Friday, March 25, 2005

March Madness Starts Today

No, not that basketball nonsense. The NCAA Division 1 Hockey tournament gets underway this afternoon. The 16 team field is divided into 4 four-team regionals. US College Hockey Online has detailed previews and schedules. Here are my brief, semi-informed predictions:

East Regional (Worcester, MA): Boston College over Mercyhurst; Boston University over North Dakota; BC over BU

-The top seeded BC Eagles should have little trouble dispatching overmatched Mercyhurst. Playing on de facto home ice gives BU the edge against North Dakota. In the final, BC proves a little too much for their Commonwealth Ave. archrivals.

Midwest Regional (Grand Rapids, MI): Colorado College over Colgate; Michigan over Wisconsin; Michigan over Colorado College;

-As a devout Michigan hockey fan, I obviously have a bias, but I feel the Wolverines are the best team in Grand Rapids despite being the number two seed behind Colorado College. Michigan is the top scoring team in the country, with eight 10-goal scorers, and three players with 20 each. The Maize and Blue are a veteran team, with 10 seniors in the lineup. If talented but erratic goalie Al Montoya is on form, the Wolverines are as good as anyone.

Northeast Regional (Amherst, MA): Denver over Bemidji State; New Hampshire over Harvard; New Hampshire over Denver;

-Denver is the top seed, and play suffocating defense, but I like second seeded New Hampshire to pull the upset in the regional final.

West Regional (Minneapolis, MN): Minnesota over Maine; Ohio State over Cornell, Minnesota over Ohio St;

-Minnesota have a couple key injuries and are struggling for form, but find a way to get it done on their home ice.


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