there being another all WCHA Frozen 4?

stephen a said...

Honestly I think the fact that they put 3 WCHA teams in Madison makes it pretty much impossible. But enough with the spoilers, you'll see more tomorrow.