I posted the bracket in the prospects thread, but this being a hockey board, it makes sense for this to have its own thread, especially considering we have some alums and current students with schools participating, as well as prospects.
Miami University came thisclose to capturing its first NCAA hockey championship last April at the Frozen Four in Washington, D.C. But the RedHawks couldn't hold on to a 3-1 lead in the final minute of the third period and lost in overtime and in heartbreak fashion to Boston University.
Enrico Blasi's club responded this season with the nation's most consistent performance and now Miami (27-7-7) has a chance to make another run at next month's Frozen Four and an elusive national title. This will mark the RedHawks' fifth consecutive and eighth overall NCAA appearance.
When the pairings for the 2010 NCAA men's hockey tournament were announced on ESPN2 Sunday morning, the No. 1 seeds went to -- in order -- Miami University (Midwest), Denver (East), Wisconsin (West) and Boston College (Northeast).
2009 NCAA Hockey Tournament
Midwest (Ft. Wayne)
1 Miami vs. 4 Alabama-Huntsville
2 Bemidji St. vs. 3 Michigan
1 Boston College vs. 4 Alaska
2 North Dakota vs. 3 Yale
West (St. Paul)
1 Wisconsin vs. 4 Vermont
2 St. Cloud St. vs. 3 N. Michigan
1 Denver vs. 4 RIT 2 Cornell vs. 3 New Hampshire
The automatic bids for this year's tournament went to the conference champions from Atlantic Hockey (Rochester Institute of Technology), College Hockey America (Alabama-Huntsville), CCHA (Michigan), ECAC (Cornell), Hockey East (Boston College) and the WCHA (North Dakota). Only RIT doubled as a regular-season champion.
The 10 at-large bids went to Alaska, Bemidji State, Denver, Miami, New Hampshire, Northern Michigan, St. Cloud State, Vermont, Wisconsin and Yale.
Defending champion Boston University (18-17-3), which lost to Maine in the Hockey East semifinals, failed to qualify for the tournament, while Alaska will be making its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance and becomes the 50th school all-time to qualify for the national tournament.
Michigan, which needed the CCHA automatic bid to qualify for the tournament, will be making its 20th consecutive NCAA appearance. That's the longest active streak and the Wolverines now pass Minnesota for most overall tournament appearances with 33. Michigan also has won the most NCAA championships with nine, but Red Berenson's team hasn't won a title since 1998.
The Wolverines beat Miami 5-2 on Friday night in the CCHA semifinals in Detroit.
A pair of consecutive appearance streaks was kept alive when UNH (9) and North Dakota (8) qualified for the field of 16.
Regional play begins Friday and Saturday in Albany, N.Y. (East Regional), St. Paul, Minn. (West), Worcester, Mass. (Northeast) and Fort Wayne, Ind. (Midwest). The Frozen Four will be played at Detroit's Ford Field on April 8 (ESPN2 HD) and 10 (ESPN HD).
The conference breakdown for the tournament has four teams from the CCHA and WCHA, three teams from Hockey East, two teams from College Hockey America and ECAC and one from Atlantic Hockey.
Miami and Denver are tied for the most wins nationally with 27 but the RedHawks have the fewest losses (7) entering the NCAA tourney. For the RedHawks to advance to their second consecutive Frozen Four they will will need to beat Alabama-Huntsville (the only team in the field with a losing record) and then the winner of Bemidji State-Michigan. Bemidji State is also trying to advance to a second consecutive Frozen Four.
The big matchup, obviously, is in bold. We have a couple Cornell people on this board and this is, of course, my senior year at UNH. Go Wildcats.
The Sioux are the hottest team in the nation. Vande Velde and Frattin are taking their games to a whole new level and that's not good news for the rest of the tournament.
BC is going to curbstomp Alaska.
RIT has won ten in a row!!!! Here's hoping for upset!! Tigers have been rolling on all cylinders the last few months, granted mostly thru the AHA, but if RIT can get some PP time vs Denver, they could put a scare in them. This is RIT's first fully recruited DI team, and they ran over the AHA. Gotta go for Cinderella here. A team with no Scholarships vs a team loaded with NHL draftees....