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B1G Hockey: NCAA Tournament Preview and Open Thread

Work got in the way of previewing the NCAA Tournament so I'll link to other previews around the web. Minnesota is the B1G's lone representative in the field of 16. The Gophers earned the #10 spot in the final PairWise rankings and are the 3 seed in the Northeast Regional, they play UMD Friday.

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The Gophers were able to outlast Michigan and claim the B1G tournament crown 4-2.  Every other team needed to win the tournament to get in so Minnesota is the only B1G team to qualify for the Big Dance.  The Gophers finished 10th in the PairWise (.0002 points out of 8th in the RPI and PairWise), good enough for the 3 seed in the Northeast regional in Manchester, NH. Minnesota will face UMD for the 5th time this season.  The winner will go on to face the winner of Boston University and Yale.  UNO was able to hold on to a 2 seed in the Midwest regional in South Bend, IN.  They square off against a red hot Harvard team that won the Hockey East Tournament on Saturday.  The full bracket with TV info is below (all times Eastern).

NCAA Hockey Bracket

Real life ate up all of my time this week so I'm going to link to previews for each region then make my predictions.

Full Tournament Coverage

The Frozen Four is in Boston this year.  The Frozen Four will pit West vs Northeast and Midwest vs East in the semifinals.  This means we could see another Minnesota-REDACTED semifinal.

Vegas odds from SBN College Hockey and BC Interruption

CHN breaks down the tournament field while USCHO takes a look at some significant facts and figures and dives into the history behind every first round matchup.

BC Interruption looks into who is riding high coming into the tourney. For you podcast fans, Eastern Bias Podcast talks NCAA Tourney.

GoAUpher asked if the NCAA Tournament field should be expanded over at TDG. (NO, SEE MY COMMENTS AFTER THAT ARTICLE)

By now, you should all know that I am a big fan of KRACH as a way to rate teams and predict games.  Jim Dahl, over at College Hockey Ranked (Great site especially for tracking pairwise possibilities over the last month or two), goes through each team's odds to advance to a given round based on KRACH. Mankato is your favorite, projected to win ~23% of the time.  Minnesota is projected to beat Duluth 41.24% of the time and win it all 2.78% of the time. UNO is projected to beat Harvard 58% of the time and win it all 4.92% of the time.  Minnesota and UNO can only meet each other in the final.

Northeast Regional (Manchester, NH)

(4) Yale vs (1) Boston University
(3) Minnesota vs (2) UM-Duluth

The Daily Gopher goes over stats and odds, gives a preview and prediction, and previews Minnesota vs. Minnesota Duluth and BU vs Yale
College Hockey News and USCHO also previewed the region.

East Regional (Providence, RI)

(4) Providence vs (1) Miami
(3) Boston College vs (2) Denver

CHNTDG, and USCHO preview the region

Midwest Regional (South Bend, IN)

(4) RIT vs (overall 1) Minn. State-Mankato
(3) Harvard vs (2) UNO

CHNTDG, and USCHO with previews

West Regional (Fargo, ND)

(4) Quinnipiac vs (1) North Dakota
(3) St. Cloud State vs (2) Michigan Tech

CHNTDG, and USCHO with previews

Women's Hockey

I'd like to give the Gopher Women's Hockey team a shout out here. They just won their 3rd title in 4 seasons (finished 2nd last year) and 6th title overall.