NCAA Ice Hockey Tournament Brackets

East Regional (Bridgeport, CT) - March 27
#1 Michigan vs. #4 Air Force (ESPNU, 3 p.m. ET)
#2 Yale vs. #3 Vermont (ESPNU)

West Regional (Minneapolis, MN) - March 27
#1 Denver vs. #4 Miami (ESPN2)
#2 Minnesota-Duluth vs. #3 Princeton (ESPNU)

Midwest Regional (Grand Rapids, MI) - March 28
#1 Notre Dame vs. #4 Bemidji State (ESPN Classic)
#2 Northeastern vs. #3 Cornell (ESPNU)

Northeast Regional (Manchester, NH) - March 28
#1 Boston University vs. #4 Ohio State (ESPN2)
#2 North Dakota vs. #3 New Hampshire (ESPN2)

Quick thoughts... Boston University, the top overall seed, got a tough draw.  In theory they should be facing Bemidji State, the lowest seed, but instead get Ohio State, who has struggled but is a tougher opponent.  This is because there were two CCHA teams as #4 seeds and #1 seeds and in order to avoid first round interconference match ups between them, they had to swap.  Kind of bogus for the Terriers, but that's the way it goes.

As for Michigan's draw, do NOT underestimate Air Force.  They finished with a 27-10-2 record, won the AHA regular season and tournament titles, are ranked #14 in the PairWise Rankings (whereas teams from the AHA almost never rank in the top 25), and feature the nation's top goal scorer in Jacques Lamoureux, who posted 32-20-52 in 39 games (second in the nation in points).

Last year in the NCAA tournament the Falcons nearly upset #1 seed Miami, losing 3-2 in overtime.  It took the RedHawks 15+ minutes in the extra session to finally beat the Falcons.  And in 2007 they pushed top seed Minnesota to the limit in the opening round of the NCAA tournament, leading 3-1 in the third period before the Gophers scored three unanswered goals to win 4-3.

The Falcons have been very close to upsets the past two years and seem due for one sooner or later.  Hopefully it doesn't come at our expense.

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