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Michigan NCAA hockey tournament seedings
Inside College Hockey tweeted this link yesterday about a possible change to the NCAA Hockey tournament. If a change is passed it can't happen until the 2011-2012 season. There are supposedly many proposals but according to the article the most popular is keeping the tournament at 16 teams but making the first round a best of 3 series at the better seeded teams home arena. Then have 2 super regional sites for the quarterfinals and then the normal Frozen four.
I really like this idea because any NCAA Hockey Tourney game in Yost that I have attended has been great.
So I was parusing my usual USCHO.com Bracketology by Jason Moy reading for today and I had a disturbing thought.
Michigan hockey is in line for #1 seed which is good. But if Notre Dame finished ahead of us, they likely would get the #1 seed in the region closest to them which is Grand Rapids, likely pushing us out to the Western regional in Minnesota. Not too bad yet.
HOWEVER, Minnesota still has a shot of getting in as a #4 seed which since they're the host school for the Western regional, that means they get to play home games at theri campus rink as #4 seed. I'm sure the astute Michigan hockey fan will remember the advantage we received playing as the lower seed in Yost when we took out St Cloud St and one of those Colorado schools (Denver, right??) who was the #1 seed that year. So I don't want to get screwed by being a #1 seed and having to go to a "Region of Death" accentuated by the #4 seed being the home team.
That brings up the interesting dilemma... do we take the final day/weekend of the CCHA regular season off to lower our RPI so we're not a #1 seed. You say, "But W.I.E., even if we're a #2 seed that doesn't mean we won't get into a region of death". True, we still could be the #2 seed, get shipped to Minnesota's region anyway and still possibly play them in a regional final.
I hate doing this thought exercise, but let's take a hypothetical. Say we do this and get the #2 seed. Then say the NCAA decides to act on the proposed "geographic limitation rule" for all tourneys except basketball where a conscious effort is made to keep all teams as close to campus as possible. This would mean as a #2 seed we would likely be kept in Grand Rapids with Notre Dame as the #1 and a third CCHA team as the #3 seed (Ohio State by the latest bracketology). Outside of IMO having a better chance to win the region overall, the atmosphere in that place would be electric and provide some very entertaining rivalry hockey.
Now Minnesota could make this all moot by losing their at-large bid through continuing to descend the last couple weeks of the season (I'll take my chances with a Wisconsin #4 seed in Minneapolis). And I hate losing no matter what. But what say you M-hockey nation? Would you consider tanking against Ferris if it meant avoiding a Region of Death and getting our own non-#1 seed home regional in grand rapids?